A while ago I got offered a chance to talk about GigaPan images - and slowly but surely the idea has caught on with clients.
Now, the word 'GigaPan' - first might not mean anything to most of us, but when you read about what it is - you probably have seen one somewhere already. Probably the most famous one is from the first inauguration of Barack Obama few years ago, since then many images have been taken of cityscapes and more recently in sporting events and concerts.
Basically one 'GigaPan' image is composed and stitched out of 100's of images, to make one HUGE image - in which the crowd can zoom in to the stands and find themselves, their friends or celebrities in the crowd. One of the first PUBLIC image I've made was from the BBL Cup Final this January, and the response was quite overwhelming - the fans just LOVED the image, the comments I've received via Twitter, Facebook and Email.. One could not ask for better feedback to show to potential new customers when pitching the idea to them.
The largest image I've made so far was stitched out of 566 images - and trust me, it takes time and patience to let the computer work it out and align the images, then to mask unwanted parts out, stitch it to the final image, open in PhotoShop to check details, save it once more.. and finally convert and upload it to the public to view. Let's say it was one long sleepless night with Red Bull or two consumed along the way :-)
GIGAPAN FROM : NBA LONDON 2013 game NEW YORK KNICKS vs DETROIT PISTONS
CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL IMAGE AT GIGAPAN.com
Taking an image has at times proven difficult, first of all you can not move the equipment while the image is being taken.. otherwise it will all go pear-shaped. Most of the clubs and venues are extremely accommodating and space is not an issue, and being amongst the crowd.. the fans already start to ask me what I am doing and where can they see the image. In other venues (you have to remember, I live in the UK.. Health and Safety capital of the World) despite clearing everything with the organisers - you get the Venue Manager chasing you with a broomstick saying that in the 10 meter square where you are.. someone might trip over the tripod..
GIGAPAN FROM : BBL CUP FINAL 2013 at NIA, BIRMINGHAM, between NEWCASTLE EAGLES vs LEICESTER RIDERS
CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL IMAGE ON GIGAPAN.com
On average the time to take a single set of images takes from 25 minutes to 45 minutes, and I like to have two rounds from the same spot.. give the image more clarity and also reduces the amount of 'ghosts' in the final image. So taking one image is time consuming, as you keep an eye that every image gets taken and no 'holes' are left in the final image.
In the coming months, hopefully there will be numerous 'GigaPan' images that I will take for clients, some will just post them for fans to zoom in and take snapshots of interesting things, others will add the option for fans to 'tag' themselves on Facebook, there will also be competitions with-in the images as the clarity is good enough to make out what the client wants the fans to find out. It should be exciting times, and hopefully something will catch on even bigger for the 2013-14 season in many sports.
(I almost itch to start naming possible clients - but.. understandably they all want to keep it a secret until they are ready to unveil it themselves to their fans.... it's sort of like being with a team in the team hotel and not being able to report who did what and so forth..)
Hopefully you will find yourself in one of the events I will cover with a GigaPan image - and do zoom in on yourself, your friends.. or just try to find something silly/funny in the crowd.. you know there will always be something there :-)