360-degree Video Panorama – Art Gallery of Alberta Project – 3 of 3

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 1, 2010 in 360 Panoramas, DIY, training, video

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360-moc1 Watch a time lapse in 360-degree Video ….that’s right…a 360-degree video panorama! Click on the image to the left.

Watch a time lapse of the Murder of Crows sound exhibit being set up at the Art Gallery of Alberta. 98 speakers are set up over a two week period. Time progresses all around you as you click and move your mouse to look all around.Video by Ryan Jackson /Edmonton Journal.

To build make this 360-video I had to build a special rig with three cameras. I used this before for my Indy Panoramas back in the summer. The rig consists of three old Canon 1D d-SLRs with three Peleng 8mm fisheye lenses in a 120-degree offset pattern. The three cameras are wired together to be triggered by an intervalometer. The rig is super heavy and annoying because triple cameras means triple the things to go wrong. If the shutter speed or focus or anything is wrong on one off the cameras then the whole panorama is ruined.

The 1D cameras can only handle 2GB Compact Flash cards which is around 2000 images. I set the intervalometer to trigger the cameras every two minutes which meant I had to change the cards every two days. In total nearly 30,000 images were taken (10,000 per camera).

For post-processing the images, I used Photo Mechanic to organize the images by time taken. I had set the clocks on the cameras to be 1-second apart so when Photo Mechanic sorted the images by time taken, they would go 1st camera, 2nd camera, 3rd, camera, etc.
I then renamed all the images so the files went 0001, 0002, 0003, etc.

I use PTgui to stitch all my panoramas together. It 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 (0001, 0002, 0003)–>Panorama1.jpg , (0004, 0005, 0006)–>Panorama2.jpg

Needless to say this took HOURS and HOURS to process but I just let my laptop chug away overnight for three nights until I had a folder filled with thousands of stitched panoramas.

I then looked through that folder of panos with Photo Mechanic and removed all the boring images where nothing is moving or being installed (ie. at night time, during lunch break, days off, etc).

I then took the folder of usable panorama images and put them into a video using Quicktime Pro’s “open image sequence.”

I set the frame rate to 12fps so that 1606 images would become a 2-min:13-second video.

I then told Quicktime Pro to export the video and I used the Adobe Flash Video Encoder Plug-in to export the video as an .flv Flash video file using On2 compression, 2000×1000 resolution, 12fps, 1200kB/s bitrate. This made about a 20MB video file.

I purchased the panorama player krpano which supports video. I only had to alter a little bit of the .xml code to add a full-screen button and a play/pause/stop button. I plunked the krpano files on a server and embedded it in an iframe in a story page.

The whole project was pretty cool. I hope to use this camera more in the future but as you can see, it is A LOT of work. There are other, far easier methods of doing 360-video but you have to buy expensive cameras and lenses. For this setup I only had to buy a couple more 8mm lenses and use The Journal’s old 1D’s. My rig only shoots stills and you have to make them into a video… for real video check out CNN’s 360-degree video from Haiti. Pretty crazy!

Here are the images of my DIY 360-degree video panorama camera.

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Art Gallery of Alberta Project – 2 of 3 – The Interactive Tour

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 1, 2010 in 360 Panoramas, photos

This is the second of three blog posts on the Art Gallery of Alberta supplement that I worked on.

aga_interactive1bClick on the image above to go to the Interactive Tour page. The amazingly talented Donald Allen at The Journal did all the Flash code for this and I did all of the 360-panoramas. I shot almost all of the panoramas with a Canon 1D Mark-III camera and a Peleng 8mm fisheye lens.  I’m going to need to go back and re-shoot many of the panoramas as construction was still underway when I made these.

Here are some of my favorite still images I shot over the last month. The night ones were shot from the roof of a nearby office building with a Canon 5D, 24-105L, and a tripod.

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AGA employees and their friends and family walk through the new Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton on January 9, 2010. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

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A view inside the new Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton on January 26, 2010. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).



The National Post also ran my photos front page and did a nice spread on the inside.


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Art Gallery of Alberta Project – 1 of 3 – The Portraits

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 1, 2010 in lighting, photos

This is the first of three blog posts I’m going to make about working on the Art Gallery of Alberta supplement.

For the last six weeks I was off the normal photo schedule at The Journal and put on the Art Gallery of Alberta project. On Sunday the new gallery opened up to the public and last Thursday we had a 36-page supplement in the paper as well as a big online feature.

My favorite thing to shoot is portraits so I went to town with this one. It was exciting to have a new building with interesting architecture to shoot in. Here are my favorites.

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Art Gallery of Alberta Executive Director Gilles Hebert poses for a photo in the new Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton on December 1, 2009. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal). Shot with a Canon 5D, 16-35L @ 31mm. 580EX flash into an O-Flash ring flash. F4, ISO400.

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Shot with a Canon 5D and a 75mm DIY Tilt-Shift lens. One 550EX flash to the back left with a snoot on, Lastolite EzyBox softbox and a 550EX to the right. 1/200sec, f2.8, ISO50.

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Art Gallery of Alberta Curator Catherine Crowston poses for a photo in the new Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton on December 1, 2009. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal). Canon 5D, Canon 24mm f1.4 lens at f1.8, 1/60sec, ISO640. Available light.

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Allan Scott, Chair of the AGA Board poses for a photo in the new Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton on December 1, 2009. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal). Canon 5D, ISO100, 1/160sec. Canon 50mm f1.4 lens at f5.6. Canon 550EX into a Lastolite Ezybox to the front right and a 550EX with a snoot on it to the back right.

Cool thing about this image is that the AGA has it framed and hanging in a boardroom dedicated to Allan Scott which means I now have a photograph in the Art Gallery of Alberta pernament collection!

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Randall Stout, architect of the new Art Gallery of Alberta poses for a photo in front of the gallery in down town Edmonton on December 3, 2009. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

For this image I wanted to go all artsy so I shot it with my 1950′s-era Yashica D twin-lens medium format camera. I had a 24×36″ softbox to the left with a White Lightning strobe and a 40×60″ relector to the right. I shot on Kodak T-Max and develeoped it myself in the Journal’s old darkroom and then scanned it.

Is this image any better because I used all that gear and film? Nope! But it was a lot of fun trying to do something different and that’s the best part of my job!

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