In the thick of the actionWritten by R5
He's an interesting idea that some of you that dabble with 3D graphics might want to explore...
Equirectangular images are flat representations of spherical pictures that can be displayed as 360 degree images using software. The end result is an image (or video) that places the viewer in the middle of the action, allowing them to move the camera view to look around. Well, it turns out that it is quite easy to create equirectangular images from inside 3D applications by simply changing a couple of camera options before hitting RENDER.
I know that a handful of people on this site enjoy creating their own superheroine scenes using tools like Blender. I thought it might be fun to challenge the 3D gurus out there to make some dynamic stills, placing the viewer in the thick of the heroine action. I've installed a copy of the Pannellum viewer onto the SWM site, enabling 360 spherical images to be viewed by anyone with a modern web browser that supports WebGL -- as a test I've created my own low-res image using Lego zombies (plus one of two guests, if you look around) to give people an idea of the possibilities. I'm a total newbie to 3D graphics, so I'm sure the pro's on here can do a lot better.
Below is a video showing how to set up equirectangular cameras in Blender (the tool I used for my own image.) If you want software to view the images on your own computer, FSPViewer is a freeware viewer for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.