“Image stitching” have you heard this word before?
If yes then you are a person who should read this article and if no! Then you are the right person to read this article.
Virtual panorama photography, panorama creation and virtual panorama stitching are gaining attention these days. The application of these being unlimited are said to conquer the next generation. Normal photography can capture an area which a human eye can see, but photo stitching captures a wide angle view.
I would first like to explain the three terms I discussed prior “ panorama photography”, “virtual panorama design” and “virtual tours”, before I continue to write on the next generation virtual panorama design.
360 degree panorama photography is a photography technique of capturing a wide area in a photographic image, basically an image of 2:1 aspect ratio i.e. an image with twice the length than the width.
Panoramic creation is a process of creating a “Tiff” or a “jpeg” image (a panorama output) by stitching different exposures and angles.
Virtual tours are representation of a panoramic image on a moving canvas that resembles the real world view of that photograph to human eye.
It becomes very hard to picturize a wide area through a normal camera and photograph, imagine 500 persons sitting around a room. You cannot capture them through normal camera on a single photograph, here panorama gets attention.
Panoramas are created by assembling a group of images shot at different angles in an area. A camera with a rotating head over a tripod is mounted to capture different shots across a background. The camera remains at a unvarying place and captures different shots by simultaneous rotations and exposures. To get a better image of a location different shots are captured for the same location or same object. These are combined to get a perfect clarity.
All the shots of an area are stitched using software’s for stitching such as PTGUI or Pano Viewer. These stitched photos are later checked for clarity and corrected through photo retouching and restoration in Photoshop. The images being shot for a panoramic creation should have an overlap with the next image in series to get perfect panorama stitched. The better the shots are taken the better will be the final panorama output.
Also HDR “high dynamic range” imaging is used to create a panorama, HDR images are created by combining a dark and a bright exposure of same image. According to Charles Wyckoff “ an HDR is the process of tone mapping together with bracketed exposures of normal digital images, giving the end result a high, often exaggerated dynamic range” [ taken from wikipedia ].
A virtual tour is also used nower days to capture areas of large hotels, houses (real estate) and conference halls and represented through virtual tours. Virtual tours are created by compounding several panoramas into a flash or “QT” template and then integrated into a website that is kept live for visitors.
Virtual panorama in the next generation will be used for games and promos. It is also helpful for animators to portray the real world with visual effects to create a virtual reality space. I do suspect that promotion of games will get a fast starting point with the introduction of panoramas.
Panoramas have made each of us to sit at home and to get the real view of the hotels we want to stay or the home we want to buy. All can be verified without actual user intervention. For jewelry to show all the jewels is now easy through the representation of them through panoramas, no fear of theft.
The next generation will see a great advancement in this area of art, even though recession has slow down the growth but still I believe it will surpass the barriers to get out breathing the fresh air of luck and development again.
Article by: Gayathri
SBL - Technology People Trust