Virtual Tour Blog by Panedia

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Bermuda – Mary Celestia Wreck

Our Catlin Seaview Survey partners were in Bermuda leading up to the launch of the Catlin Global Reef Record on September 23rd.  They shot a number of areas for us to produce virtual tours of. Probably the most interesting is the ship wreck of the Mary Celestia. The Mary Celestia was a paddle steamer which sunk in 1864, it was being used to smuggle ammunitions and other supplies to the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The wreck sits in only 55 feet of water and one of the huge paddle wheels in clearly visible at the dive site. The tour was also uploaded to Google Streetview, and can be seen here in Google Oceans.

Mater Prize Home 251

A gorgeous Burleigh Heads virtual tour was easy to achieve in such a stunning location for this Mater draw. Mater Prize Home

Gold Coast University Hospital – Virtual Tour

We recently shot the new $1.7 Billion Dollar Gold Coast University Hospital.  They’re working on a new website which will include the virtual tour so we can’t show much at present. The panorama above is one of the beautiful indoor open areas that populate the enormous facility. It’s a truly stunning place, where the entrance has an 8 storey atrium, complete with finishes and scale that wouldn’t be out of place in a 6 star hotel.  I look forward to showing all the panoramas when the client publishes them.

RSL 311 – Penthouse Virtual Tour

Once per year the RSL run a HUGE prize draw in addition to their standard luxury home draws.  If you’re going to win one of their properties this is the one to win.  You don’t just get the Penthouse, you get the entire building. We shot this virtual tour on the Gold Coast.

Catlin Global Reef Record – LAUNCH

Today the largest project we’ve ever produced launched via a Google Hangout with various partners in 2 locations… New York and Bermuda. The Catlin Global Reef Record (CGRR) is so much more than the work we usually do of producing interactive media.  It’s a complete system of content and data acquisition from the underwater cameras of SVII, through many stages of data processing and content stitching to the finished scientific website. Completing the project has involved developing offline processing systems for the data and content collected underwater, which marry with the online database, mapping and panorama playback systems of the CGRR website. In short… extremely difficult stuff, that had to work at scale in order to produce over 40,000 high resolution panoramas = 30+ Terrabytes of data, which compressed down to 400 Gigabytes for the website. Of course the website had to not only work well (and it does), it had to be fast. We presently use the Akamai CDN for our Panedia content… but with over 40,000 panoramas, each containing 40+ pieces of content, there’s no way a CDN would cache anything of value for the local user.  So we built our own CDN of sorts. The CGRR system uploads the content to Amazon S3 (USA), then replicates it to various S3 locations around the world. When the user enters the site, we check their location and serve content from the nearest S3 facility containing our data. Speed tests confirm the content is vastly quicker in various locations, over a traditional CDN or single S3 location. So now the site is live, we start on the next phases of the project. The current site is geared towards scientists, with a more public leaning version coming in 2014. The link below takes you directly to the content, in this case a 1-2 km transect of Myrmidon Reef on the Great Barrier Reef. Check out the ‘video’ link where we’ve created hyperlapse videos for each reef. In this video near the end the divers see a pod of dolphins and go off chasing them… fun stuff. The ‘help’ page has a quick overview video explaining the Transect Explorer and some of the functionality we’ve created. I’ve embedded the help video below.

Epson Pano Awards – 2013

Top 20 Winners Video. (13mins w/music) Once again I was asked to judge interactive 360 panoramas (virtual tours) for the Epson International Pano Awards.  As usual I thoroughly enjoyed the process, wishing only for more time to luxuriate in the outstanding work. As with previous years we also produced the top 20 video for show on the Epson stand at the PMA Photo Exhibition. To do this we use tools built way back in 2006, which work with After Effects, allowing us to produce HD and higher rez clean video output from panoramas.

RSL 310 – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane

Had you won this RSL prize home draw, you’d be the proud owner of 3 luxury apartments. We did the Melbourne Virtual Tour, Sydney Virtual Tour and Brisbane tour over a couple of days, along with other projects.ney, Brisbane, NSW.

YMCA Gym – Brisbane Virtual Tours

We had the pleasure of working with YMCA Brisbane to produce virtual tours for 3 of their gyms, including the new flagship facility at Bowen Hills. Shooting Gyms can be fun, they certainly inspire you to get into shape… the only downside is they open VERY early. Photography without people usually requires us being onsite around 4am… not so fun, but we do it anyway

Whale Sharks – Underwater Virtual Tour

I was very excited when the team shot WHALE SHARKS for the first time recenlty.  I’ve been asking for something big… I was expecting whales… but instead I got WHALE SHARKS.  We also produced some coral panoramas from Gloves Reef in Belize. But did I mentioned… Whale Sharks 😉

Lady Elliot Island – Manta Ray Virtual Tour

I was with the Catlin Seaview Survey team on Lady Elliot Island recently for a National Geographic documentary series on Australian Coastlines.  They wanted to do a segment on the Catlin Seaview Survey, so we all had to suit up and perform our roles for the cameras. Of course we always take the opportunity to shoot great content when it presents. Enjoy the stunning Manta Rays, sitting like space voyaging battleships above the coral planets. By the way, I highly recommend Lady Elliot Island. It’s a beautiful low key place, where coral reefs live just a few meters off the beach. Not only that but the flight in and out is by small aircraft, a great experience on its own.

Underwater Earth – New Website

We love to help friends out where we can… so when ‘Underwater Earth’ our Catlin Seaview Survey partners needed a simple new website, we came to the party and put a little something together for them. In addition to the slick sideways scrolling site, sitting over our favourite over/under panorama, we put together a short virtual tour with some of the best work we’ve done together to date. In the virtual tour above you’ll see Galapagos SeaLions, Lady Elliot Island, Manta Rays, Sharks, Giant Potato Cod, Coral Reefs… you know… all the good stuff. Underwater Earth New Website.

Galapagos Sea Lions

The Galapagos National Park is a mecca for nature lovers with amazing biodiversity to be found both above and below the water. Together with Google, we worked with locally based scientific and conservation groups The Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park Service in the area. Of course our primary area of interest is what lives beneath the water, the Sea Lions being a very playful highlight for all involved. This is one of the best underwater panoramas we’ve ever produced, the series it’s from is also one of the most difficult. 10+ Sealions darting all over the place at lightning speed… you can bet there was more than the odd flipper that needed some post production love.

RSL 308 – Broadbeach

Another fantastic house where you wake up to spectacular waterfront views out to the Surfers Paradise skyline and living in close proximity to beaches, shopping, the Broadbeach restaurant and cafe precinct.

Antilla Wreck – Aruba

Underwater Ship Wrecks are fascinating to view, and often encompass equally fascinating stories. The Antilla was another casualty of World War II, when hostilities broke out between Germany and the Netherlands. Here’s Wikipedia’s take on the events that lead to her 1939 sinking:  On 9 April Germany invaded Denmark and Norway. This increased the fear that the Netherlands would also be invaded, so on 12 April Dutch authorities in Aruba confined Antilla’s crew to their ship. On 10 May Germany invaded the Netherlands so the Dutch government ordered the seizure of all German ships in the Dutch Antilles. At 0310 hrs on 10 May a section of Dutch Marines in two boats approached Antilla to board her but Schmidt refused to lower the gangway. The Dutch marines were commanded by a Captain who anticipated armed resistance from the German crew. He therefore postponed the boarding to first light, when a machine gun positioned ashore could provide cover. The German crew used the delay to start scuttling Antilla. One crewman locked himself in the engine room, opened her seacocks and climbed out through the funnel. Other crew set fire to several parts of the ship. At 0500 hrs the Dutch marines boarded the ship and at 0530 the German crew was assembled on the poop deck. The Marines escorted the crew ashore in a lifeboat and handed them into the custody of the Royal Marechaussee. At 0600 hrs two Netherlands Coastguard vessels, HM Aruba and HM Practico, reached Malmok Bay and found Antilla on fire. Two of Aruba’s crew boarded Antilla, found the engine room and numbers 4 and 5 holds afire, and that it was not possible to reach the seacocks and close them. After the Dutch marines had removed the German crew, Aruba fired two rounds at Antilla from her 37mm gun. By 0650 hrs Antilla was afire from stem to stern and listing 20 degrees to port. Aruba left Malmok Bay at 1130 hrs, by which time Antilla’s list had increased to 30 degrees and she was sinking.

Southern Great Barrier Reef – Tourism Queensland

We recently had the great pleasure of spending time on the road shooting the wonders of the Queensland Coast from Bundaberg to Yeppoon, 2 island of the Great Barrier Reef – Great Keppel Island and Lady Musgrave Island, and 500km inland.. Canarvon Gorge. All stunning landscapes, all beautiful places, all areas I’d like to return to and spend some leisurely time. Above you’ll find a quick taste of the areas we shot over 7 days.

RSL 307 – Sydney Virtual Tour

Winning this prize presents you with a difficult choice.  Do you take the stunning beach front luxury penthouse apartment on the Gold Coast. Or do you take the luxury house in Sydney.  Either way we had to produce Sydney Virtual Tours and a Gold Coast tour as usual.

Raja Ampat – Indonesia

I spent a couple of weeks in the Raja Ampat region of Indonesia with UWE (Underwater Earth) our Catlin Seaview Survey partners. We were there to appear in an IMAX 3D Underwater documentary about the region… well they were, I was there to make sure everything worked. In addition we took the time to survey some of the astounding coral in the region and visit with the local owners and care takers of the reef.  It was an amazing trip, check it out above. Imax behind the scenes from Krabi Imaging on Vimeo.

Central Park, New York

Central Park is literately the lung of New York. In one of the biggest, more populated and busiest world’s capital this big park is a place where you can ‘feel out of the big apple’. Here you can find quiet, peace and contact with nature and all just in the center of New York. It is amazing how you can be there without spotting huge buildings or listening to the traffic noise.

RSL 305 – Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast

Another triple play for RSL Prize Homes… win this one, and you get 3 apartments.  As usual we needed to do a Brisbane Virtual Tour, Sunshine Coast Virtual Tour and a tour just down the road from our offices on the Gold Coast.

O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat

I’ve had the privilege of staying at and photographing the wonderful facilities and region of O’Reillys Rainforst Retreat a number of times now.  This is my 3rd shoot with them over the past couple of years, this time to cover some of their new facilities. The family has accompanied me on most of the trips, and truly loved every minute. At least a couple of times per year the kids ask if I can do some more work there so we can stay again

Plantation Homes – Mirage

We shot this beautiful Plantation Home for a Mater Charity recently.  Proceeds from the auction go to helping sick children at the Mater Chrildrens Hospital. This tour includes hotspots and a floorplan in the Desktop (flash) version.

RSL 304 – Benowa

This single level riverfront house makes living at Benowa on Queensland’s Gold Coast really… perfect.

Perth Virtual Tour

I was in Perth recently shooting virtual tours of hotels for the Ascott Group.  Of course when I wasn’t shooting inside, I was out shooting Perth Virtual Tours. Around the city and out to Fremantle.  It was a quick but enjoyable trip, I hope to get back sometime in the not too distant future.

DJP – First Gallery Showing

Darren Paine one of my oldest friends, a good buddy from primary school, recently had his first photographic gallery showing. He’s a wedding and portrait photographer, so he showcased his portraits. The showing coincided with the year of his 40th birthday… so he managed to tick an item off his bucket list… gallery showing by 40. Of course I had to shoot an Art Gallery Virtual Tour to immortalise the event. Well done old mate.

RSL 302 – Emerald Lakes

Enjoy the natural light & warmth of this newly built, 4-bedroom plus study home. With 23 metres of water frontage on 687sqm of land, this prize home’s design capitalises on its peaceful surrounds.

RSL 303 – Biggera Waters

RSL Prize Homes are always beautiful, and well they should be at over $1.5 million each. But this one… it’s location, layout… it was something special. Only 10 minutes drive from our current home… on the water front… stunning design. We were hooked.

RSL 299 – Sydney Virtual Tour

Once again RSL are offering the choice of two outstanding luxury places if you win the draw. This time the options are a beautiful place in Balmain, Sydney.  The home is about 100m from the ferry terminal which goes directly across the water to Sydney City… convenient to say the least. The other is a big luxury apartment high up in one of the tallest apartment buildings in the world… the Q1 on the Gold Coast. Once again a difficult choice… which would you choose?

RSL 298 – Benowa

Take a look at this stylish luxury 4 bedroom home with glorious views overlooking the crystal blue water in beautiful Benowa Waters on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

RSL 296 – Tallebudgera

Set high on an elevated plateau, this stunning architecturally designed property enjoys magnificent panoramic coastal views from a tranquil bushland setting, while maintaining privacy, security and serenity. And best of all, the property is only 10 minutes drive to iconic Burleigh beach.

Southside Community Sports Club

We spent many hours shooting into the night at the Sports Club, the Bowls Club & a Function Room they have. When we ran out of places to shoot we needed to wait until all the punters on the pokies cleared out at 11.30pm, so we could shoot the gaming room.

Mater Prize Home 241

I spent the day photographing this gorgeous home on the Sunshine Coast… the best bit was eating lunch while a gentle sea breeze cooled us on the patio

RSL 295 – Robina

Our very first project with RSL Prize Homes, and what a project it was.  1st prize was a complete apartment complex with 4 homes. An extra large one for the winner to occupy and 3 others to rent out for income. We shot a great number of panoramas for this project, but only 6 appear in the final tour. The client was still in the mindset imposed by most virtual tour companies… where you pay per panorama. Of course these days they use most of the panoramas we shoot… usually 10 – 20 per property.

The Seaview Project

After a few months working with the great team at UnderWater Earth, we’ve launched the pilot for their Seaview project. seaview.htm – Original Link Location

Epson International Pano Awards

Once again I am judging the EPSON International Pano Awards, along with some legendary pano photographers. I enjoy this process immensely, my only wish is for more time to spend up to a day, marinating in the fantastic work the panorama photographers submit.

Sydney Aquarium

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is a public aquarium located in the city of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the eastern side of Darling Harbour to the north of the Pyrmont Bridge.

Jupiters Casino Hotel – Gold Coast

Positioned amongst seven stunning acres of landscaped gardens and only walking distance to one of the Gold Coast’s most popular pristine beaches, Jupiters Hotel & Casino is ideally located on Broadbeach island, in the heart of the action. With a variety of accommodation options including 592 superbly appointed guest rooms with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Gold Coast Hinterland, imagine what you could get up to!

Sydney Convention Centre

The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, is located in Sydney’s Darling Harbour near the Central Business District. The building is adjacent to Cockle Bay, Tumbalong Park and the Harbourside shopping centre.

Palmela Castle

Castelo de Palmela is one of Portugal many castles. It is located on the top of the beautiful little village of Palmela and its origins go so far has 8th century. Although more than 1200 years old it has a quite well maintained structure and is classified National Monument since 1910. Adjacent to the castle there is an old church and a convent dated from around 1400. The convent is now a very nice and cozy hotel where this pictures were taken.

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