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How to Create a Spherical Panorama

Creating your Spherical Panoramas

Spherical Panoramas are easy to create. It can be done in three steps

  1. You take a series a pictures covering every direction
  2. You stitch them together
  3. Upload it

Google's camera app for iPhone and Android do the first two steps for you semi-automatically. [Download Google's Camera app - iPhone, Android.] When you open the app and set it in Photosphere mode, the app directs you point the phone at a series of approximately 60 dots where it automatically takes a picture. When the entire set of pictures have been taken, the app automatically stitches them together. The whole process takes 5-8 minutes with much of that time spent doing the stitching.

Once stitched together, you can upload your image for immediate display.


Tips for taking great Spherical Panoramas

You can take spherical panoramas of any scene, some will show better than others.

  1. Have the main objects in the scene not close. Try to stay 3 meters (10 feet) away from everything (except the ground). The spherical panorama is displayed at an effective uniform distance. Objects that come in close won't look right.
  2. Take the individual pictures in clusters to minimize movement of people or objects in the scene. Take slightly above and below the horizon while turning in place before trying to get the ground near your feet and the sky.
  3. Turn your whole body in place to get all of the pictures. Lean forward and back for the down and up pictures.
  4. Keep the camera in landscape mode - long direction of the phone is horizontal.