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Thread: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine

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Len

Posts: 12
Location: Buffalo, United States
Registered: 22 Oct 2013
Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 5 May 2014 at 15:54 GMT
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I have a project coming up in a month or so that involves doing a tour (inside and out) of a fire engine. The vehicle is about 35 feet in length. I've done cylindrical panos and am familiar with how to create hotspots linking to other views (such as to adjacent rooms in a real estate tour).

For the fire engine, I want to walk around the exterior with a couple of hotspots taking me to the inside of the vehicle cab. I'd be interested in any suggestions as to how this project should be approached - especially how one would do an exterior tour of a vehicle (...sort of like an "inside-out" cylindrical pano?)...

Thanks,
-len
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Smooth

Posts: 4310
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 5 May 2014 at 16:43 GMT
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The exterior would need either be an 360° Object movie where you rotate around the scene or a series of typical 360° panoramas linked via Hotspots. Spherical has it all over Cylindrical.

Making the object movie would require a you to make a circle and have the engine park in the very centre (Think peg in the ground and length of rope!). Mark and shoot an image every "x" amount of degrees all the time maintaining the exact same height (relevant to the fire engine) and not the ground (unless the ground is 100% level). The lesser the degree the smoother the rotation. 10 degrees = 36 shots etc!

Take a look at www.gardengnomesoftware.com for the object movie software.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.omnipix.com.au
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Len

Posts: 12
Location: Buffalo, United States
Registered: 22 Oct 2013
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 6 May 2014 at 0:55 GMT
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Smooth, thanks so much for the tips! I just downloaded the trial version of Object2VR (I've been using Pano2VR and love it...), and will put it to the test.

A couple of follow-up questions, if you don't mind: How critical is it to revolve around a precise centre point? And how important is placement of that point? I'll have a large parking lot available, so space should be no issue. I'm thinking that I could draw a circle on that lot, with the rectangular dimensions contained and centered within that circle. Then I could move my camera around the circle in steps as you described. Does that make sense?

Thanks again,
-len
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DennisS

Posts: 1787
Location: Los Anglels, United States
Registered: 1 Sep 2007
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 6 May 2014 at 4:46 GMT
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Len,

I shot my friends house several years ago.

www.dlsphoto.net/SchoolerHouse/House.mov

I did not have the luxury of drawing a circle. I spent a whole lot of time in post resizing the images in order to get the house to be the same size in all the pictures. The result is way too jerky. If I had to do it over again I would have taken a lot more time. As it is I did this rather quickly and in one shot. I also had a couple of trees to navigate around.

The more consistant the distance you stay from the center point the more "smooth" it will look.

Dennis
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Smooth

Posts: 4310
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 6 May 2014 at 6:30 GMT
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Hi Len,

In an ideal world you would have access to a turn table and keep the camera in a single position.
Like this: smooth360.com/2005/objects/storm_scooter/

Bu that's a bit difficult with a full size fire engine. So you will keep the fire engine still and rotate the camera around it. As already mentioned you want to keep the camera the equal distance from the centre point and all the time maintaining the exact same height from a marker chosen on the fire engine (A rotating laser level would help). The closer you stay to the X and Y of these positions the better the final result as far as rotation is concerned.

Don't make the fire engine your first experience with Object movies. Gain some experience first and practice with something smaller (dog kennel or statue etc) and work your way up. You are bound to learn a lot from the practice.

Remember you will need to keep the lighting even (be wary of clouds and shadows) and make sure your camera is treating every image to same as the last.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.omnipix.com.au
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Len

Posts: 12
Location: Buffalo, United States
Registered: 22 Oct 2013
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 6 May 2014 at 15:38 GMT
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Thanks DennisS and Smooth for the excellent suggestions.

Keeping the camera at a consistent distance and height from the center seems to be key. I'll also be practicing on some smaller scale subjects before moving on to the fire engine.

Your tips have already made this a bit less of a challenge (...but still a big one wink )

Thanks again.
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stalwart

Posts: 316
Location: Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Registered: 20 Dec 2007
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 8 May 2014 at 12:35 GMT
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When I did this commission last year, I did just as Smooth suggests - piece of string held down with a weight in the middle of the show room and mark out with sticky dots every 12 inches or so. This example used 67 nodes x 3 AEB RAW shots:

www.360imagery.co.uk/virtualtour/miscellaneous/ve...

I shot the entire range of Vauxhalls in 2 days - a big project!
www.perrys.co.uk/360-virtual-car-tour

Stu
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mediavets

Posts: 2178
Location: Isleham, Cambs., United Kingdom
Registered: 8 Feb 2008
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 8 May 2014 at 18:24 GMT
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stalwart said:

When I did this commission last year, I did just as Smooth suggests - piece of string held down with a weight in the middle of the show room and mark out with sticky dots every 12 inches or so. This example used 67 nodes x 3 AEB RAW shots:

www.360imagery.co.uk/virtualtour/miscellaneous/ve...

......

Stu


Very impressive.

Andrew
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Len

Posts: 12
Location: Buffalo, United States
Registered: 22 Oct 2013
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 12 May 2014 at 2:20 GMT
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Stu, the Vauxhall tours are very impressive. Did you use a tripod for all the shots, and maintain the same camera level throughout? When I do the fire engine exterior tour, I'm concerned that I'll be able to maintain a smooth flow as the user moves around the vehicle.

Thanks,
-len
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Smooth

Posts: 4310
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 12 May 2014 at 5:23 GMT
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Len said:

Did you use a tripod for all the shots, and maintain the same camera level throughout?

I would say not. The rotation of the car jumps all over the place. Generally it is acceptable but I feel more effort could have produced a superior rotational result.

Just depends on what you are setting out to achieve.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.omnipix.com.au
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Len

Posts: 12
Location: Buffalo, United States
Registered: 22 Oct 2013
Re: Shooting a virtual tour of a fire engine
Posted: 12 May 2014 at 14:23 GMT
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Smooth said:

...The rotation of the car jumps all over the place...

That's what concerned me. Also, with the length of a fire engine upwards of 45 feet, I'm wondering if it will make much difference if the tour is a precise circle, vs. a more manageable oval. I'll have some time this week to experiment, but with the vehicle as large as it is, the circle would be quite large as well. It just seems that an oval, centered on the vehicle's center, might reduce some of the change in perspective that would happen as I move from the vehicle ends towards the middle (if a circle were used).

Time will tell, but it certainly helps having the benefit of experience (yours smile ).

Thanks,
-len
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