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3D User Interface for Spherical and Fisheye Representations


Prototype, 2011

Developed at the ALIVE Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment, City University Hong Kong in collaboration with Jeffrey Shaw, the Sphere Player is a flexible framework to navigate and display wide field of view video recordings. It consists of a dynamic on-screen selection page in form of a string of spheres and hemispheres and a Space Navigator (six degree controller)or Apple Trackpad as user interface. After one of the elements is selected, the user can zoom and freely navigate within the video by changing the point of view.

The source footage is eiter captured with a Canaon 5D MKII with 180 degree fisheye lens (in HD video mode) or originated from 360 degree recordings from a Point Grey Research Ladybug camera system.


Video: Sphere Player. Most of the videos are place holders.

Sphere Player is written in Apple Quartz Composer and uses custom real-time Core Image filters to process mapping from projection format to another. This allows for using fisheye source footage directly without another post-processing step (thanks to Paul Bourke, UWA).


Spherical mapping. Directly from a equirectangular source (360x180 degree) as a texture onto the shphere. Face culling for the sphere shows the inside only.The scene is from a Hindu temple in Naguar, Rajasthan India.


Fisheye mapping. The original fisheye (180x180 degree) is remapped to spherical projection and used as texture for a hemisphere. Fisheye: Interior of a restaurant in Venice.


The Spherical Player is currently running as a demo application at the: ALIVE Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment, City University Hong Kong, 2011.