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Tutorial: Panoramic Image Types

Most common question I got is what is panoramic image, and what are those different types I work with. I would like to answer this question on this page. First of all panoramic picture expression is used if several images are joined to one - much bigger resolution image and with bigger angle of view.

1st type: Simple planar (or flat) panoramic image

Simpliest type of panoramic photos is planar panoramic photo, when we take several images of one object and then put those images to one. Most common aim is to have a very big resolution picture of some object. Example you can see below (ZOOM IN to see the details):

Small pictures of Hungarian Parlament >>> Hungarian Parlament panoramic photo

2nd type is cylindrical panorama:

If camera is rotated in full circle 360 degree, and all those images are stitched in to one we will get cylindrical panorama. This can be done with simple cameras too (not only with fisheye lens cameras). On this cylindrical panorama you will see less details then above, but more details then on spherical panorama.

Cylindrical panorama Cylindrical panoramic image of Hungarian Parlament

3rd type is full spherical panorama.

If we cover with images not only 360 degrees around camera, but also 180 degree up and down, we will have spherical panorama where we can look in any direction (including floor or sky etc.) It is recommended to use Fisheye Lens to reduce number of needed photos.

Spherical panorama of Hungarian Parlament Spherical panorama shematic

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