Panorama Stop-Motion Photography

About: I have a background in chemistry, molecular biology and immunology and I am working in the field of in vitro diagnostics and life sciences. I like the concept of citizen science, and my intension is to simp...

On Sunday I had been to the skating stadium. We have a 400 meter skating ring, with a ice hockey field in it, at Berlin-Wilmersdorf. Standing inside the ring I was wondering what may happen if I would trace somebody or something moving on the curve of the skating ring, using the camera of my mobile phone in panorama mode.

So I just tried. I was a bit surprised by the results.

You can find some of the results here.

Step 1: How to and Results

It's really simple to do and most recent mobile phones will come with a camera and a panorama function in the camera software.

  • Place yourself at or near the circle point of the curve.
  • Select an object or person that is moving with a steady velocity, not too fast and not too slow.
  • Start recording when the person/object enters the curve and move the camera continuously and slowly, keeping the object at the same relative position.
  • Stop recording when the object is leaving the curve.
  • I finally just had to truncate the pictures just a bit, cutting away some ground and a bit of sky.

The panorama function of the camera is stitching the panorama image from several smaller images. So if you track an object moving on a curve, the object will appear on many of these pictures. If the object is moving around you, in the final image it will look like it is moving on a straight line. So you basically get something that looks like a simple stop-motion image.

If you are not in the central point of the curve, the object will appear larger when nearer and smaller when further away. You can see this effect on the first image on the introduction step.

On the pictures in this step, you can see the same process, the movement of the ice polishing vehicle, once as panorama image and as seen from the side.

Try it yourself. The first shots might not be perfect, so just try several times. Have fun.


This short instructable is part of the OPTICS contest.

If your interested in the topic, you may like to have a look on my previous instructables on spectroscopy,


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