HD View is a plugin that currently supports all major browsers on the Windows platform. The first time that you visit a page with HD View content you will be prompted to install the HD View plugin. After this, it should automatically load the content.
There are two mouse-based interaction modes. You can switch between modes with the following icons in the upper right corner of the screen or by using the 'H' short-cut key.
|Map mode: Drag the image left/right and up/down with the left mouse.|
|QTVR mode: Panning is achieved by clicking the left mouse and moving it away from the click position|
Keyboard controls can also be used. You can zoom in/out with the mouse wheel, or with the +/- keyboard keys, or zoom in by double clicking the left mouse, shift-double click left mouse zooms out.
There are three tone adjustment modes. You can switch between modes with the following icons in the upper right corner of the screen or by using the 'T' or 'shift'-'T' short-cut key.
|Exposure Only Adjustment|
|Compress or Expand the Dynamic Range as necessary|
When browsing very large images often times the ideal tone balance can not be pre-computed. For example a dark region may be appropriately dark when zoomed out, but when zooming into that area some gain may be necessary to see details. Much like the auto gain on a camera, tone adjustment attempts to compute the 'best' adjustment for the pixels currently in view. Please see our Soapbox video for more details on tone-adjustment.
Below is a table of some examples of how tone adjustment works. Click on any of the images to access the permalink and see it in action.
In the first case the user has zoomed into a mountain that is part of a much larger gigapixel image. Exposure only mode doesn't do much as the region is already reasonably exposed. However the curve mode automatically determines that the scene is a bit flat and adjusts the contrast.
In the second case the user has zoomed all the way out on a High Dynamic Range (HDR) scene. Here exposure mode has the same difficulty a camera would have capturing this scene and it picks an exposure that compromises between indoor and outdoor parts of the scene. In curve mode HD View determines that a dynamic range compression is necessary for this particular view on the scene and it performs an on the fly 'tone-mapping'. Unlike other tone-mapping techniques this one is continuously recomputed given the scene in view.
There are two lens modes. You can switch between modes with the following icons in the upper right corner of the screen or by using the 'L' short-cut key.
When browsing wide field of view images it is desirable to change the virtual lens that HD View is using. When a photographer needs to capture a very wide field of view, they would use a fisheye lens. To capture a very zoomed in narrow field of view they would use a telephoto lens. In a similar way HD View allows you to change virtual lenses. The Auto lens automatically varies the projection from rectilinear to equirectangular depending on the current field of view. The Fisheye lens uses a fisheye projection, which has the property that when zoomed is very near a rectilinear, and zoomed out gives images a convex appereance.
Below is a table of some examples of how lens mode works. Click on any of the images to access the permalink and see it in action.
To create and host your own HD View content see here.
To see how we captured the BIG images see here.