Panorama rendering is new to version 5. You can render the panorama without the hassle of stitching patches together or repeated renders to get acceptable results.
This tutorial assumes you have your main camera where you want the panoramic view to circle. If you don't, place it and we'll start from there.
1. Select the Render Task Mode in the Scene-at-a-Glance (S@G). This mode isolates the cameras, render jobs, and render options you'll be working with.
2. Clone the main camera. You've already got a main camera where you want the pano so cloning it will create a copy with the same settings. The Camera Editor will open for the newly cloned camera.
3. Camera Editor - General Tab. Enter a name for the panorama camera that makes sense to you. Select the Panoramic Camera checkbox in the Options section.
4. Camera Editor - Lens Tab. The Horizontal Field of View (FOV) tells WCS the angle of coverage for each panel. It will divide 360 degrees by the FOV to get the number of panels. The minimum number of panels is 3 so the FOV must be less than 120 degrees. The smaller the FOV the less the distortion. 30 degrees is a good place to start.
Example. A 30 degree FOV will require 360/30 or 12 panels.
5. Clone Render Options. The next step is to create render options for the pano camera. Since you probably already have render options for your main camera, clone it and save yourself some keystrokes. The Render Options Editor will open.
6. Render Options Editor - Size & Range Tab. Name the option and enter a width for each panel. The final render width will be the width you enter multiplied by the number of panels your FOV requires.
Example. Our 30 degree FOV will require 360/30 or 12 panels. A width per panel of 150 pixels will result in a pano image width of 12*150 or 1800 pixels.
7. Render Options Editor - File Output Tab. Give your image a unique name in the Image File box.
8. Clone the main camera render job. This is where you'll bring together the pano camera and render options.
9. Render Job Editor - General Tab. Give the job an identifiable name in the Name box and select your panoramic camera and render options in the respective drop down boxes.
10. Open the Render Control window. Your panorama should be listed under Scheduled Jobs. Disable any render jobs you don't want to run now and click Go to start rendering.
11. The thumbnail render in the WCS Render Control will show the tile being rendered, not the whole panorama. When rendering is complete the assembled pano image will be in the folder you asked WCS to put it in.
So what do you with a long picture?
To view a WCS panorama image as anything but a long picture you'll need to use panorama software. Here are a few of the options available.
Helmut Dersch's Panorama Tools
A whole lotta free tools for
your choice of platforms and purposes
Browser Plug-in Panorama Software (Java)
PhotoVista - trial version available
Quicktime VR Software
VR Toolbox products - demos available
Quicktime VR - Mac only!
QTVR Make Panorama 2 - Free for
QTVR Flattener - Free for Mac