VR photography, or virtual reality photography, is the interactive viewing of wide-angle panoramic photographs, generally encompassing a 360-degree circle or a spherical view.
VR photography is the art of capturing or creating a complete scene as a single image, as viewed when rotating about a single central position. Normally created by stitching together a number of photographs taken in a multi-row 360-degree rotation, the complete image can also be a totally computer-generated effect, or a composite of photography and computer generated objects. The history of VR photography is human-computer interaction in which a real or imaginary environment is simulated and users interact with and manipulate that world, in our case historical sites and monuments.
ICACH is primarily focusing in the acquisition of 360-degree spherical FOVs in order to create VR panoramas. Within this environment semantic hotspots are assigned, interactive spots that include multimedia descriptions for the point of interest. VR panoramas can then be used as an interface for linking objects to it in order to create a hypermedia system that provides a wealth of opportunities for user exploration and investigation.
Image acquisition is supported by a robotic motorized panoramic head with an attached high resolution DSLR camera and wide FOV lenses. The camera’s movement is registered in the software that drives the motorized head; thus capturing a sequence of overlapped photos along the desired FOV. The captured images are then rectified based on appropriate camera profiles in order to correct wide-angle barrel renditions. All those images are registered in special software in order to “glue” them together with a method known as mosaicking. Interactive hotspots are then assigned to enrich multimedia content within a VR panoramic image.
DEMO example at Ayios Georgios Teratsiotis, Avgorou
Images presented above are courtesy of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities.