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How to make Panoramic Movies

Create Your Own Panorama

This tutorial is designed to help demonstrate the technique and process in making your own panoramic movie or photograph. There are many different ways to create a panoramic 360 degree movie, this method uses a panohead. This is only a guide and you should use this as a starting point to make further research.

The equipment needed to create panoramic movies can be quite expensive and the process involved can take a long time but the results are worth while.

Panoramic Tripod Head

Setup Your Tripod

You can use any camera although I recommend using a digital camera because you can easily edit images and saves time scanning photos. I use a Digital SLR for sharper high resolution photos. You will need a Panohead. There are many companies that make Panoramic Tripod Heads (Panoheads). A panohead allows you to rotate the camera 360 degrees horizontally and 180 degrees vertically on the top of the tripod.

Make sure the top of the tripod is level. Adjust the panohead to make sure the nodal point is directly above the centre of the tripod which will ensure better results when stitching the photos later. The Nodal point is a point inside the lens and is different for each lens. There are many web tutorials which explain how to find the nodal point for your lens. Wide angle lenses are used when creating panoramic movies.

Taking The Photos

Take up to 12 photos moving the panohead horizontally a few degrees until you have taken photos in 360 degrees. The photos should overlap each other a bit for stitching together later.

Next adjust the camera so it points up 45 degrees and repeat the process above. Then adjust the camera down 45 deg and repeat. Finally take photos directly up and down. You should have about 32+ photos!

Alternatively use a wide angle lens to take less images. Note a wider angle lens can create less sharp photos.

Stitching Your Photos

You will need special photo stitching software to stitch the photos seamlessly together. Stitch your photos together to create the finished panoramic photo for print or a qtvr.

A qtvr (Quick Time Virtual Reality) is a movie that can be played in web pages. There are two types - spherical and cubic. Cubic qtvr movies work better. Experiment and see what works best when creating your own panoramas.

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