Here’s an App That Turns Panoramas into Virtual Reality Paintings

With Sprayscape, Google Creative Labs makes a “perfectly imperfect VR-ish camera” for capturing things.

by DJ Pangburn
13 October 2016, 3:35pm

Image via Android Experiments. Thumbnail via

Smartphones and many other devices contain gyroscopes that determine their location and position. Google Creative Lab recently created an app on Unity called Sprayscape that hack an Android phone’s gyroscope, turning it into a “VR-ish” camera that can capture “faces, places and spaces.”

Google Creative Lab openly describes Sprayscape as "imperfect," and this is apparent when using the app. With Sprayscape open, the user touches and holds the screen, slowly capturing images that the app then stitches together or “sprays” onto the inside of a 360-degree sphere. 

“On user tap or touch, the camera feed is rendered to a texture at a rate of 60 frames per second,” Google Creative Lab explains. “That texture is then composited with any existing textures by a fragment shader on the GPU. That same shader also creates the scape you see in app, handling the projection from 2D camera to a 360 sphere.”

"Scapes," as Google Creative Lab calls them, are saved as flat panorama images in a device’s app data. When shared on social media, the three.js web viewer (a Javascript 3D WebGL library) wraps the 2D image onto a virtual sphere, which users can explore by panning, tilting and other movements on their devices.

The results aren’t exactly accurate but, again, Google is pretty open about it. The upside is that the code is on Github, so hopefully it will get refined. And in the meantime there could be some great intentional misuse that could lead to some pretty creatively glitchy and hilarious results.

Click here to check out Sprayscape, and here to see more of Google Creative Lab’s Android Experiments.

Via TechCrunch


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virtual reality
360 degrees
VR camera
Google Creative Lab