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A Cool Phone App for Panoramic Photos (Even 360˚ Shots)

I just wrapped up two days in the desert shooting panoramic and time-lapse shots (much more to come). It was a part of two projects (some new training for Lynda.com which will be out soon and my NAB workshop).

photo 1
While in the field I had a chance to try out some new phone apps. One of the one’s I put through the paces is 360 Panorama by Occipital. The app is available for both iOS and Android for only 99. It behaves in a way similar to Microsoft’s Photosynth, but works very fast with excellent automatic clean-up and blending.

Once you press the start button you just slowly pan and tilt. I found that keeping my arm at the same length worked best to generate a very usable panoramic photo. A few tips that I followed.

  • Make a tight a circle as you rotate. I kept my elbow tucked in
  • Make a single smooth pass. Yes it looks like you’re doing a weird dance.
  • Choose good light over low light. Phones are only so good (though I shot and am sharing some sunset images so you can see the results).
  • In low light: move a little, then pause; move, pause…

When the image is shot, you can view it as either a 360? or Stereographic view. You can also share it via Facebook and Twitter or embed the player on other sites. The file can also be output as a flattened image to your camera roll or emailed.

Here’s the flat version

Here’s the interactive version http://360.io/wAKUM6

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