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Via Garibaldi with Palazzo Tursi, Townhall of Genoa (Italy) by 360Liguria Thom....


Microsoft Photosynth

Microsoft's amazing Photosynth technology was on exhibit at Siggraph 2006.
The previous evening I had downloaded the video from Microsoft Live Labs, and
watched it over and over to figure out what it was, and more importantly,
what its implications for photography. (Of course, I still don't know what it means, but
I am not alone on this...) Check out the discussion on Slashdot, if you have time.

One of the people at the booth suggested
that a technical beta would be available in the spring. I ran into Blaise Agüera y Arcas
at the booth, here's a pix of him. I recognized him from the Live Labs video.

Adobe Bridge

I had a chance to play with Adobe Bridge today, and I noticed that
the Adobe Photographers Directory is integrated into the selections.
IVRPA members are well represented in the APD, under "Virtual Reality".
Also, if you are a IVRPA member, you can qualify to be listed in the APD.

A Panel on VR at Siggraph

At the Guerilla studio portion of Siggraph today, I participated in a presentation on VR photography.
I introduced IVRPA (and our great new site), and showed some images from the Worldwide Panorama
and I said that "photography and computers are colliding" and I believe that trend is
accelerating. Also presenting was, Gene Cooper (, on "Light Painting in Caves", where he demonstrated
the light painting techniques that his company is using to illuminate caves in a national park.
Imagine making a pano in a pitch black cave, and shining lights on the walls and other surfaces in

Going to check out Stitcher today

On this balmy summer day, Jook Leung and I will be checking out
the latest version of stitcher by Realviz at Siggraph. Surprisingly
there was a fair amount of panorama photography related content
at Siggraph. More details later,

'doh! the forums....

After having reinstating the Drupal-based forums, I forgot to give users posting privileges.

'You're cuter than I thought. I can see why she likes you.... Not too bright though.'

Anyway, I hope to put a redirect on the current site at to the beta site tomorrow. That will be the real start of the public beta. Even so, we're already getting googled. That results in not-too-common names popping up high in google already, eg Roberto Portolese or Jim Scancella. I just picked these two from our referrer-stats, so Roberto and Jim probably looked up themselves in Google ;-).

Good news: the site hasn't selfdestructed yet!

It's been a week since the site has gone semi-public (members only, initially, though there have been a few more public 'leaks' here and there, which I don't mind). The good news is: the site's still alive! Yay for Drupal! Yay for me! The member galeries are starting to look good, and so is the member-map.

Yesterday I had a chat with our current treasurer, the lovely Kalikat and hubby Landis. Kat is the one who has been doing the real work at the IVRPA, keeping track of members signing up and renewing their membership. To do so, she juggled two to three database variations, manually keeping them in sync.

California Panographers' get-togethers

I'll be using my blog to keep everyone informed of the latest and greatest about our informal get-togethers in the Berkeley/East Bay California area.

We generally meet one evening each quarter, in Berkeley. Folks from up and down the Bay Area head over for some light food & drink, interesting presentations by industry pros...

Finding a 360 Panorama Virtual Reality Photographer in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

My name is Roberto Portolese and I am a professional photographer.
I live in Toronto where I have my photographic studio. I have expanded my photography business to specialize in 360 degree panorama virtual tour photography and virtual object online content.
My training and course of studies started twenty-five years ago in design and architecture at the University of Turin, Italy. I specialized in photography in Venice. In Toronto, I studied Fine Arts at York University. My work has been published in Italy, Japan, and Canada in various magazines and books.
I have been living in Toronto since 1980 where I have a studio.

Photoshop Action to create Spi-V strips

Just thought I'd post this action I made to create the cube-strip for Spi'V from cube faces.

I started with Equirectangular images, or in some cases QTVR files and batch converted to cube faces with CubicConverter.

For ths action to work you will need to export using the numbered approach, vs. Front, Back etc. So you should have files that end with 1,2,3,4,5,6.

Then just Select open them all at same time in photoshop. The need to be organized with highest number windows toward the front. So "6" is the front docuemnt, and "1" is at the back. If I select the files in finder on mac and open them, this is the default odering in Photoshop CS2. I don't know if it works off of file name or save date?

Concept for automatic hotspot creation

As I mentioned in earlier post found the XML approach to hotspots in Spi'V very plesent to work with. So much easier than working with the media files. Having said that after spending the better part of a day using spotter to get correct locations and then hand coding the XML file it occured to me that with accurate location of the nodes on GoogleEarth that there should be a way automate the process.

Ok, we don't want links between everything, only where there is a clear line of sight. Two ways to go about this. One is to manually add the links. Another approach would be to draw blobs that represent blockages in line of sight. In essence simple shapes to showing where trees, buildings, or fences are. Given these blobs as a guide (and one more rule) the computer should be able to generate all of the hotspots we want and also the appropriate position of these hotspots in the pano. Assuming level ground should be on the horizon, so no tilt, but the computer could calculate the pan angle for the hotspot and the opening pan angle in the target pano.