QTVR Panoramas of the American Southwest
Source image for the QTVR panorama of Grand View Point, Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Full version
The file size of the QTVR panoramas is dependent on image dimensions, image quality and the zoom level of the source photographs; typical sizes are from 0.5 to 2.5 mb , with a screen size of up to 1000 x 550 pixels. Newer panoramas have a full screen version, up to 20 mb.
To navigate in a panorama, use the mouse to click and drag the picture left or right, or the keyboard arrow keys. Press the Shift key to zoom in or the Control key to zoom out.
||Click here to download the quicktime plugin necessary to view QTVR files, from www.apple.com.|
How to Make a QTVR Panorama
QTVR panoramas of nearby objects require special lenses and center-mount tripods, but landscape panoramas can be made using regular equipment - even a tripod isn't essential though it is best to have one. To take the source photographs, make sure the camera is level, then move it around 360 degrees taking photos that overlap by at least 15%. Most scenes are best shot using landscape orientation, though some with a greater vertical field of view need portrait source pictures, which does of course mean that more images are needed. The number of pictures to cover the 360 degrees depends on the zoom level; for the panoramas on this site, it is between 7 and 12.
Next an image editing program like Adobe Photoshop should be used to change one or more of color balance, brightness, saturation and levels, perhaps using adjustment layers to make sure the overlapping regions are as identical as possible.
To make the actual movies special QTVR software is needed. QTVR is a Macintosh format, though there are also PC versions of the programs. The older panoramas on this site were made using MPW Shell (on a Macintosh), which loads each image in turn and digitally blends the edges - an interactive process, resulting in a single PICT file of the whole scene. This is then spliced and converted to the final QTVR panorama. From 2009, all new panoramas have been prepared using AutopanoPRO and pano2vr; this has allowed the final panorama to be both larger and of better quality.