FAQs Panoramas & Stitcher
- What is a panorama?
- What is a partial and a full panorama?
- What equipment do I need to create Panoramas?
- Creating panoramas with 360º cameras
- Can I import panoramas that I have already created in other stitching programs to be presented in 3DVista virtual tours?
- Which image formats are supported as input?
- Can I stitch RAW images?
- Which graphical formats are supported as output of 3DVista Stitcher 4?
- What kind of projections can I export my panoramas to?
- What are HDR panoramas?
- What is the difference between normal HDR and the new 3DVista Adaptive HDR panorama?
- What is a Live Panorama?
- Can I create Live Panoramas or Adaptive HDR Panoramas with other software, too?
1.- What is a panorama?
A panorama is the result of stitching multiple photos to get one single image that covers a wide field of view (up to 360°). You can either display a panorama in a plain – like a flat photo – or you can view it in a spherical format (in a viewer that allows you to turn left, right, up and down). You can always preview your panorama in the spherical way within 3DVista Stitcher but in order to publish it in the spherical format, you will need to use 3DVista Virtual Tour Suite.
3DVista software allows you to create special forms of panoramas, such as:
- Live Panorama, which is a seamless time-lapse panorama created out of various panoramas of the same spot taken at different times.
- Adaptive HDR Panorama dynamically adjusts exposure levels depending on where you are looking in real time. As opposed to having the optimal exposure levels fixed in your panoramas, this lets you experience how exposure and luminosity adapt in every area of the panorama just as the human iris would.
If you are curious and want to try these new forms of panoramas that only 3DVista offers to this extent, download the free trial of our software. The trial versions contain the exact same features as the purchasable versions so you will be able to really see what the software can do for you.
2.- What is a partial and a full panorama?
A full panorama covers the entire horizontal 360° (full rotation). As opposed to other software programs, 3DVista software allows you to create partial panoramas, too. Whenever you have parts that you don’t want to display, you can create virtual tours that do not rotate a full 360° horizontally. The partial will simply 'bounce back' once it reaches either end of the horizontal view. Have a look at the demos and samples to see the difference.
3.- What equipment do I need to create Panoramas?
There are only three basics that you need to create a panorama:
- a camera (or even only a mobile phone)
- a computer
- and 3DVista Stitcher software
In case you want to create one of 3DVista’s special panoramas, such as Live Panorama or Adaptive HDR Panoramas, or simply want to publish your panoramas in an immersive format, you will also need to have 3DVista Virtual Tour Suite software.
Besides these three basic ingredients, there are some further hardware gears that can help you in taking panoramic photos and will improve your results:
- A tripod, which gives you stabilization so that you’re not moving too much while shooting the different angles (more accurate stitching results)
- A panohead that will (1) keep the camera in the center of the tripod to avoid changes in perspective between your individual shots and (2) automatically help you maintain the exact right angles between shots so that you don’t have to worry about sufficient overlap anymore
- A special lens can help you minimize the number of shots necessary for a panorama. While really any camera will do and is compatible with 3DVista software, there are special lenses that can improve the quality of your panoramas and virtual tours remarkably
- A wide angle lens, for example, has a bigger field of view than standard 35mm lenses, which means you will need less shots to create a panorama and therefore less pictures to process in the Stitcher. This will make the stitching process considerably faster and more precise.
- A fish-eye lens has an extraordinarily wide field of view. An image taken with a fish-eye lens can be equivalent to four images taken with a standard lens, meaning that you will need even less shots to create a panorama. There are three different types of images depending on the type of the fish-eye lens: Rectangular fish-eye lenses, semi-circular and circular fish-eye lenses which all vary in the level of vignetting they have. We recommend rectangular or alternatively semi-circular fish-eye lenses for shooting panoramas.
4.- Creating panoramas with 360º cameras
5.- Can I import panoramas that I have already created in other stitching programs to be presented in 3DVista virtual tours?
Absolutely. No matter what program you used to create your panoramic images (spherical or cylindrical, full 360 or partial), you can import them into 3DVista Virtual Tour Suite and include them in your virtual tours. Integrate and work with your panorama just like you would do with any panorama created with 3DVista Stitcher.
6.- Which image formats are supported as input?
in 3DVista Stitcher you can import your source images in the following formats:
- JPG/JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg)
- PNG (.png)
- BMP (.bmp)
- TIFF (.tiff)
- GIF (.gif)
7.- Can I stitch RAW images?
No, you can’t. 3DVista Stitcher is stitching software, not RAW decoding software. If it would allow RAW images as input, it would have to decode the RAW files with default values, which would render the whole purpose of RAW shooting useless. Therefore, we advise you to treat your RAWs in dedicated editing software, such as Adobe Lightroom, before importing them to 3DVista Stitcher.
8.- Which graphical formats are supported as output of 3DVista Stitcher 4?
3DVista Stitcher enables you to export your stitched images in the following formats:
- JPG/JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg)
- PNG (.png)
- PSD (.psd)
- TIFF (.tiff)
9.- What kind of projections can I export my panoramas to?
You can export your panoramas to the following projection formats:
- Equirectangular (For spherical panos)
- Cubic, 6 Faces
- Cylindrical (for printing and QTVR)
- Fisheye Equidistance Full Frame
- Fisheye Stereographics Full Frame
- Transverse Mercator
- Lambert Equal
- Lambert Azimuthal
- Albers Equal Area Conical
- Miller Cylindrical
- Fisheye Orthographic Fullframe
- Fisheye Equisolid Fullframe
10.- What are HDR panoramas?
HDR or High Dynamic Range panoramas are a common feature in photography. A normal photo without HDR tends to have areas that are over- or underexposed – usually both – which results in a loss of detail in bright or dark areas. HDR compensates for this loss of detail by capturing multiple photographs at different exposure levels and combining them to produce one photo representative of a broader tonal range. This means that in the final photo we will have the optimal exposure of dark and bright spots respectively combined (which initially comes from a different photo). This is especially useful for indoor panoramas where you have windows or lamps.
HDR is a great feature to enhance your panoramas and virtual tours. Precisely because it is a feature that really can make a difference in panoramas, we here at 3DVista took it one step further and developed Adaptive HDR. For more information on 3DVista’s unique adaptive HDR technology, please click here or watch the tutorial on "What is the difference between normal HDR and the new 3DVista Adaptive HDR?".
11.- What is the difference between normal HDR and the new 3DVista Adaptive HDR panorama?
HDR generally is a great feature to enhance your panoramas and virtual tours. Nonetheless, some people think that HDR photos seem a little too artificial and unreal. EXAMPLE PHOTO
This is why we here at 3DVista developed a technology that takes advantage of the benefits of HDR while making the panoramas look more natural and real. Adaptive HDR is a feature that is exclusive to 3DVista technology that you won’t find in any other software.
We were inspired by the behavior of the actual human eye whenever it has to deal with these very dark and very bright spots in real life. What the human eye does is it adapts to light and dark dynamically by adjusting the iris depending on the area your eye focuses on. With 3DVista’s adaptive HDR, we are mimicking this natural behavior thereby letting you add an extra element of reality to your virtual tours. So what adaptive HDR does is that rather than having the optimal exposure levels fixed in your panoramas, it dynamically adjusts them depending on where you are looking in real time. It lets you experience how exposure and luminosity adapt in every area of the panorama just as the human iris would, letting you see places the way they actually look in reality.
In order to take advantage of this unique feature you will need 3DVista Virtual Tour Pro.
12.- What is a Live Panorama?
Sometimes one panorama is not enough to capture the spirit of a place or to show developments and changes over time. 3DVista Live Panorama Technology lets you combine several panoramas of the same scenery taken at different times to create a time-lapse 360° interactive Show. Modifying the different parameters, you can take full control of how and when the different panoramas merge. In order to create such a Live Panorama you need to take the photos for the panorama several times throughout the desired time-frame (for example an entire day to show sunrise until sunset). Then you stitch these photos with 3DVista Stitcher in the mode Live Panorama. In order to visualize and publish your Live Panorama you will need 3DVista Virtual Tour Pro, which gives you the necessary viewer.
13.- Can I create Live Panoramas or Adaptive HDR Panoramas with other software, too?
No, you can’t. Both features have been developed and optimized by 3DVista and are therefore unique to 3DVista software.