Introduction - the easiest way to create panoramas and / or get them to 360cities.net
- Download our iPhone app 360cities.net/mobile-app to create and share panoramas directly on your iPhone.
You're looking at 360 panoramas. They could be also be called 360° panoramas, 360-degree panoramas, omniviews, VR photos, virtual reality panoramas, sphere panoramas, etc. but we call them "360 panoramas" or simply "panos" here on 360Cities.
Panoramic photography of some kind has existed for more than a century. You can see many examples of 360 degree photos from 100 years ago. Nowadays you can see a boom in this kind of visualization technology due to the ever-reducing cost of the technology, availability of software, abundance of publishing tools. One of the most important aspects is also that the broadband internet made it possible to easily share this kind of photography with others. 360 Panoramas are the new way of showing places, events and businesses on the internet.
In terms of the format of panoramas, there are essentially three different kinds:
360Cities supports cylindrical and spherical panoramas. See also Requirements for Panoramas Published on 360Cities.
So, what is the secret of creating a 360 panorama?
It's actually pretty easy. You, the photographer, choose a place from which you want the panorama to be taken. Then you start taking photos around yourself until you cover the whole intended field of view with photos. It does not really matter what camera or lens you use, you can even use a cell phone, as long as the photos overlap. The easiest, though, is to use a digital SLR camera with a fisheye lens. The wider the viewing angle of the lens is, the less photos you need to cover the entire field of view. With a cell phone, you will need many photos, with a fisheye lens, you need as little as three to cover the entire sphere.
Take a look at these videos that show how to take fully spherical 360 panoramas:
Sigma 8mm 3.5 or Samyang 8mm F3.5). Once again. To start and to try it out, it doesn't really matter. Just make sure you take photos that overlap and try it, go out there and take some panoramas!
Further reading (advanced panorama shooting tutorials):PanoTools Wiki - information hub for panoramic photography
Panorama Tutorials - more links
If you are serious
Here's some tips for taking even better photos:
If you are on mobile
360Cities is compatible with Microsoft Photosyth panorama creation app for the iPhone. Simply create your panoramas in Photosynth, save them to your camera roll and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. More info about email uploads
The photos you take need to be joined (stitched / assembled) together with great precision on a computer. When the shooting and stitching is done properly the result is a completely seamless, smooth image (without borders between photos), which can be viewed in any direction. You can truly enjoy the viewing experience that is close to the actual experience of being at the place where the photographer shot the panorama.
Here's the list of recommended tools for stitching your photos together:
Beware: Stitching photos is not a lightweight task, and the more RAM you have, the better. It also helps to have fast hard disks. For example, tiny notebook might take 30 minutes to stitch a panorama while the same task would take 2 minutes on an average desktop computer (because of RAM and disk speed, more than processor speed).
Once you are done taking and stitching photos it's time to Create your 360Cities account and publish your panoramas.