California-based Gyroscope Interactive Photography is a leader in TV show virtual tours, and has produced countless QTVR tours for shows such as; The West Wing, Beverly Hills 90210, That 70s Show, 7th Heaven, Charmed, Pasadena, 3rd Rock From the Sun, The Young & the Restless, and The OC. Founded by Tim Petros in 1996, many Gyroscope projects have been with the entertainment industry, for clients like Warner Bros., Disney Online, Fox Interactive and Buena Vista Pictures.
Photo: Tim Petros of Gyroscope Interactive Photography
"A primary goal of Gyroscope Interactive Photography,” explains Petros “is to develop useful commercial applications for interactive images, beyond the simple capability of just being able to look around 360º; i.e. using a 360ºinteractive image as a visual ‘browser’ or selection tool to trigger further events, such as selecting a product in a store, or an item on the set of your favorite TV show, in order to purchase that item or get more information about it.”
Since first learning QuickTime VR in 1995, Petros has focused his efforts on finding and developing strong commercial applications for QTVR, mainly in the entertainment industry. The O.C. set tours exemplify not only one of the most effective commercial applications (interactive product placement), but showcase what is possible when a software tool like REALVIZ Stitcher is in the hands of an experienced photographer.
Stitcher is a professional-level application, used by thousands of professional photographers, architects, multimedia and 3D artists worldwide, and enables the creation of superb wide-angle panoramas for the Web, film, print, and 3D. Stitcher is also widely used by post-production professionals for the creation of 3D environments, matte paintings, reflection maps and textures for film/ television. Recent movies that have used this technology, include ‘V for Vendetta,’ ‘Bewitched’ and ‘Van Helsing.’
“The O.C. virtual tour case study demonstrates a real-world application of that goal. The O.C. virtual set tours were shot for a new commercial website, www.starbrand.tv, which allows fans of the show to go on set, and select favorite items via hotspots in QTVR virtual tours. I think of it as Interactive Product Placement," says Petros.
"I've photographed and stitched hundreds of panoramic images, arriving at what I believe to be the best way to stitch professional quality full360º/180º virtual tours: REALVIZ Stitcher 5. Otherwise my equipment is pretty basic: a Nikon D1 and D70s, a 15mm rectilinear Nikkor, a 10.5mm Nikkor, a Kaidan tripod head, and, of course, Photoshop.”
“The O.C. virtual tour is a particularly valuable learning lesson, because the first three sets shot (The Pool, The Pool House, and the Living Room)were shot using the 15mm Nikkor, taking 24 total shots (12 around the horizon, 6 tilted up and 6 tilted down). I had just upgraded my stitching software from Stitcher 3.5 to Stitcher 5.0, and I was a little anxious (as well as skeptical) about working with the new "auto stitch" feature in Stitcher 5. I gave it the "acid test" by loading all 24 images in at once and just pressing the auto stitch icon, and to my amazement, it worked! I switched to the Nikkor 10.5mm to shoot the remaining four sets—after dewarping the barrel distortion in Nikon's Capture software, the autostitch feature in Stitcher 5 again worked great.”
About Gyroscope Interactive Photography
Gyroscope Interactive Photography was founded by Tim Petros in 1996. Degreed in Mechanical Engineering, Tim has been a professional commercial photographer since 1980, a Macintosh user since 1986, and studied QuickTimeVR production at Apple Developer University in Cupertino in 1995. He has since been devoted to developing the commercial possibilities of QTVR, and has contributed to numerous related books, videos, and university and tradeshow demonstrations. To find out more on Gyroscope Interactive Photography, go to: www.gyrovr.com.
REALVIZ is a leading developer of image based creation software based in Sophia Antipolis, France, with satellite sales offices in Los Angeles, London and Paris. REALVIZ develops a suite of image-based content creation solutions for the film, broadcast, gaming, digital imaging, architecture and Internet communities. Derived from years of research efforts at the renowned INRIA Lab in France, the company's applications enable 2D and 3D artists to easily and cost-effectively tackle complex digital imaging projects. REALVIZ' award-winning products are used by thousands of professional photographers, as well as leading production and effects houses, web design, game development and architectural companies worldwide, including Boeing, Daimler Chrysler, The Orphanage, Inc, Cinesite, Frame store CFC, Sony Imageworks, Warner Brothers Animation, Electronic Arts, Duran Duboi and many others.