Relaunched VRMAG uses Apple hardware, software

VRMAG, an online magazine that focuses on all aspects of virtual reality (VR), has relaunched with a special Parma Project. The project features 360-degree VR panoramas of the historical Parma Baptistery and Duomo in 600,000,000 pixel detail, enabling viewers to zoom in for high-resolution close-ups of the medieval artwork. Not surprisingly, Macs play an important role in the magazine.

In the case study article that accompanies the Parma Project Web site, the hardware and software used is outlined. All the computers are Power Mac G4s.

"We also used Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar and Apple's QuickTime VR used for the full-screen panorama," Michelle Bienias of VRMAG told MacCentral.

The magazine's editorial director, Marco Trezzini, believes the 600,000,000-pixel size is a first for the Internet.

"Zoomify technology allowed us to bring incredible detail to users, regardless of their Internet connection speed," he said. "Normally, ultra high-resolution pictures like these are bandwidth intensive, but we wanted these VRs to be accessible to everyone."

Zoomify is designed to enhance basic browser imaging capabilities to deliver imaging features in an easy-to-navigate interface. It brings an image streaming technology to QuickTime that enables rapid initial display of images and on-demand viewing of fine details, regardless of image size.

The new VRMAG serves up a case study of the post-production process involved in making these panoramas, interviews with VR photographer Scott Highton and extreme VR photographer Bostjan Burger, and feature stories on the making of olive oil and Swiss architect, Mario Botta. The issue also features a 360-degree panorama of the memorial erected to mark the six-month anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. "WTC: A Tribute in Light" is by VR photographer Jook Leung.

This story, "Relaunched VRMAG uses Apple hardware, software" was originally published by PCWorld.

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