Rosetta: Philae Lander 360 Degree Panorama VR-View

Dear all,

ESA recently released two amazing Philae Lander 360 degree panoramas from it’s already mind blowing mission – #CometLanding.

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/11/Comet_panoramic_lander_orientation

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/11/First_comet_panoramic

Yikes! Who knows me, is totally aware that I truly can’t withstand 360 degree circular panoramas (see here: 360 Degree Timelapse VR from ISS 😉 )

The Philae ones are obviously very special 360 degree panoramas. Below is the one with the superimposed lander…

Comet Panoramic Lander Orientation with superimposed Lander

Comet Panoramic Lander Orientation with superimposed Lander. Copyright: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

So, hhm, if it’s a 360 degree panoramic, it should fit into a VR. Of course, these are not your average classic 360 x 180 circular panoramas, but let’s try… (who would mind a little bit distortion from a Lander riding a Comet!!)…

So, after some testing, I processed three different VR views which I’ve created from the Press Release Image. I called them “Top”, “Bottom” and a “Bottom Superimposed” VR View with the superimposed Lander for improved orientation.

I am not sure which of the VR’s works better or if at all, and I have no info if these original Images are theoretically 180 x 180 degree circulars, 230 x 180 or something completely different.

Viewed in Full screen such a VR looks like this…

Philae Lander Superimposed Panorama 360 Degree VR

Philae Lander Superimposed Panorama 360 Degree VR

And so now, here are the direct links to the Philae VR’s:

View 01 “Top”: http://christophmalin.com/360/philae_360/view01/first_comet_panoramic_equirectangular.html

View 02 “Bottom”:
http://christophmalin.com/360/philae_360/view02/first_comet_panoramic_equirectangular02.html

View 03 “Bottom Superimposed” (which I find the most usable one):
http://christophmalin.com/360/philae_360/view03/Comet_panoramic_lander_orientation_equi_03.html

How is it done? Well, that is no rocket science, needs a couple processing steps and some exporting / importing of the original image… The software used and the steps done are as follows:

1) Lightroom 5 CC… Load the Panoramic Image and crop it 1:1. Export.

Lightroom Screenshot - cropping the original image

Lightroom Screenshot – cropping the original image

2) Import into Photoshop CC and use Flaming Pear’s Flexify Filter for superfast, supereasy equirectangular conversion/projection… (you could also do this with other image hosts of your choice). The equirectangular image projection is needed for the later VR projection. Now crop the projected image 2:1. Rotate 180 Degree for “Top” or “Bottom” view. Export. For viewing purposes I have increased the size of the image about double from it’s original dimensions.

Flexify Plugin Screenshot - Setting the Output

Flexify Plugin Screenshot – Setting the Output

Photoshop Screenshot - cropping the Equirectangular Image 2:1

Photoshop Screenshot – cropping the Equirectangular Image 2:1

3) Import the resulting Equirectangular.jpg to Pano2VR for creating the VR … Set the top and bottom limits of the VR and the preset rotating as well.

Pano2VR Screenshot 01

Pano2VR Screenshot 01

Pano2VR Screenshot 02 - setting the Output Format (HTML)

Pano2VR Screenshot 02 – setting the Output Format (HTML)

Zongg, Zapp, Kaboom! Now export the VR HTML5 to your website or watch locally…

I find that the crater wall get’s some nice depth in the VR view. The superimposed image looks very cool.

Have fun!
Christoph Malin

4 thoughts on “Rosetta: Philae Lander 360 Degree Panorama VR-View

  1. Hi Christoph,
    this looks quite interesting. I also like view03 with lander superimposed best. Thx for the description of the making. Although it’s not rocket science as you say, it still needs a couple of programms to finally get there. Fine work.
    I did even a bit of study with the view of the crater wall. I find the crumby stone stuff and the cracks in those flat stones quite interesting, talking about 4.6 billion years old not tectonically changed material.

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