"How to" Guideline series is coordinated by Helen Mongan-Rallis of the Education Department at the University of Minnesota Duluth. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions to improve these guidelines please me at e-mail hrallis@d.umn.edu.

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Panoramic Images and QTVR "How To" Using the Panoramic Factory Software (Windows only)

(Guidelines developed by John Pederson July 2002. Revised by Helen Mongan-Rallis July 15, 2003 )

(Originally adapted from the Panorama Factory web site's "Step by Step Wizard")

Panorama Factory is a program that enables you to create either panorama pictures (of up to 180 degrees) or 360 degree Quick Time Virtual Reality images. It is a very quick and easy program to use and does not require advanced knowledge or skills in photography or graphic image editing. Essentially the only skills you will need are (a) being able to take basic pictures with a digital camera and (b) being able to follow the step-by-step "wizard" within the program that walks you through how to import your pictures.
[See examples created by UMD students: (a) Example of panoramic image (b) example of QTVR image. Other examples can be found on the Education Department Media Showcase web page - scroll to the section on panoramic and QTVR pictures]

Downloading the Software (For Windows Computers Only)

The Panorama Factory software offers a free 30-day trial at their web site's at http://www.panoramafactory.com. [Note: As with all shareware, if you intend to use this in the future you should pay the small fee to the developers of the software].

  1. Go to the Panorama Factory web site's and select the version of the program that you wish to download (I recommend that you select the version that downloads the help files to your computer).
  2. Once you select the download option that you want, you will be directed to a download screen that will automatically start the download. Once this happens, a dialog box will ask you where you wish to save the program. Make your selection and then click the save button (I recommend installing the program in your "Programs" file].
  3. Once you have installed the software, your computer may require you to restart (Note: At UMD, if you are using a lab computer, whenever the computer restarts the software will be eliminated and you will be required to download and reinstall -- so avoid restarting the UMD computer!)
  4. Once the program has been installed, it will be located in a folder called "Smoky City Design" (located wherever you chose to save it -- usually in your programs folder). To launch the program, go the the "Smoky City Design" folder and select "Panorama Factory."
  5. When you open the program the first time (or every time until you purchase the software and no longer use the trial version), you will get a dialog box thanking you for trying the program and letting you know how many days you have left on your free trial version.
  6. If you want to purchase the software, click on the "Buy Now" button and follow the directions, but for now (and for the purpose of these guidelines) o continue using the free trial version, click on the "Buy later" button --> this takes you to Step 1 to begin using the software.

Using the Panorama Factory Software

Before you begin using the Panorama Factory software you will need to take photographs of the pictures that you wish to use for your panorama or your QTVR.

Shooting Panoramic Images

Tips about shooting panoramic images:

Shooting QTVR Images

Using the New Project Wizard to Create a Panorama

The new project Wizard helps you make a Panorama Factory project. It leads you step by step through the process of building a project. When the Wizard finishes, it leaves you with a complete project that you can save, print or modify as you wish. NOTE: The new project Wizard may be used only if your images are all the same size (if your images need to be trimmed before stitching (e.g. negative strips) you must use the Classic interface to make your panorama. If you need to do this, go to the Panorama Factory Help guide and read the step-by-step guide about Using the Classic interface). [Note: If you are going to create an image for the Internet or for display on a computer (as opposed to a printed copy), you should change the resolution of your images to 72 pixels per inch before you import them into Panorama Factory. The UMD Sony Mavicas all take photos at this resolution, so if you used one of those cameras you don't have to worry about this step].

  1. Move your images from your camera to a new folder on your computer. All images must be located in the same folder.

  2. Open the Panorama Factory software...if the project wizard doesn't automatically start, choose "new project wizard" from the "File" menu.

  3. Wizard Step 1 -Import your images: Click on the "Import Your Images" button. When you do this the wizard will ask to locate where the images are on your computer --> navigate to the folder where you have saved them, open the folder, and select all the images that will make up the panorama (do this by holding down on the shift key and clicking on al of the pictures so that they are all selected --> then click the "open" button). This imports all of the images and adds them to the work area. They will show up in a photo gallery format in a window called "Panorama Factory." (Note: if you shot your pictures from left to right, you are set. If not, choose "reverse order"). In the Wizard window click on the "Next" button to take you to Step 2

  4. Wizard Step 2 - Describe Your Camera:

  5. Wizard Step 3 - Control Image Quality: Leave all the default settings as they are. Click on the "Next" button.

  6. Wizard Step 4 - Select Panorama Type:

  7. Wizard Step 5 - Create Your Panorama: Here you have the choice of preparing the image for Internet display (also use this for displaying on your computer monitor such as for a PowerPoint presentation) or for printing.

  8. Wizard Step 6 - Save and Print Your Panorama: This step guides you through saving, viewing and printing the final panorama. The choices are:

  9. If you want to edit the image further, you can use the tools displayed at the top of the Panorama Factory window (see the Panorama Factory guide that accompanied the program when you downloaded it for more details on how to use these tools).

  10. Once you are satisfied, you can save the image from the Panorama Factory software as a .jpg and save it to floppy, zip, etc. You can use either use the setting within the Panorama Factory or PhotoShop to crop, resize, and edit the final product.

Using the New Project Wizard to Create a 360 Degree QTVR Movie

The steps for creating a 360 degree QTVR movie are similar to those described above under Using the New Project Wizard to create a Panorama.

  1. Follow the same steps as you did under Using the New Project Wizard to create a Panorama up until Step 4.
  2. At Wizard Step 4 - Select Panorama Type: you will need to select output format (under drop-down menu) as QTVR. Also select the button next to 360 degree panorama. The only choice you have for projection is cylindrical reprojection. Once you have made these choices, click on the "Next" button.
  3. Wizard Step 5 - Create Your Panorama: Follow the same steps as you did for creating a panorama.Note: this step will take longer as you have many more images for the wizard to convert when you create a 360 degree movie.
  4. Wizard Step 6 - Save and Print Your Panorama: Click on the "Save" button --> In the dialog box that appears, give your QTVR movie a name (tip: make it one word, no spaces) and identify where you would like to save it. [Notice that the file extension for the file is .mov which means that you are about to create a movie and not a .jpg (flat image) as you did in creating a panorama above] --> Click on the "save" button.
  5. In the Wizard, click on the "Done" button.

To view your QTVR movie, locate it (wherever you saved it on your computer) and double click on it to open it. You will need to have Quick Time Viewer to view it (if you do not, you will need to download this from the Internet). Once the movie opens, place your cursor on the image and move it either to the left or right --> this enables you to move around the image (either from left to right or right to left, as well as up or down).

Here are some examples of QTVR movies created using Panorama Factory: NOTE: These are large files (over 2 MB) so they will take a while to download if you are viewing this page using a modem.

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