3.04.04 – Virtual Tour – DOUGLAS C-47D Skytrain (“Kilroy Is Here”)

The iconic ‘DAKOTA’ (as us Brits called it), CAM’s DOUGLAS C-47D Skytrain (“Kilroy Is Here”) is a majestic aircraft with a slight twist on the inside. Gone are the typical paratrooper benches, as the inside has been refitted with commercial airline seats.

Typically, this aircraft is kept locked, so visitors can only appreciate an exterior tour. This made it an ideal subject for an interior and exterior scan.

I undertook 5 scans overall; 2 external and 3 internal.

I used the SpheronVR SceneCam plus ScanLight attachment for all the scans, the ScanLight ensuring a consistency of illumination for all the scans. This was useful, as the 604 hangar has inconsistent lighting coverage, plus the interior would be dark (as there is no lighting inside the C47).

Capture Challenges

Plenty of room inside this one, so no issues with ‘cramped’ interiors. The Spheron Scanlight kept the scan exposure consistent for both internal and external shots.

Above : Spheron SceneCam with ScanLight in situ (Kilroy’s cockpit).

Scan Resolution

All scans were shot at maximum resolution which would generate a usable image of in excess of 50 mega pixels

Capture Time

Scanning time is consistent with the ScanLight attachment; typically about 6 minutes per scan. This is slower than the iSTAR Fusion I tried, but the iSTAR usually generated inferior images, compounded by stitching errors across some elements of the shots. The Spheron just gets it right – time after time.

Image Processing – HDR

The initial conversion of the raw image being handled by Spheron’s native Image Processor. This converted the native .SPH file format into a cropped, bi-linear radiance file format, saved as a 32-bit HDR file.

Tone Mapping

The resultant HDR image was then tone-mapped to allow a single image with fixed (and balanced) exposure to be produced. I used PhotoMatix Pro 5.1.3 for this purpose, which provides a healthy range of processing options. I tended to find the Default tone-mapping option worked best, as I found the Photographic option yielded images with too great a contrast range (my preference was for less contrast).

Completed Tour

To experience the full tour of ‘Kilroy is Here’, please visit the Combat Air Museum website, or click the link / image below

DOUGLAS C-47D Skytrain (“Kilroy Is Here”) virtual tour produced using the Spheron SceneCam

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