Help Baldy shoot an Epic Shot

BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founderPosts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
edited January 12, 2013 in Technique
We've had good success with Big prints (up to 60 feet) on SmugMug's walls, but now I'd like to try something different: the floors.

Our lunchroom is about 30x40' and my idea is to shoot straight down on something, like the financial district and waterfront of San Francisco. Have the heli pilot fly low over the skyscrapers to give a real sense of 3D.

Humans aren't used to looking straight down and I'd love to give people vertigo...

There is another element.... Has anyone shot an orthographic projection, where the camera changes position rather than swiveling? The thing about an orthographic projection is you get to see down all the streets. You walk over to one side of the room and you're looking straight down on Union Square. On the other side, you're looking straight down on the Transamerica Pyramid.

Example of a 1-D orthographic projection:

http://grail.cs.washington.edu/projects/multipano/images/grocery/sharpened.jpg

http://grail.cs.washington.edu/projects/multipano/images/cogels2/sharpened.jpg

They don't work for small prints where you just rotate your head to take it in, same as the camera shot it. But for huge prints where you walk around to see it, you want the camera to walk around with you, no?

Comments

  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkPosts: 60,808Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 30, 2012
    I'm working on an epic shot for us from over NYC's Chrysler Building. Luckily, we have a friend in Vincent Laforet that is willing to assist :D
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited March 30, 2012
    Oh, I should have asked my questions. :D

    Has anyone seen photo flooring? Any pointers to sources?

    Is the SF financial district best, or how about the helicopter flying low over the north tower of the Golden Gate bridge and printing that very big so it's nearly life-sized. Then it's like walking just above the north tower and seeing peeling paint and rivets, then as you walk, stepping over the edge, no?

    Has anyone ever seen or heard of a 2D orthorgraphic stitch?

    Can you mount a rod to the heli so you can mount two cameras, one off each side to get two rows of pics per pass?

    What lens?
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited March 30, 2012
    Andy wrote: »
    I'm working on an epic shot for us from over NYC's Chrysler Building. Luckily, we have a friend in Vincent Laforet that is willing to assist :D
    I just spoke to a couple helicopter companies and they say they're not aware of an FAA-approved mount that lets you point the camera straight down. Are any of Vincent's shots straight down?
  • BradfordBennBradfordBenn Constantly Amazed Posts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 30, 2012
    It sounds to me what you are looking for is a digital mapping camera and mount. I know that they have them for airplanes but don't know about helicopters. Some of them are pretty high resolution like 1" or 2" per pixel resolution. (When you are bored at an aviation/airport trade show you read the trade magazines and learn about things you never thought about before.

    Now for printing, I know that there are places that will do it, but I wonder why not just do 2' x 2' tiles of metal prints. Yes there would be seams but if there is a problem you can replace just one. They seem pretty durable.
    -=Bradford

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  • JCJC Major grins Posts: 777Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 30, 2012
    In my world, we call them georeferenced orthophotos, or orthorectified aerial photographs. Am I missing a subtlety here? Or missing something incredibly obvious? Other than the higher res you'd presumably be working at, how would these be different from the USGS orhthoquads? Or the NAIP (national agricultural imagery program) air photos? Is your big concern how to correct the varying topographic (structural) displacement between nadir and edges before stitching?
    Yeah, if you recognize the avatar, new user name.
  • CWSkopecCWSkopec SmugMug QA Posts: 1,422Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 31, 2012
    This isn't so much "helpful" but it's along similar lines and looks pretty cool.

    http://www.petapixel.com/2012/03/28/aerial-interior-photo-of-a-building-created-by-stitching-hundreds-of-photos/

    Can't wait to see what the final product for this looks like!
    Chris
    SmugMug QA
    My Photos
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited April 3, 2012
    Well, here's my first orthographic stitch. Auspicious beginning, no? eek7.gif

    20120403-tqih36pxbbt731fqipukqjpn9u.jpg
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited April 3, 2012
    kolibri wrote: »
    In my world, we call them georeferenced orthophotos, or orthorectified aerial photographs. Am I missing a subtlety here? Or missing something incredibly obvious? Other than the higher res you'd presumably be working at, how would these be different from the USGS orhthoquads? Or the NAIP (national agricultural imagery program) air photos? Is your big concern how to correct the varying topographic (structural) displacement between nadir and edges before stitching?
    The difference is I'd like to fly at low altitude to make the photo pop in the third dimension so you get the feeling of vertigo. We did a little test run:

    i-XDQVRXm-X2.jpg

    It's the difference you feel when you skydive (nervous, not terrified) versus bungy jumping (wetting your pants).

    Maybe I just haven't seen low altitude aerials before but they exist?
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited April 3, 2012
    CWSkopec wrote: »
    This isn't so much "helpful" but it's along similar lines and looks pretty cool.

    http://www.petapixel.com/2012/03/28/aerial-interior-photo-of-a-building-created-by-stitching-hundreds-of-photos/

    Can't wait to see what the final product for this looks like!
    AWESOME link!! Worth creating this thread for. I was thinking of a similar experiment, but I didn't think to do it with that stand, and ironically I own the very same set-up.
  • JCJC Major grins Posts: 777Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 4, 2012
    Baldy wrote: »
    The difference is I'd like to fly at low altitude to make the photo pop in the third dimension so you get the feeling of vertigo. We did a little test run:

    t's the difference you feel when you skydive (nervous, not terrified) versus bungy jumping (wetting your pants).

    Maybe I just haven't seen low altitude aerials before but they exist?

    Ok, not that low alititude.

    But the resolution is getting pretty good
    http://egis3.lacounty.gov/dataportal/index.php/2010/02/05/2008-4-inch-color-orthophotography/

    The highest res public data for San Francisco may be here:
    http://gispub02.sfgov.org/website/sfviewer/INDEX.htm

    but the mapserver isn't playing well with my browser and or OS, so I'm not sure how high res it is.
    I think Pictometry has super high res orthorectified air photos for San Francisco, but I can't find images of it.



    What program do you use for the stitching? At that low altitude, the vertical angle distortion is huge (as seen in your test shot). You are going to have a serious problem if you try to stitch together a grid. You'll have to correct the vertical lean away from nadir, which will take away a lot of that vertigo effect you are looking for. You could keep that if you just shot swathes. Or do you have some magic up your sleeve?
    Yeah, if you recognize the avatar, new user name.
  • Troy RaymondTroy Raymond Major grins Posts: 171Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 21, 2012
    Low altitude high res files have been done with remote control helicopters or the newer multirotor platforms for years, very expensive to get into if you plan on doing it yourself. There are others you can find to fly for you, preferably with their own camera gear in case of a mishap. I can help in locating someone if interested since I've been in that industry for years and know many of the best.

    Full scale heli's and planes have to stay above a certain altitude such as 500' or 1000' where the RC aircraft are limited to 400' max. Mounting equipment to an aircraft would require permits and equipment certified and installed by professionals, however, you can take the photos yourself by hanging out the side (safety harness). I also know someone that has a stick he hangs under the skids by hand and remotely photo's pano's with a multiple camera setup, or even a single rotating camera setup. This is also tethered of course.
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited April 26, 2012
    Low altitude high res files have been done with remote control helicopters or the newer multirotor platforms for years, very expensive to get into if you plan on doing it yourself. There are others you can find to fly for you, preferably with their own camera gear in case of a mishap. I can help in locating someone if interested since I've been in that industry for years and know many of the best.

    Full scale heli's and planes have to stay above a certain altitude such as 500' or 1000' where the RC aircraft are limited to 400' max. Mounting equipment to an aircraft would require permits and equipment certified and installed by professionals, however, you can take the photos yourself by hanging out the side (safety harness). I also know someone that has a stick he hangs under the skids by hand and remotely photo's pano's with a multiple camera setup, or even a single rotating camera setup. This is also tethered of course.
    Fascinating! Troy, can I call you?
  • Troy RaymondTroy Raymond Major grins Posts: 171Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 26, 2012
    Baldy wrote: »
    Fascinating! Troy, can I call you?
    PM sent
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited May 4, 2012
    I'm actually trying this in the water instead of the air for the first floor pano. Flying to Fiji in a week to swim in a grid pattern in shallow coral with camera pointed straight down to hopefully produce a 20x30-foot pano for a floor.

    NERVOUS!!
  • Troy RaymondTroy Raymond Major grins Posts: 171Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 4, 2012
    Can't wait to see the results, and the software used.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 4, 2012
    OK, I wasn't going to respond but after reading the title of the post again, I decided I would step up to the plate.

    You want help? Baldy you got help. Send me a ticket to Fiji and I'm there for you. :D

    Sam
  • CWSkopecCWSkopec SmugMug QA Posts: 1,422Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 5, 2012
    I can't wait to see the results!

    And if I can add to Sam's suggestion, three people swimming in a grid will get it done much faster than 2!! Just sayin' :D
    Chris
    SmugMug QA
    My Photos
  • Pono PhotoPono Photo Major grins Posts: 68Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited May 8, 2012
    Trying to find a link to a site I saw about this. I will let you know when I see it. THough another image idea is one out here on Kauai. Have you ever seen an arial photograph of Mt. Wai'ale'ale? It's the main volcano here that formed the island. It's part of the Na Pali Coast, some of the most stunning mountains I have ever seen. Oh and I know a few helicopter pilots who work with photographers quite a lot.

    Just a thought... And heck, you might like a little trip to the islands... :D
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited January 12, 2013
    I'm getting back to this now. We manually stitched an underwater shot of coral I did but it was long, hard work. Has anyone gotten some program like Autopano Pro or Giga to do orthographic stitches? I'm playing with it and must be doing something wrong because I can't get it to work at all.
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