I want to insert a large object into a panorama photo, in this case a wind turbine. However, I want the object to be at the correct position and it should have the correct height. The area has many hills and trees and I don't see a simple approach.

My thinking would be this:

  1. Take the photo of the area.
  2. Get the position of the camera. (GPS coordinates + height)
  3. Get the viewpoint of the camera. (angles relative to the tripod or north / horizon)
  4. Get the angle of the view. (How much zoom.)
  5. Recreate the camera with the values from 2 to 4 in a 3D programm. Like Blender, Google Sketchup, etc.
  6. Insert the huge object in the 3D program at a point of my choice with its correct height.
  7. Render the picture to get a representation of where my object has to be in the photo.
    Whith this solution i can insert the object even when the base or the top is not visible on the photo.

My problem are with respect to points 3 and 4. For 2 I can use the GPS in my smartphone, but I don't have a tripod or compass that can give me these values. Is it possible to get these values from the photo itself? Perhaps get the GPS coordinates of some visible points in the picture and calculate the needed values? Or is there a simpler way?


Oh gosh. I love your question.

1) Make sure you take a 360°x180° panorama. A spherical one. I just posted some diagrams to make sure you have a good technique while taking the pictures. Do I "need" a panoramic head to shoot 360 panoramas?

It dosen't matter if you won't use it all 360°, shoot it anyway.

This is important so the spherical environment for your 3D render has the correct proportion.

Here is a link for some aditional notes on the proportions of the panorama: http://www.otake.com.mx/Apuntes/Imagen/EnviromentMaps/

2) The important thing is just the relative position from the camera to the object, and the distance to the floor.

If you prepare a rough sketch in the 3D program to determine an interesting point of view you can use it as a reference for the real world picture.

I want this picture

This is my blueprint

  • You need to mesure the yellow arrows at least.

  • Or make a grid (blue)

  • Make a realistic aproximation. If the camera angle looks cool at 2.5 mts. height, but you don't have a lift truck, position your camera at the real height of your tripod.

3) You need to have some reference points Make some topographic marks (a stick with a clear mark where the leveled zone is), at least 4 corners. I asume you need to build a concrete base, so mark in real space where the corners of that base should be. (Green dots)

4) Try to make some marks for proportion. Probably you can not make them the real size but make some, for example you will know that the magenta dots are 1m tall.

5) Don't make just 1 blueprint. Prepare alternative scenarios.

6) It dosen't really matter the orientation of the shoot, just the relative position to the elements but you can mark the direction of the sun or the magnetic pole on a printed blueprint as a reference, probably for some ilumination adjustments.

  • Note that none of the links in this answer currently work – Peter M Aug 30 '17 at 18:07
  • Hum. I need to find the original images and relink. – Rafael Sep 1 '17 at 1:47

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