There are a lot of tutorials to be found at the net, but I
wanted to make my own anyway.
Many of the tutorials on the net are based upon
old versions of both software and equipment. The workflow to achieve
perfect VR-panoramas have been drastically reduced over the past few years.
I now use PTGui PRO v7.3
for stitching and making the equirectangular image, that Pano2QTVR v1.63
then can convert to a mov-file for QuickTime.
Above: Screenshot from PTGui showing how images will be stitched
together (3 of them highlighted). This particular panorama was made
from 18 images (2 rows of 9 images shot with a Canon 20D and Sigma
15 mm diagonal fisheye). You can see that there are substantial
"warping" of each image to be made in order to obtain a equirectangular image.
Below: Her is another sample of warping. This image shows how
"distortion" (warping) the
stitching software has to be performed on each images in order to
make the them fit into a spherical panorama. The wider lens you use,
the more it has to be warped.
(You can see the finished panorama
under "Panoramas of Norway" -> "Telemark" (Lietorvet shopping mall in Skien)
I made a lot of panoramas before I bought my first
panohead, many with good results (when there was no near objects...) I
now have the Pano head v3 panohead (read about hardware and software under "Links") and the difference are huge. All
stitching are now close to perfect, even when I make panoramas from
This tutorial/check list is partly based upon MY equipment, and MY software.
- Tripod w/ball head
- Panohead (se "links")
- Preferably a remote control (especially for long
Se more about panoheads under "Links"
Pano head v3 from Jasper Engineering seems to have it all.
- Program to stitch images to panorama (See "links"). I
- Program to make stitched panoramas to mov-file (se
"links"). I recommend Pano2QTVR
Simply the best stitching software there is...
||Your camera must have manual
- Manual focus! (Choose an average value for the scene),
or use "Bracketing" (PTGui now support bracketed images)
- Manual aperture! (Choose an average value for the
scene. Use a small/medium aperture like F8 or F11)
- Manual shuttertime!
- Manual white balance! (Preferably, choose and set WB
manual, Or, choose a preset according to the light conditions)
- Manual ISO!
||PTGui is pretty straight
forward, but you can control a lot of manual setting, if you
- Transfer images to computer and rotate them correctly
(not always necessary, but easily done with various image
editing software (rotate all at one time)
- Open PTGui, and load images
- Run "Generate control points".
- "Panorama Editor" opens, and hopefully show you a
correct panorama. If not, you can switch to "Edit individual
images" and move wrongly placed images roughly to were they
should be. PTGui does the fine-tuning for you.
- Click "Create panorama". (Choose "Optimum size" and
- If the panorama is a 360-degree-panorama, PTGui
discover this, and crops it correctly. If, not, you have to
crop it in an image editor when it is finished.
- Open the pano in an image editing program an add some
canvas in the bottom of the image, and put your logo/name
- Do whatever adjustments you want (color adjustments,
sharpening, brightness and contrast). Remember that sharpening
increase file size, and you don't want that...?
- If you want to present your VR-panorama as both small,
medium and large as I do, adjust image size and save at
various sizes. (I use image heights at 6000, 3000 and 1500
- Don't use image compression lower than 90%. You choose
this in the next program.
Making the mov-file
- Open "Pano2QTVR" and create a project.
- Choose image and the output filename.
- Add MP3 sound (ocean, birds, wind...?) and hotspots as
- Choose image compression at your choice. I use 70 for
large, 60 for medium and 50 for small which gives me mov-files
at apprx. 6 mB, 2 mB and 0.75 mB (When the starting point is
18 ea. 8.2 megapixel images)
- Make a new page on your website.
- Place the mov-file in the same folder
- Paste the HTML-code below to your site.
- Edit the mov-name
<param name="SRC" value="My_livingroom-office_large.mov">
<param name="SCALE" value="tofit">
<param name="CONTROLLER" value="true">
height="100%" width="100%" border="0"></object>
Edit height and width percentage
if you want the fullscreen panorama to fill the screen. (I
use a frame page, with a border (frame) in top and bottom, so I
use a little less than 100%. It's easy when you use use
That's all! Good luck.
Practice makes perfect!
Panosaurus panohead (now Jasper), Canon 20D (now 40D), Sigma EX 15 mm diagonal fisheye lens.
(Click for large view)
- Canon EOS 20D now 40D)
- Peleng 8 mm fisheye
- Sigma EX 15 mm fisheye
- Sigma EX 50 mm F2.8 macro
- Sigma EX 105 mm F2.8 macro
- Sigma 18-125 mm
- Canon 75-300mm IS USM
- Canon 420/550 EX flashes
- Kenko extension tubes
- Filters, reflectors, close-up lenses, remote controller ++
With a full frame DSLR and a true fisheye you can theoretically
cover a full VR-panorama with only 2 shots, but the stitching software
need some overlapping areas to do the job. 3-5 images is needed,
depending on how much of the zenith,-(straight up) and nadir area
(straight down) you want to cover.
True fisheyes (on a full frame Camera) area ideal when there are
moving objects in the scene (people, cars, clouds), or when extreme
resolution is not needed.
When you are using "ordinary" super wide angle lenses, you need to
take two full turns (6-15 images in each row). This will give you very
high resolution, and it will take some minutes to take all the images.
First row with pointing downwards, and second row with camera pointing
It's important that your panorama head is leveled properly. If
not, more of the resulting image will be lost ("cropped away").