Mosaic Images

This function allows you to join a number of images into a single-row mosaic or pair of mosaics.
One use is for joining image-strips produced by a pair of rotating 'virtual cameras' with 3D Modelling software such as Bryce and PovRay.
This allows you to produce stereo, 360 degree panoramas that can be viewed in continuous rotation with SPM.
For the first time, such panoramas may be viewed page-flipped without requiring Win2000/XP and expensive, quad-buffered OpenGL graphics cards (such as Quadro).

(The above image courtesy of Steve Boddy )

The images are required to be sequentially numbered, the sequence running from the left strip to the right strip.
There should be zero overlap in the source images.
You may join All or Selected files and specify the destination name and folder.



Stereo Panoramas using a single Rotating Camera

(Commercial use of this method may be restricted by patents)

Another use for 'Mosaic Images' is to create stereo panoramas from a single camera rotating around a point behind it.



The above animation shows light rays (in red) emerging from the rear of the camera lens and directed towards the sensor plane (the black line).
The sensor will almost certainly not be film because of the large number of images required.
A 'virtual camera' with similar geometry may be setup in '3D' (not stereo) programs such as Bryce, PovRay, etc.
In this example, the rays are directed to positions at approximately 25% and 75% of the image width.
As the camera rotates around the black dot, you can see that the projection of those lines is tangent to a 'viewing circle' (shown as a gray dashed line).
It is the diameter of that viewing-circle that gives us the required stereo disparity for a narrow strip of the image.
Uniquely, the disparity can be altered after the images are taken.
We simply have to take a sufficient number of strips and 180 or 360 are recommended for a 360 degree panorama.
The latest digital cameras often have a good quality 640x480 movie mode (if suitable compression was employed)and in that case
it is recommended that you use
VirtualDub to extract a suitable number of frames.
With a 1RPM motor and shooting at 30fps, you will produce 1800 frames.
Use VirtualDub to reduce framerate to 6 fps and save the resulting 360 frames in a folder as an image-sequence.
Digital camera movie-mode is normally fully-automatic and you are not able to lock the exposure.

Higher-resolution images are better taken with stepper-motor control although you could try manually rotating the camera on a tripod.
Equal increments of rotation are not essential, they simply make the process easier and quicker.
You may of course create partial panoramas or simply scan a subject of interest.
For minimal manual editing, a stepper-motor driven platform is required or a motor geared-down to about one revolution per minute.
Such motors are inexpensive.
You may even experiment with simply holding the camera and rotating your arm for rotations of less than 90 degrees.

The panorama illustrated above may be viewed here.
The title is "Sandpit, Maes Mynan, North Wales" and it was created with a digital camera in movie mode.