Apr 152012

I thought gigapixel panoramas (or gigapans) were the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.

I wanted to make a gigapixel panorama. I’m still a bit short of this goal, but I’m having fun and learning a lot in the process.

The easiest way to make a gigapixel panorama is buying a gigapan or using a telescope mount that runs papywizard.

That doesn’t quite appeal to me. I want to be more involved. So of course I hit YouTube to find more information. I was not disappointed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3AoUL4t2OI – Gigapan Homemade

I’m a regular reader of hackaday.com and these posts earned a spot in my bookmarks. Especially the last post.

I have an iPhone 4 and it is stupid simple to make a panorama with the photosynth app.
Photosynth for iOS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XYSJPbwBT4 – Mastering the Photosynth App – Episode 1: Great Indoor Panoramas

I was quite pleased to discover that Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) was free for noncommercial use and stitched a lot faster than hugin. I bought a cheap tripod from wal-mart and went out to take pics of the flooding with my cheap-o Nikon S220.

I learned a thing or three about taking panoramas manually. The first is that water makes a terrible subject. In order for it to stitch you need to have something identifiable in all corners of the picture.

I’ve upgraded slightly since then, I bought a Nikon L120 and an aluminum tripod. If I were to do it over again, I would probably buy a Canon camera that can run CHDK

I’ve tried a few other panorama stitching programs, but I have the best luck with hugin or Microsoft ICE.

After all of this, and the success with servos in the cat laser toy, I decided to build my own. I hit youtube once again for inspiration. Once again, I wasn’t disappointed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JXtnEVdu98 – DIY Gigapan testing 11/09
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-aLj4TZWIw – Pan Tilt Panoramic Robot head (version 2.0)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgFEY7lAnaA – Panoramic MERLIN HEAD – Tête panoramique motorisée Merlin – Papywizard
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obRiQJ27BoY – PanoBot motorized panorama pan head
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNIvJlx0E4U – Gigapan Tutorial – 1 of 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p83lZeiGc68 – GigaPan Pro Epic Quick Guide

I’ve made a few other posts about this, and I hope to make more.

I’ve got a few pictures of the panorama robot and pictures I’ve taken

I’ve uploaded a few panoramas to photosynth.net (Requires Microsoft Silverlight)

Feb 192012

The menu for the panorama robot is slowly getting more useful as I learn how to make the menu structure. Once I figure out saving values between power cycles, I’ll be ready to mount the 16×2 LCD screen.



Of course I can’t show the video without also showing the result (scaled to 50% to keep filesizes manageable).

Feb 072012

I have mentioned panoramas before. This time, it got lazy. I’m sure things will improve, since this is the first run.

It uses a lazy susan bearing, 2 Futaba S3004 servos, a Hitec HS-55 micro servo, an Arduino UNO SMD, a pile of brackets, bolts, boards and wires. I whipped up an arduino sketch that starts the panorama when I hit the letter “a” in a serial terminal, prints the servo angles for each stop, then waits for input when it’s done. I’ve decided on a 10 degree step in both pan and tilt with the zoom in all the way on the Nikon S220 camera. To get the pictures to my laptop, I use my Eye-Fi Share 2GB SD card. I then use Microsoft Image Composite Editor to stitch them.

And here’s the result, scaled down to a reasonable size. There are definitely some stitching errors. I suspect having the camera angle skewed to the right doesn’t help much.

Nov 012011

You should visit Waubonsie State Park near Hamburg, Iowa. The overlook is pretty cool. I managed to make a panorama while I was there.


I made another high resolution picture behind the toilets of cabin #5

Road to Cabin #6


Tree Outside Cabin #6


Yellow Fall Colors


Peeking Through the Trees


Jul 262011

I went up to Hitchcock Nature Center and took some pictures. You should Like them on Facebook.


NOTE: Requires Microsoft Silverlight

Hitchcock Nature Center – 2011 Missouri River Flood
Captured: 07/24/2011 20:00
Megapixels 540.79


360 interactive panorama from the observation tower

Sunset photos from the observation tower



Other interactive panoramas I’ve made

Previous flood-related posts:


Jul 262011

My most recent high resolution interactive panorama created with Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) hosted on photosynth.net

NOTE: Requires Microsoft Silverlight

Lewis and Clark Monument – 2011 Missouri River Flood
Captured: 07/01/2011 17:15 2011
Megapixels 848.26

Link http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=e4cc73f9-19cb-4148-8a51-40e4d0b4aa25

Link to my other panoramas on photosynth.net