Panorama images

August 30, 2016

Facebook recently introduced a panorama viewer which lets a consumer view a 360 degree image by panning the mouse or moving a mobile device.  The viewer requires an equirectangular image with a 2:1 aspect ratio and certain embedded metadata.

I created a scene in Blender with an equirectangular camera placed in the southern courtyard of the Alamo.

This site does not support panoramas but the scene can be viewed on my Facebook page: Alamo 2.0   or with a direct link to the post: Panorama Image (link may not work if you are not signed in to Facebook).

Panoramas give an immersive feeling–especially when viewed on a mobile device that can pan the image as the device is moved around.  They are quick to download and work on just about any modern browser that supports HTML5–unlike a game engine presentation.  Panoramas even support 360 videos.

An app could display a map with hot spots for 360 views or even use geo-fencing to pop up a view when the user walks to a certain place in San Antonio.  Adding characters would place the viewer in the middle of a battle scene.  Rendering in stereo for Google Cardboard would complete the VR experience.  I am pretty excited about the uses of this technology for presenting my model.