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Google Cardboard Camera (IOS) to Visual Vocal

NOTE: Google Cardboard camera does not generate full spherical panoramas. Google Cardboard Camera is only capable of generating a 360 horizontal cylindrical panorama. The panoramas it outputs will not encompass both the floor and ceiling of an environment. When the final panorama is output from the following process, the resulting image is a full stereo spherical panorama where the "missing" areas of the image are filled in (by Google) with a blurred version of the actual horizontal slice. The final single output image is composed of the left eye 360 panorama (with blurred "extensions") stacked on top of the right eye image.

  1. Take picture with Google Cardboard Camera app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cardboard-camera/id1095487294?mt=8) on your IOS device.
    1. We recommend starting your capture 180 degrees from where you want the scene to be centered. For example, if you are taking a photo of the exterior of a building and you want the scene to be centered on the front door of the building, you should first start taking the photo looking away from the front door.
    2. And unlike other panoramic capture applications, it's also best to take the image with your phone held some distance from your body so that you are not rotating around the center of the phone. It is best, in order to get some degree of stereo separation, to make sure there is a good amount of parallax image shifting as you pan around to take the photo. More information of the Google Cardboard Camera app for IOS is available at: https://support.google.com/cardboard/answer/6329800?hl=en&ref_topic=6387382

Using Google Photos to download the stereo image from your IOS device

  1. Run the Google Photos app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-photos/id962194608?mt=8) on your IOS device
    1. Tap on the "Assistant" tab on the bottom of the app
    2. Make sure that the Backup process has completed. This copies your photos from your phone to the Google Photos cloud based hosting service
  2. Visit the Google Photos web site: https://photos.google.com/, making sure that you are logged on with the same credentials you are using on your phone for the Google photos app.
  3. Locate and select the stereo image you want to download in the "Photos" list of the website.
  4. When the desire image (or images) is selected, open the "More options" menu from the top right of the web page.
  5. Select "Download".

Using a USB cable to download the stereo image from your IOS device

  1. Plug a USB cable into your IOS device.
  2. Using your file browser, locate the photo storage folder on your IOS device. It is typically called, "This PC/Apple iPhone/Internal Storage/DCIM/<sub folder name>"
  3. Copy the desired panoramic images to your Windows or MacOS computer.

Converting the images from Google Cardboard Camera to the correct format

  1. Find the image (or images) on your local hard-drive. It is usually saved to a "Downloads" directory both on Windows and MacOS. If you downloaded multiple images at the same time, they most likely are wrapped within a compressed ZIP file.
  2. In a web browser, open the Google Cardboard Camera image converter: http://storage.googleapis.com/cardboard-camera-converter/index.html
  3. Either drag the image from your file browser onto the web page or click on the "open" link to upload the image.
  4. Click the "DOWNLOAD STEREO JPEG" button on the web page.
  5. You should now have an image (or set of images) that you can load into the Visual Vocal web portal. 
  6.  Make sure to specify that these images are of type "STEREO spheremap, top-bottom".
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