Antarctica: Stereoscopic & Monoscopic Panoramas for VR
Online VR technologies have come a long way recently, so I’m finally getting around to embedding some 360º stereoscopic and monoscopic panoramas that I shot during several adventures in Antarctica (see also my media art documentation.)
These images are viewable using Google Cardboard or compatible viewer on a mobile device in stereoscopic 3D*, or simply as monoscopic navigable panos via your desktop browser. Mobile devices will drive the image rotation via device orientation – move them around to see the effect – it’s pretty cool. They’re best viewed in fullscreen mode via the widget on the bottom right of the image (click on it to enable fullscreen, use the back arrow on the top left to return to normal viewing – or use your ‘esc’ escape key!)
Below (scroll down), you should be able to see something like this (it will vary slightly if you are on Desktop (Mac/Win/Linux) or Mobile OS (Android/iOS):
*(stereo is currently working on iPad Pro – in this case obviously not with Google Cardboard, more devices to come – please let me know in comments if you test on other devices and whether it works or not – YOUR EXPERIENCE MAY VARY A LOT! – this is simply a test 🙂 )
Notes on the Images
The first images (2005-6) were initial experiments with a stereoscopic panoramic rig that I built and took to Antarctica during my 3-month Antarctic Arts Fellowship journey, aboard the M.V. Vasily Golovnin (I’m gradually restoring my videoblog of that voyage here and will eventually get around to resuscitating my written blog of the adventure). During that voyage I used two Canon Powershot Pro 1 cameras (8 megapixel cameras that were very good at the time), both for producing panoramic imagery and stereo shots as well as shooting my video blog (at 320×240 15fps resolution – hence the relatively low quality of the video material).
The 2005-6 stereo panoramas were shot in a 360º cylindrical format, with limited vertical field of view (~55º) – they were exhibited using passive stereoscopic projection and an interactive player (developed by Paul Bourke) at the John Curtin Gallery, W.A., in 2007. They seem to hold up pretty well even after all this time.
2007-8 and 2009-10 panoramas are mainly full 360ºx180º spherical ‘bubbles’ – they are of much higher resolution, but down-sampled here for web delivery.
Some stitching & colour-matching issues remain – I’ll revisit these and fix them up as I progress through the material: it’s work-in-progress (but so much easier now I can actually see them properly!)
Stereo and mono panos are indicated in their titles. One day I might stereo-ize some of the monoscopic panos via disparity mapping, if the geometry isn’t too complex.
More to come.
Ice Plain, Framnes Mountains, Antarctica. Stereoscopic Panorama. (© 2006 Peter Morse)
Fang Peak Base, Framnes Mountains, Antarctica. Stereoscopic Panorama. (© 2006 Peter Morse)
Fang Peak, Framnes Mountains, Antarctica. Monoscopic Panorama. (© 2006 Peter Morse)
Cape Denison, Antarctica 2007-8
Mawson’s Huts, Cape Denison, Antarctica. Stereoscopic Panorama. (©2016 Peter Morse)
This is a reconstructed full-spherical 360º stereoscopic panorama of Mawson’s Huts and the Cape Denison Historic Site. It’s a bit of an experiment – the central image area derives from a cylindrical stereoscopic panorama, the sky and blurred-foreground from monoscopic sources. The sky and foreground have been offset in L/R views to approximate the correct stereoscopic offset for these regions. The original panorama is of much higher resolution – around 8000 x 4000px. This is a low-res 2048 view for web delivery and testing on VR headsets.
Ice Cliffs, Land’s End, Cape Denison, Antarctica. Stereoscopic Panorama. (© 2008 Peter Morse).
This was a quite scary place to take photographs as the cliffs plunged vertically down to the sea.
Self-Portrait inside Igoo, Cape Denison, Antarctica. Monoscopic Panorama. (© 2008 Peter Morse).
In 2007, I spent a couple of weeks living inside a luxurious fibreglass igloo, before moving into a polar pyramid tent – which I much preferred. Something about being closer to the environment!
Cape Denison, Antarctica 2009-10
View to MacKellar Islets. Cape Denison, Antarctica. Monoscopic Panorama. (© 2009 Peter Morse)