German, D.M., Pablo d'Angelo, Michael Gross, and Bruno Postle, "New methods to project panoramas for practical and aesthetic purposes," in Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization, and Imaging, 2007 (CAe 2007), (D. W. Cunningham, G. Meyer, L. Neumann, A. Dunning, and R. Paricio, Eds.), pp.13-22. Eurographics Association, June 2007.
Recent advances in digital photomontage have simplified the creation of extreme wide-angle views from a vantage point, including the recreation of the entire sphere (we will refer to these type of images as panoramas). In order to minimize the distortion from the point of view of the viewer, panoramas have been typically presented using curved displays (such as the original panoramas, by Barker, in 1787; or several cinematographic systems, such as Circle-Vision 360, still in use), and more recently with the help of the computer (such as the QuickTime VR format). Unfortunately requiring such systems restricts their use, and little research has been done in the representation of panoramas into a flat surface. In this paper we propose the use of several geographic map projections to project a panorama into a flat surface, both for realistic purposes (where the projection can be easily accepted as a faithful representation of the original image) and for artistic purposes (where the projection is used as an artistic tool intended for the creation of an innovative interpretation of the panorama). Finally we explore the use of inclinometers and map projections to automatically project an image from a wide-angle lens (rectilinear or fisheye) into a new image that is more aesthetically pleasant.
We believe the projections discussed in this paper will be useful to photographers, artists, and the designers of virtual reality environments, all of who might require the displaying of images with a wide field-of-view.