Arctic Ram military exercise in Yellowknife

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 16, 2012 in 360 Panoramas, photos, Soundslide

I got the amazing opportunity to embed with the Canadian military during exercise Arctic Ram. You can also read Journal reporter Elise Stolte’s great stories and see my 360-degree virtual tour of the camp.

Click on the above image to see my 360-degree virtual tour of the camp. It is especially awesome on an iPad2 or iPhone 4G with gyro.

A Canadian solder walks past dozens of snow mobiles at a temporary military base during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A Canadian solder unloads equipment at a temporary military base during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A Canadian solder is camouflaged in the trees and snow during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Cpl. Wilkinson unloads a supply truck at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

8 Platoon commander Lt. Nick Ethier (middle) instructs his platoon during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Canadian solders line up for supper at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A Canadian solder serves supper during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Canadian Solders in the mess hall at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Canadian solders on night patrol at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

The view through a night vision scope of Canadian solders on night patrol at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. Journal reporter Elise Stolte and photographer Ryan Jackson were embedded with the military this week and saw the exercise first hand. Go to http://www.edmontonjournal.com/arcticram for photos, blog updates and check out The Journal on Sunday and Monday for the full story on our military in the arctic. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A Canadian solder loads blanks in his weapon while on night patrol at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Canadian solders take a smoke break after completing their night patrol at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Members of 8 Platoon debrief in their ten-man tent at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 13, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Left to right. 8 Platoon commander Lt. Nick Ethier, Sgt. Timothy Nowlan and second-in-command Sgt. Liam Stratton walk to breakfast at the mess hall in the early morning at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Diesel trucks and LAVs billow smoke while warming up in the early morning at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

8 Platoon commander Lt. Nick Ethier climbs into a snow cave built during winter survival training with the Canadian Rangers at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Snowmobiles warm up in the early morning at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

8 Platoon second-in-command Sgt. Liam Stratton poses for a portrait at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Canadian Ranger John Tinqui from Whati, N.W.T. poses for a portrait at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A Canadian solder stands guard at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Canadian Ranger Charlie Quitte from Rae-Edzo, N.W.T. sets a muskrat trap during winter survival training for Canadian solders during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Snowmobiling with Canadian Rangers through the subarctic forest near Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Cpl. Amelie Lavoie, vehicle technician with Lord Strathcona's Horse makes a call to her boyfriend back in Edmonton. Every Canadian solder was allowed 10-minutes of satellite phone time on Valentines day to call loved ones during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A Canadian LAV Coyote drives up an ice road created near Behchoko, N.W.T. during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Trooper Pvt. Jason Hall with Lord Strathcona's Horse drives a LAV Coyote up an ice road created near Behchoko, N.W.T. during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Canadian solders with Lord Strathcona's Horse haul a tow cable from a LAV Bison to a LAV III that was deliberately stuck in a snow pile to test their ability to rescue military vehicles on an ice road created near Behchoko, N.W.T. during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A Canadian solder uses a LAV to heat up water during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

The Aurora Borealis lights up the northern sky above a military ten-man tent at Forward Operating Base Maiden 1 during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 14, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Bravo Company, Third Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry jumped onto Great Slave Lake, near the Edzo Bridge during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 15, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Bravo Company, Third Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry jumped onto Great Slave Lake, near the Edzo Bridge during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 15, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Bravo Company, Third Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry jumped onto Great Slave Lake, near the Edzo Bridge during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 15, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A paratrooper with Bravo Company, Third Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry jumped onto Great Slave Lake, near the Edzo Bridge during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 15, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Capt. Luke Kittson with 1 Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry watches the paratrooper drop zone on Great Slave Lake during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 15, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Master Cpl. Eric Roberts with Combat Engineer Regiment quickly packs up his gear after exiting the ice-cold water after a winter dive on Long Lake during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 16, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Leading seaman Sebastien Guay with Fleet Diving Unit Pacific prepares for a winter ice dive during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 16, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A Canadian soldier dives under the ice of Long Lake during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 10, 2009. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Eric Roberts / Supplied / Edmonton Journal)

Leading seaman Sebastien Guay with Fleet Diving Unit Pacific pokes up through a hole in the ice during a winter dive in Long Lake during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 16, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

A latrine bucket behind the diving tent on Long Lake during Exercise Arctic Ram near Yellowknife on February 16, 2012. Approximately 1,500 Canadian soldiers and Rangers participated in Arctic Ram to re-familiarize the army with a harsh winter environment and to exercise Canada's Arctic sovereignty. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Click on the above image to see my 360-degree virtual tour of the camp. It is especially awesome on an iPad2 or iPhone 4G with gyro.

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DIY Super high resolution “Octo-Cam” for capturing the World’s Largest Dodgeball Game

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 3, 2012 in 360 Panoramas, DIY, GigaPan, photos

Three years in a row!

In 2010 the University of Alberta set the record for World’s Largest Dodgeball Game and my video got over 775,000 hits.

In 2011 the U of A broke the record again and captured it with a 360-degree video camera that I built.

This year the record would be set again with 5,000 students participating. I figured this was a great opportunity to do a GigaTag where you make a GigaPan image and link it with Facebook so all 5,000 participants can tag themselves and their friends on Facebook.

I’ve shot dozens and dozens of panoramas over the years and one challenge is always movement between frames. I wanted to capture a GigaPan image of the 2012 World Record Dodgeball Game but it would be impossible with one camera shooting multiple images.

The solution?

Here is my crazy “Octo-Cam” made from aluminum and eight Canon Rebel T2i’s with 50mm f1.8 lenses. Each camera shoots 18 megapixels and when I stitched the images together with PTgui I can create a 220MP panorama!

 

 Photo by Fish Griwkowsky.

AMAZING thanks to Don’s Photo for lending me the eight Canon Rebel T2i cameras and Canon 50mm f1.8 lenses.

I went to Metal Supermarkets with my design and they cut all of the 2″ x 4″ aluminum for me in an hour! In total it only cost about $120.

It took about eight hours to drill and assemble the frame and another eight hours to wire everything together. I used a PocketWizard Multi-Max to trigger the cameras.

Eight cameras means eight battery chargers! I was amazed that the batteries were able to last for over 2,700 images. They weren’t even dead!

Stitching test photos with PTgui. The final resolution depends on how much overlap you have between images.

I had PTgui interpolate the image to make it the maximum 25,000 pixels wide that JPEG allows.

 

So what’s the end result?

Check out http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/u-of-a-dodgeball/index.html where you can zoom-in and tag yourself on Facebook !

 

What’s next?    The Octo-Cam actually shot one picture every second for the whole game!!!

Soon there will be a video time lapse version of the panorama! Stay tuned!

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360-degree view from the Empire State Building in New York

Posted by ryanjackson on Oct 7, 2011 in 360 Panoramas, photos, Ryan's Life

In October my wife Ashe and I went to New York for a week. It was exactly “like the movies”. An amazing experience.

A panoramic view from the top of the Empire State Building in New York City on Oct. 7, 2011. This image was created by stitching multiple images together. Panorama by Ryan Jackson, ryanjackson.ca

Click on the above image to view a 360-degree panorama from the top of the Empire State Building in New York City. Panorama by Ryan Jackson.

The panorama is HTML-5 compatible so it works on iPhone, iPad and Android devices as well. EXTRA cool with an iPhone 4G or iPad2 with gyro.

We stayed at The Warwick Hotel which was built by media baron William Randolph Hearst  who is the guy that inspired the movie Citizen Kane.

Here is a view from the top of 30 Rock at night.

Speaking of 30 Rock.  Ashe and I went to see a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Ashe got on TV as a game contestant!

Ashe bought a lot of clothes and I went to the world’s biggest camera store, B&H Photo Video, and bought the crazy Canon 8-15mm Fisheye lens.

The Brooklyn Bridge with the Canon 8-15mm lens on a 5D Mark-II.


Ashe and I in Times Square.

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GigaPan panorama of Folk Fest fans 2011

Posted by ryanjackson on Sep 18, 2011 in 360 Panoramas, GigaPan, photos

View this image in Full Screen and zoom in to see yourself with amazing detail!




Here’s me setting up our GigaPan Epic Pro at Folk Fest. Photo by Jack Bawden. I used a 1D Mark-IV and a 24-105mm F4L lens to make the panorama. I would have rather used a longer lens like a 200 or 300mm to get more detail but I only had the first three songs to shoot.

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360-degree video street view tour of devistated Slave Lake

Posted by ryanjackson on Jun 20, 2011 in 360 Panoramas, 360 Video, video

The Journal got an exclusive tour of the devastation created by the Slave Lake wildfire. Videographer Ryan Jackson set up four cameras on top of a vehicle to capture a 360-degree view as he drove through the town.

Here is my newest 360-degree video of the fire destruction at Slave Lake. I used the same workflow as my 360-degree World Record Dodgeball video
I felt the only way to truly show the extent of the damage to Slave Lake was to do a 360-degree panoramic video similar to Google Street View.

I used four GoPro cameras to capture the video and then stitched the video together. I have since bought a fifth GoPro to use for future videos.

I setup everything on the ground first.

A flash stand worked well for raising the camera above the roof of the Jeep.

Dent puller suction cups from Princess Auto. $5 each!

Even with the super strong suction cups you still need tie-down straps for safety.

I looped the tie-down straps inside the car.

Journal reporter Jana Pruden and me in Slave Lake. A lady in Athabasca was making these shirts to raise money for Slave Lake.

When we got back to the hotel I dumped all the images into my main laptop and then had four more laptops (total of five) processing the video into panoramas. I used a D-Link Gigabit Switch for the network and I had a D-Link DNS-343 8TB NAS drive for backup storage.

When I got home I had all five laptops processing the panoramas.

Five computers means five times the wires!

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Shooting 360-degree video with four GoPro HD Hero cameras

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 8, 2011 in 360 Panoramas, DIY, photos, training, video

First off, watch my 360-degree Video of the World Record Dodgeball Game at the U of A

So last year I shot this video of the University of Alberta setting a world record for most people playing dodgeball and the video got over 650,000 hits.

I’ve seen a few 360-degree videos out there but not as many as you would think considering how freaking cool they are.
Since 360-degree videos is pretty uncharted territory in the photojournalism world I absolutely had to take the challenge.

To shoot my 360-degree dodgeball video I used four GoPro Hero HD cameras on 1280×960 mode mounted vertically. This gives enough overlap to get a full 360-degree view as well the cameras are nice and small and light. Since the cameras shoot at 30 frames per second (actually 29.97) you can think of it as 30 still pictures per second which can be stitched together into panoramas.

The short version of this story is that I shot with four GoPros, extracted still images from video, stitched the stills together into panoramas then recombined them back into video.

For the much more detailed and nerdy answer read on….

I got tips for arranging the cameras properly at diy-streetview.org
I simply used a plastic leg from a table that was the same width as the naked GoPro cameras.
I used Gaffers tape and a lot of elastics to hold the cameras in place.
In the future I may build a proper aluminum box for everything.

Setting up a fifth GoPro camera in the catwalk to be used for an overhead view for livestream of the game.

I use a Telus Aircard pluged into a Cradlepoint CTR-379 wireless router for internet for livestreams.

Here was my shooting process.

Hit record on my Olympus LS-10 PCM recorder. Say “scene one” out loud.
Hit Record on Camera 1. Say “camera one” out loud.
Hit Record on Camera 2. Say “camera two” out loud.
Hit Record on Camera 3. Say “camera three”out loud.
Hit Record on Camera 4. Say “camera four” out loud.
Now that everything is recording I clap my hands really fast or yelp really loud so that I have a sharp audio cue that I can sync all the cameras with.

Some people say “You’re crazy for putting your cameras in a dodgeball game like that!”

I say. It’s not about the camera. It’s about the end result. A camera is a tool like a hammer. If your hammer breaks, you get it fixed.

Never let your camera get in the way of a good photo.

As soon as the game ended I ingested all my footage into my MacBook Pro.  It’s always important to get video up as fast as possible if you want to get a lot of views.

I just selected the first 60-seconds of the game and plunked it into Final Cut Pro. I created a large canvas and lined up the different cameras so that they overlapped a bit.

There would be very noticeable seams between the videos but I knew people wouldn’t mind the seams if they got to see the video asap. It took an hour to render the 60-seconds of video in Final Cut Pro and another hour to export it as FLV.  The game ended around 1:30pm and I had a quick and dirty 60-second version of the panorama up on edmontonjournal.com before the 6:00pm news on TV!   In comparison I think I had last year’s video up at the same time.

First year NAIT photography Student Nathan Smith was doing a ridalong with me that day and he was a HUGE help!  He also shot all these awesome photos of me. Thanks!

Okay now for the high quality version with properly stitched images.
For post-processing I created a new timeline in Final Cut Pro 7 with codec Apple Intermediate Codec and size 3840×1280.
Since the cameras are mounted vertically they are recording 960×1280 video. So 4×960=3840.

I find my audio sync point on each camera and set it to be the in-point for the video. I drag each video from each camera into my timeline and line them up so that all the audio sync points line up.

Once my video and audio is all synced then I select each clip and go to “File–>Export –>Export Using Quicktime Conversion–> Image Sequence”
Final Cut Pro 7 extracts JPEG still images for every frame of video. Each frame is about 1.2MBs and you are shooting about 120 frames per second.

That works out to 8.6GB of stills for each minute of video you shoot. Or 520GB per hour.

Since there are four cameras each “frame” of video is actually four pictures which need to be stitched together into a single panorama.

I organize all the images using Photo Mechanic and batch name them 0001a, 0001b, 0001c, 00001d, 0002a, 0002b, 0002c, 0002d, etc.

Then I used PTgui Pro to stitch all my panoramas together into equarectangular panoramas.

PTgui Pro has a great batch process where you can setup a template for your first panorama and then it will auto stitch the rest of the panoramas in file order. This meant that (0001a, 0001b, 0001c, 00001d)–>Panorama1.jpg , (0002a, 0002b, 0002c, 0002d)–>Panorama2.jpg, etc.

I stitched them together in the highest resolution so that each panorama would be 3561×1308 pixels big. About 5MB per panorama. You are now at 18GB per minute of video or about a Terabyte per hour.

This process took the longest. I had three MacBook Pro laptops and my home server all going at the same time. The laptops took around 12 seconds per panorama to stitch.

If you do the math that works out six hours to stitch one minute worth of panoramas together!

I basically had four laptops crunching for 24 hours straight to make all the panoramas.

Once the tens of thousands of panoramas were stitched together I used Quicktime Pro   File–>Open Image Sequence (at 29.97) to open all the still panorama images as a video. I then exported the video as .mov’s in Apple Intermediate Codec  3561×1308 at 280Mb/sec

I then created a new sequence in Final Cut Pro 7 with the same settings and dragged back in the .mov files and synced them with the .wav audio from my Olympus LS-10.

I chose about 17 minutes of footage in total to convert to panoramas and I then cut that down to the best 5 mins and exported as full-quality Apple Intermediate Codec.

I then used Adobe Flash Video Encoder to convert and downsize my video to FLV 2722×1000, On2 VP6, 2000kb video, 96kb audio which I find to be a good balance of quality to file size.  It took about 8hrs for my 2.6GHz MacBook Pro to compress 5 minutes of video into 2722×1000 On2 VP6 Flash video.

Here is my puppy Mr. Woofertons napping while I wait for my video to compress.

Once the video is done compressing into FLV I then used KrPano as the flash panorama player to display the panoramic video as a 360-degree video.

It’s THAT easy!  :)

I actually did this same process for my Murder of Crows time lapse last year  but this was way more intense.

Next time I do this though I will wire the GoPro’s together so that I can trigger them all at the same time. My Olympus LS-10 has a remote trigger port too so I should be able to trigger all four cameras and my audio recorder at the same time which saves time syncing the videos in Final Cut Pro.

There may also be a way to get KrPano to play .mp4 instead of .flv so I could use an Elgato turbo.264 HD to speed up exporting the final video.

You could also write a few simple Applescripts to speed up the file renaming and automate Quicktime Pro. This could eliminate the need for Photo Mechanic and manually moving files around.

What did all this cost?

Four GoPro HD’s would be 4 x $300 = $1,200
Final Cut Pro is $1,000
Quicktime Pro is $30
Photo Mechanic is $150
PTgui Pro is $210
Adobe Flash is $700
KrPano is $150

Cheaper than a $6,000 Ladybug camera and a better field of view and higher resolution than a Pano Pro mirror. Though a PanoPro would be much much easier to use.
As crazy complicated as this may sound I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever Smartphone we all use in a couple years will do this with a 99-cent app.

What I love about 360-video is that almost everyone who sees it is blown away. I love how it opens your mind to new and exiting ways to tell stories.

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Grey Cup GigaPixel Panoramas – GigaPan Epic Pro Review

Posted by ryanjackson on Dec 2, 2010 in 360 Panoramas, photos

Find yourself in the crowd at Grey Cup!


Click the (+) sign and use your mouse to zoom-in and move. The north view of Commonwealth Stadium during the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alta. on November 28, 2010. GigaPan by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal


Click the (+) sign and use your mouse to zoom-in and move. The west side of Commonwealth Stadium during the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alta. on November 28, 2010. GigaPan by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal


Click the (+) sign and use your mouse to zoom-in and move. The east side of Commonwealth Stadium during the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alta. on November 28, 2010. GigaPan by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

Each of these panoramas are over 2 gigapixels (over 2,000 megapixels). To create them I used a GigaPan Epic Pro with a Canon 7D and a 300mm f2.8 IS.

A GigaPan is basically an automatic pan and tilt head that moves and triggers your camera automatically to shoot a panorama. Instead of taking one picture of a landscape with a wide-angle lens you can use a GigaPan to take hundreds of zoomed-in photos and then stitch them together to create a gigantic image.

I set the GigaPan to take 300 individual still images and then the included software automatically stitched all the pictures together to create one giant panorama with incredible resolution. Why take one photo when you can take 300?

A big thanks to Don’s Photo for lending me the GigaPan for the Grey Cup. I’ll definitely be trying to convince the Journal to buy one for the photo department. It only costs $899 CAN and can make some pretty crazy cool panoramas.

It only takes about 15-minutes to shoot a GigaPan like this which is the easy part. Stitching the images together takes over an hour depending on the size of the image and about six hours to upload to gigapan.org depending on the size. Since I needed to have the GigaPans on the Journal website by the next morning I had three laptops in the media centre all crunching images at the same time to speed things up.

Here’s me with my three laptops and GigaPan. Photo by Chris Bolin.

So what’s my GigaPan Epic pro review? I was very impressed with how well-built the device was. It had no problems holding my 300 2.8 IS and 7D. The battery held up well in the cold weather. The menus are pretty easy to use. Setting up the device to shoot the panorama is pretty quick. The software for stitching and uploading the GigaPans couldn’t be easier to use. Of course you could take hundreds of pictures manually and use different software to stitch but the GigaPan shoots way faster and way more accurate that a human can. Gigapan.org also hosts the panoramas for you. You just embed the player in your own website. Pretty neat. For $899 it is well worth it. There are also less-expensive models designed for lighter point-and-shoot cameras. I’m normally not a fan of shooting landscapes but this would make me get out there more.

Here is one non-Grey Cup GigaPan I did as a test the day before. Pretty crazy resolution.

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Edgerton Explosion 360-Panorama

Posted by ryanjackson on Jun 18, 2010 in 360 Panoramas, photos

rj_explosion_110510_03.jpg

Charred remains of an abandoned farm house that exploded after it was deliberately set on fire for a training exercise near Edgerton, Alta., 200 kilometres South East of Edmonton on May 11, 2010. Thirteen volunteer firefighters were injured in the blast Monday night. Residents could hear the explosion from several kilometres away. The cause is under investigation. Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

rj_explosion_110510_05.jpg

edgerton-explosion

Click on the above image to see a 360-degree panorama of the explosion site.    Read the Edmonton Journal story.

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Student Protest 360-Panorama

Posted by ryanjackson on Mar 19, 2010 in 360 Panoramas

student-protest-pano

Click on the above image or here to view a 360-panorama of a student protest at the Alberta Legislature on March 18, 2010. Five hundred university students from across the province marched to the Alberta legislature Thursday to protest proposed fee and tuition hikes. Read the story.

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Interactive Gallery of Northern Lights Artwork

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 18, 2010 in 360 Panoramas

interactive-northern-lights

Click on the above image or here to see my interactive gallery of Northern Lights Artwork by Elmwood Elementary School. Interactive Gallery and time lapse video by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

Last week I had an assignment to photograph kids painting the northern lights.  I photographed a bunch of the art and recorded some of the students explaining their artwork.  I remembered that I had a few thousand frames of the northern lights that I had shot last fall that I never used for anything.  I put the images into a time lapse video using Quicktime Pro and then set them as the background for a panorama.  I used to use Flash Panorama Player for my panoramas but now I am enjoying krpano which I find has more options and supports video panoramas.

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