by January 11, 1999 0 comments

There’s a nice park near our office. Though it’s
called the Rose Garden, there are hardly any roses there. But the tall trees, the grass
and the absence of the cacophony of everyday life make it a welcome oasis once in a while.
I could write paragraphs on what the park looks like. But words alone won’t give you
a flavor of what the place is like. I could even include some photographs. But they would
never convey the panoramic sweep of the trees all around.

It’s in such circumstances that the
power of QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) comes in handy. QTVR can stitch together
photographs to create 360 degree views that you can navigate. These views are created as
QuickTime movies that you can view on a QuickTime player, or on a browser with the
QuickTime plug-in. You can create two types of QTVR movies. The first is the panorama,
where the camera or the viewer is at the center of the movie and is turning around. The
second is the object movie, where the camera is moving around a stationary object. In our
example of the garden, I’ll have to create a QuickTime panorama.

I used a digital camera for shooting the
pictures, though I could’ve used a traditional camera. The digital camera saved me
the trouble of buying a film, getting it developed and printed, and finally, scanning it
in, because I could straightaway transfer the pictures to my computer. Equally important,
I was able to immediately see the picture I’d shot, and could make changes if
necessary.

I set up the camera on a tripod stand at a
location that gave me a good panoramic view of the park.

The original images I shot were 1280×960
pixels and 300 dpi. This was too large for comfort. Besides, it would take a whole lot of
processing time to make a movie. So, I first reduced the resolution of the pictures. You
can use any standard graphics program to do this. Some amount of trial-and-error showed me
that 200 dpi gave acceptable results.

I used Corel PhotoPaint 9 to create the
movie. PhotoPaint 9 is available as a separate package, and is also bundled with CorelDraw
9. You also need to install QuickTime 3 or higher on your PC. QuickTime is available on
the PhotoPaint CD.

The first step is to stitch all the
photographs together. Stitching is nothing but combining the photos. Loading all the
seventeen photographs at the same time would have sorely stretched my PC’s resources.
So I loaded them one by one, stitching each to the previous before closing it.

Click here for
the details. Install Acrobat Reader from here.

 

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