My DJI Mavic Pro drone can photograph 360-degree, and 180-degree panorama photos, pretty much automatically. All you do is position the drone from where you want, select the right shot mode, and tap the shutter button. Then in the case of taking a 360-degree panorama, the Mavic takes a series of 34 DNG and 34 JPEG images that will make up the panorama.
That’s the easy part. The JPEG images can be stitched together while you are still flying right in the DJI Go4 app. The resolution and some times the stitching is not as good as you can get by using the images recorded onto the memory card of the drone.
After stitching, the resultant image needs to be projected properly to be viewed as intended. There are Apps that can do this as well as websites. Some are free and others cost. Some of the apps are quite powerful, but can be difficult to use.
One of the most popular types of images posted on Facebook are 360-degree panoramas that you can zoom in on, and scroll around. These are either taken from a drone or 360-degree camera. These cameras can take a 360-degree photo directly – no stitching required. They use the same apps and websites to project the images. Real estate agents more and more are using these images and videos to provide online virtual tours of new offerings. Many people are also using 360-degree selfies on social media.
I have been taking 360-degree panoramas, which I will call 360-panospheres with my drone for some time. And recently I bought an Insta360 Nano S camera. It takes both high resolution 360-degree images as well as 4K HD 360-degree video.
I am still experimenting with apps and websites that will create the proper projection for viewing. I am still low on the learning curve. I will link to a few of my most recent and early efforts in this post and describe my experiments more thoroughly in future posts.
One of the websites that I have found good for projecting and sharing my pre-stitched panospheres is http://www.kuula.co.
Click on the image below to see one of my recent ones, shot with my Mavic Pro.
This particular one is from an on-board-stitched panosphere. There are some artifact issues. I expect that once I upload the panosphere that is generated from the RAW images recorded on the Mavic’s memory card, the results will be better. You can also view the kuula.co projected image as a small planet from the same link.
Another Example from Kuula.co
You can even form a collection of images that kuula.co refers to as a tour. Here is a screen shot of an example tour.
There is a subscription Pro version of Kuula that has even more options. Currently, I generally use kuula.co to project and share my panospheres. However, there are others that I am going to try and share the results I get here. So stay tuned.
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Until next time…