3.04.06 – Virtual Tour – Sikorsky NCH-53A Sea Stallion

CAM’s Sikorsky NCH-53A Sea Stallion is hard to miss…

This aircraft is very accessible at the museum, but the cockpit is usually behind a Plexiglas screen – the tour was more for offsite visitors and improving cockpit visibility.

I undertook4 scans overall; 1 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 602 hangar is dark in this area.

Capture Challenges

Even with a larger cockpit area, camera placement was considered to avoid significant blurring due to minimal focus distance of lens and aperture choices. Smaller apertures would improve depth of field, but increase image noise.

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.

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 for the Sikorsky NCH-53A Sea Stallion, please visit the Combat Air Museum website, or click the link below

Sikorsky NCH-53A Sea Stallion virtual tour produced using the Spheron SceneCam

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