Nope, this has nothing to do with Easter, but if you're in a profession such
as Real Estate, interior design, advertising, tourism, architecture, or just
a photo hobbyist who would love the ability to easily create 360 degree video
applets of your work that you can place on your website or email to clients
or friends, then this Eggthe EGG Photo 360, from EggSolutions,
may be just the product for youproviding that the $995 retail price is
not a barrier and makes it worth it for your needs. Yes, the price puts it beyond
the reach of the average consumer. But for the businesses that need this ability,
the price is not much of an issue.
So What is the Egg 360?
It is a specially designed lens that attaches to your digital camera with a
ring adaptor. Snap it on and it's ready to go. The lens has been perfected for
360 degree image captures for use in the creation of virtual 3D tours. It can
also be used on digital video cameras. It's a complex design combining lens,
reflectors, sensors, processors, and more.
How It Works
You take a single photo, which because of the special lens results in a 360
degree view. For example, take one shot of a room and with it you will end up
with a moving 360 degree view of the room that users can manipulate, i.e., zoom
in and out, tilt, pan, etc. Just one shot to create a virtual tour!
Then, of course, like with any digital camera, you upload the image to your
hard drive using the software provided. The special Egg software converts your
circular image to a 360 degree panorama and saves it as an HTML page, complete
with the Java code needed to make it viewable to anyone with a typical Java
enabled browser. Or it can be viewed as a stand alone EXE file that can be distributed
to your clients via CD, download site, or email.
To really appreciate this process, you need to understand that the 360 degree
imagers previously available involved taking a whole series of photos per scene
and then use a photo stitching program to stitch the scenes together
to make a panormaic 3D view. This involved much more time and was often quite
a tedious process to get right.
With the Egg, this whole process is quick and easymaking it a snap for
a realtor, for example, to create 3D virtual tours of properties with no need
to install or learn speciality photo stitching programs. With a single shot
of each room, the photo session is done! Then back at the office, the images
are uploaded and quickly converted to virtual tours ready to distribute.
How to Use the Egg 360
To use it, you must have a digital camera with a lens that can accept attachments
(not all can). Once the lens is attached, you turn off the flash and put the
camera in macro mode. Then focus and shoot. The resulting photo will look like
an extreme fish eye lens shot taken of a convex mirror. Only after converting
it, will you see it in perspective and in motion.
For best results, you should place the camera on a tripod to take the shots
(the lens points straight up and you want it to be still and level). And don't
forget that the images you take are 360 degrees which means you will end up
in the picture if you don't get out of the way. To avoid this problem, your
camera should also have a self timer. A shot taken with a tripod and timer will
give the sharpest results, since there will be no camera movement.
As for image quality, the higher the quality and pixel rating of your camera,
the better the result will be, of course. Anyone who can afford the price tag
of this accessory lens, should also be able to afford a top of the line digital
Images are saved with a proprietary formategg extension which allows
multiple images to be stored in a single file. You can save one or more images
in albums, which you can then export to your choice of either an HTML file or
stand alone EXE.
If you want to send your results to someone by email, it's just a click away.
The software will automatically attach the necessary files to your email. There
is nothing for your clients to download or installthis is not like
Microsoft Powerpoint. The only requirement is a Java enabled web browser for
viewing as a web page and nothing at all for viewing as an EXE. Distribution
via CD or DVD is also common ( just burn the EXE to a CD along with an Autorun
For more video buff info, see these links:
Video Maker Magazine: http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/vxdoin/VideoMaker.html
Expert Video Guides: http://www.angelfire.com/va3/expert_guides/index.html