Interviewing politicians in 360-degree video

Posted by ryanjackson on Apr 10, 2012 in 360 Panoramas, 360 Video, photos, video

As I said in my last blog post I want to get closer to the holodeck in Star Trek. Here is my latest attempt:

Click on the above image to see my 360-degree interview video. 

I wanted to present my newest election video for the Edmonton Journal in an interactive way similar to the last election video I did  but also combine what I’ve learned from making 360-degree video.

Filming this video was pretty easy and also pretty hard!

I chose the local coffee shop Cafe Rista, 14213 103 ave. in Edmonton because it was quiet during the day and also the owner Simon was super accommodating.

He even let me put marks on the floor so I could keep the chairs and table in the exact same spot for each interview.







I spent a day in the coffee shop shooting test videos with myself in the chairs. I used this time to build templates for stitching the images and also work on the code for KRpano.

For a camera I just used my Canon 5D Mark-II with the Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens at 8mm.  I kept the table and chairs in the same position for every video and the stitched them together after.

I used a little slider thing from an old enlarger to offset my lens a bit so I would find the no-parallax point. This helped make stitching the images together easier.

It was very important that I clamped the camera in the exact same spot for all of the interviews and also that the tables and chairs were in the exact same spot every time.

Here’s me interviewing Premier Alison Redford.  The wonderful and talented Journal reporter Trish Audette actually came up with all the smart questions that I asked :)

For sound I used my Sennheiser wireless lav mic and I had my trusty Olympus recorder as a backup. I used my LitePanels MicroPro as a fill light.

After interviewing each leader separately and in different chairs, I used Final Cut Pro to align all the video clips. I then batch exported all the video clips and used Quicktime Pro to extract the video files into image sequences.

Once all the video was converted into still images I used PTgui to create a template and then batch stitch all of the still images into panoramas.

I them recombined all the panoramas back into video files using Quicktime Pro and synced the audio back.

I explain the process a little better here though my workflow has vastly improved since then. It pretty much changes every time I do a 360-video.

I used the amazing KRpano for displaying the 360-degree video. The HTML and Flash panorama viewer is very powerful. Pretty much anything is possible.

In total there was 31 minutes and 50 seconds of video which works out to 45802 panoramas that I had to stitch together.

Needless to say I’ve been sitting in front of my computer way too much lately!

This has certainly been my most complicated video to date but also one of the most fun an innovative to create.

It’s not the holodeck… but we’re getting closer! :)

And here’s how it ran in the paper. I was sure that the caption explained that this was created from four separate images and it said “Photo Illustration by Ryan Jackson”

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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 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. 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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Edmonton Oilers Dressing Room 360-degree Panorama

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 18, 2009 in 360 Panoramas, photos, training


Take a 360-degree panoramic view of the Edmonton Oilers dressing room. Mouse over the jerseys to learn about each number. Panorama by Ryan Jackson/Edmonton Journal

I spent WEEKS on this panorama. 2-hours here and there to figure out how to embed the HTML text hotspots and then eventually input all the pictures and information. Thanks to Joanne Ireland for doing the research on each player for her story that ran in today’s Oilers Supliment.  I eventually want the panorama to contain all of the Oilers numbers and the names of every player that wore an Oilers jersey.  Baby steps though… this one took long enough!

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360-Panorama Art Gallery of Alberta Construction Site

Posted by ryanjackson on Jun 20, 2008 in 360 Panoramas, Uncategorized

I did some 360-panoramas of the new Art Gallery of Alberta construction site in down town Edmonton. Click on each image to view the panorama. You will need Flash installed to see them.

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360 Chicago

Posted by ryanjackson on May 12, 2008 in 360 Panoramas

I have been fascinated lately with 360-degree panoramas combined with sound. The first one I did was for the memorial of Jennifer Noble who died in a tragic school bus crash.
I was in Chicago last week for a video training workshop and on my last day I got to have a little “tourist time”.

Click on the images below to view the panoramas. Click and HOLD your mouse to move around.

You will need to have Flash installed. Also be sure to turn on your speakers as they have sound.

View from The Sears Tower. Panorama by Ryan Jackson/Edmonton Journal

View of the Trump tower under construction in Chicago, May 10, 2008. Panorama by Ryan Jackson/Edmonton Journal

Bloomingdales and John Hancock Center. Panorama by Ryan Jackson/Edmonton Journal

Service member memorial. Panorama by Ryan Jackson/Edmonton Journal

Street performers on Michigan Ave. Panorama by Ryan Jackson/Edmonton Journal

Overhead train. Panorama by Ryan Jackson/Edmonton Journal

Old church. Panorama by Ryan Jackson/Edmonton Journal

All of these Panoramas were shot hand held with a Peleng 8mm fisheye lens and a Canon 1D Mark-II camera. Audio was recorded on an Olympus DS-40.

I used PTgui to stitch the images together and Flash Panorama to create the panorama for web.

Four separate images were taken and blended together to make each panorama. The view from the Sears tower was actually made from 21 images taken with a 24mm lens. Since they were shot hand held, and there is about a second time difference between each image you may see some misaligned seams or streaks.


Ryan Jackson, Staff Photographer/Videographer

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