Creating 360 degree illustrations

Creating Illustrated 360 images

As the title suggests, this blog entry I’ll be investigating one process to create illustrated virtual reality 360 images.

I have included links to 3 separate files with this blog, one being the original photo, one being a line illustration and the last being the line image plus some colour blocks.

Original image:-

Line image:-

Coloured image:-

To create an illustration, we first needed to take a 360 still photo. Clearly we used out Xiaomi sphere 360 camera and a view over the harbour in Polperro. The camera was on an extending pole hence we were able to hold the camera out horizontally in order to get that over the water look.

Have captured our image, the next aspect is to print it off anto an A3 piece of paper. I used a lower grade 80 gsm paper so that light could shine through it. Once I had the copy, I then used a blank piece of A3 and dropped this over the top of the print. I then placed both of these over an A4 LED llight box/sheet. These are readily available from a number of retail outlets for a very low price and usually have three light settings. Ours was on the highest. Turning off the indoor light, I was able to see/trace over the image in order to get an outline of the various parts of the picture. The amount of detail you can add and the clarity are down to the time you have, what the end result is that you require and the brightness of the lightbox. It is however important that you try and match the accuracy of the ase image as closely as possible.

You may find that some details you cannot see through the light box, but don’t worry as you can probably fill these in once you have completed the main lines. Once you are happy with you line drawing, you can then scan this into your computer. Once you have this scanned in as a gray scale or black and white image, you should then be able to adjust it to make for bright whites and black lines.

With an image scanned into the computer, I was then able to import this into a drawing package such as Affinity Designer, SerifDraw or theGimp and then using layers add colour blocks. Using layers, you can then edit this as necessary without affecting the base layer. When you have achieved the colours and detail you require, you should then be able to export as a jpeg file. You will of course need to ensure that your image matches the equirectangular format otherwise the image will not display correct.

Once you are happy to upload the image, you can do this to any site that supports 360 images. Or if you want to view it on your PC or Apple, you could do worse than download the Ricoh theta app as this will preview 360 images on the computer.

Leave a Reply