Selected case studies of work undertaken for clients.
Mugga Lane Solar Park
Client: Maoneng Australia
Maoneng Australia is the owner and developer of an exciting new solar park called Mugga Lane in the ACT, just 10km from Parliament House, Canberra. The enormous 40-hectare site was producing electricity from the end of 2016.
The client required 4 to 5 sets of aerial panoramic shots at short notice ahead of an official launch in February 2017, to be stitched together externally for a Chinese audience (including investors) on a Chinese 360º panorama site.
There was another commercial drone in operation at the solar park when we arrived with the client. We knew this in advance. It was being used for IR (Infra-Red) thermal imaging to spot potentially defective panels. This prevented us from working in half of the solar park for a few hours but allowed us to shoot video footage for the client.
We delivered 6 sets of RAW images to the client. Each set contained 26 individual photographs. We selected two of the sets (shot from above each of the two distinct fields seen below) and created panoramas which we loaded on to Google Maps to assist the client's marketing endeavours.
The 360º panorama below is 'live' and searchable on google maps (where they are known as 'photo spheres'). Drag it to rotate and zoom with a middle mouse wheel or use the +/- buttons. The pictures were taken at an altitude of 119 metres above ground level and almost directly above one of the shipping container-sized inverters.
Live 360º Panorama on Google Maps
Fish Eye projection
Once we've created a composite spherical model by stitching multiple images together, we're able to generate different projections.
This is a 'Fish Eye' view of the Mugga Lane Solar Park. Note that we did not use a fish eye lens on the camera.
Small World Projection
The 'Small World' view is another popular and fun projection. It could be used for example on a client's website as an icon, linking to a Google Photo Sphere or printed out as a poster. The underlying file is more than 16,000 pixels wide!
Composite Perspective Projection
The Mugga Lane Solar Park covers 40 hectares. Limited to a height of 120 metres by law) and the boundaries of the property, it is impossible to capture the site in a single aerial photo. The solution is a 'Composite Perspective' projection. A single photo similar to this could be taken from a drone hovering a long way from the site (if permissions were obtained from neighbours) but it would not have this extremely high resolution (again more than 16,000 pixels wide).
We can produce video and recommendations for clients on how to use or host it. Our typical production resolutions are 1080p HD (very high quality ie 'High Definition'). This is perfect for internal client use (as part of a presentation at a conference for example). Public videos may need more consideration regarding the end users. Is the audience predominantly mobile or at home or corporate with high bandwidth?
Wistia (the first video below) is a high-quality hosting service perfect for embedding videos in corporate-type websites but attracts hosting charges. YouTube (the second video below) is free but may carry advertising and distractions drawing viewers away from the website in which it was embedded. Most hosting services will try and deliver video to match the end user's available bandwidth and many allow the user's to force a particular resolution (via a 'gear') icon, but in practise this cannot be guaranteed.
For our Mugga Lane client, a video was a 'nice to have' outcome but not the primary objective (which was a set of panoramas). The video footage we shot was mainly while travelling to and from the panorama locations agreed with the client and was in a sense a 'by-product'.
The two videos below are identical (other than the different preview images) and were loaded to both platforms at 1080p HD. As such you should be able to test both for your particular platform and location.
Tip: Click the rectangle icon at the bottom right of either video to watch in full screen mode
Blue Mountains City Art Gallery & Cafe
Client: Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre (BMCC) is a non-profit complex in the heart of Katoomba, the tourist capital of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains Area. The Cultural Centre is an independent part of the Blue Mountains City Council and includes:
- The Blue Mountains City Art Gallery.
- The quiet, relaxing Gallery Cafe and a shop.
- The Blue Mountains World Heritage Interpretive Centre.
- A viewing platform open to the public at not cost.
- A library.
The BMCC opened in November 2012. It has solar panels to cut grid electricity consumption and a green roof garden to filter rain water.
The BMCC is only 180 metres from the train station yet is often missed by tourists as it is 'hidden' in front of the majestic Carrington Hotel and accessed from Katoomba Street (the main road) through short alleys.
The brief was to help visitors find the BMCC, showcase its green credentials, emphasise the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery (which can at times be hired) and create content for existing BMCC social media channels. Additionally the new and separate branding of the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery (BMCAG) was to be pushed even though it is an integral part of the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre (BMCC) which is an independent unit of the Blue Mountains City Council (another BMCC acronym).
Challenges for this particular site include:
- A highly reflective roof which is also corrugated leading to moiré patterning.
- The south side of the Carrington Hotel is deeply shaded at midday in autumn.
- The need to stay within the boundaries of the BMCC for safety reasons.
- Curious patrons intrigued by drones.
In an Australian and possibly world first, we flew our drone INSIDE the City Art Gallery. The video shows both external and internal aspects of the BMCC and was shot entirely by drone. Watch to the very end (past the credits) to see the drone flying inside.
We also delivered two 360º Panoramas loaded on to Google Maps (where they are known as Photo Spheres). Google has only just (2017) allowed the connection of panoramas. For example if you face south (should be the default view) for the panorama below, an arrow should appear (as with ground-based Street View) which jumps to the panorama over the BMCC's viewing platform. Use 'View on Google' (top left) to see the panoramas full screen.