Stereo 3D Virtual Tours

Reading and comprehension: 7 minutes.

“Virtual tours and virtual reality (VR). The two go together like bread and butter, needle and thread or cheese and wine”. (3D Vista).

What can I say? I love this statement! But cutting the cheese and opening the wine, slicing the bread and spreading the butter, or threading the needle, are procedures that have to be learned.

ROTATIONAL 2.0

The technique I am presenting is new. It is an evolution of the technique I presented in 2018(2Q) to the international panographic community, during IVRPA TOKYO. The original technique was calculated to work with Fullframe sensors and 8mm optics. This revision has been calculated to work with 220º angle of view optics, which are mounted on 360º cameras and their sensors.

CAMERAS

You can use any 360º camera with support currently on the market (Ricoh, Insta, Qoocam), etc, or other discontinued ones, such as: (Nikon, Kodak, Garmin)…. All of them are valid for this technique. All of them use ultra fisheye optics, with a FOV of 200º.

It is important to bear in mind that we are only going to use the camera on one of the two sides, so if you have the opportunity to acquire a Ricoh Z1 with a broken lens, don’t miss the opportunity.

It can also be done with DSLR’s with APSC or Full Frame sensors and Entaniya HAL lenses.

SHOOTING WITH PARALLAX

If the panorama is spherical it is nodal, but if it is stereoscopic it needs parallax. We can obtain parallax in the horizontal plane in two ways: by misaligning the entrance pupil on the lateral axis (side by side) or by misaligning the entrance pupil on the longitudinal axis (rotational). To shoot with parallax we need a photographic rotator, you can easily find it in any photo shop.

As you can see in the drawing, the distance between the vertical axis of the tripod and the vertical axis of the camera is five centimetres. This distance is not the interaxial distance, it is the parallax (offset). It has been calculated to be able to work indoors respecting the volumetry in VR mode.

If you use too much parallax, the stereopsis will make everything look too small, if you use too little, everything will look big in VR mode. For this reason 5cm is the starting point. In time you will learn to work with variable (Off-Set).

ROTATION

The photo rotator has each of the 360º of rotation marked on it. So if you want to imitate the capture of an INSTA PRO or an INSTA PRO 2, you will have to take six photos, one every 60º.

If you want to mimic the Insta Titan or the new Obsidian Kandao PRO, you will have to take 8 photos, i.e. one photo every 45°. And you can use the software of these cameras to do the stitching. Just change the extension of your photos from .jpg to .mov. If that doesn’t work, open your photos in PS and export them as one second video segments (mp4). These cameras use a high (Off-Set), due to the physical law of impenetrability. In other words: They cannot make the cameras smaller, because there is not enough space inside. This is the reason why the TITAN INSTA produces (Miniaturisation/Dwarfism), because of a high (Off-Set) and cannot be used indoors.

Leaving aside the miniaturisation issue, the Insta Titan offers superior stereoscopic quality than the Insta PRO, due to the use of 8 cameras instead of 6. And likewise, the quality of the Kandao Obsidian PRO with 8 lenses is superior to the classic Obsidian with 6 lenses.

You will get the highest stereo quality by taking 12 pictures around. I have spent a lot of time and carried out a lot of tests to make this claim. That is: one photo every 30º.

Using a five centimetre (Off-Set) and taking twelve photos, the result is a MEGA INSTA PRO with 12 optics, and a diameter of 10cm. The stereography will be perfect. And the volumetry in VR mode will be just like the real world.

SAMPLE

This is the frame (double fisheye) I get with the Samsung 2016.

The Samsung 2016 allows me to activate or deactivate the cameras on each side, in this case I have used both so you can see the capture sequence. I rotate the photo rotator and trigger the camera from its APP. Easy and simple.

For post-production, we will logically only use the front camera, so we will have to process the circular fisheye frame in Photoshop to give it a 1:1 aspect ratio.

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