Ever since Xbox launched the screenshot feature for the Xbox One, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at a full 360 degree panorama from various games. I tried when the feature was first released, but uploading 30+ images through the Xbox One Game DVR interface was a huge pain in the you-know-what so I gave up.
With the introduction of the Xbox App on Windows 10 and an option that allows you to download Game DVR and screenshots directly to your computer from the app, I finally got around to doing it and I must say with a bit of effort it’s really easy. Check out the final result below (or on the Photosynth website) – simply click to view then use your mouse to scroll around and your mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
The process is really quite easy. It will work best in first person games that allow free look, I’ve yet to try a third person view game but I imagine it will look odd as your character would be in almost every image you take. When in free look, or in Forza‘s photo mode (with the UI turned off), simply rotate the camera around in small increments and take a screenshot until you have an image in each direction. For the example above, I took 38 images.
Next, upload and share each image to OneDrive from your Xbox One, or fire up the Xbox App on a Windows 10 machine and download the images from the Game DVR section of the app to your computer (this is the much faster way to do it).
After you have your images on your computer, download Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor program. This program allows you to import a number of images and will stitch them together to create a panorama. Once installed, open ICE and select the “New Panorama from Images” option.
Your file explorer will open, navigate to the directory your Xbox One screenshots are located in, select them all and load them into the program. At this point you should see all your images loaded. On the right hand menu, under Simple Camera make sure you select “Rotating Motion” from the option list (Auto-Detect is selected by default).
Click next and the program will first align your images and then create the composite image for you. On the following screen, make sure “Spherical” is selected and click next, don’t worry about the grid unless you want to straighten the image slightly.
Click next and ICE will create the panorama for you. Once on that screen, click on the “Auto complete” button. This will attempt to fill in any missing gaps you might have, and it does a pretty good job of it. As you can see in this example, it filled in the area near the bottom of the image for us. You can toggle “Auto complete” by using the checkbox below the button if you don’t like the result.
Last we need to export the panorama. If you export it as a jpg, you’ll get a flat panorama (as can be seen in the featured image on this post). To get an interactive 360° by 360° image you’ll need to upload it to Microsoft’s Photosynth website. If you don’t already have an account, you can create one during the process. Set a title, description, and tags and click the “Publish to Photosynth” button and your interactive 360° image will be available for all to see!
Hopefully this tutorial helps you with creating your own images from Xbox One game worlds, be sure to share your creations in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.