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Movies and Panoramas--general notes

Videos

These movies were originally produced in Luxor, filmed with a Canon XM1 digital camera. The DV was transferred to a Macintosh Powerbook G3 using a PCMCIA Firewire/IEEE1394 interface card, and then edited using Apple's iMovie software; the files were then compressed into the Quicktime format using Terran's Media Cleaner EZ for Quicktime and Apple's Quicktime Pro. The file was uploaded to the web from an Internet cafe in Luxor. As most of these movies were originally made in 2000-2, obviously compromises were taken then with quality and image size so that they were viewable and uploadable on the web as it was in those days.

The movies were updated in 2007, and then in 2008, to take advantage of the higher levels of bandwidth available. Larger movies--and these are still not large--are now acceptable on the net. They were exported from Quicktime Pro using the Export to Web feature; the size is now 600 x 480 pixels.

The fieldwork was carried out thanks to the loan of the camera from the IT Services section of the British Museum. I am very grateful to all who helped make this project feasible.

Panoramas

Since 1999 I have created the panoramas with Apple's Quicktime VR Authoring Studio 1.01, kindly donated by Apple. The technique is to take a series of photographs through 360 degrees, place them in the software and then it does the rest. Occasionally a small adjustment has to be made. The original movies were made from a series of colour prints, but starting in 1998-9, they were produced from digital photographs. A digital camera with exposure lock is strongly recommended, so that it maintains one exposure for the duration of the shooting.

This software still works well in 2007, although it is a long time since it has been updated, and it does have to run in Classic mode under OS X. The last digital camera used was a Nikon Coolpix 995, which produced the best panorama shots I have yet done.The original files produced between 1999 and 2002 in Luxor were between 170 and 300k in size, with a default resolution of 320 x 240. In 2007 I am starting to replace these with larger files in the region of 1mb, which are somewhat sharper, and have more detail for zooming in and out; they also pan more smoothly. The size of the panorama is directly related to the size and resolution of the original images, and for some of the older files I do not have large originals, so it is unlikely to be possible to improve on them. As of late 2008, I am using Doubletake for panorama generation, although I have yet to use it on this site.

My thanks to Apple Computer for the QTVR software and their support. For more (and better) examples, take a look at http://www.panoramas.dk/

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2014