Seeing Azeroth from a bird's eye view

wow fisheye shots
We've seen plenty of cool WoW screenshots in our day, but these bird's eye view images of Dalaran, Kun-Lai Summit (above), Lordaeron, Stormwind and most recently Orgrimmar still caught our eye. To capture these stellar views, Masserah of Arthas takes anywhere from 65 to 95 screenshots (at 1366 x 768 resolution on ultra settings), which he stitches together using the free app Hugin. This is the time-consuming part of the process, as Hugin can take two or three hours to piece a large scene together. Once Hugin has done its thing, Masserah manipulates the scene to give the fisheye effect and then goes into Photoshop to smooth out imperfections and correct colors.

These aren't the first WoW panoramas Masserah has made -- he has a gallery of panoramas, tilt-shifts, and other cool shots dating back to 2006. "I tend to come and go, and do these in waves," Masserah says. "I'm always on the lookout for the next scene, but I rarely get off my butt to do so."

So why take WoW screenshots in the first place? "I'm from Ireland, and more often than not the weather didn't cooperate with my photography," Masserah tells us. "I realized one day that I spent hour upon hour staring at a virtual world through a camera, and just started snapping scenes from around Azeroth. The small mercy is that a screenshot is about one-eighteenth the size of a professional photograph, and loads and processes much faster."

And, while we aren't professional photographers ourselves, we definitely approve of these results.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.