FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

In the event you do not find what you are looking for, please e-mail us.
For technical help in using images we have produced for you, please see the Technical Help page.

Creating the Images  Using the Images  Customizing the Images  Image Specifications
Equipment & Software  Troubleshooting  Miscellaneous  Terminology

Creating the Images

What are the steps required to create an interactive 360° image?

Here is the short version: Once we have established the purpose of the image, how it is going to be used and the logistics of the shoot (location, date, time, etc.) we travel to the location, set-up the camera and capture at least 4 and up to 12 pictures (or more) per scene. Depending on the scene's particularities, we may have to capture pictures at different exposure settings or make small changes in the scene. Back at the studio, we then pick the best pictures and edit them to enhance colour, contrast and saturation. We then look for scene imperfections and either minimize or eliminate them. The next step is the stitching process where the pictures are combined into one huge panoramic image. This image is then further edited to fix any remaining imperfections. Optionally, the image is converted to a cubic panorama in order to add a logo, texts, or graphics and to remove the tripod from the image. Now the interactive image can be created, including links and sounds. The resulting file is placed into a temporary web page on our website. We will then test the image to make sure it looks and works as intended in various web browsers.

Can I edit an interactive image in my video editing software?

No, unless the interactive image is no longer interactive and has been converted to a video format such as .avi, .mpg or .mov.

Can I edit an interactive image in Photoshop?

No, unless you have access to the original stitched image before it was converted into an interactive image.

How do you hide the tripod in the pictures?

There are various ways to do this. Sometimes a little bit of Photoshop magic does the trick, other times we will actually shoot a picture of the floor or ground without the tripod and "patch" the image with that. Another solution is simply to place a logo or graphic over it.

Can moving objects or people be photographed in a 360-degree image?

Yes, but it can complicate thing. Planning and shooting technique are very important in this case.

How long does it take to shoot the pictures?

Our best effort to date was 20 minutes, but this is a best case scenario. We usually plan on 30 to 50 minutes depending on the scene's particularities.

How many pictures does it take to create one 360-degree image?

At least 4 for a spherical panorama; at least 8 for a cylindrical panorama.

Can regular pictures be made into interactive 360° images?

Not likely. The key to high quality 360° images is to observe a specific work flow from planning to displaying.

Can you stitch the pictures I took with my camera?

No. In order to be stitched successfully, images have to shot in a particular way. Our services including all the steps in the production workflow. Would a carpenter agree to build a house from materials he did not measure and cut himself or herself?

Can I do this on my own? I'm pretty handy with a digital camera, Photoshop and web design.

For high quality results, you will need specific equipment and you can expect a rather long learning curve!

Using the images

Do I need a powerful computer to display an interactive 360° image?

No, any reasonably recent computer will do. A faster processor, more RAM, or a better video card may provide slightly smoother movement but the difference would be very small. Download time would not change.

Can I put two versions of the image on my web page: one for low bandwidth and one for broadband (high-speed) connections?

Yes. We can supply you with two versions; your webmaster will then have to implement a way for visitors to choose which version they want to see or setup an automatic detection of connection speed.

Can I have more than one interactive image in the same page?

Yes but every image will require additional resources from the processor and RAM of the computer. Older and less powerful computers may have difficulty rotating the images smoothly or playing sounds without skipping a little bit. Keeping the images small would help.

Can I have the interactive image appear in a pop-up window after a visitor clicks on a button?

Yes, but there is no technical obligation for doing this unless the web page already contains other resource-consuming elements such as animations, video, audio, etc.

Can the images be seen on the Apple iPad and iPhone?

Yes, but it requires a different process to create and display. Neither the iPad nor the iPhone support flash technology and even Quicktime-formatted panoramas (QTVRs) are not supported at this time (July 2010).

Are interactive images Mac compatible?

Absolutely. We use Adobe Flash technology which is available for computers running on the Mac OSX or the Windows operating systems

Can I use an interactive 360° image in a PowerPoint presentation?

Yes. See the Technical Help page for instructions.

Can I print an 360-degree image?

Yes, if you have access to the original image (in JPG format for example) before it is converted into an interactive format.

Can I stop people from copying the interactive image from my website?

Yes and no. The flash file can be made to work only on a limited number of domains but anyone can capture part of the image from the screen (losing the interactive function in the process).

Can an interactive 360° image be made into a screen-saver?

Disable your current screen-saver and run the image in full-screen mode... there's your screen saver! You'll have to start it manually, but it will run indefinitely. If you need a true screen-saver, you may be able to convert the .swf file to a screen-saver using the appropriate software.

Can I use 360-degree images in my trade-show kiosk or stand-alone kiosk?

Absolutely! For an interactive image you will need a laptop or desktop computer and a large screen (or projector). A large format print can be part of your kiosk backdrop. Smaller images can be included in printed materials. For video playback on a DVD player, the image will require conversion to video format and will not be interactive.

How do I install an interactive image on my website?

Please see the Technical Help page.

I don't have a web site... Can you host my images?

Yes and no. We can make arrangements to temporarily host the images on our site. We do not offer long-term hosting services, at this time. Call us about your project.

Can I display the image on a large TV monitor?

Interactive 360 images are designed to be "interactive" with the visitor controlling the view by using a mouse. However, they can be converted to video and made to play in a loop continuously from a DVD, if that is what you require.

Do I need a plug-in to see the images on my website?

Yes. However, the Adobe Flash Player is currently one of the most widely distributed plug-ins on the planet. Chances are it's already installed on your computer and your clients'.

Customizing the images

I don't want the image to be seen full-screen. Can you remove that option?

Yes. Choosing to do this would also allow us to better optimize the file and make it smaller for a quicker download.

Can the interactive image be made into black and white with only some parts in colour?


Can you change the graphic that links from one image to the next?

Yes. We can customize the graphic in many ways, such as shape, size, colour, transparency, orientation and mouse-over effect. If the graphic is not square or rectangular, it must have a transparent background (available with PSD, TIF and PNG formats). Contact us with your ideas.

I have an audio recording that I made. Can you make that recording play with the image?

Yes, assuming your audio file is in a standard format such as .wav or .mp3, and you have the legal (copyright) right to use it in public or on the web. We can also extract the audio from a standard format video.

Can you put my logo in the image? I have a jpg file of it.

Yes. We would prefer the logo to be in one of these formats (in decreasing order of preference): transparency enabled PNG, PSD or TIF; vector based AI, EPS or PDF; standard PSD, TIF, JPG; 3 x 3 inch printed version (a business card is not big enough!). Any digital graphic should be at least 400 x 400 pixels regardless of the DPI setting.

Can you add people or things in an existing image?

Technically, yes. Practically, not really. Submit your idea to us, we'll consider it.

Can the audio be externally referenced so that I can change it myself without having to re-create the interactive image?

Yes. The new audio file will have to be named exactly the same as the original file and uploaded in the same folder.

Does the image have to rotate all the time?

No. Clicking on the image will stop it temporarily. The auto-rotate feature can be off by default and activated later by the person viewing the image.

I don't want to show the ceiling or the floor above or below the camera, can this be done?

Absolutely. Post-production settings allow us to limit exactly how far up or down the viewer can move the image.

Can clicking on an object in the scene trigger a pop-up window with information about the object?

Yes. It could also trigger a sound file to start playing.

Can I change the text or a logo on an image myself after the interactive image is created?

No. The image must be re-created.

Can the image rotate to the left instead of to the right?

Yes, however this must be pre-set when the interactive image is created.

Can the image rotate faster or slower?

Yes. The rotation will accelerate from a standstill to whatever speed has been programmed into the file; to change this speed, a new image must be created.

Can the zoom range be limited so the viewer cannot see small details in the scene?

Yes. Post-production settings allow us to limit the zoom-in and zoom-out angles.

Image Specifications

How big can the images be made on-screen?

Very big. When viewed on a very large monitor, images just get a bit fuzzy. A higher resolution image can be made if you need to maintain high quality on super-big monitors.

How big is the actual image?

Typically, for a good balance between download time, performance and visual quality, we make the images approximately 2,600 x 1,300 pixels. We can make them as large as 8,200 x 4,100 pixels but the download time would be longer, the performance would be diminished on a less powerful computer and the added visual quality would only be visible on a very large monitor.

How big can these images be printed?

Cylindrical panorama: At 240 dpi (a high quality setting) these can be printed up to 66 x 19 inches (168 x 48 cm)! Spherical panorama: At 240 dpi, these can be printed up to 34 x 17 inches. These are arbitrary limits; it really depends on your tolerance to "fuzziness" and the viewing distance. Call us with your requirements.

Equipment & Software

Where is the camera, we don't see it in the picture?

Each panoramic image is composed of a number of pictures. Since the camera is never seen in any single picture, the only slightly visible equipment is the panoramic head and the tripod that hold the camera. This can be retouched-out of the final image.

Do you need special equipment to create these images?

The only "special" equipment we use are an ultra-wide fisheye lens and a custom panoramic head. The rest of our equipment not particularly special other than the fact that each item was researched to ensure high-quality capability and compatibility to our work flow. Except for the two items already mentioned, the "secret sauce" is the know-how we use to capture, process and output the images.

What equipment do you use?

We use state of the art hardware, software and techniques.

What software do you use?

We use five or six different applications to process the files required for a typical project and four different browsers to test the final images.

Do you do HDR (high dynamic range) images?

For most projects, so-called HDR images do not correspond to the "true-to-life" images our clients expect. When contrast issues cause problems in a scene, we employ a different technique that allows retaining a more realistic rendition of the scene.


I inserted the "swf" file like I usually do, everything works except the fullscreen feature; neither the button nor the right-click method works. How do I fix that?

Please see the Technical Help page.

The image does not show-up at all in my web page. How do I fix that?

Please see the Technical Help page.

The image appears in the web page but it does not rotate immediately. Why?

Typically, the image waits to be fully downloaded before rotating. This behaviour can be changed however.

I uploaded a new interactive image to replace an older version but the old one still shows up in the web page. How do I fix that?

Your browser has probably "cached" the previous image on your computer's hard drive; try refreshing the web page, clearing the browser's cache (see the tools menu) or restarting your browser. If you have just uploaded the file to the server, wait at least 30-45 seconds to give the server the chance to update itself. Try closing, re-opening your browser and go to your page again. Verify that the file name matches the file referenced in the source code of the page (including lower and upper case letters). Last resort: re-upload the file while making absolutely sure your are uploading it in the correct folder of your website.


Is this new technology?

Not really. The origins go back to the mid-90s, when Apple Computer Inc. launched QTVR technology (Quicktime Virtual Reality). What is new is the widespread broadband access to the Internet, more powerful computers, larger monitors and consumer expectations of a multimedia and interactive experience on the web.

How much does it cost?

The best and only answer is... it depends. There are so many variables that a consultation is the only way for us to make sure we understand your needs and therefore how we will fulfil them.

How can I get the most bang for my money?

The price per image goes down if multiple images can be shot during the same session. Other considerations can be discussed during a consultation. We may consider cross-marketing opportunities.

Do you charge for your time or per image?

Each project's cost is a mixture of both. We try to consider all the variables of your project before making an estimate or quoting a price. Assuming multiple images are to be created, the set-up time to shoot the pictures would be divided-up between each image; post-production typically is much less affected by economies of scale.

Can I get a free consultation?

Of course, just call us or e-mail us and tell us about your project. For a big or complex project, we'll meet with you at your location.

We are having a major event tomorrow, can you be there to shoot a 360-degree image?

Tomorrow? No guarantees, but give us a call right away!

Can an interactive 360° image contain links to more than one other image or web page?

Yes. We can place as many links as you want, although placing more than 5 or 6 could cause confusion for the viewers. Tell us what you have in mind...

Can you shoot in small places?

As long as we can fit the camera and the panoramic head and still be able to rotate them. We usually use a tripod but we can also put the camera on a flat surface or clamp it onto a solid object such as a railing or a post.

I've seen camera systems where the camera takes a single picture to create the interactive image. How good are they?

Not very. We have invested in hardware and software and spent countless hours researching, learning and experimenting in order to produce high-quality images. While there are low-cost, low-tech systems available, they are also low-quality.

Do I need the permission of people in the pictures to put it in my website?

Generally speaking (in other words, consult with a lawyer) if a person is in a public place, is not singled-out in the picture, does not appear to endorse a product and is not made to look bad or ridiculed, you should be able to use the image. When in doubt, ask for a written permission; chances are they'll agree if you honestly explain how the picture will be used.

Do you give training sessions?

Yes. Please contacts us for details. We offer introductory-level sessions on digital photography, digital image manipulation. web development and visual design for small groups or one-on-one.

Can you design the page that will hold the interactive image in my website?

Yes, but we recommend that you talk to your webmaster first and have him or her contact us if necessary.


What is a spherical panorama?

An image that shows a complete environment; the view includes every possible direction, including straight up and straight down at the camera position. The image is mapped onto the interior of a "virtual" sphere, thereby re-creating the complete original location for the viewer. Technically, the horizontal view covers 360° and the vertical view covers 180°.

What is a cylindrical panorama?

An image that does NOT include the view directly above or below the camera position. It actually requires more pictures to produce because we use a different lens; however, the result is an image with higher resolution than a spherical panorama (up to 73 megapixels or 15,800 x 4,600 pixels!). This is the preferred choice for images that are intended for high resolution printing. Technically, the horizontal view covers 360° and the vertical view usually covers approximately 80°-90°.

What is a cubic panorama?

It is an optional step in the process of producing a spherical panorama. A cubic image allows easier manipulation in Photoshop in order to fix problem areas such as the nadir (the "south pole" of the spherical image, where the tripod is located) and the zenith (the "north pole"). The stitched image is mapped onto the inside of a cube, creating six square faces.

What is parallax error?

When taking pictures to create a panorama, if the camera is not rotated perfectly on the optical centre of the lens (the so-called nodal point), objects near and far will not align the same from picture to picture, causing stitching errors that are very hard to correct in post-production. This misalignment of near and far objects is called a parallax error.

What is a stitching error?

This is the most common defect visible in low quality panoramic images. They can be easy to spot, when straight lines of one object in one picture don't line-up with (or change direction from) the same object in the next picture. In worst cases, parts of objects may be missing or repeated.

What is a panoramic head?

A specialized kind of bracket that is placed between the camera and tripod and is designed to hold the camera vertically, allow it to rotate horizontally and vertically and keep the both rotation axes at the optical centre of the lens. Now that's a mouthful and a critical piece of equipment for the panoramic photographer!

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