For the third year, I joined Andras Frenyo shooting panoramas at the Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary.
I arrived at the third day (the Panotools meeting in Lucerne coincided with the festival), so I missed out on Within Temptation, the only Dutch act of the festival; Even with only one Dutch act, I was somewhat surprised at the number of Dutch people at the festival.
If you've wondered why I have been so quiet, that's because I have been far too busy doing far too many things.
One of those things is building a new site for the IVRPA, which I just released to the world!
The new IVRPA website project started - ahem - more than a year back. Since then, I joined the IVRPA Board of Directors, and the new website has been my brainchild since. Like hoeben.net, and the SPi-V developers' site before, I based the IVRPA website on Drupal. But for the IVRPA site, I've had to take my Drupal knowledge to a whole new level. From advanced theming to lots of smaller and bigger patches contributed to the Drupal projects/modules that make the IVRPA site tick and even a small module of my own... To keep up with developments of the site, I recommend keeping an eye on my developer blog over at the new site.
It's always fun to discover people using the SPi-V engine. When the Flickr blog featured an equirectangular photo by hangglide, I found out that Flickr has a small but loyal following of SPi-V in the equirectangular group. They are using SPi-V to display their panoramas, directly off the fieldOfView site.
Cool as that might be, there's a security limitation in Shockwave that pops up a dialog box when a Shockwave movie (such as SPi-V) tries to access files from a different domain than the one the movie itself is hosted on. To work around this, I have implemented a make-shift php-based proxy, that maskerades images on Flickr servers as a local image on the same server as the SPi-V movie.
One of my last activities before I switched jobs was to attend the 3AD conference, the 3rd conference for Appliance Design. At 3AD I presented some of the aesthetic interaction features of SPi-V. The conference also included a design competition, and the entry by dear friend and ex-collegue Ianus Keller, cowritten by myself and Aadjan van der Helm, won first place.
Since a couple of weeks, SPi-V is now available as an option to view the panoramas of the Sziget 2005 festival Media Farm. The site employs my server-side quicktime parser to parse the quicktime vr files and create a SPi-V XML file from it. The image data is harvested from the original quicktime file on the fly.
Quicktime version and SPi-V version of the same panorama. The scripts working in the background will remember your last viewer choice, so once you have selected SPi-V for viewing all the fullscreen panoramas from the panorama page will use SPi-V, untill you select quicktime.
I sold a couple of licenses already. It's pretty exciting to see what other photographers are doing with the engine. Though most use SPi-V just to display panoramic images, some (try to) do more exciting stuff. Greg Downing asked my help in doing a cool super zoom panorama.
Frank sent me an email with a link to Scott Haefner's kite born panoramic images. That must mean Scot's site made it to the blogosphere once more. I thought this would make a good first entry for the kite topic...
The first kite panoramas I saw are by Philippe Hurbain. Scott's panoramas may look better (lower position, more interesting locations), but Philo really is a genius. Apart from kiteborn panoramas he also invented the virtual tripod or 'Philopod', which I use exclusively for my panoramic photography.
I wish I had that much time...
How accurate are these GPS thingies anyway? If I were to take a GPS device and measure the nodal point of a panoramic image, could I do GPS graphing inside the panorama? Most of the graphs in the gpsdrawing site are many miles long/wide. If precision is high enough, tracking a realworld moving GPS device could be an interesting way to 'script' movement in a panoramic scene... Ok, one of the next versions of the SPi-V engine then...
Recently, #1 of the twin hamsters died... Sad, but such is life.
In the meantime, #2 (which has now become #1) is alive and kicking. He even found the courage to escape and take on Hobbes the cat. After chasing Hobbes and #1 through the kitchen, I managed to convince Hobbes that it wasn't a toy but actually a brother and that he should be nice, so Hobbes dropped him on the floor. In true fighting spirit, #1 bit me like hell, so I dropped him to the floor (it wasn't really a drop; more a flight - I tried to run it to its cage). #1 looked as if he finally gave up (all dizzy on the floor, ready to join #2 - used to be #1), and I was ready to give Hobbes another go at it. Then he stoodup and started approaching Hobbes with renewed vigour. This time I caught #1 and managed to bring him to his cage. I thought he would die now for sure, sustaining heart failure or something, but #1 thought otherwise; a good breakfest would do him good so he seemed to think. 2 weeks on, #1 is still as active as before...