Rodney Campbell's Blog

Interactive 360˚ Drone Panorama…

by on Jun.16, 2016, under Life, Photography

I’ve discovered a new capability with my new DJI Phantom 4 Drone – that of using it to make fully immersive 360˚ panoramas.

Actually the drone itself doesn’t have the ability to make the panorama but a very handy piece of third party software that you can run on your smartphone does most of the heavy lifting.

Mona Vale Beach at Sunset

The DronePan software basically controls the Phantom once you’ve put it into place and are hovering. It fully automates the taking of all of the required frames for the full 360˚ panorama. It rotates the drone around it’s axis and pans the camera up and down taking all of the required overlapping frames.

Once that is done you still need to stitch the panorama from the source frames as you normally would. You’ll also be editing the image in post (especially to fix the upper sky where the drone can’t point the camera).

The end result is a 2:1 aspect ratio equirectangular projection of the entire 360˚ (by 180˚) space as if you’re at the centre of a sphere located where the drone is.

A little magic at the blog end and you can view the end result as an interactive 360˚ photo. Using your mouse or keyboard (arrow keys) you can control your view and pan around the scene (and even zoom in and out).

Clicking the square box icon towards the top left corner also allows you to run it full screen.

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