Environment Scanner #4

Dave and Josh 360 degree Panorama at Zeta Image (scroll-----)

Scanner #4

After moving back to Kingsport, I got to thinking about NetCams on the Web. We had a Silicon Graphics Indy with a built-in CCD color camera, so with some coding help from Josh Fuller, I came up with a stepper-controlled mount for the CCD camera.

In the image above, the CCD camera was mounted vertically on a rotating plate driven by a step motor. The Stepper is controlled by the printer port. The camera grabs 26 lines at a time out of the center of the image, to make a strip 640 high by 26 across. The motor advances 1/200 rev, and the process repeats, giving an image 5200 x 640. The image above is sized and filtered down from the original image.

It was my intent to set up the system on the roof of our building so that the scan is of the horizon in all directions. The user would be given a small panorama within which he could click, resulting in a subframe being sent at very high resolution.

As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens while you're busy making plans." I never built any more scanners, VRML, Quicktime VR and IPix all came along trying to put 360 degree environments on the web, with varying degrees of success.

I did one job for a client in Mexico City, in which I rented a Swedish film camera that did a slit-scan of a portion of the environment onto 35mm film. It produced about a 10" long exposure on film with about a +/- 45 degree vertical angle.Interesting, but difficult to scan into the computer or print or do anything with except look at the film strips.

For now, I take lots of pictures with my Fuji MX-2700 and stitch and blend them together in Photoshop. Here is a low-rez example.

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