VR photography, or virtual reality photography, is a technique which allows the interactive viewing of wide angle panoramic photographs. A VR Photograph is generally a wide photographic image encompassing a 360 degree circle, but can also encompass an entire spherical view.
VR photography is the art of capturing or creating a complete scene as a single image, as viewed when rotating about a single central position. Normally created by stitching together a number of photographs taken in a multi-row 360 degree rotation; the complete image can also be a totally computer generated effect, or a composite of real word photography and computer generated objects.
The final digital image, known as a VR Panorama, is viewed through an interactive software interface. The viewer is at the center of a virtual cylinder or sphere onto which is projected a wrap-around image, within which the viewer can rotate horizontally and vertically, as if they were immersed within the real world scene.
VR Panoramas are viewed through movie players such as Apple's QuickTime VR software which may be installed as part of a Web browser plug-in, or as a stand-alone player on a computers desktop or CD Rom. QuickTimeVR (QTVR) was the original player program, and there are now a growing number of different players and plug-ins, which has contributed to VR Photography becoming more widespread.
As of early 2007 the term "VR Photography" is still a fairly new one, but describes a process that has its foundation in the photography used in Virtual Tours since around 1995. However the ever increasing data speeds of internet connections now allow a much larger images to be published online, as such these larger file sizes allow VR Photographers to create higher resolution full-screen images with much more detail that helps to immerse the viewer into the scene.
Beyond the panorama
Once there existed a product called Geometra 3D that allowed not only looking in different directions, as in the panorama viewers, but also moving the point of view around in a VRML model.
- Image stitching
- Panoramic photography
- QuickTime VR