Hacking Full-size Camera Panoramas to Work in Facebook: Page 2 of 5
Hacking a Non-smartphone Panorama to Work in Facebook
I'll try to figure out what metadata Facebook is looking for. Again I'm writing this “real-time” as I try things out. After each change, I'll duplicate the file and continue to the next test. If I do succeed, I'll then try doing only that final step to see if that does the trick. Depending on how long this takes, I may or may not go back and figure out what really is and isn't needed :-)
1 Camera make & model
The easiest thing to change (if you have the tools) is the camera make and model. I am using an app called Exif Editor, available on the Mac App Store. There are many other tools out there as well.
The screenshot of Exif Editor above shows my Lightroom-created image, and you can see under the Camera section that I've changed the Make and Camera Model Name to “Apple” and “iPhone 6 Plus”, respectively. On the left of the screenshot you see thumbnails; the top one is an original iPhone panoramic, so I just copy and pasted the Make and Model info from that file into the other. Once you've updated the metadata, you click Process to save it.
Next step is of course to transfer the file to my iPhone. I'm using PhotoSync as I find it much more reliable than Airdrop.
RESULT: Unfortunately, this didn't work. You can see in the screenshot below that the globe icon is missing, meaning the file would load into Facebook as a regular ultra-wide shot. Figures it wouldn't be this easy!
2 Change the rest of the EXIF
May as well change the rest of the EXIF data before going any further, but I don't expect this to help. I went through and copy/pasted, cleared or changed the drop down on every single EXIF field to match the iPhone file, except the image width and height, which was actually empty on my panoramic, so I manually entered the correct data. Incidentally, the resolution (dpi) was the same on both files already (72). Also my Lightroom file doesn't have GPS data, and so I left that out as well. I figure there's no way that can be required. Finally there were additional created and modified dates in the Lightroom file that I couldn't alter in the EXIF editor.
RESULT: No joy, as expected.
3 Change the file name
Huh… should have thought of this sooner. If changing the name from my long name of “Tbilisi-20160628_183610-_1060064-©JosephLinaschke2016-Pano.jpg” to “IMG_9999.JPG” is all it takes, I'm gonna feel silly…
4 Change the file dimensions
The vertical resolution of iPhone panos is not a constant, so there isn't a precise height that would need to match. I checked the width and height of several iPhone panoramic photos and found little consistency. The raw data is below (sorted by height), and you'll see that the only repeating factor was a height of 2,936 pixels that showed up twice, and 3,084 pixels that showed up three times. Otherwise, height varied from 2,936 to 3,170… width varied from 8,310 to 13,632 (obviously determined by how widely you sweep the camera when shooting the pano)… the megapixel count ranged from 24.9 MP up to 42.0 MP… and the file size in MB ranged from 5.3 MB to 12.2 MB.
So the next step is to reduce the height to one of these. My original file is 29,919 × 4,582. If I reduce the height to 3,170 (the max height noted above), then the width on my file goes to 20,699 — still considerably wider the the widest original iPhone pano. I just shot an iPhone pano at its maximum width (panning the iPhone until it stopped recording the panoramic on its own) and that came to 13,630 pixels wide (similar to the widest one above). So if the height reduction doesn't fix it, I'll try a width reduction too.
RESULT: Nope — reducing the height wasn't the ticket.
Now to adjust the width to 13,632, making the height 2,088.
RESULT: No! Grrr…
5 Crop the image
Perhaps the image is too wide. I know there's a 100˚ minimum, but… no that can't be it, because you can do full 360˚ panos on phones that shoot those (the iPhone does not, at least not natively). Hm, well I'll try it anyway. I'm backup up to before I scaled the image, and will crop and scale to exactly 13,632 × 3,082 since that's a known working size from the iPhone.
RESULT: YES! This worked!