While laser scanning and Photogrammetry has become commonly-used methods for recording heritage and archaeological sites in 3D, it still misses photorealism. On the other hand, panoramic photography can provide photorealistic record of a site but with no third dimension.
Panoramic images can be enriched by adding the time dimension to it. In most heritage and archaeological sites, the time dimension is very important because it dramatically affect how the architecture and sculptures in a monumental site look in daylight changes, a factor that site visitors are unable to experience.
In this paper, we are going to present a framework for recording time-lapse panoramas using a consumer panoramic head, digital SLR and open source software. We will present the pipeline in details as follows: 1) shooting of multi-row panoramic images using a motorized head, 2) processing of the images to create HDR’s and panoramas, 3) rendering spherical panoramas, and 4) an Immersive Virtual Reality system to display the results. The pipeline will be illustrated through case studies from the Egyptian heritage.
The paper will include also some of the typical challenges that face the process of capturing, processing, and displaying time-lapse panoramas and how we were able to overcome using open-source software. It will focus on problems related to images alignment for the purpose of exposure manipulation and panorama creation and how they can be handled using recent advances in Computer Vision algorithms.