This instructable will show you how to make those nifty 3D virtual-reality "tours," that you see on some web-pages, in Windows, using entirely free software.

If you're not quite sure what I'm talking about, this is a VR panorama from WWU's campus, which I'll be making for an example in this instructable.

Step 1: Get What You Need.

Here's a list of things you'll need


1) A Digital Camera. I used a Canon EOS20D Digital SLR.
2) A memory card. Prefferably a big one; you'll be taking alot of pictures.
3) A Tripod. Not necessarilly a panoramic tripod. I just used your normal garden-variety tripod.
4) A Windows computer. Possibly the one you're reading this on.


1) Autostitch, a program for stitching together different images into a panorama.
2) The GIMP, an all-purpose image-editing software.
3) PanoCube, a program for actually converting panoramas to Quicktime VRs.
4) PanoTools, more specifically, a file called PTStitcher.exe. It's freeware, but it's getting harder to find Windows binaries of it. Most sites host java Jars.

Install all three programs. Autostitch can just be unzipped to any folder on your Hard drive. GIMP requires you to install the GTK+ Runtime environment, before you can install it. If you don't want to install GIMP, you can use whatever your favourite image-edeiting program is. I'm offering this is a free alternative to commercial image-editors (since this instructable is made to be all free software).

PanoCube is a pretty difficult to use, software, but it's the only one available for Windows that does this. Right now, you'll want to be sure and install PanoCube to a folder directly on the root folder of your Hard drive, in a filepath with no spaces in it (eg: C:\PanoCube is a good choice).
Unzip the files in PanoTools to the same folder.
this looks like a pretty solid choice: http://www.clickheredesign.com.au/cubicconverter/
Hi how did you erase the tripod legs form the panorama?
Thank you so much! I just finished my first VR Panorama and it looks fantastic! It was a very well-written Instructable. Just a heads up to anyone who is trying this, the link to the download for PanoTools provided doesn't include PTStitcher.exe. You can find it here: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.all-in-one.ee/~dersch/">http://www.all-in-one.ee/~dersch/</a> Scroll down to &quot;Windows Version 2.6b1, includes Gimp plug-in&quot; and download it there. You just need the files PTStitcher.exe (under Helpers) and pano12.dll. Install like it says on the Instructable.<br/>
any solutions for mac users?
yeah, thanks for that, i use mac also
Try this:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.panomundo.com/panos/howto/workflow_cubicconv.html">http://www.panomundo.com/panos/howto/workflow_cubicconv.html</a><br/><br/>I can't vouch for it because i don't have a mac. Tell us if it works. =)<br/>
i cant find PTStitcher.exe i realy searched mij but off. i cant find it at <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/pano12ml.htm">http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/pano12ml.htm</a> i can fin the zip- file but there is no PTStitcher in there!<br/>
I don't understand how to install PanoCube and PanoTools!
Sorry, this is the correct link:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.viminacium.org.yu/Viminacium/Panoramas/panorama1.mov/show_big.html">http://www.viminacium.org.yu/Viminacium/Panoramas/panorama1.mov/show_big.html</a><br/><br/>Thanks again!<br/>
Hi people!<br/>Well, may I first say that this manual was of great help!<br/>But I have 2 questions:<br/><br/>1. Can we make this zoom control with the programs we have listed here?<br/>(like these guys did here <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.viminacium.org.yu/Viminacium/Panoramas/panorama1.mov/)">http://www.viminacium.org.yu/Viminacium/Panoramas/panorama1.mov/)</a><br/><br/>2. How can I add a signature or a logo so that it appears at the bottom or the top of the panorama?<br/><br/>Thanks!!! ;)<br/>
kabukistar, thank you! worked like a charm (didn't bother with tripods or such, just stood there and tilted up and down). Great results even that way! And I can do it <em>without</em> buying a new camera.<br/><br/>Thanks again!<br/>
That is pretty sweet. I'll have to hijack a friends windows box and try it out.
Another method: 1.Refocus a scanner. 2.Scan while rotating it in a circle. Excellent results.
Sounds too simple. let's see some examples.
That seems like it might be a bit more difficult to use than a camera.
That sounds like a lot of work! If you have a Canon camera, you can use the PhotoStitch software that came with it, and in the Save As dialog at the end just choose QuickTime VR. It even gives you options for the video codec and compression ratio. I've found Canon's PhotoStitch to be the easiest pano software I've tried. Just make sure that you have the latest version of PhotoStitch installed...the latest version takes care of some problems using Quicktime 6 and 7. Go to Canon's website to download it.
Thanks, I'll be sure to check that out, if I can find a copy for download.<br/><br/>It's not actually my camera, it's one I checked out from the school, but I think I can go and get the softwareCD to get that and screw around with it.<br/><br/>Also, woot for getting on Make Blog: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2006/11/how_to_create_q.html">http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2006/11/how_to_create_q.html</a><br/>

About This Instructable




More by KABUKISTAR:Make a Hotpod (Microwaveable neck-warmer) Super easy, three-ingredient cookies. Create Quicktime VR Panoramas 
Add instructable to: