About This Project & QTVR Text

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This exhibit was put together as part of a student project at the School of Information at the University of Michigan. My partner, Gundega Trumkalne, and I wanted to learn how to use QTVR. Previous to this, neither one of us had had any previous experience using the QTVR Authoring Tools Suite, nor did we have any experience with photography. We learned a lot pretty darned quick!

So, What Is QTVR?

QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality) is basically a 360 degree seamless, digital representation of a scene (e.g. a room or an outdoor view). QTVR allows the user to view the entire scene at their own pace, with the option to zoom in on a particular portion of the scene. The user can move up, down, and sideways in any scene. Sometimes there are one or more hotspots within a QTVR movie. A hotspot in a movie is designated by a change in the cursor shape--it looks like an arrow. This means that there is a link to something else. This link can go to another scene, or node, to a text document, or to an object movie. An object movie allows the user to view an object in greater detail, and from all angles.

How Do You Make a QTVR Movie?

A single-node movie, a movie that consists of only one scene, is made up of a number of overlapping images that have been stitched together to form one seamless panoramic view. (Stitching is the process of blending together two or more images that overlap in order to produce a new, seamless image.) These images can be still photographs (this is what we used), still digital images, or even computer graphics. As long as there is some overlap among the images, they can be stitched together. Note: a QTVR movie is not made from a moving video, although still images can be taken, or grabbed, from a video and then stitched together.

How Did You Take Your Still Photographs?

We set up a heavy duty tripod at the center of the area we wanted to turn into a QTVR movie. We mounted our camera on a QTVR mount, which allowed us to move the camera a specific number of degrees. We took a picture, turned the camera 24.5 degrees, took another picture, turned the camera, etc. We shot the pictures using a cable release, so that our hands would not shake the camera and cause blurring. We also did not have a lot of lighting to work with, so we used 400 speed film, since it is more sensitive to light.

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