projects that drives us through and forward
In late 2015, we did this project for The ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park Sydney. RSL requested a Gigapixel from the Memorial’s Great Dome of Stars, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. In this part of the Memorial, we can find a domed ceiling covered in tiny golden stars. The ceiling of the Hall of Memory is 26 metres high. It is covered with 120,000 stars. The stars are a symbolic representation of the men and women from New South Wales who embarked for overseas service during the Great War: ‘this Golden Galaxy symbolises all those men and women from New South Wales who served in the war – one star for every man or woman who heard the call – a constellation of honour and memory totalling 120,000. These stars, placed high above the eye of the spectator and lighted by the amber glass of the great windows, makes of the interior of the Hall a place of sacred memories.‘ This project is part of a public fundraising campaign which replicated an original campaign that allowed the building finalization, back in 1934. The idea is to sell the Stars in a 360° photograph of the dome. Purchasers are able to tag their star and leave a message in memory of a veteran in this online Constellation of Honour and Memory. 81 years later, the funds raised will be used to new interpretive and education programs, heritage conservation and exhibition content, so that the Memorial is able to continue to play its vital role in telling the stories and sharing the history of NSW’s involvement in military operations. Panedia did this project in a record time, shooting the complete gigapixel 9 meters high on top of a Nodal Ninja carbon fiber pole and using a Seitz Roundshot VR Drive in less than 2 hours from setup to packing up. We had only a couple hours to do this shoot before the ANZAC Memorial was open to the public with no room for errors, we could only do a single quick test before the full gigapixel HDR shoot, that meant getting it right the first time…and we did. ANZAC Memorial
An amazing VR project we produced with the wonderful Kym Basoka at Compassion Australia is packaged up by Kym and her team, and heading out to their field offices. The 7 minute story, set in Thailand isn’t available publicly yet, we can’t wait to show it to you, but you’ll have to wait I’m sorry.
Today we’re launching the beta of our Samsung GearVR app, Play VR. http://www.panedia.com/playvr It’s an app we’ve developed specifically for VR demos at shows and for clients, while it also has ‘advanced’ features for viewing our own content. (or yours) We’ve done over 1,000 VR demo’s and have been frustrated at the limitations of the Oculus 360video player, and how slow it is to access content via the Oculus store. (3-4 clicks before you get to the content.) Play VR has various modes you can set depending on requirements: 1. LOOP MODE: Swipe up and select LOOP MODE. Then select the video to loop. Now the same video will play endlessly, while the touchpad controls are disabled. Clients will no longer change video/pause or otherwise mess up the demo when putting on the GearVR. To restart the video any time, just click the ‘back’ button. 2. DEMO MODE: Like Loop mode, it disables controls, but only while the video is playing. When the video finishes the user can select another video. 3. ADVANCED MODE (Default): Here we’ve added amazing tools no one has ever conceived like… Fast Forward, Rewind. (All Patented of course wink emoticon) Swipe forward to Fast Forward, Swipe back to rewind. Swipe up to bring up a menu when playing a video. Access chapter points and view description, author etc. We’ve built this app specifically for our own needs as Professional VR producers, if you find it useful too, all the better. We don’t have the app on the Oculus Store yet, so we need to add your Phone ID to the Beta app in order for it to work on your phone. This also allows you to launch the app directly from your phone, which is much quicker than going through the Oculus store. We’ve set up a method for getting your ID to us on our website, and we’ll update the app every day or 2 and let you know it’s ready for you to use. So have at it, and let us know what you think.
10 years ago the first iPhone was more than a year away. Google Street View had well over a year until launch. Facebook wouldn’t become open for another 6 months. Palmer Luckey the founder of Oculus was 13 years old and VR as a head mounted modern technology was almost a decade from realisation. But 10 years ago, specifically at 5:22pm on March 8th 2006 a very important thing was happening at Panedia. It’s the day I shot the very first panorama (above) in what was to become our Panorama Production System. It’s around the time Michelle (my wife) and I decided to risk everything we had on VR and it’s close to the day Panedia was registered as a company. So it’s the day we celebrate 10 amazing years of Panedia. 10 years ago I was starting on a new journey. Sure I had been shooting panoramas for 6+ years at the time, but not as my only source of income. From that day onwards I was dedicated only to VR. Not only dedicated but prepared to spend every dollar I had and more, building a company and system to produce VR better and faster than ever before, and importantly with GPS data for online mapping. Many hundreds of thousands of dollars and years later, we have what I regard as the best professional panorama system there is. With our systems we have become the number one contributor to Google Maps worldwide. In fact just today we received an email from Google congratulating us on 175 million views of our VR content on Google Maps. From our systems we have developed Google Underwater Streetview, producing more underwater VR content than has ever existed before, enabling hundreds of millions of people to take virtual dives in our precious oceans. In addition to the content we produce, we’ve also built multiple VR CMS’s for ourselves and clients like the University of Queensland and Underwater Earth. Starting with little old me, a Nikon D200 + 10.5mm fisheye, a 360Precision panorama head, a lot of great ideas and even more grit we’ve managed to build one of the world’s foremost VR companies. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have very talented people join Panedia over the years, enabling us to consistency produce a quality and quantity of content that few can match. In recent years we’ve also been producing Virtual Reality experiences using 360video that are universally praised by people who know VR. I could go on for many pages singing the praises of our wonderful Panedia people, while telling stories of the amazing clients we’ve worked with, but I’ll stop now, and say to all who’ve been involved in our story in any way, thank you. Really, if you’re reading this, and we’ve ever met, talked on the phone, skyped, emailed or facebooked thank you for being part of our life. So much has happened at Panedia in the past decade, it’s been an exciting, crazy, wild and satisfying ride. As we start […]
The US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting another strong El Niño and has now announced the third global bleaching event. This a new phenomenon is caused by ocean warming – corals are unable to cope with today’s prolonged peaks in temperatures. They simply haven’t been able to adapt to the higher base temperatures of the ocean. Although reefs represent less than 0.1 percent of the world’s ocean floor, they help support approximately 25 percent of all marine species. Panedia has been partnering with XL Catlin Seaview Survey for several years producing a wide imagery of the oceans worldwide and is now able to compare before and after images on several locations. The change is quite impressive and frightening. wwww.globalcoralbleaching.org
The Anzac Memorial was created by the people of New South Wales as a place to remember the impact of the Great War (1914 – 1918). Although the Memorial did not open until 1934 the need for the Memorial was recognised as soon as the casualty figures from the 1915 Gallipoli campaign became public knowledge. Planning for a Memorial of some kind began with the establishment of a fund on the first anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1916. As Australia marks the 100th anniversary of the Great War, the Anzac Memorial Centenary Project will see the new water feature and education and interpretation facilities added beneath the Memorial. As part of that project is the online tour that we have produced. www.anzacmemorial.nsw.gov.au
Dr Pim Bongaerts of The University of Queensland heads up the Deep Reef Science for the Catlin Seaview Survey. Very little is known about these deep reefs (aka the mesophotic zone), which can extend to depths over 100m+ beneath the ocean surface, but still harbour light-dependent coral communities. Using custom breathing gases and specialised equipment, Dr Bongaerts and fellow mesophotic scientists from the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences and the California Academy of Sciences reveal this hidden world of the “twilight zone”.
We just have returned from New Zealand where we could experience the most beautiful sights and lovely good weather for photography. This is just a pick of those pictures, with some interior images of a peculiar restaurant in Queenstown. The rest will be published later on, with all exterior images included. Panedia Google Maps
We surveyed the world-famous Sydney Harbour in March 2014, the waters around the entrance to the harbour (North and South Heads) are favourite sites with local scuba divers (and local marine life). In these panoramas you can notice perfectly round holes in the rock where the black sea urchins have burrowed in and made their homes.
In March 2014 Catlin Seaview Survey partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science to survey some key Sydney Harbour and coastal areas. Pictured here is our support scooter passing the kelp and urchin covered rocks off Ben Buckler Point at the famous Bondi Beach. This is a favourite dive site for local scuba divers and snorkelers.
The largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, UNESCO added this site to the World Heritage in danger list in 2009. The system illustrates a classic example of reef types through fringing, barrier and atoll, and the regions seven sites provide a significant habitat for threatened species. This particular dive features Half Moon Cay, at the southern end of Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Image collect by Catlin Seaview Survey. Can be seen here in Catlin Seaview Survey.
Cairns Mangrove Boardwalk, like Coombabbah Mangrove, is a great walk to get in touch with nature and specially good for bird watching. This tour now posted on Google Views was part of a scientific project with our partners University of Queensland for mangrove study and monitoring. Panedia Google Street View
Our specialist underwater partners were in Monaco, shooting virtual tours of the underwater coastline late in 2013. This shot is outside the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco… appropriately taken in the ocean, showing views of the Museum that 99.9999% of people will never see. This panorama along with a series of others was then made into a virtual tour to show on a Liquid Galaxy system inside the Museum. Typically we use a special rig to shoot these over/under images… but this time Christophe just popped the SVII cameras 1/2 way out of the water and we were able to produce a good stitch.
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.
Today the largest project we’ve ever produced launched via a Google Hangout with various partners in 2 locations… New York and Bermuda. http://globalreefrecord.org 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. http://globalreefrecord.org/transect_explorer/10024 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. http://globalreefrecord.org/help
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
A very cool place we’ve photographed a couple of times now.
After a few months working with the great team at UnderWater Earth, we’ve launched the pilot for their Seaview project. catlinseaviewsurvey.com/ seaview.htm – Original Link Location
The City of Brisbane is the local government area that has jurisdiction over the inner portion of the metropolitan area of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia.
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.
We’ve rolled out a major update to the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre virtual tour. http://www.gccec.com.au/virtual-tour.html
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!
While shooting Virtual Tours of the HMAS Onslow submarine for the National Maritime Museum I discovered the Sub is a loaner from another Museum in Canberra. That’s quite a loan. From Wikipedia: HMAS Onslow (SS 60/SSG 60) was one of six Oberon class submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The submarine was named after the town of Onslow, Western Australia and SirAlexander Onslow, with the boat’s motto and badgederived from Onslow’s family heritage. Ordered in 1963, Onslow was laid down at the end of 1967 by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Scotland, launched almost a year later, and commissioned into the RAN at the end of 1968. Although never involved in war, three major incidents occurred during Onslow‘s career. The first occurred in 1972, when a disgruntled sailor who disobeyed orders caused the submarine to dive to almost twice her safe operating depth. As a result, the RAN changed the Submarine Service from being able to ‘conscript’ any sailor for submarine service to volunteer only. The second happened in 1981, when carbon monoxide fumes from one of the diesel generators filled the submarine, resulting in the death of one sailor.Although changes were made to submarine operating procedures, the boat’s company was not provided with any psychological counseling, and the incident report remained classified until 2009. The third was a controversial line-crossing ceremony in 1995, which resulted in restrictions being placed on similar ceremonies aboard RAN vessels. During her career, Onslow became the first conventionally powered submarine to be fitted with anti ship missiles, and was successful in wargames: ‘sinking’ a seven ship flotila during Exercise Kangaroo 3 in 1980, and the United States supercarrier USS Carl Vinson at RIMPAC 1998. Onslow was decommissioned in 1999, and was presented to the Australian National Maritime Museum, where she is preserved as a museum ship.
A gigapixel image is a digital image bitmap composed of one billion (109) pixels (picture elements), 1000 times the information captured by a 1 megapixel digital camera. Current technology for creating such very high-resolution images usually involves either making mosaics of a large number of high-resolution digital photographs or using a film negative as large as 12″ × 9″ (30 cm × 23 cm) up to 18″ × 9″ (46 cm × 23 cm), which is then scanned with a high-end large-format film scanner with at least 3000 dpi resolution. Only a few cameras are capable of creating a gigapixel image in a single sweep of a scene, such as the Pan-STARRS PS1 and the Gigapxl Camera.
Green Island is a coral cay 27 km offshore from Cairns, Queensland, Australia located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park World Heritage Area. The island is surrounded by coral reef and protected in the Green Island National Park.
A series of floods hit Queensland, Australia, beginning in December 2010. The floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people from towns and cities. At least 70 towns and over 200,000 people were affected. Damage initially was estimated at around A$1 billion before it was raised to $2.38 billion. The estimated reduction in Australia’s GDP is about A$30 billion. Three-quarters of the state of Queensland was declared a disaster zone. Communities along the Fitzroy and Burnett Rivers were particularly hard hit, while the Condamine, Ballone and Mary Rivers recorded substantial flooding. An unexpected flash flood caused by a thunder storm raced through Toowoomba’s central business district. Water from the same storm devastated communities in the Lockyer Valley. A few days later thousands of houses in Ipswich and Brisbane were inundated as the Brisbane River rose and Wivenhoe Dam used a considerable proportion of its flood mitigation capacity. Volunteers were quick to offer assistance and sympathy was expressed from afar. A large mobilisation of the Australian Defence Force was activated and a relief fund created. The head of the recovery taskforce was Major General Michael Slater. The Queensland Reconstruction Authority was formed to co-ordinate the rebuilding program beyond the initial taskforce and a Commission of Inquiry established to investigate all matters related to the floods. The 2010–11 floods killed 38 people in Queensland. As of 26 January, an additional nine people were missing. The state’s coal industry was particularly hard hit. The Queensland floods were followed by the 2011 Victorian floods which saw more than fifty communities in western and central Victoria also grapple with significant flooding. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010-11_Queensland_floods
“Macquarie Visions casts a new light onto Sydney’s ceremonial street, celebrating in stunning and immersive light displays, the 200th anniversary and story of two great visionary leaders, Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his wife Elizabeth. The Macquaries’ innovations are revealed with illuminating, theatrical and contemporary light displays in a family friendly free night promenade along the length of the Macquarie Street linking St Mary’s Cathedral to the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay as part of Vivid Sydney 2010, running from 27 May to 21 June 2010.” [According to the marketing blurb, and they were right.] The 20th June 2010 was a long day. Leaving home on the Gold Coast at 7am for a drive to Sydney 900+km away, I typically have a rest after the 11hr journey. But this was the very last evening of the Sydney Vivid festival, so relaxation was the last thing on my mind. Unpacking the car at the In-laws (apart from my photo gear) I drove to a nearby train station for the 1hr trip into Sydney City. At 8pm on a Sunday night the train and station were deserted. Arriving at Town Hall I briskly walked 1km to the start of the Macquarie Visions event. I was expecting crowds, being the last night of the show, but was pleasantly surprised to find the place sparsely populated nearing 10pm. After 2.5 hours of shooting panoramas & a little video I left the Sydney Opera House, hopped a train from Circular Quay back to Town Hall, then another 1hr train to my car. With my head hitting the pillow at 2am, I was very pleased to have experienced the brilliant lights festival. Following on are single interactive panoramas of each of the main buildings on the tour. 1. St. Mary’s Cathedral – Virtual Tour 2. Hyde Park Barracks – Virtual Tour 3. The Mint – Virtual Tour 4. NSW Parliament House – Virtual Tour 5. State Library of New South Wales – Virtual Tour 6. Sydney Conservatorium of Music – Virtual Tour 7. Sydney Opera House – Virtual Tour Vivid Sydney map containing virtual tours. Vivid Sydney Map, FullScreen with all virtual tours
The best Alcatraz virtual tour on the web is right here: Alcatraz Virtual Tour. View the full map version with audio here: Alcatraz Virtual Tour with Audio. Alcatraz Virtual Tour – Main Cell Block There are plenty of Alcatraz Virtual Tours on the web, but apart from ours none of them contain high resolution, best quality full spherical, full screen virtual tours with hotspots, mapped on google maps & containing audio recorded live at the time. Alcatraz Virtual Tour – Officers Club Alcatraz Virtual Tour – Exercise Yard Alcatraz Virtual Tour – Control Centre Alcatraz is an incredible place and it’s well worth spending a few hours to half a day there. At some times in the year they have an early boat over to the island. It arrives well before the crowds. Get that boat & take advantage of the crowd less Alcatraz. Here’s the official cruise company where you can book your Alcatraz tickets online. When I visited Alcatraz Island to shoot these virtual tours a funny thing happened. At around midday I was back at the dock waiting for the ferry to arrive when off the boat hopped the guys from Mapjack, ready to shoot their own virtual tour of Alcatraz. Here is me on Alcatraz just finished shooting virtual tours, as shot by Mapjack, another virtual tour company. For more info on Alcatraz go to the official National Parks website here: Alcatraz Island
Anyone for Champ Car or V8 Supercar racing? The Gold Coast Indy 2007 is running right now, I spent some time on the track yesterday shooting virtual tours. I didn’t have media accreditation so no special behind the scenes shots unfortunately.