360° Panorama Pictures

Today, during our nice walk through the snowy winter in the harz national park (home sweet home – a recommendation for your next holiday! Just make sure you get a hiking backpack and bring all the supplies you need), we decided to take some pictures and try to produce a panorama out of it. And now we found out, this is easier today as we would have believed …

But before giving a summary of how to get to the panorama … take a look at this awesome result:

So how to get there:
1. Take your pictures.
I used a regular Canon Ixus to take pictures while turning around myself.

2. Download the free Microsoft Image Composite Editor.
This editor is a free software provided by Microsoft research:
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/69699e5a-5c91-4b01-898c-ef012cbb07f7/
This tool is really easy to use. Just drag and drop your images into the big area stating “Drop a set of panorama image files here or use Files…..”. As soon as the image files are dropped here, the editor automatically finds the image overlays and renders the panorama.

4. Crop Panorama
The Image Compiste Editor provides a tool to automatically detect a maximum rectangle area and to crop the rest. Optionally, this area can be defined manually.

5. Export JPEG
The Microsoft Image Composite Editor provides a jpg export to produce an image as shown above.

6. Interactive Panorama
The HD View tool, also provided by Microsoft Research (http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/63888522-375b-49b5-a8a0-5cb308deb5c5/) provides a utility to rotate and zoom a panoramic image. It is also available as a browser plugin. The Image Composite Editor is able to export in a file format that can be opened in the HD View.

So have fun and create your own panoramic images in a couple of minutes!

P.S: The panorama has been created out of images taken on the Wolfswarte. A really nice place to hike and if your lucky and get there on a sunny day, I am sure you will enjoy the beautiful view: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruchberg

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