Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Virginia Pow-Wow People
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Our meeting has started out well. Besides me, we have:

  • a professional architecture photographer from upstate New York (uses an extremely high-definition scanning camera analogous to a Panoscan, but mostly makes prints for annual reports); amazed people with resolution and being able to make simple flat panoramas accurate enough to be used for blueprints
  • a photographer from a university in New Zealand who's been working at Pompeii, but uses large-format film rather than digital cameras; he amazed the crowd with high-qualithy work of ancient frescoes
  • a pair of twin guys who have been globe-trotting making panoramas; these guys spent about 280 days last year funded by a rather wealthy patron going around the US and Europe shooting very high quality digital panoramas of over 100 sites to be used in college architecture classes at one particular college
  • their academic advisor / sponsor; he told them what sites to shoot, helped with permissions
  • the director of the UVa media lab that works with faculty on their tech projects; has made some basic panoramas, goes back with QTVR quite a ways; leaving UVa soon
  • a media lab staff member who makes panoramas in Tibet and is interested in medieval Irish architecture
  • a UVa computer science professor
  • a tech writer and editor from UVa; a Dr. Who fan
  • the head of the IHA; the guy I know from UCLA
  • an associate director of the IHA; also a Dr. Who fan
  • a UVa architecture professor specializing in medieval England; keen on having some sites in England shot, especially lesser-known cathedrals

That's it: a pretty small group. We each showed off our own work and then had a walking tour of the original part of campus, which Thomas Jefferson designed, so that we could become familiar with what's going to be a case-study for our publication.

My equipment at the moment comes in on the low end for professional work, however I seem to have a wider range of experience than anyone else here, having worked with low-, middle-, and high-end solutions, but more especially with incorporating different aspects into virtual tours, such as scripting, maps, compasses, that kind of thing. The group bring together many perspectives about how to generate the panoramas, and not much contention about a particular way being best. All are valid, so there will be a range of advice in our guide, as well as anecdotes about bribery in Mexico, fleeing from officials in China, and talking one's way into permissions in Italy.

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