Frank, you took part in the creation of the web site Larmor-jadore.com. What is its goal ?
For this shopkeepers association, the basis was to set up an online business directory in order to pep up their town communication, to touch other shoppers from the area of Lorient (France) and, of course, to attract the tourists.
To be above the average, they needed a design and content which allow them to be out of the ordinary. The virtual tours and panoramas already present on the website Larmorimmo.com banner drove the team to ask for my services again.
The main idea was to propose a play visit of the town, of the shops … and being able to attract the internet user who, through games in augmented-reality and discount tickets, will be conduced to come back and to spread the existence and their experience on this website. For example, a game using Panotour Pro multimedia capacities will make possible a Santa Claus hunt on the website, by discovering each real location of the hinding places in the field. An activity which will change from daddy’s lotery !! The website is composed of 86 views and it will grow up over the time with, for 2012, a visit of Lorient harbour on the surface and other ones of emblematic flotsams.
As I know, that kind of website, showing so much panoramic views in a coherent whole, is a first in France ?
Following the launch of this first version, I have already been reached by three communes and a few institutions for a similar work.
You are a professional of panoramic photography and virtual tours. Is there a lot of demand for those stitching solutions ?
Using panoramic photography as an XXL image (banners, Flash montages, video traveling components …) is a part of what clients regulary ask for. Virtual tours are in second place because it is a heavier content to set up and above all they still seem suffering from the image of ‘a gadget which does not work’ !
With Autopano Giga and Panotour Pro along with the rich, light and sexy virtual tours content, you can now propose a range of solutions with the same initial photographic work than at the beginning. No doubt that this image is going to change thanks to Panotour Pro next evolution and all the things you are secretly preparing.
Demands coming from websites like Larmor are out of the frame of simple guided tours because they also require utility content. For example, a gigapixel inventory of restored monuments or under restoration could be used by professionals as common basis of work but also as a web presentation opened to general public. A type of 24/7/365 ‘Heritage Days’.
So, more and more, I am seducing my clients by the fact that, with a single shooting session, they can improve their communication through original and very diversified supports, such as a website, flyers or POSD …
Is this why the shopkeepers’ association of Larmor chose you ?
Exactly. They wanted an unconventional website basis to be able to use the photographs for their needs in event communication, the little planets for billposting or POSD …
What equipment do you use and why ?
I am working with 2 NIKON bodies (D2X and D3S) and a large range of lenses as well as the 10.5 fisheye for 360/180 images and the 400 mm reserved for the panoramics destined for banners. About panoramic heads, I have got a couple of tripod equipped with Manfrotto heads. I do not own a motorized head yet but that is expected soon. I am also trying a home-made prototype of a pole made of carbon (6m) in order to higher the points of view. Thanks to Autopano Giga I am working more and more free-hand. It is a real pleasure and it allows a kind of spontaneity and discretion, on the contrary of the strange tripod which attract curious people.
For the computer part, I have a simple three-years-old 64 bit computer , 2 Gb of memory and equipped with Windows 7 along with two 24in screens only for confort. Honestly I am not working on huge gigapixels, so i don’t need more…And here is another strength of Kolor products.
What features of Autopano and Panotour were the most useful for this project ?
For Autopano Giga, processing features are very intuitive and fluid. Most of the time I don’t need to use the application’s tools as the output does not require anything else as standard retouching. If the shooting is well prepared, working with Autopano Giga is very easy there is no waste of time.
The latest version of Panotour really made the breakthrough and allowed all the work done on Larmor Plage. The apparition of many multimedia features makes possible to enrich the content and offer a very entertaining support to all visitors. Besides the incontrovertible interactive satellite map, the addition of ‘Easter eggs’ are a great pleasure: directional sounds, videos, images and so on … A real gold mine to improve and make virtual tours fun.
What are your expectations for the future versions of Autopano and Panotour ?
I wish they remain easy and light in terms of necessary hardware and above all more and more rich in the objects you can include and a growing multimedia convergence. The embedding of 360° videos opens new possibilities…
I take this opportunity to underline that the existence of the forum, its very reactive and united community, and the implication of the Kolor team really allow to work efficiently and to share or to resolve any problems when you may experience.
Do you have other projects to show us ?
The best is to check out my website. You will find a summary of the main works in progress and what will be done in the next months.