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

Happy Halloween

The below image is a Halloween 360 degree panorama created in Second Life and hosted on Momento360. We created it to say Happy Halloween to all our loyal friends and followers,and for everyone to enjoy and share. Use your mouse to rotate and turn the image, and for an even better look, view fullscreen.

If you like this image then why not follow us on Facebook and bookmark this blog. We always appreciate those follows, YouTube subsciptions and bookmarks. Happy Halloween!

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Creating 360 Degree Panoramas For Second Life Part 2

In the first part of this tutorial on creating 360 degree panoramas for Second Life, we looked at how to create the panoramic images using Hugin and ICE.

In this section we'll look at how to add meta data to the panoramic images, how to view the images on your desktop, and how to upload the panorama to Facebook. We'll then show how to embed the panorama on your blog or website.

Adding Meta Data To A Panoramic Image

There are a number of ways to add the necassary metadata to an image so online locations such as Facebook know to display tham as 360 degree views. In this tutorial however we're going to use Exif Fixer. Follow the link to download and install it onto your PC.

1/ When you first open Exif Fixer this is what you'll see. Open the folder where the panorama you created is located and drag the it to the display area of Exif Fixer.

2/ Exif Fixer should now look something like the above.

3/ If you click on the Exisiting Metadata button a window should pop up looking similar to the above.

4/ The text highlighted in blue to the right is the extra information we want to add to the image's metadata.

To the lower left is an option to either keep or delete the original image after the metadata has been added, highlighted in blue. Here the box is ticked for the original image to be deleted.

Time to click the Add Metadata button, highlighted in red.

5/ The window showing the original metadata should now look something like this, showing the extra information has been added to the panorama image. Exif Fixer can now be closed.

Previewing The 360 Degree Panorama On Your Desktop 

Previewing the panorama on your desktop isn't esssential but its helpful to see how good the image looks and to check for any blemishes before uploading it online. For this we'll need another small app, and the easiest to install is the LizardQ Viewer.

 1/ When LizardQ Viewer first opens it will look something like this, with the explorer window open to make it easy to navigate to the location of the panorama.

2/ This is the panorama loaded into the viewer. The edges or corner of the viewer can be dragged to resize the image area, or you can right click and from the menu select fullscreen.

To move around the image simply hold down the left mouse button and drag as you would with any 360 degree panorama, although one small quirk with LizardQ is you need to drag in the opposite direction to rotate the view as you would with an online image.

Once we're sure the image is good enough to upload online LizardQ can be closed by hitting Esc on the keyboard.

Uploading The 360 Degree Panorama To Facebook

One of the handiest locations to upload to and share 360 degree panoramas is Facebook, so this is what we'll do next. The process is very easy.

1/ Assuming you're already logged into your Facebook account, start to upload the panorama as you would with any image or video by hitting the Photo/Video button.

2/ The upload process will begin, and the double circle icon in the centre of the grey square indicates that Facebook recognises the image as a 360 degree panorama.

3/ Some text will need to be added. After the upload has finished an icon will appear in the bottom right of the thumbnail, highlighted in red. When clicked this will enable us to do a little editing to the panorama.

4/ When the icon is clicked this window will open so we can select the starting view. Drag the image so you get the view you want then hit the Save button.

5/ Now hit Share.

6/ The 360 degree panorama is now live on Facebook for everyone to see.

There is a Facebook group for 360 degree panoramas created in Second Life. Just click the link to view and join.

Panoramic images can also be uploaded to Flickr, in the same way as other images are uploaded, and there is a group for 360 degree panoramas created in Second Life. Panoramic images on Flickr can also be embedded on a blog, but the method described below looks much better.

Embedding a 360 Degree Panorama On A Blog

Once you've created a number of panoramas a blog is an excellent way of promoting your work. Firstly however you'll need to find a website that allows you to upload panoramas and provides a link for each image. There are a number of such locations online but we'll focus on one since the process of embedding the panorama will be very similar for all websites. The site we're going to use is Momento360.

1/ Once you've registered with Momento360 you'll see something similar to the above, which is the top part of their user's landing page. If you see something slightly different click on the My Media tab.

To upload a panorama hit the Upload button and follow the instructions. the process is very easy.

2/ Once the 360 degree panorama has uploaded click on it and you'll see something similar to the above. The image can be dragged and rotated just like the image uploaded to Facebook.

To embed the panorama we need to get the image link, so click on the icon highlighted in red.

3/ This drop down menu will  appear. Click on Share Or Embed A Link.

4/ This window will open. Click on the oval Copy button to copy the link to your clipboard.

5/ So we can embed the panorama we need to create an iframe code to add to the blog, so we'll use this website to generate it. There are a number of sites we could use, but  Makingdifferent is very good and keeps things simple.

When you follow the above link you'll see a simple form as above.

6/ In the top space we name our iframe code. In the space below that called iFrame URL we paste the link we copied from Momento360.

In the next couple of spaces we add the width and height we want the panorama to be on the blog. Select No for Show Border, then hit the Generate button at the bottom of the form.

7/ The above window will appear. Hit the Copy To Clipboard button to copy the iframe code.

8/ We can now paste the iframe code to a blog post so the 360 degree panorama will be embedded.

From the Blogger dashboard hit the New Post button, then select the HTML tab. Now paste the iframe code. If you return to the Compose tab you should see the embedded panorama, although it may take a moment to load.

Add more content to the blog post if you want to then hit the Publish button.

Your embedded panorama should look similar to the above, and can be dragged to rotate the view, just like the panorama on Facebook and Momento360. It may be a good idea to link to the original panorama on Momento360 because the site offers excellent fullscreen views. Double click on the panorama above to zoom in and out.

Bonus Tip

Thats essentially all that part 2 of the series on 360 degree panoramas for Second Life set out to cover, but we have a little bonus tip on how to view your image inworld as media on a prim. To begin with, make sure you have the link copied from Momento360, as shown above.

 1/ The above image shows a prim face resting on another prim. Right click on the prim and select Edit to open the Edit panel.

2/ To the top left choose Select Face, then click on the prim face visible in the first image above.

In the area highlighted in red select Media from the dropdown menu. Now hit the Choose button, highlighted in blue.

3/ The above window will open. Under the General tab paste the copied link into the area highlighted in red.  Selecting Auto Zoom is optional.

Hit the Apply button. A thumbnail of the panorama should appear in the window, although it may take a while to show.

4/ Under the Customize tab you can select whether to show a navigation bar above the prim and who can use it. As the prim is going to be used only for the panorama, all the options here have been unchecked. When you're ready click OK.

The prim now shows the 360 panorama and whilst it is as interactive as the image on Facebook and Momento360, it should be expected that its much slower to respond. This is however still a quite a novel way of viewing panoramas.

This completes the second part of our tutorials on 360 degree panoramas for Second Life, and we hope they have been very useful to you. Enjoy creating and sharing your images.
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Creating 360 Degree Panoramas For Second Life Part 1

Creating 360 degree panoramas in Second Life has developed side by side with the same trend in real world photography. The process involves taking 26 overlapping snapshots and 'stitching' them together using external software. To create a 360 degree panorama in Second Life you'll need a  hud that positions the camera for each of the 26 snapshots, and since the better panoramic camera huds come with comprehensive instructions, its not worth repeating them here (the process of creating the snapshots is in fact very easy). 

For the purposes of these tutorials we'll assume you've bought a hud either inworld or on the Marketplace and already have 26 snapshots to work with, so in part one of this short series we'll focus on how to use two different free apps to stitch Second Life images into a panoramic view. 

In Part Two we'll show how to add the necassary metadata to the panoramic image, how to preview the image before uploading it, how to upload it to Facebook, and then how to embed it on your blog.

    How To Stitch Second Life Images Into A Panoramic View

    There are plenty of software options for stitching images into a panoramic view, most of which are very costly. However there are a few free apps that will work very well for our purposes. The two we'll look at here are Hugin and Image Composite Editor, (don't let the fact ICE is made by Microsoft put you off). If you need to, click each image in turn to see full size.

    Creating A Panoramic Image With Hugin

    Hugin is free software dedicated to creating panoramic images and is the option most turn to first. By following a few simple procedures Hugin works extremelly well, although the process can be quite slow.

    1/ When you first start Hugin this is what you'll see. Hugin starts with the Assistant tab visible. Click the Load images button.

    2/ Navigate to the folder containing the 26 Second Life snapshots you took with the panorama camera hud. Click on the first image thumbnail, then holding down Shift on the keyboard click on the last. All thumbnails should now be selected. Hit Open to load the images.

    3/ The above window will open. Since Second Life snapshots naturally don't contain information from a camera the HFOV will need to be added manually. Its important to input the right number here for the panorama image to stitch correctly. Entering 90 seems to work well, although others say anything between 60 - 90 works. Adding 100 can also sometimes work with more stubborn panoramas.
    After entering the HFOV of choice, click OK.

    Theres a slight bug in Hugin which means that after hitting OK the window may open again. Simply enter 90 again and hit OK once more.

    4/ It may take a while for Hugin to load all the images, but once they're loaded they should look something similar to the above. Don't worry if the image is upside down as we'll see to that later. For now hit the Align button, highlighted in red.

    5/ A window similar to the above should open which will show Hugin working. This may take a while.

    6/ When the window closes the 26 snapshots should align themselves to form an image similar to the above. As with all stages in Hugin this can take a few minutes, so don't worry if it seems to hang. We now need to hit the Move/Drag tab, highlighted in red.

    7/ Under the Move/Drag tab we'll turn the image the correct way up by entering 180 in the Roll space then hitting Apply.

    8/ To get rid of the wavy horizon hit the Straighten button. The image should now look similar to the above. Hugin sometimes shows dark lines on the edges of the original snapshots , but these won't show in the exported panorama.

    9/ Back under the Assistant tab we're ready to export the panorama by hitting the Create panorama button.

    10/ This window will now open. Select the width for the exported panorama, and the height should be selected automatically. For the file format select JPEG, (apparently Facebook only accepts 360 degree panoramas in this format). Here the quality has been set to 100%. When you're ready hit OK.

    13/ This message will now show prompting you to save the project. Click OK, navigate to where you want to save the project and save it.

    14/ Now navigate to where you want to save the panoramic image, name it and hit Save.

    15/ Hugin will now look something like this as it works away stitching the images and finally exporting the panorama. This takes a number of minutes.

    16/ When Hugin has finally finished working this window will show the message 'Batch successfully completed' in the lower left.

    The image has now been exported from Hugin and is almost ready to be uploaded as a 360 degree view online. However, there may be some blemishes in the exported image that might need working on in Photoshop or Gimp. Turning a selection of images into panoramas is not always an entirely perfect process, but it does work well most of the time.

    Image Composite Editor

    Although Hugin is the most widely used free software for creating panoramic images there are one or two alternatives, and one we're about to use is Microsoft's Image Composite Editor (ICE for short). All panorama creating software have their strengths and weaknesses, and whilst this is the case with ICE it appears to work very well with Second Life images and is much quicker than Hugin, so its at least worth trying out.

    1/ When ICE is first opened you'll see something similar to the above, (its created by Microsoft and its free, so inevitably there's an advert incorporated into it). Click on New Panorama.

    2/ Navigate to where the images for the panorama are stored, click on the first then whilst holding down the Shift key click on the last image. All of the images should now be selected. Click on Open.

    3/ The images will be imported into ICE. Now hit the Stitch button.

    4/ Whilst ICE is working on the images you'll see a progress window similar to the above.

    5/ The images have now been stitched together. Hit the Export button.

    6/ To the right of the ICE window there are some settings for the exported image. Set the width for the panorama, then select JPEG as the file format. Here the quality of the JPEG is 100%. Now hit the Export to disk button under the Quality tab.

    7/ Navigate to where you want the panorama exported to, name it then hit Save. Your panorama has now been saved to your PC.

    As with Hugin there may be one or two blemishes that need working on in Photoshop or Gimp, but the process works very well, and tends to be speedier than Hugin.

    The 360 panorama above shows the image exported from ICE. Drag your mouse over it to see how it works. In the next tutorial we'll show how to add the metadata to the JPEG in order for website locations to display it as a 360 panorama. We'll also show how to view the image on your desktop before uploading it to the web, how to upload it to Facebook and how to embed it on your blog or website.
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