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I did a little test w/ a clickstop rig for a parallax panorama and got some very encouraging results, http://photosynth.net/preview/view/52954310-30c3-47ff-b882-e7d659e8f90c?startat=35
The clickstop rig made the pan much smoother than doing it handheld.
Next time I will probably get a little closer to my subject and shoot in landscape rather than portrait and maybe go full sphere. This was a pretty easy setting of the nodal ninja rig.
That's a great idea. You using something like a nodal ninja?
Be aware that right now you need 3-view-matchable foreground detail in about 80% of the frames before we process the pano as a parallax pano. Among other things this means that a pano where 1/2 the sphere is a distant view (from a lookout for example) and the other half is the near-field view of the area behind you will NOT be processed as a parallax pano. It will be processed as "planes without geometry", which is equivalent to but mostly worse than, a stitched pano. We hope to get more sophisticated about this in the future, but for now get foreground detail in all frames.
Thanks for the tip, I will make sure of that when planning future shots. I guess that means that it would be tough to go full sphere then since it is likely that some of the photos will have no close foreground. One of the advantages of the nodal ninja rig is that all the surfaces are arca-swiss mounts so I was able to think of this variation and set it up on the spot w/ out having to get extra gear or tools. You can see a pic of the variation on the rig here, http://www.xrez.com/?attachment_id=6222
Thank you so much for sharing this setup! i'm a total tripod novice but when i began playing with the new photosynth for spins with a simple tripod, i pictured something nearly identical to this in my head for panos. i had no idea such a thing was commercially available! Your results definitely prove it's worth. essentially no artifacts and wonderful parallax! The only discouraging part was the price tag upon googling 'nodal ninja' :)