Showing posts with label 360 Panoramas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 360 Panoramas. Show all posts
Lusus

How To Use The Free Rooms Templates

 
As part of the celebrations for Second Life's 19th birthday, exhibitors were able to offer gifts to visitors, and whilst I had some windchimes to give away, I wasn't able to complete in time the gift I originally intended to offer. Not to be deterred, the gift of a copy of the build that formed my exhibit is now available.

To be clear, what is available is the build of the rooms themselves, rather than the content. I've called them templates because they are effectively blank canvases for anyone to use to create their own unique builds, as well as their own unique 360 degree imagery. 
 
Grab your Free copy of the Rooms Templates from the Marketplace here.

What Are The Rooms Templates? 

 

'Rooms' is a project I've been working on for a while, and consists of three rooms contained inside a black cube. Each room interlocks with the next with the intention of making the viewer/visitor question the space they're in, and by extention the nature of 3D virtual space. This 360 panorama is the end result.


The starting point for the project was to create something that would make 360 degree panoramas in Second Life that had an unexpected feel. The possibility that the rooms might be an interesting place to visit and interect with developed from this.


From that point it also occured to me that since everyone's imagination works in different ways then everyone would construct something different using these rooms. For instance, take a look at this 360 panorama and how it uses space in a similar way, but looks very different. The idea therefore came to be to offer the rooms as templates for people to develop in any direction their creativity took them, in the hope they would create their own amazing 360 degree panoramas, and possibly allow others to visit their builds in Second Life.

To find out more about Rooms at SL19B, take a look this blog post.

What Is Included With The Rooms Templates?


When you recieve this item from the Second Life Marketplace it will contain:
  • Land Footprint
  • Rooms Template Rezzer. This is the red box with an arrow on top. This will rez the rooms with windows and views outside of them.
  • Rooms Template Rezzer No Windows. This is the orange box with an arrow on top. This will rez a version of the rooms that has no windows.
  • Rooms Buttons a. These buttons control the views outside the middle room.
  • Rooms Buttons b. These buttons control the views outside the lower room.
  • Rooms Buttons c. These buttons control the views outside the upper room.
The idea of having two versions of the room templates is to add more options for what can be created with them.

Both versions of the rooms are big. The version with windows has a footprint of about 30m x 24m, (and a prim count of 43), whilst the other is around 24m x 23m (with a prim count of 27). Because of this large size, and to help with placement on a parcel, a footprint object has been included, as can be seen above. The purple area shows the footprint of the smaller template, whilst both the purple and green areas together show the footprint of the template with windows.

As well as being important in positioning the rooms in relation to a land parcel, the footprint object is also used to accurately rez the rooms at height, as we'll see in a moment.

Rez Boxes

 
The footprint object includes a red square with an arrow, and an orange square with an arrow.

 
Place the red rezzer box on top of the red square so both arrows are aligned. Now the rooms with windows will rez exactly where the footprint is.

 
Placing the orange rezzer box over the orange square of the footprint and making sure both arrows are aligned will ensure the rooms without windows will rez precisely over the purple area of the footprint.

Using The Rezz Boxes


Although the rooms can be rezzed on the ground, they are intended as skyboxes. To rez one of the rooms templates, follow these simple steps.

1/ Rez the footprint object on the ground and place it where you want the rooms to be placed. Get close to the grey box and sit on it.



2/ Right click on the footprint object  and from the menu click Edit, so the Edit Window opens. Make the Object tab the active tab.

The area highlighted in red in the Edit Window is what we're interested in. We'll use it to edit the Z position of the footprint object. (For those that may not know Z is the up/down co-ordinate in virtual space, so we're about to change the height of the footprint object).


3/ Enter how high you want the rooms template to be from the ground. Here 1000 was added. When you're ready hit Enter on the keyboard, and the footprint object will be repositioned 1000m in the sky.
 
Because you sat on part of the footprint object you'll also be transported to 1000m in the sky.

Once the footprint object is in the sky you can stand up.



4/ Position one of the rez boxes over the corresponding coloured square on the footprint. Then left click on the rez box.



5/ This window will appear. To rez the rooms hit the Rezz button.


6/ The rooms are now rezzed. As you can see there aren't any textures on the walls or ceilings of the rooms (although there are floor textures). This is so you can start with the blank canvas that was mentioned earlier.
 
Its also important to note that you'll be standing in one of the rooms after they have rezzed. This is because there is no way in or out of the build, so being inside after rezzing means you can set a landmark and easily access the rooms.


7/ Left click the rez box again and this menu will appear. if you're happy with the position of the rooms, hit the Freeze button to remove the rez script from the rooms. 

If you want to remove the rooms, hit the Remove button.


8/ The rooms template is now rezzed, so you can delete the rez box as well as the footprint object. Remember to landmark a position within the rooms template so you can access it again.

Using the Window Buttons

 
The final items included with the room templates are the window buttons. There is a set for each room. The red button allows you to select the scene, and the blue button enables it to scroll.

Each set of buttons has a slightly different name. 'Rooms Buttons a' should be rezzed in the room you'll be standing in after removing the footprint and rez box. 'Rooms Buttons b' belongs in the lower room, and 'Rooms Buttons c' belongs in the upper room.

Unfortunately I could not include the scripts for the buttons and scenes with mod permissions because they're commerical scripts that I didn't create. If you'd like to use your own scenes, simply delete the scripts in the buttons and the scene viewer and add your own. I'll try to find a better option asap.

You're now ready to start using these rooms templates for your own creations. If you'd also like to use them to create 360 degree images, then these tutorials will be very useful. I should add that stitching images of the rooms into 360 panoramas can be tricky. Sometimes it works first time, other times there can be a lot of trial and error to get it right. The tutorials mentioned above suggest using a setting of between 60 - 90 for the HFOV in Hugin. In the case of the 360 panorama created from these rooms, 85 was used. In other panoramas, 100 was a good setting.

Wall Walker 

 
Once you've created your build using these templates, try exploring it with a wall walker. The above video is a little rough around the edges, but gives an idea of how the wall walker works.
 
There are a number of versions of wall walkers on the Marketplace, but they're all based on the original, which is open source. Therefore decide for yourself whether you want to pay for one or grab the freebie. 
 
The original wall walker comes with some unappealling walk, stand and run animations, but its easy to replace them with your own.
 
If you haven't seen a 360 degree panorama created using these rooms, take a look here, and then see what you can do with your new templates.
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Lusus

Lusus-art Rooms Exhibition at SL19B

 

 
As every Second Life resident will know, the 19th birthday celebrations have begun, and this year I've been granted exhibition space. After over 15 years in Second Life, I've finally got round to participating. Although the theme for SL19B is steampunk, because I work slowly (and procrastinate a lot), I went with my already mostly built project called Rooms.
 
 


What Is Rooms?

The basic idea behind the project I've named Rooms, was to look at space in a 3D environment, see how different it is from space in the real world, and see how it can be manipulated. Add to this the ability within Second Life to create 360 degree panoramas and that is the template for Rooms. Click on the images in Rooms to see how these two facets work together.
 
Like many people in Second Life who like to explore its potential for art I've previously uploaded images I've created, added them to prims and exhibited them at parcels that call themselves galleries. This is fine in itself, but I became increasingly uneasy with the suspension of disbelief this involves. 
 
Part of the solution I've began to explore is to create an environment where images are not the sole focus, but are an integral part of the whole. No gallery, no person effectively roleplaying as a gallery owner and no person roleplaying as a curator.The upshot of this instead is to utilise the nature of the virtual world of Second Life as the medium.
 
This short video gives an idea of what to expect when visiting Rooms.
 

Interactivity

When arriving at Rooms, you'll see there is plenty to engage with. Click on each image and follow the link to enlarge them. Also, each window has two buttons. The red button changes the scene through the window, and the blue seamlessly scrolls the view. (Some observant visitors may recognise the sims used to create the scenes).

There is another button by the sleeping cat. Click this to rez a transparent platform over the gap. Standing on the platform allows visitors to create their own 360 degree panorama images if they want, or to use it as a place to take standard pics. (Just a quick heads up - stitching the images to create the 360 degree panorama from this build can be a little tricky. Hugin is the best software to use. Start with a HFOV setting of 85 or so and go from there. See this tutorial for more info). The platform is also a good vantage point to grab your avatar with the cursor and drag it around for a cool 360 degree view. Keep in mind however, that the platform deletes itself after 10 minutes.

One more set of buttons, under the cat clock will rez a female or male ball that contains wall walkers. Once the ball is rezzed, hop on it and walk anywhere within all three rooms. Using mouseview with the wall walker is highly recommended.
 

Be Part Of The SL19B Celebrations

The SL19B celebrations has a huge amount to offer visitors, so if you have some time on your hands do go along and be part of whats happening. The official Flickr group has lots of images to give you a flavour of events and more, and this Second Life blog post will tell you all you need to know. To visit Rooms at SL19B hit this SLurl and enjoy. Once you arrive, hit the Teleporter to visit Rooms.

In the meantime, have fun below with the 360 degree view of Rooms. Click the square within a circle icon to view fullscreen, and click the hotspots to open images, videos, and information. 
 
If you like this project you can now create your own using the templates I've made available. Find out more here.
 
Happy birthday Second Life!


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Lusus

Create a Desktop Wallpaper using A 360 Degree Panoramic Second Life Image


In previous SL-Inspiration tutorials we've covered how to use Second Life images to create desktop wallpapers, both as a gallery of images and an animated wallpaper. Another subject we've covered in depth is how to create 360 degree panoramic images in Second Life, the hud you'll need to buy from the Marketplace, and the choice of software needed to stitch the images together. In this tutorial these two elements are brought together to create a desktop wallpaper using a 360 degree panoramic image created in Second Life.
 
The image below is an example of a 360 degree image that can be used as a desktop wallpaper. It shows an interior from the very photogeneic location called Eterea, which sadly appears to no longer exist. 
 
To fully view the image Drag it with your cursor, and click the square icon to the right of the image to view fullscreen.


As already indicated, there are a few things you'll need to create a 360 degree wallpaper, such as having a working knowledge of the tutorials mentioned above. You'll also need to sign up for, and install Steam, and then grab a copy of Wallpaper Engine, which runs on that platform. Although Wallpaper Engine isn't free, the cost is very low (around £3.00, or about $4.00), which is easily affordable, and worth every penny.

The last thing you'll need is a 360 degree panorama uploaded to a platform such as Momento360. This platform is used here mainly because its easy to use, doesn't have an intrusive watermark, and not least because its free.

Creating the Desktop Wallpaper using A 360 Degree Panoramic Image 

Creating the 360 degree wallpaper is very simple. Wallpaper Engine essentially embeds the panorama from a website and displays it as a wallpaper. Following from this, the first steps are to get a link for the panorama and create an embed code.


1/ Go to the Momento360 page (or similar site) that displays the panorama. If you don't have one yet the one here can be used


2/ Click on the connected three dots icon shown above and the drop down menu will appear. Click on Share or embed a link.


3/ This window will now appear. Click the Copy button to copy the link.

Shortening The Link

 

This step isn't entirely necassary but Memento360 tends to produce cumbersome links, so using a link shortener makes them easier to work with. Here TinyUrl is used, but you can use whichever link shortener you prefer.

1/ Paste the link copied from Momento360 in the space provided, then hit the Make TinyURL button.



2/ In the next window that appears hit the Copy button. You now have the shortened Url.

Creating The Embed Code

To anyone who knows a little about HTML markup this is a very simple step. For those that are less sure what to do, follow these easy steps.
 
 <iframe src="[URL OF 360 DEGREE PANORAMA]" style="border: 0px none marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="1080" scrolling="no" width="1920"></iframe>
1/ Open Wordpad or a similar app. Copy the above markup and paste it.
 

2/  Replace [URL OF 360 DEGREE PANORAMA] including brackets, with the shortened link we just created. The width and height settings can be changed to the resolution of your screen, although the wallpaper should display well as it is.


3/ In Wordpad select File > Save As. Name the file and give it a html extension, as shown above. Hit Save.
 

4/ Open the folder where you saved the file, and it should look something like above, probably displaying the logo of your default web browser.


5/ Double click on the file and the 360 degree panorama should open in your browser. 

We're now ready to create the wallpaper. 

If you don't have Wallpaper Engine yet, now would be a good time to get it.

Creating The 360 degree panoramic Wallpaper With Wallpaper Engine

1/ If there is a Wallpaper Engine icon on your desktop, double click it to start the app. Otherwise open Steam, then open Wallpaper Engine. Steam can be closed once Wallpaper Engine is running.


2/ When Wallpaper Engine has opened, its icon will probably be hidden on the taskbar. Click the up arrow icon (highlighted in red, above) to the bottom right of the taskbar, then click on the Wallpaper Engine icon.

From the drop down menu select Create Wallpaper.



3/ This window will appear. Open the folder containing the html file created in Wordpad. Drag the file onto the blue Create Wallpaper rectangle.
 
Wallpaper Engine has a quirk that means if there are any other files in the same folder as the html file, all the files will be added to the wallpaper. As we don't want this, it is best to put the html file in a folder by itself before dragging it.


4/ This window will appear. The wallpaper can now be given a name. When you're ready click OK.


5/ This window will now show the 360 degree panorama. 
 
Sometimes Wallpaper Engine will pause at this point. If this happens close the window. Then look at the Wallpaper Engine menu (the one we opened earlier), and under Recent Wallpapers, see if your wallpaper is listed. 
 
Alternatively, select  Browse Workshop, then in the window that opens select Installed. If your wallpaper is listed (no doubt without a thumbnail), then its been created. 

Unfortunately if the wallpaper can't be found you'll have to create the wallpaper again.


6/ Now select File > Save. The preview window will go blank when using the menu options. Its nothing to be concerned about. Now close this window.


7/ If the desktop isn't displaying the 360 degree wallpaper, click on the Wallpaper Engine icon in the taskbar, and from the drop down menu select Recent Wallpaper. Click on the name of the wallpaper you just created from the list it displays.

The wallpaper can now be dragged and viewed just like any 360 degree panorama.


8/ If the 360 panorama has been embedded from Memento360, there will probably be scrollbars visible. Click the icon to the right of the screen (highlighted in red, above), and these scrollbars will disappear.

Wallpaper Engine Settings

1/ To change the settings of the wallpaper, from the Wallpaper Engine drop down menu select Settings.
 
 

2/
In the window that opens, settings such as FPS and Post-processing can be tweaked.


3/ If your PC is high end then changing Post-processing to Ultra will really make the wallpaper pop. 
 
When you're ready, hit OK.

Sharing The 360 Degree Panoramic Wallpaper

Wallpaper Engine has a slightly perplexing system for sharing wallpapers, and even when the steps for sharing are followed, the wallpapers don't always seem to show in the Workshop.

However, there are ways around this. Shared wallpapers are given a page on the creator's Steam Workshop, where subscribers can download the content, (presumably in this instance this would be the wallpaper file). For anyone interested here are the 360 degree panoramas I've created using Wallpaper Engine.

Another option is to simply share the html files created in Wordpad and let friends create their own wallpapers with them. With this in mind, I've zipped three html files ready to be used as wallpapers. (Please keep in mind however, that these html files or wallpapers must not be sold or included in any package without my prior consent, and they must not be passed off as your own work. They can be shared with others, but it must be made clear that SL-Inspiration is the original creator).
 

Adding Wallpapers to The Workshop 

As already indicated, the Wallpaper Engine Workshop is where wallpapers are freely shared. They also appear on individuals' Workshop space. If you're feeling generous and community minded, the following steps will show how to add your own wallpapers to the Workshop.


1/ Click on the Wallpaper Engine icon in the taskbar, and from the drop down menu select Browse Workshop


2/ This window will appear. Click on Installed, then select the wallpaper you've created. To the right, click on Open in Editor.


3/ Sometimes at this stage, Wallpaper Engine will stall, but don't let it alarm you. Just close the windows and repeat the steps above.


4/ From the top menu select Workshop > Share Wallpaper on Workshop.


5/ Information about the wallpaper will need to be added in the window that opens. A thumbnail image will also need to be uploaded.
 

6/ When you're ready hit Publish.


7/ This window will appear showing a progress bar. When the wallpaper is published, it can be viewed in the Workshop.


And here is the wallpaper appearing in my Workshop, with options to the lower right for further editing.

There may seem a lot of steps here for something that could be considered a little niche, but having a working 360 degree panorama as a desktop wallpaper is quite impressive. If you have a 360 degree panorama, give it a try, or alternatively use one of the files available on this page.
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Lusus

Create A Panoramic Screen Saver Using A Second Life Photograph


In recent tutorials we covered how to create desktop wallpapers from Second Life images, so the next step forward is screen savers. In this tutorial we'll be focusing on panoramic images that scroll seamlessly and continuously across the screen when your PC is idle, using a lightweight and free programme called WPanorama.

Creating a Panoramic Image In Second Life


In a previous two part tutorial we explained how to create 360 degree panoramic images in Second Life, which you'll need to be familiar with to create these images, as well have a 360 degree panoramic hud for taking the photos in Second Life. (Edited to add that 360 degree panoramas can now be taken using the Second Life viewer without the need of a hud).

The tutorial linked to above covers both Hugin and Microsoft's Image Composite Editor (ICE), but for this tutorial we'll just be using ICE, because its quicker, simpler and easier to use.

There are a few differences in creating panoramic images to use as screen savers, than creating full 360 panoramas, but they are minor, and explained below.


1/  Since we're not creating a full 360 degree panorama, but one that seamlessly rotates horizontally (ie, a 360 degree cylindrical panorama), we don't need to add to ICE the last two images taken with the hud in Second Life. These are the images taken one directly above the camera position, and the one directly below.

2/ Once the images have been stitched together in ICE, hit the Crop button. We need to crop out the irregular horizontal edges of the image, so grab and drag the nodes highlighted in red above.



3/ Now hit the Auto Complete button so your image looks something like the above.

WPanorama's performance isn't affected by the height of the image, so it doesn't matter if your finished panorama is skinny or fat, although you'll need to keep your screen's resolution in mind. If for example, the resolution is 1920 X 1080, a panoramic image with a height of 720 is not going to look good.

Another tip to keep in mind is that things too close to the camera can become distorted, so they may need to be cropped out.

With these points taken into consideration the image can be exported from ICE in the usual way,  ready to use in WPanorama. There is no need to edit the Exif metadata as you would with a full 360 degree panorama.

WPanorama 


WPanorama is freeware and can be used for both viewing panoramic images on the desktop, and for displaying scrolling panoramas as screensavers. The scrolling movement will automatically loop seamlessly.

If however the image is not a seamless panorama it will scroll in one direction until it reaches the edge of the image, before scrolling in the opposite direction. You can download WPanorama here.


1/ When WPanorama first starts it will display a pre-installed panoramic photo. In fact the app comes with a large selection of images that are stored in a Windows Documents folder. If you don't want to keep these images, simply go to the folder and delete them.


2/ After the images have been deleted WPanorama will look like the above.


3/ To just view an image rather than using WPanorama as a screen saver, select File > Load image, then navigate to where the image is stored.


4/ WPanorama will now display the panorama, which should be scrolling.

Creating A Screen Saver



1/ To Create a screensaver, select Screen saver > Configure screen saver.


2/ In the window that appears hit the Select button.


3/ Now Navigate to the folder containing your panoramas. A screen saver can contain more than one panoramic image and will display each image in turn. To add more than one image click on the first, hold down Shift then select as many images you want. Now hit Open.


4/ Once the images have been loaded this window will appear. More images can be added by hitting the Add images button. All the images can be deleted by hitting the Clear list botton.


 5/  The image list can now be saved, and will be stored in the same folder as the panoramic images we deleted earlier. WPanorama can contain many image lists, and each can be loaded as a screen saver.

To create a list, hit the Save list button.


6/  Name the list, here named SL Panoramas, then hit Save.


7/ The above image shows the files created when the list was saved.

The process of adding images to WPanorama and saving them as lists can be repeated, so you can have as many image lists as you want.


WPanorama can switch from list to list by hitting the Load lists button, navigating to the folder containing the lists, then selecting the relevant list.

If you're only using one or two images, there's no need to save them as a list. Once the images are loaded into WPanorama, just hit the tick icon, lower right  (shown above).


8/ The images have now been loaded into WPanorama and are ready to use. However, if there is more than one image make sure the Auto image change box is ticked, and then select the duration each image will be displayed.

When you're ready hit Apply then OK.

Previewing The Screen Saver



9/ One point should be noted here. The panorama shown in the WPanorama display window will not be one of the images added to the screen saver. It will be the image added when hitting File > Load Image.

To preview the screen saver hit Screen saver > Preview screen saver. Mouse movement will close the preview.


Another way to preview the images, and make sure WPanorama is the selected screen saver is the following.

10/ Click the Windows icon to the far left of the taskbar, then hit the cog icon to view Settings.

11/ The above window will open. Select Personalisation.


12/ The window above will now appear. Select Lock screen.


 13/ This window will now appear. There is a scroll bar thats a little difficult to see to the right of this window. Scroll it until you see Screen saver settings, then click on it.


14/ This window will now appear. Under the Screen saver drop down list select WPanorama if it isn't already selected, then hit Preview. The panoramic screen saver should now be full screen. Moving the mouse will close it. Click OK when you're ready.

Downloadable Images



The above image was created at Hangars Liquides. A full 360 panorama can be seen on Momento 360


...and this image was created at D-Lab.A full 360 panorama of this image can also be seen on Momento 360. Click the icon centre right on the Momento page to view these panoramas full screen.

To get you started with panoramic screen savers created in Second Life we have two images for you to download and add to WPanorama. We'll be creating more too so bookmark us and follow us on Facebook. The images are quite large, but can be rescaled to fit your screen if needed. They're stored on Google Drive so will be pre-screened so you can be sure you'll get a clean download. To grab the panoramas click here.


Click this icon which will be shown top right of the dowload page to get the panoramas.



Watch the short videos above to get an idea of what the scrolling panoramas will look like on your desktop. We hope you'll feel inspired to make your own panoramas and it would be great to see them shared on social media.
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