Using only a digital camera, fisheye lens, panoramic head, tripod, and photo stitching software, like Panoweaver, anyone can create a beautiful and immersive 360-degree panoramic picture.
While most any digital camera can be used, Nikon or Canon DSLR series is highly recommended by the panorama software provider Easypano in order to ensure professional, high-resolution images. The camera must be attached to a panoramic head and the tripod. The camera will also require a fisheye lens.
There are several kinds of fisheye lenses that can be used to start the process of capturing images and creating a 360 picture. Compatibility of the fisheye lens depends on the camera being used, but variants such as the full circular, drum, full frame and wide-angle zoom lens are common and largely universal. Each different fisheye lens requires a different quantity of pictures. The number also depends on whether images are shot in portrait or landscape. For example, shooting with a full-frame fisheye lens requires six photos in portrait or four photos in landscape.
After the photos have been captured, they can be opened in Panoweaver, a panorama photo stitching software. It is compatible for Windows and macOS. Based on whether the pictures are taken with or without a 180-degree field of view vertically, the projection mode must be set to spherical or cylindrical, respectively. Panoweaver can stitch any number of photos together to create a panoramic image. After selecting the desired photos and clicking “stitch”, a flat 360-degree panoramic image will be produced. To view the photo in immersive view, players such as Flash, QuickTime and Java can be used.
The same players have VR plugins which can be used to export and publish panoramic images. The plugins Easypano Virtual Tour Player (which requires Java), QuickTime VR, and Flash VR support full-screen display. Panoweaver also supports a standalone SWF panorama output.