How-to 360º with your drone

So in this tutorial you will need the camera (drone), Photoshop CS6 or CC and a software called “Kolor Autopano Giga”, which you can find on the internet or support the developers and buy the actual product here. You will also need a Photoshop info template that you can download clicking here.

Want to download this tutorial for later? Check the pdf version here.

 

Let’s begin!

You will start by taking pictures in 360º by using the drone. You can practice in your phone/camera as the process is the same as doing a normal panorama and then stitching it on photoshop, the only difference is that the software already does all the job for you. For this tutorial I’m using my Mavic Pro.

I start in a 90º rotation, do a full 360º picture by picture and then switch to -45º, repeat the process, switch to a -25º and do it one more time for more coverage and then finally take one last picture straight facing the bottom/floor. Don’t forget to take a picture also of the sky/ceiling. You can use a picture taken with your phone or disable the drone limit on settings and use a +30º picture of the sky (the drone rotor will show up, you can photoshop it out).


Once you finish, take the SD card and copy all the 360º to a single folder. If they are not all together, if they’re in RAW or there’s other pictures blended, you will have a hard time and many errors.


Open the Kolor software and browse to find the folder of the pictures. After loading, the software will (it should) automatically process (detect) them and try to stitch it together. It can take some time in order to do it properly.

You’ll get something like this:


Looks good, huh? If you don’t have something like that automatically, it’s because the settings. You should play around and try new defaults, I’ll show the ones I’m using so far, they’re giving me great results:

 

 

These are done on the software settings. As again, this is what works for me, you should start with these and then try process by process to see what it means.

There’s one more setting config that I would like to show, it’s the rendering save. By default the software renders only 10% of the original size and into a .JPG

For maximum, you should use 100% of the size and export it to .TIFF or .PNG.

This is what I’m using:

You should try all the settings here…

The DPI settings returns errors when I try to set it to 300, so I leave it on 0.00 for .PNGs, as result it goes to 72dpi on the final image. Keep in mind that the final destination is going to be on facebook, so dpi doesn’t really matter.

 

The render process usually takes some time, so I start doing something else and then come back to it. Once it finishes, load the image on Photoshop, you might need to fix some stuff, like the ceiling and proportions.

 

After fixing the sky and adding some clouds (you can get brushes all over the internet) you’ll need to transform the panorama into a 2×1 crop in order for it to work on facebook.

What I do afterwards cropping is just resize the picture into that size. With the final image on a 2×1 size, it’s time to fix the 360º by doing a polar filter.

Filter -> Distort -> Polar Coordinates.

It should open a window and you select Retangular to Polar.

You’ll get something like this:

 

This is the time to fix a little line that will show up between the “sides” and also any variations in color of the sea/floor/sky. Ignore the colors on the rectangular, only the “little planet” matters. You should add some copyright like your name or in my case, I always put my logo on the top (center of the image). Once you finish, you should apply again the Polar Coordinates filter but this time select the tick box to be from Polar to Retangular.

 

Just for fun: If you invert the picture upside down before doing the Polar filter, you’ll get a “little planet”.

 

Well, you’re now almost done. One last thing and it’s what makes all the changes on it, is to attach a profile on it. You can do it by going to File -> File Info.


This template should be used as “keep original metadata, jut add information” or something like that. #FeelFree to add your own copyright information on the picture as well, as you can see that I have my own tags.

 

 

The 360º is automatically recognized by facebook if you post it on your timeline. After posting you can move the picture to an album if you want.

Before posting you can also Edit the load picture and set the starting view point for it.

Have fun!