PFTrack Documentation Media Management  

Spherical Panorama Input

Overview  |  Source  |  Mask  |  Spherical Viewer


The Spherical Panorama Input node is used to load media shot by 360° spherical cameras and stitched into an Equirectangular Panorama.

Spherical Panorama Input Node

Along with the media thumbnail and the node name (which defaults to that of the loaded media) (1), this icon also indicates whether the media has been cached to disk (2).

The Spherical Panorama Input node contains the following important areas:

Spherical Input Areas

(1) The Spherical Panorama Input Parameters:

(2) The Spherical Viewer window

The Spherical Panorama Input Parameters are split into separate sections, selected by clicking the section tab on the left of the panel.

Source: The source media information. This is also where media can be loaded from disk.

Mask: The mask panel where media containing a pre-rendered mask can be loaded from disk.


The source panel is where media can be loaded, and also lists important information about the source material such as its location on disk, frame numbering and duration.

Spherical Input Source

Loading and removing media

The Spherical Panorama Input node only supports Equirectangular Panorama images, which are generally constructed by stitching together wide angle or fish-eye images captured from multiple cameras. Equirectangular panoramas have a fixed aspect-ratio of 2:1 (i.e. they are twice as wide as they are tall). Only media matching this aspect ratio can be loaded into this node.

Load Media Load Media: Clicking this button will display the File Browser where the media can be located on disk and loaded into the node.

Remove Media Remove Media: Once media has been loaded, it can be removed if required by clicking this button. Note that media must be removed from the node before the node can be deleted from the tracking tree. This will remove the media from the Clip Input node, but will not affect any of the original media files on disk.

Relink Media Relink Media: If the location of media files on disk has changed since it was imported, the Cinema window will display Missing Media. Clicking this button will display the File Browser allowing the original source material to be found. Note that the resolution and frame count must be the same as the original clip in order for it to be re-linked.

Clip parameters

These controls are available to adjust the representation of the clip in PFTrack (Note that these will not affect the original media files on disk in any way).

- Frame rate: The number of frames-per-second for the clip. Clicking the R button will reset the frame rate back to the default value for this clip.

- Frame offset: This can be used to offset the frame number that is read from the clip. For example, setting frame offset to +10 will mean that frame 1 of the clip displays frame 11 (1+10) of the source material.

- In point: Specify the first frame of the clip to use. Clicking the R button will reset the in point back to the original value.

- Out point: Specify the last frame of the clip to use. Clicking the R button will reset the out point back to the original value.

- Bit depth: This menu can be used to change the bit-depth of the media displayed in PFTrack. This can be used, for example, to change from 16-bit to 8-bit pixels and reduce the amount of RAM used to cache media.

- Exposure: The exposure adjustment (measured in f-stops) to the image data. The R button will reset this back to the default value, which is 0.0.

- Gamma: The gamma adjustment applied to the image data. The R button will reset this back to the default value, which is 1.0.

Disk caching

If media is being loaded from an external resource (such as a network-attached drive), read performance may be reduced when compared to reading data directly from a local hard disk. In these situations, a Disk Cache can be created in the System Preferences window to improve performance. Further information in how to create a Disk Cache is provided in the Preferences section.

Render Cache: Clicking this button will render the media to the cache location specified in the cache menu.

Once the media is cached, the button icon will change to show that the media has been cached successfully: Clear Cache. Clicking the button again will clear the media from the disk cache and free the disk space used.


Spherical Input Mask

The Mask panel is where image-based masks can be loaded and applied to the clip. By default, the source material for the mask will be scaled to fit both the clip resolution and the number of frames. Once an image-based mask is loaded, it will be passed down-stream automatically to each node which can make use of it.

Note in addition to image-based masks, both Roto and Keyer masks can also be generated and connected to any node down-stream from the Clip Input node.

- Load Mask: Open the File Browser to load a mask clip.

- Remove Mask: Clicking this button will remove the mask from the Clip Input node (Note this will not affect any of the source material files on disk).

- Mask clip: This displays the filename of the mask clip when loaded.

- Frame range: This displays the first and last frame of the mask source material.

- Offset: Shift the source material forwards or backwards by a specified number of frames.

- Channel: Specify which image channel is used to create the mask from the source material. Options are Red, Green, Blue and Alpha to select one image channel, or Luminance to calculate pixel luminance.

- Hold: When enabled, frames outside of the original source material range will be clamped, so the first and/or last frames of the source material will be held. When disabled, frame outside the original range will not display any mask.

- Invert: Invert the mask in the clip.

- Threshold: This specifies the pixel threshold (measured as a 8-bit value in the range 0..255) which is used to convert a grey-scale image into a binary mask. Pixel values less than the threshold are set to be transparent, and values greater are set to be opaque.

- Erode/dilate: Erode or dilate the mask. Positive values will dilate the mask, whilst negative values will erode.

Spherical Viewer

The Spherical Viewer panel can be used to examine the panorama from any viewpoint:

Spherical Viewer

Clicking any of the buttons on the right of the viewer will snap to a camera view in the corresponding direction.

Mouse Interactions

Click and drag with the left mouse button to rotate the camera.

Click and drag with the middle mouse button to zoom the camera.

The mouse scroll wheel can also be used to zoom in and out.