A few days ago I was standing in the courtyard at work when a guy walked in and started to set up a tripod. This reminded me that I had been meaning to shoot a panorama of the courtyard stitch it together into a QTVR movie. Started talking about this with my boss, and the tripod guy piped up. Turns out it was Don Bain, one of the world’s premiere QTVR experts, and that he was there to do just that. “It’s a strange and beautiful world.”
Spent a couple of hours this morning with Bain in his labs at the Geography dept, where he is director of the Geography Computing Facility. Could not have asked for a more thorough or careful introduction to the technology than one-on-one with the man himself. He’s been doing these for many years, and had mountains of QTVRs to show (full-screen on an immense Apple monitor, no less). Also got a very detailed introduction to QTVR Authoring Studio, which, strangely enough, Apple has never ported to OS X (but which works fine in Classic). The difference between watching a master at work and an ordinary Joe is that Joe will pump something like this out in 15 minutes, while the master will spend days doing and re-doing until it’s exactly right.
Bain is also the progenitor of the World Wide Panorama, in which participants from around the world all shoot a similar object (like a local bridge) in their region on the same day, and upload finished QTVRs to the site. You can waste hours surfing the panoramas at the site, for which he won a “Best Find” award from Yahoo UK last year.
Heh – just clicking around his Virtual Guidebooks site and was surprised to see a panorama of Morro Bay on the Help page. I spent many hours paddling across, diving under, rowing over, and daydreaming in that bay. Funny to have it pop out of nowhere at me like this.