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Ricoh Theta SC Guide

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Uses:

Double fisheye stills

Double fisheye video

Double fisheye live streaming


See the Ricoh Theta SC User Guide 


With a protruding fisheye lens on both sides of the camera use the pouch to keep the camera in, and to lay it on when charging or uploading images to avoid scratching the lens. 


Charging

Only charge through computer USB, not a wall socket.

A red light indicates that it is overheating. Unplug immediately. 

Green light on for charge. Light goes out once charged. 

A full charge takes 4 hours. 


The camera can be operated on its own, though it works best when synched to a smartphone or tablet. 


Synching

Synch with smartphone or tablet through wifi

The wifi reference for the camera indicates the password.


For example for camera: THETAJAY30121126.OSC

The password : 30121126 (the numbers only).

This also appears as YJ30121126 in tiny print on the camera itself.


More HERE > Connecting to a SmartPhone


Settings

Choose a network


Turn camera on

Wifi icon lit


Device finds wifi

Password 


Wifi connect is meant to be 10m but is more like 5m and will be affected by walls.


Mounting

Hand held

Desk tripod

Tripod with short feet (and weights)


While some of the image immediately below the camera is hidden when the two 360 images are stitched together it helps to use a tripod with a small footprint.

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I recommend the Koolehoad Monopod with has tripod legs.


If used outside and it is windy a couple of sandbags on the legs will keep it in place - or use a normal tripod and accept that the legs will show in the bottom of the image. 


Camera Settings

The ‘Automatic’ setting rarely gives the best results. Shutter speed will adjust exposure for overly bright, or overly dim images. The White Balance also needs to be set - this ensures that ‘white is white’ whether under bright sunlight, or various kinds of artificial light. 


Via device (smartphone or tablet)

Pull on the camera - you will see the image it is getting.

Along the bottom are the settings. 


More HERE > on Theta SC Shooting Conditions


  • Automatic

  • ISO: (low light or too bright)

  • Shutter Speed: (low light or fast action)

  • White Balance: Sunlight vs artificial and all the variations through shadow, neon, lamps. A piece of white card and adjust in the camera.


Video

You can only shoot in auto mode when shooting video. Settings such as the ISO sensitivity, shutter speed, white balance and exposure cannot be configured.


Self-Timer

Unless you want to appear in the shot set the self-timer to 10 Seconds

When you hit ‘shoot’ you get a visual countdown on your phone/tablet and ni the last 4 second a ‘Bleeped’ countdown before the shot is taken. 


Shutter Sound

Countdown ‘ping’ and shutter noise to help you get out of the shot.


Images

A double fish-eye lens is best in enclosed spaces and with the subject fairly close.

In the open sky can dominate.

If you want to feature people keep them close to the camera. 


Keep a record of the pictures being taken

Best practice to draw a simple lay-out of the room and plot where each 360 image is taken.

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Even a small room might benefit from the following shots:

By the entrance door.

Centre of the room.

Each corner

Close to major features.

It makes sense to have the camera at eye level - so 1m 70+ in the room, or at head height on a chair or by a desk.

Any number of further interesting shots with the camera placed on, in or close to things can be added.

For close-ups it is better to use a standard camera and add this image as a ‘hotspot’ link.


Transferring Images

Downloading images

The Ricoh Theta App can be used to view images in 360

These will transfer to the device

Also on the camera

An image is around 3.5-3.8MB. 

Click through the Camera Icon Ricoh Theta to Fixed Storage to DCIM to 100RICOH 

Then drag and drop into an appropriate folder.

Can ‘Delete all images’ if loading into an image App (but college computers generally do not permit saving to the desktop - images have to be saved to the network). 

These images may look like peculiar, double fisheye or panoramic images until on a platform that supports viewing as a 360 image. 


Images are backed up on your phone/tablet and can be uploaded from there if images on the Ricoh are lost or deleted. 


USB to computer as for charging

Identify device

Select where images will be saved.

Catalogue

Select those to colour correct (if desired)


Adobe Lightroom to adjust: 

Exposure

Contrast

Blacks

Whites

Clarity

Sharpness


At this point poor images that can’t be rescued can be deleted, or simply not added to ThingLink.

It also starts to become clear where there may be unnecessary overlap, so an image may not be required. Best to keep it offline.


This might also be the time to ‘redact’ someone who is appearing inadvertently - students would need to sign a release form for content shared online. 

 

Export

The 360 images can be viewed on their own on Facebook or Google Photos and as  video on YouTube. They can also be viewed through a 360 headset. An app for smartphones allows images to be broken into left and right eye.


ThingLink

We have been using the platform ThingLink which allows ‘tags’ or ‘hot spots’ to be added, as well as links made between a series of shots to create a VR Tour. This platform can also be used by students to annotate and tag images, whether 2D or 360. 

You can try the platform for free for a month, longer by negotiation. It can take a while to bring others on board.

It makes life easier to upload in the approximate order in which the VR Tour will be built and if there are a lot of images to add them in small batches. 

Numerous alternative platforms exist to create 3d Architectural spaces and models or tours. All will require a subscription at some point. 


Get Organised

List: Camera Ref or renamed.

Best down in landscape 

ThingLink URL


Once you have  loaded your images onto ThingLink create a ‘Channel’ and post all your images to this. 


The order in which they are added can facilitate the creation of a tour by keeping batches of images together, say for a room, and in the chronological order of a typical tour, or indeed the order in which the shots were taken. 


Any icons can be used provided by ThingLink though we have a set of GB MET branded arrows/links. 


Troubleshooting

Over a series of 20 shots, or use after 45 mins the link between the device (mobile or tablet) may be lost.

Turn the camera on and off - find the link and redo.


Loading images

Check the USB connection until your computer registers the device.


Shot Activation not working

Close the app and re-open until the 360 image appears and the button can be activated.


You keep appearing in the image!

The self-timer has to be reset if the App, phone or camera is turned off.


Updating Firmware

Intermittently the firmware on the camera will require an upgrade 

ThingLink are great at improving their platform. Lately this has facilitated creating tours to the point that I describe creating a tour as 'electronic PostIt notes'. You can add voice over narration to the shot directly. You can post content to Google Classroom for lessons. You can download to work or view offline. 

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And another one of these

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A stage that awaits a series of etivities, a narrative voice-over and a series of video clips too.

An empty electronics workshop and classroom

Electrical Workshop : https://www.thinglink.com/video/1286328259365044225

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Etivities in a catering 360 Health & Safety Induction Course

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A cropped part of a 360 image in a catering kitchen with hot spots showing an interactive learning activity

Eons ago, perhaps 15 years ago, certainly 10, Jilly Salmon coined the term 'e-tivity'. It never caught on, though I feel compelled to use it rather than 'interactive activities'.

This is what we have here. 

It is a set of 10 to 16 simply catering food safety and hygiene related execrises spread across a 360 tour of some 12 or more images around a teaching catering facility.

Catering Etivities 

My First Goal is to add, number and annotate a set of these etivities to a 360 page.

My Second Goal is to spread the etivities strategically across the full 360 tour with Voice Over and text instructions.

My final goal is to add VO to edit video clips to provide 'how tos', hints and insights.

Activities design and built by Mia Pledger, 360 tour created by Jonathan Vernon. 



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Skype with the Creator/Owner CEO of ThingLink

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 1 Nov 2019, 12:25

‘Beautiful images’ said CEO of ThingLink, Ulla Maaria Koivula

I had a delightful exchange with Ulla Maaria Koivual the Creator and CEO of the burgeoning interactivities platform ThingLink this morning. 

Being in Helsinki and over from the US she can more easily take up a Skype call. Otherwise this would have been late evening last night for her, breakfast for me.

I told my story, in part, with the ThingLink platform over the last 18 months. I couldn't honestly remember why or how I ended up trialing ThingLink. We had one 360 camera, bought a couple more and I started to take images. Then we looked for a host platform and tried more than one. At some point, probably because of an email making positive noises from ThingLink we got a free trial that was extended many times. Breaching some parameters summer 2018 when we got a lot of visitors I had to beg to keep us online until I pushed through a tiny spend shared between Learning Resource and Met Marketing. They were happy to oblige - keen to see the platform being used. 

I shared how interest in the platform would wax and wane and how I try to sell myself to tutors as their very own agency and support and facilitor. I offered reasons why something is not followed through: students back from holidays, curriculum and time pressures ...

I gushed about the recent upgrades:

Ease of creating a 360 tour with Thumbnails

Ease of adding text and massive plus for Immersive Reader for accessibility reasons.

And just added, on the fly, a bit of audio yesterday (this to a video clip of hands pressing the Ctrl, Alt an Delete keys at a computer keyboard.

Nervously I dug out on the fly the gmail sign ins for Marketing and for Learning and Ulla was immediately able to see what I was doing, the plan we are on and much more besides I am sure. 

I introduced GB MET and the advantages of being a vocational college covering things such as: construction, carpentry, aeronautics, motor vehicle workshops, performing arts, theatre, props and special effects, textiles, fine art and fashion and so on. 

Ulla, coming from a teacher background some eons ago - maybe 10 years I think,  wants the platform used in the classroom for collaborative project learning. Later I explained to someone how I saw this happening, say a trip behind the scenes at Glyndbourne with students taking images then tagging and annotating what they saw as a project to submit as course work. Then the act of doing this work itself embeds and ingrains the knowledge they have created and thought (and fought) over. 

My experience qualifies me as a Educator. I go beyond meeting the basic criteria. Am I the first person in the UK to gain this recognotion? 

Possibly!

It is hoped that I will be able to attend Bett Jan 23 to 26th in London and that some of the work I have created for GB MET will be showcased.

I joined the ThingLink Facebook  Educators to be part of the community of active users.

 

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