Ever wonder what it would look like if the world — your world, with your neighbourhood bike path, buildings and parks — were really round? And you could stand on top of it like a cartoon globe? Well, this video should help. It was made by Jonas Ginter, a freelance journalist and photographer based in Bremen, Germany. He took a video of himself riding his bike (and later, his car) around the block using stereographic projection — that is, he used a bunch of cameras to record the 3-D world around him so it looks like he's riding on top of the globe.
Making this video took a lot of work. On Ginter's website, he outlines his years-long obsession with creating the perfect 360-degree image. He was first inspired by 360-degree landscape photos, which are relatively easy to compile using panoramic settings on any camera (and even some smartphones). But video is a different story.
People have been making similar videos using Google Street View for a while. Here's one by Giacomo Miceli, a computer engineer based in Rome:
Ginter tried a variety of out-of-the-box ideas — including screwing his camera to a turntable and working with lots and lots of mirrors — before he settled on a relatively simple setup using GoPro cameras. He essentially built a homemade version of the Google Street View spherical camera (Google has a pretty good tutorial on how they work, here). He attached six GoPro cameras to a specially designed 3-D printed mold, which he then attached to the front of his bike. Here's what that setup looks like:
With six cameras all shooting in super-wide fisheye panoramas, he was able to capture a full 360 degrees horizontally and 180 degrees vertically. Check out the result in the video above.