1
$\begingroup$

I would like to receive some answer or advice on how to create 360 panorama images. My plan is to use Cessna or Helicopter.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

This is as much a photography question as an aviation one. The type of aircraft you might want depends on the type of picture you want.

If you want a picture from low altitude, showing the area nearby, a helicopter or a quadcopter (depending on local regulations) would be ideal. This would let you hover in one spot, and rotate to cover the full panorama. The movement of the aircraft could easily be compensated for in processing the photos. A quadcopter holding a position by GPS should be very stable for long enough to take the photos.

If your picture is at a higher altitude, focusing more on things further away, a small plane could work. Many general aviation aircraft can fly fairly slow. With only more distant objects as the subject, a plane in a turn at under 100 knots should be slow enough that the perspective change would be negligible.

If you could get something like a simplified version of Google's street view setup, and send it up on a quadcopter, that would probably give the absolute best result.

See also this more general question:

What is a good plane for aerial photography?

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

My advice would be an aircraft is a lousy tool for this - airplanes in particular.
An aircraft is always moving - airplanes have to move in order for the wings to generate lift, and even a helicopter hovering is going to be moving based on wind, thermals, and downwash from its own rotor.

Movement makes panoramic imaging difficult since a lot of the modern camera tricks we use to capture panoramic images "in camera" involve rotating the camera (think iPhone/Android "panorama" shots, or the old-school camera-on-a-stick systems used for film photography). With a fixed-wing aircraft that motion would cause misalignments that would make stitching the images together difficult (because the perspective would be changing between shots).


Difficult doesn't mean impossible though - It's been done on quadcopters (Adobe even has a tutorial where they stitch together a panorama using GoPro camera images), and you could do the same thing with a camera mounted on a full-size helicopter.
You could probably make it work for a fixed-wing aircraft too, but it would be better if you had a rotating camera mount (rotating the whole airplane would change the perspective, but flying very slow and spinning the camera reasonably fast you'll probably get usable images).

$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ The old-school camera-onna-stick panoramas don't require any stitching. The camera rotates and exposes a length of film through a slit as it turns. The result is a continuous image. Roll film isn't divided into frames: that's an artifact of the usual photography process, which exposes a rectangle at a time. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Sep 8 '14 at 19:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby I'm aware of how rotating panoramic cameras work (I've built quite a few of them). They require the camera to be perfectly still with the exception of its rotation, which is why that technique is generally unsuitable for use on aircraft (particularly fixed-wing aircraft where there is a constant component of forward motion). The stitching comments were aimed at "digital panoramic photography" solutions. There are other film-camera tricks that can be used on aircraft (such as "360-degree lenses"), but that kind of specialist gear would be best discussed on Photography $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Sep 8 '14 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough. It might be worth editing to make that a little clearer, since most people probably aren't familiar with that kind of camera. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Sep 8 '14 at 19:55
1
$\begingroup$

Phantom 2 Vision are VERY high-quality drones, perfectly suited for what you are looking for, and I believe they come with their own imaging equipment.

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.