STUDIOS - PANORAMICA FAQ
is PANORAMICA and what's a panoramic texture?
PANORAMICA is a complete collection of 180 / 240 / 360-degree and
hemispherical land and sky panoramic textures. What is a panoramic
texture? It's a large rectangular texture that is three or four
times wider than its height. It is mapped onto the inside of one
of the following meshes or hollowed-out 3D objects:
Hemisphere (sphere cut in half - a dome).
- Full cylinder
- Partial cylinder (180 / 240 degrees)
The result is the appearance of a realistic sky and/or horizon that
surrounds your scene and allows you to move your 3D camera to most
What's the deal with this unbelievable photorealistic shadowing
When used with radiosity, the textures provide a remarkable effect
with lighting and shadows. Radiosity, provided with most 3D programs,
is a method used to calculating the overall light propagation within
a scene (global illumination). The main idea of radiosity is to
store illumination values on the surfaces (textures and colors)
of each object as the light is propagated, starting at the light
Radiosity produces a highly realistic lighting effect. And the more
object surfaces that are included in a scene, the more realistic
it is. With Panorama, the radiosity calculation includes the colors
in the sky and / or land textures, producing lighting and shadows
that most emulate the real world. The panoramas actually serve as
light sources! Four examples are show below.
the panoramic textures with radiosity makes for ultra photorealistic
renders. All ambient lighting in these scenes was enhanced with
the panoramas. Notice the panorama below each rendering - each
serves as a light source in the radiosity solution.
the difference between Marlin Studios Panoramas and low-priced competitors'
PANORAMICA was created from actual photos shot with a Noblex
Panoramic Camera. The resulting post-processed textures are in the
10,.000-pixel range. When you're creating a virtual environment,
the sky is much closer than in the real world. Very high-rez sky
textures are required to avoid the pixelization effect. These are
the skies you see on the big screen in Hollywood films. Your clients
deserve no less.
How about the format of the panoramic textures?
The textures are saved in lossless compressed TIFF format for maximum
clarity. If the size is too large for a particular hardware / software
system, they can be easily reduced using any conversion program.
Why not create my own panoramic textures?
Creating panoramic textures is quite complex, especially creating
the hemispherical versions. Your digital camera is very limited
in this type of photography. You can end up spending a great deal
of money, plus days to weeks in photography and post production.
The time and resulting cost involved in creating one panoramic texture
can be far more than the price of this 2 CD-Rom set. PANORAMICA
provides you with a broad range of cloud formations and outdoor
environments, so you don't have to create them yourself.
What exactly is included on the two CD-Roms?
PANORAMICA includes 150 textures, as follows: 100 180 / 240
/ 360-degree sky panoramas, 20 hemispherical sky panoramas, and
30 land backgrounds. As a free bonus, the 2 CD-Rom set includes
6 Quick Time time-lapse cloud animations and 4 3D models that fit
the textures, in 3DS, LWO and OBJ formats.
In what applications are panoramic textures useful?
PANORAMICA is particularly useful for both 3D and 2D artists involved
in graphics work. The textures are perfectly suited for general-purpose
3D and 2D computer art and animation, computer games, architectural
renderings, virtual reality applications, environmental web content
development, visualizations, film industry CGI, print media applications,
video/TV productions and historical reproductions. The textures
can be used on all major platforms: PC, Mac, Alpha, and Amiga.