Ask the VR Photography Experts

Q: I am trying to create very large panoramic photographs using QTVRAS. The software only seems to accept individual frames of no more than about 22 Mb which yields a final PICT file of about 110 Mb. Ideally I’d like to create 300+ Mb files. I have tried increasing the memory partition of the software to 500+ Mb but this does not seem to help. I have also tried PanoWorx, but that software even has a lower threshold (as confirmed by their tech support people). Is there some way to get the results I desire -- either with QTVRAS or with some other software?

A: You may be running into the 4,000(+) pixel limit on the width (short dimension) of a PICT file. Apple's QTVRAS stitches the panorama together as a PICT file, and a number of individuals trying to assemble extremely high res images have run into this. Not much you can do about it at this point, unfortunately. It's a limitation of the PICT format.

Another problem you might also be encountering is a known bug within QTVRAS when stitching high res images. When source images are beyond a certain size (22MB? perhaps), QTVRAS will freeze or crash if the stitching progress is displayed in the Progress window.

You can turn this off by going into the Preferences menu, selecting the Make tab, and unchecking the "Display Images in Progress Window" box. It means you won't see the stitching operation as it progresses, but you can still see the end result once the PICT file is saved, and it might solve your immediate problem.

Apple engineers are apparently aware of the bug, but have said that no patch has been prepared and there are no current revisions planned for QTVRAS -- much as we all might like to see one <grin>.

- Scott Highton