Introduction: How to Make 360 Degree Flash/polar Panoramas

Ever watched Google street view? It's a cool online product by Google where you can watch the streets in a 360 degree panoramic look. When I saw it i thought that it could be cool to make some panoramas myself. After a bit of surfing I found some programs and after that I went out with my camera.

Step 1: What Will You Need?

For doing the panoramas you will need the following things:

1. Camera
2. Tripod
3. Computer with the following software (there are other software too but I did use these):
                                             Panoweaver - for the flash panoramas
                                             Adobe Photoshop - for the polar panoramas

Step 2: Set Up

First you will need a good place to take the pictures. And to do it as easy as possible it's recommendable to take the pictures in a well lighted area. If you are going to photograph a room I am recommending not using any type of flash, use several lamps instead.

Now put up your tripod and make sure that it stands steady so that the pictures gets steady.

When the camera is in place take a "test shot" and lock focus. After that set the camera to manual mode and change to the same preferences that you had on the test picture. Advanced users could set to manual directly.

Step 3: Taking the Pictures

When I took the pictures I changed the photo angle 60 degrees per picture. If you are out in the nature when you take the pictures you must be very careful withe people going around, you sure will understand that when you are taking the pictures.

How many pictures you'll take is up to you self and a bit depending on your lens but too much overlap is allways too much,

Look at the picture under to see how much the pictures should be "over" each other.

When you have taken the lower level just move up a level and so on untll you have all the pictures that you need.

The 60 degree angle that i am changing when moving the camera is for cameras with 13mm lens and lower. You should search for your cameras "ultimate angle" yourself.

Step 4: Stitching

For the stitching process I will explain how to use 2 programs the first is named autostitch and it's a freeware. The second one is named Panoweaver, there is a free version of it but I am using the paid one.

For the instructions follow the text tagged in the images

You can use the image-pack under for your stitching.

Step 5: The Flash Picture

 For the Flash panoramas we will use Panoweaver. The flash panoramas will be saved as web-documents, you will be able to open them in your web browser.

Once again follow the images to create your flash.

Step 6: The Polar Picture

 The polar picture will be made in Adobe Photoshop. This will take time about 5-10 minutes depending on your picture.

Ok so first start up Photoshop. Then open up your image and cut off the black stripes on the bottom and top (if there are stripes). Now resize the image so that it is 1:1 ratio ~ same height as width. That will be done through the Image -> Image Size function. Now rotate the picture 180 degrees Through Image -> Image rotation -> 180'. And now go to the filters and use: Filter -> Distort -> Polar Coordinates. From there select:  Rectangular to Polar -> OK

Now you will get your polar-panorama from here you can now rotate it as you want.

Thx to iSuat for the original guide for the polar-panoramas

Step 7: Finish

 If you have followed everything correctly you should now have one flash panorama and one polar panorama.

If you have any problems by getting everything working feel free to ask!