Creating a QuickTime Virtual Reality Object allows users to easily understand and to have an accurate view of the object. It can allow for either a very small web-friendly file or a very high definition demonstration file.
A QTVR Object can either allow a user to see detailed aspects of an object, or be used for archival purposes of objects that cannot be stored because of space or time constraints. A QTVR Object is a panoramic video file that allows the user to rotate an object in a three-dimensional manner. It can be used to show angles of the object that may normally be hidden. The files can be played using a QuickTime web plug-in or stand-alone player. QTVR Objects are created by taking pictures while rotating and tilting the object with a turntable. This can capture enough object data to allow for a full object to be viewed from any angle, or it can be limited to only a rotation on one axis.
In order to make a QTVR you will need the following:
• Access to VRWorx. • A turntable to rotate the object upon. • A tripod. • Any familiar digital camera. (Make sure it has memory and is charged!) • A suitable backdrop and lighting. • An object to archive!
This website showcases some QTVR Objects of pieces of pottery and dolls.. Shift will allow you to zoom in, and control will allow you to zoom out. Rotating the object is done by dragging on the video player.
Make sure the hardware is ready to go- this means making sure that the turntable the object will be rotating on is set up correctly. You want to ensure that the object is secured upon the turntable such that it will not move or shift. In addition, the tripod and the camera need to be set up so that they directly face the object and so that the object is centered in the frame of the camera (both vertically and horizontally). Neither the tripod nor the camera will move for the duration of the shoot, so ensure that you can get around it without bumping it when the turntable is rotated.
A backdrop will also need to be setup such that it is smooth and a of a solid color. White or black are the most preferable colors. A dark object will stand out better on a white background and a light object will stand out better on a dark background. Any color backdrop can work, but it may lead to strange reflections onto the object. Be sure that the object has a suitable base upon the turntable- a simple peice of white printer paper placed above the turntable but below the object will make the post-production work much more simple.
Ensure the lighting is satisfactory by test-rotating the object on the turntable once before taking images. Then begin by taking a picture and rotating the turntable ten degrees. Repeat this process until you have rotated the object completely. This ought to take 36 images. If you would like a multi-row QTVR Object (to capture multiple angles, or the top or bottom of an object) you must now mount the object such that it is tilted appropriately (for example 45 degrees). In order to do this, you can either create a mount, or perhaps use some sort of adheisive to ensure the object does not move. Hot glue works well if it does not ruin the object.
This part of the Photoshop processing is the most time intensive, but can be made to move along much more quickly with the use of hotkeys. Open an image from your series and select the Magnetic Lasso tool. The hotkey for the Lasso tool is L.
Drag the lasso carefully around your object, making sure to cut out anything that is not your object or the backdrop (the table, turntable, etc). After you have completed this step, invert your selection so that everything but you object is selected. To do this either use the hotkey command-shift-I or the dropdown menu Select->Inverse. Delete this area by using a cut (command-X or Edit->Cut).
Now, we must select a background color to fill in any area not occupied by the object. A background color close to the your backdrop's color ensures that any reflections of that color onto the object will not look strange. After your have chosen your color, use the paint bucket (G) to fill in any part of your image that is not your object with a flat color. Clean up any areas that didn't get completly covered with the paint bucket, and save your image.
Repeat the Lasso and Paintbucket steps for the rest of your images.
After all of your images are processed such that they only include a solid background color and the object itself, the images must be cropped. Determine which of your images expand to the furthest up, down, left, and right. Open these images and also the Actions Window (option-F9 or Windows->Actions). Click Create a New Action (See Visual 1), give it an appropriate name, and click record. Now crop the top off of your image that has the object extending furthest up. Click the Stop Recording Button (See Visual 2) and the action will be saved. Create another New Action and crop the left off of your image that has the object extending furthest left. Repeat this process to make the crop right and crop down actions, as well. Once you have four crop actions, drag all of the crop actions into the first action you made. (See Visual 3) This will make all four crops run at once on each image, saving time. Close your images and open the Batch Processor (File->Automate->Batch). Select your action from the dropdown menu and select the folder that contains your images. Next, give a destination folder that you would like your cropped images to be saved into. Make sure you don't write over your original images in case you don't like what the crop has done. Run the Batch Processor with your crop Action, and the images are now ready to be compiled with VRWorx! (Note: if the crops don't look as expected, create a new action for each crop and run them seperately)
Visual 1 Visual 2 Visual 3
- Open The VRWorx. Select Object for document type and click OK.
- On the first tab (Setup) make certain you have the proper number of columns and rows for your QTVR Object. (Default is 36 columns and 1 row)
- Click the second tab (Aquire) and use the dropdown menu to select File->Import. Select the first image in your series, and then click the Add ## button. (If you chose 36 columns on the first tab, this button will say Add 36) Click Import.
- Click on the fifth tab (Compose) and select what type of compression you would like to use with your QTVR. A setting of MPEG-4 Video with Best compression, 24 Bit color depth, select the Optimize for Web Delivery, and a enter a target size of less than 2048K (2 megabytes). This will provide for a sharp looking, and web friendly quicktime file. On the left hand panel click Build.
- Click on the sixth tab (Preview) and drag the object window so that the object is facing the direction you would like the QTVR to open to. After you have set the proper orientation for your object, on the left hand panel click Set for Special Views: Poster and Special Views: Initial.
- On the left hand panel click Export. Select where you would like your file to be located and name it, then click Export