View Full Version : Update - Mentone Spherical Imaging
07-24-2004, 01:43 PM
My wife and I spent most of the day Yesterday (Friday) at Mentone and... wow! What a great group of folks! A special thanks to Joe Swanton for his friendship, assistance, superb piloting skills, and for introducing me to many of you. Thanks to his kind gift, I'm now a member of PRA!
It was also great being able to finally meet Tom Milton, Gary Goldsberry, Glen Bundy, Laura & Dana from StarBee Gyros, and a number of other members of this forum.
Attached is a snapshot my wife took of Joe and me preparing for the spherical imaging fly-over.
07-24-2004, 01:46 PM
Here's another, demonstrating how the photography rigging will be lowered while in flight.
07-24-2004, 01:48 PM
Finally, the takeoff roll!
07-24-2004, 01:53 PM
And after a low pass over the runway and another down the east side, Touchdown! Though you can't see from the photo, I'm wearing the biggest grin of my life. Thanks Joe!
07-24-2004, 01:58 PM
By the way, the virtual reality scenes look absolutely gorgeous. They'll take a few days to process and compile, so I'll let everyone know when they're posted. We did quite a few ground-level VR shots as well. Many of them let you turn around and look inside the cockpits from close up. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did taking them!
07-24-2004, 02:48 PM
Great stuff Brian. You have just been hooked by the sound of it!!!!
07-24-2004, 03:28 PM
Great stuff Brian. You have just been hooked by the sound of it!!!!
..."Line and sinker." Actually I've been a gyro fanatic since childhood, but wasn't able to take my first ride in one until the PRA convention at Brookville, Ohio in 1991. For the past 13 years finances (wife, homeowner, usual stuff) has prevented me from building one. Still is, actually, but I'm doing it anyway.
Sounds like waiting until now might have been a good idea after reading about some of the serious problems that Fetter's early ships had. I was leaning toward an early Air Command originally (without the stab) :eek: Yikes! By the way, what ever happened to Dennis Fetters? Last I heard he changed his name to Mohamad and told everybody he'd left the country, in the wake of the Mini-500 fiasco. That was a story almost as bizarre as $cientology :)
07-26-2004, 07:45 PM
Brian, Nice to meet you. Glad it all worked out.
I was telling Chuck Roberg that I didn't recognize you as you didn't look anything like the picture in your Avatar. Chuck said that's a guy from TV. I guess I don't get around much.
Dennis Fetters is alive and well and living in Corona, CA. he has a hangar at the Corona airport.
In fairness to Dennis and his Air Commands, not much was known about gyroplane stability until well after he sold the business.
Many people were introduced into the sport through Dennis and his gyros. I'll bet the accident and fatality ratio for Air Commands wasn't any higher than any of the more popular gyros of the day in spite of what some of his detractors will claim.
We have learned a lot in the last few years.
07-27-2004, 05:25 AM
Re: Fetters, he did a lot of good helping promote the industry. I was just curious why I hadn't heard his name in a while, so I did a search on Google. Couldn't believe the amount of negative press, so that's why I was asking about him. I didn't mean any disrespect, I was just a little shaken by what I'd read.
It was very nice meeting you at Mentone. Looking forward to attending many more PRA events.
07-27-2004, 07:54 AM
I can't wait to see the Mentone Spherical Imaging photos. Please let us know as soon as you are ready!
07-27-2004, 08:29 AM
First Spherical Image posted.
The final multi-scene tour will be in JAVA format so you won't have to download anything to see it. But this first scene is a stand-alone image for testing purposes. You'll need QuickTime Player to view it. You can get it HERE (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/).
If you already have QuickTime, or have just installed it, the first aerial scene is posted HERE (http://www.rotopix.com/misc/mentone-aerial-1.qtl). It should launch in its own player window. Click & Drag the picture to move around.
The scene is a bit grainy, but I'm still doing image filtering/enhansement. The final version will let you click on different areas on the grounds and "beam down" to that location to look around. You will also be able to click between different ground-level scenes, or back up to one of several aerial locations. Should be pretty cool.
07-27-2004, 08:38 AM
It did not work out of my temp folder but placed on my desktop it works great!
Will you have more?
07-27-2004, 09:18 AM
Tons more. We've got about 4 or 5 from different points in the air around & over the airport, and about 8 different scenes on the ground. Should be quite a nice tour.
07-27-2004, 09:27 AM
07-27-2004, 11:58 AM
That is terrific, Brian.
When I get used to moving the curser in and out...up and down...to and fro, it will be a blast. :D
This forum is great. Welcome aboard Brian. :) :)
07-27-2004, 12:02 PM
Very Cool Brian, I can't wait to see the finished product.
07-27-2004, 01:16 PM
Thanks Brian, we are blown away, that is very cool. I've never seen anything like that before! 360 degree photography!
07-27-2004, 03:10 PM
I like it. More, more..... How can I do that? What equipment do you need? :p
Great job on the Spherical imaging! It's almost like joystick practice, learning to get the feel of controlling the direction and pace of the view.
07-28-2004, 07:50 AM
HERE's (http://www.rotopix.com/misc/starbee.qtl) another one, taken on the ground from near the pilot's seat of a StarBee gyro. You can even see Dana of StarBee behind you.
(QuickTime (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/) Player required)
07-28-2004, 08:10 AM
Cool! I like looking up at the rotorblade and seeing the reflections. Makes me feel like I was there, oh wait I was there!.. Makes me feel like I am there again! Sunny great gyro flying!
07-28-2004, 09:29 AM
Here (http://www.rotopix.com/misc/joe2.qtl) is the ground shot of Joe Swanton's SxS Dominator. It was taken from the passenger's point of view, so this is exactly what I saw when he took me up. Joe is in the pilot's seat making motor noises :)
That's all I'll post until the final tour is up and running.
07-28-2004, 01:48 PM
OK I need help I keep getting this message " Couldnt finish initilizing application because the file was not found" So how do I fix this so I can see the pictures????
Thanks Russ :(
Can you explain how this spherical imaging technology works? Do you take the pictures all at once?
07-28-2004, 03:24 PM
Russel: Depending on your security settings, try right-clicking on the image links and saving to your desktop. Once downloaded, just double-click on the desktop image files.
Udi: I'm not really at liberty to disclose our process (my business partner would kill me). But there is more than 1 shot, and alignment accuracy is critical. Ground-level imaging is even more critical because things can move on you during the photos. If a spectator walks past the seam position while you're taking the shots, you could easily have a Siamese Twin show up in the scene, or half a person.
Just as our gyros are governed, VR Photography is governed by relative position. Each shot taken is relative to the "sphere mosaic". How do you change its yaw, pitch and roll to blend together evenly? I don't have a definitive answer... but I promise to get back.
07-28-2004, 04:48 PM
Have you ever tried expanding your business into real estate? I am sure you could get a lot of business working with realtors using your process in houses for sale making virtual tours of the houses that people can view online.
Just a thought.
07-28-2004, 08:31 PM
Udi: I hope you know I was joking. :D Nobody should ever take themselves that seriously, including me.
Nick, we tried working with realtors at one point early on and quit. There's no money in it. Man, if you thought us Gyro builders were cheap... :rolleyes:
Love your pix. My wife writes webpages and I know how much work goes into writing the code. Therefore: Thanks for sharing it with us.
I hope you know I was joking. Nobody should ever take themselves that seriously, including me.
Actually, Brian, I thought you were serious. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to disclose proprietary information. I was very impressed with the quality of your spherical photos. If your technology is not proprietary, I would love to learn more about it.
07-29-2004, 10:26 AM
My approach to virtual reality is old fashioned stereo photography. If you have a few moments, visit my stereo website at:
Among the many galleries on the site is one PRA Mentone fly-in and one ASC KIMO nationals. Now, if we could combine 360 VR with page-flipping full-color stereo, that would be a hoot!
07-29-2004, 10:45 AM
NOW CAN WE GET ONE FLYING ah!!!
07-29-2004, 11:10 AM
Ralph, That is cool!
good reason to hold on to those old blue / reds!
07-29-2004, 11:16 AM
You should see the pictures in full-color with the LCD glasses!
07-29-2004, 04:37 PM
Finally make it work. If you come to the caribean I will give you plenty to fill.
I spin the pic so I lobe the rush looking down to mentone.
08-04-2004, 06:58 AM
Sorry I haven't gotten back with you about your stereo imaging work. About 6 months ago I was researching the idea of incorporating stereoscopic imaging into our full-screen RotoPix scenes. Unfortunately there was very little information on the web, and I knew of no one with whom to work with on developing such a thing. Well, now I do!
I would like to brainstorm some ideas with you during my visit to Three Rivers over Labor Day. I understand the color-shift principal (redshift/blueshift), but do not understand how the imaging application determines which objects are foreground vs. background (i.e., how much colorshift to apply to various objects in the scene.)
With our aerial Rotos, past a certain distance threshold it would seem that our eyes are focused to near-infinity. Thus, perhaps a uniform colorshift would "push" the entire scene into the distance with respect to the monitor screen. I dunno. But the whole concept is quite intriguing, and worthy of further study.
I did find a site HERE (http://stereo.jpn.org/panorama/panoramae.htm) that deals with cylindrically mapped stereo panoramas. It would be interesting to see if this technique can be adopted to our Spherically mapped images, like the one pictured below. Note how the stadium below appears warped and "wobbly" due to the distortion of unwrapping the spherical image onto a flat plane... kinda like how the South Pole runs the entire width along the bottom of a World Map.
I could also see many applications for true 3D offsets in our Object Modeling presentations like THIS (http://www.rotopix.com/objects/t800/t800.htm) one (takes a minute to load).
I'm getting long-winded here. I am very much looking forward to meeting you and talking shop. Seems we have much in common. Take care & God bless.
08-05-2004, 04:43 AM
The basis for anaglyph rendering (The official name for the red/blue stereo imaging) is well-understood and ought to be moderately easy to integrate into other display technologies. I suspect we will have plenty to talk about at KIMO!
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.