Sofia 66 gigapixels - Bulgarian record '21

Panorama from SkyFort Business Tower (under construction)

 General info
 Location and coverage
 Tech info
 Gallery behind the scene

To your attention: This is the biggest photo (66.45 gigapixels) taken in Bulgaria to date (2021)- from the first real skyscraper in Sofia! With a height of 202 m, SkyFort will be the tallest building in Bulgaria. It will have a spacious lobby, 36 office floors, a panoramic restaurant and an observation deck at the top, which will reveal a unique view of Sofia, Vitosha and the surrounding area.
The architectural image of Sky Fort is dynamic and emphasizes the advancement of technology in the 21st century. The shape of the building symbolizes an open arch, welcoming visitors to the city through its south-eastern gate.
The construction of the building is expected to be completed in 2023.
Many technological innovations will be implemented in the building: high-speed elevators, earthquake-resistant construction, specially designed for the site energy-efficient facade with ceramic print on the windows and more.

 Click on the photo below to view the panorama from the 34th office floor.

  • Mouse scroll or buttons Ctrl/Shift to zoom in/out;
  • Keyboard arrows or mouse drag with left button to move around.

WE RECOMMEND to watch it on a big screen, not on a mobile device!  

 Location and coverage:

 Characteristics of the gigapixel panorama - a record in Bulgaria by 2021:

Team members: Michael von Aichberger (Germany) and George Palov (Bulgaria)
Camera: Canon EOS R5
Lens:  Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM+1.4 Extender for 840 mm
Panoramic robot:  Roundshot VR Drive
Tripod: Benro A4770TN
Number of photos: 2,898 @ 45 megapixels (161 columns x 18 rows)
Size of image file: 636,650 x 10,4371 pixels (66.45 gigapixels)
Size of panorama on HDD: 247 gigabytes
Number of tiles of the web panorama: 84,759 !
Date taken: 11.09.2021
Time span: 9:17 - 14:00
Height above sea level: around 750 m
Angle of view: around 190 degrees horizontally and 30 vertically
Magnification: 85 х
Stitched with PtGUI Pro 12.7 and output done by Pano2VR Pro 6.1.13

 Technical and psychological challenges:

  • to stand on the edge of a building under construction (with a squat) almost motionless for almost 5 hours at 160 m above the ground;
  • to be super focused with hearing and vision to confirm each frame;
  • to choose the right focus point for each frame from all nearly 3000 photos;
  • to provide enough space on the cards for thousands of photos, each of which is 50+ megabytes;
  • to provide uninterrupted power supply for 2 phones, a panoramic robot and a camera;
  • to protect yourself and the equipment against gusts of wind, accidentally falling objects, etc.
  • to endure and repeat the same word 3000 times without saying other things;
  • to finish the photos and to have a desire to repeat the exercise immediately afterwards in even more difficult conditions (the gigapixel panoramas from the terrace of the TV tower of Kopitoto)!

Thanks to the heavy tripod, the stabilized lens and sensor of the camera, as well as the stable and precise panoramic robot Roundshot VR Drive, we were able to take this big picture. The camera was controlled by a phone - Live view for focusing and shooting, and for the robot we had two options - either wi-fi connection with the phone for programming and positioning or a radio remote for moving. Full synchronization between all components was a key moment in the project implementation. The panoramic VR Drive robot had no problem moving the large optics and the camera (its load capacity is as much as 20 kilograms!). The movement it provided for our project was between 1 and 3 degrees with accuracy 0.1 degrees. The results of this professional equipment are shown on this website!
We also used custom software to even out the exposure values and colormetric values of all photos in order to create a seamless panoramic photo.

All materials on this website are provided for presentation purposes only. Images of the galleries or parts thereof may not be republished, reprinted, resold or modified for any use or profit. Using them without written permission from the authors Georgi Palov and Michael von Aichberger will violate the Copyright and Related Rights Act.

  Behind the scene photos: