Stereo 360 panoramas have been used in virtual reality applications for a long time. Twenty years ago, pre-digital, there was the Spaceshot, a film stereo panorama camera/viewer system which had a lot of resources thrown at it.
" As I recall the device was on a plinth and you walked
around it while peering into a stereo viewer which had a geared mechanism which
propelled the film at the speed appropriate to your movement. The immersive
impression was supposed to be very strong and it was expensive!
> You are describing the "Spaceshot" (initially called "Pan 3D") - an immersive
3D viewing system designed by Jerry Kew of Leicester England. This however is
much more recent - dating from 1993. Although there was a display model built
as you describe, a handheld version was also available that had a built-in
> A lot of money was put into this project and Seitz even built a stereo
panoramic camera for it. Unfortunately, the system ended up being way too
costly with cameras at $20,000. and viewers at $5000. each. In fact, film
cartridge modules cost about $1800. each !
> Even though the backers were hoping to sell the system to a large US
corporation involved in the real estate industry, the deal never happened and
the project was abandoned.
Ten years ago, when the VFX HMD was popular M.Husak wrote code for viewing stereo panoramas in the VFX (which had tracking) and the source is still
available online and the viewer executable works very well still on XP with Quadro/FireGL cards (it uses cylindrical format 360 images)http://www.gali-3d.com/archive/articles ... acking.php
A tracked HMD project I made the stereo panoramas for about then was called Conversations from a research group in Sydney -- it had video characters in the panoramas, and collaborative "game" problem solving (between two HMD equipped participants)http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/conversations/
Stereo panoramas can be rendered from CG programs using a simple process eg.http://paulbourke.net/stereographics/stereopanoramic/
and analogous concepts can be used for single camera stereo panorama capture of real world scenes but for action scenes (which is mainly what I am interested in)
twin camera (or twin lens) systems are necessary (or depth map 2D-3d conversion).
Twin camera spherical panorama capture of action scenes is non-trivial currently --- mainly because of calibration problems due to the off-axis cameras and blending issues in the stitching process viz. the left and right views are not aligned laterally except at one scene depth -- and manual guidance (eg. masks) needs to be given to the blending algorithms to ensure identical L/R stitching of action elements in the overlapping images in the L/R sequences.
Re depth maps from stereo panoramas. Some stereo video editing programs have stereo disparity detection and adjustment features now, eg. Nuke and Stereoid http://www.pretendllc.com/
-- which can be used for creating depth/difference maps - but they are expensive. Scene reconstruction and depth maps from that are another approach but stereo footage is not ideal for scene reconstruction approaches. Kolor have a prototype program Stereopano for depth map creation from vertically separated panoramashttp://www.kolor.com/blog-en/2012/09/07 ... dre-jenny/
Vizard btw, from Worldviz -- has a feature in its virtual reality software package that enables occlusion effects from depth maps with stereo panorama backgrounds. A very efficient method, eg. for having CG birds etc, flying between the branches of CG rendered forest background stereo panoramas/depth maps.