Flash Output (Pano2VR)
From Garden Gnome Software
Outputting your project as a Flash movie is very simple in Pano2VR. Although there are a good amount of settings to adjust, the default settings will give you acceptable results.
This tutorial (created with v2.3.1) will walk you through the steps to output your panorama as a Flash SWF. You can use this text to follow along with the video tutorials:
There are project files available (packed ZIP) for you to follow along and practice with. This tutorial will refer to these project files.
If you need a refresher on the output settings, read this article.
The First Steps
If you're using the provided project, you can simply open the Basic.p2vr project file and skip these first steps.
- Import your panorama.
- Set the Default View and Viewing Limits.
- If you wish, add user data, hotspots and sound.
- Continue with The Basics below.
Outputting a Flash Movie (SWF): The Basics
In this section, the basic steps needed to output a good output are explained. Please following along with the project files (start with Basic.p2vr) or start your own project.
- In the Output section of the main project window, choose Flash as the Output Format from the menu and click, Add. This will open the settings window.
- Now, just click OK here and keep the settings at their defaults to see their results. You'll notice that the outputted file is 3.8MB which is quite large. A few tweaks in the settings can lower the file size without significantly compromising the image quality. Also some other features can be be added. To carry on and tweak the settings, move on to next step.
- Starting with the Tile Settings, in the Flash Output Settings, set the cube face size by choosing the Optimal value provided by Pano2VR (685 px). You can also enter your desired cube face size.
- Choose the JPEG quality from the Image Quality slider or dial it in. For this image (project files), keep the default, 90.
A quality setting of 90 is almost lossless, while a quality of 10 will very clearly show artifacts. You can see the effects of this compression on an object movie here.
- Adjust the individual cube face quality of the Zenith (Up) and Nadir (Down) tiles. Zenith = 50; Nadir = 50.
Sometimes the Zenith and Nadir images don't contain very important information and we can therefore lower their quality. But be careful with too low of a setting, you don't want pixelated images.
- Enter the number of sub tiles each cube face should have. For this image we enter 3 for a 3x3 sub tiling.
- Moving on to the Display section, adjust the window size in which the movie will play. A size of 640x480 is common and a good size for this project.
- Next, set the Render Quality. For this image you can keep the default which is at 9.
- Keep Decrease quality while moving, Change stage quality, and Change bitmap filtering selected.
- Select Enable auto rotation in the Auto Rotate section to have the movie auto rotate.
- Change the Pan Speed to -0.20º/Frame.
A negative number will rotate the movie from right to left while a positive number rotates the movie from left to right.
- Set the Delay to 3.0 seconds.
- Set the Return to Horizon to 2.0. This will ensure that the movie will return to it's horizon after it has been moved.
- Select Only in focus to have the movie only rotate when the mouse hovers over it.
- Next, select the skin, controller_new_popup.ggsk, from the Skin list in the Skin/Controller section. This will add a controller to the movie.
To learn more about creating skins check out this article.
- Make sure that the Output type is set to Flash 9/10.
- Go to the Advanced Settings tab to customize the downloading image. Choose Sepia as the Type in the Download/Preview section.
- Keep the Resolution at its default.
NOTE: This option will affect the file size.
- For the Download Order, keep it at Default View.
- Finally, go to the HTML Tab and select Enable HTML file. This will output an HTML file that you can use to embed your panorama on your website.
- Choose the normal.ggt template and keep everything else at their defaults.
- Click OK.
- A dialog pops up asking if Pano2VR should create the output file now. Choose, Yes.
When Pano2VR is finished building the file it will open automatically (if you keep Open after creation selected) within the HTML page.
That's it! Now you should be ready for the second part of this tutorial - Advanced.
Outputting a Flash Movie (SWF): Advanced
This section starts where the Basic tutorial left off and touches on the more advanced options. You can use the Advanced.p2vr project file for this part which is also the end product/project of the Basic tutorial.
- Open the Flash output settings (click on the wrench button to reopen the settings.)
- In the Display section, set the Frame Rate to 25.
The default is set to 50 which is OK, but may ask a bit too much of a user's CPU (processor) power. Lowering the frame rate ensures the movie runs smoothly on the user's computer - especially if there are multiple movies on one web page.
- Set the quality during movement. For this project, keep all options (Decrease while moving, Change stage quality & Change bitmap filter) selected.
When the panorama moves, you can choose to have it rendered at full quality or have the the quality of the whole stage (including the panorama) decreased; or decrease only the panorama during movement which will cause faster movement (speed).
See some examples with explanations.
- Next, set the Scaling or how the movie will scale when its playback window changes. Choose With Window.
Click here to see some examples.
- For the FoV Mode, keep the default, Vertical.
This will ensure that the when the stand alone movie window is adjusted by the user, the vertical field of view will always be visible when the image is being scaled (or resized).
Your Settings Tab should now look something like this (click for larger view):
- Go to the Advanced Settings tab and in the Control section, set the Sensitivity to 8 (which is the default).
- If you have a company license, add some text in the Context Menu Link section along with a link to a website (i.e. the name of your company and a link to your company's website): Garden Gnome Software and www.gg-sw.com.
- Invert the mouse and keyboard control by selecting Invert control for Mouse/Keyboard.
This will invert the panorama's movement (like Google's street view).
- For this project, select Allow network access so you can test your web links.
- In the Hotspot Text box section, deselect Visible from both the Background and Border options.
This will make only the text visible for the hotspot. You might find on output that this makes the hotspot text difficult to read. You can always go back and change the settings to show the background (and border).
Your Advanced Settings Tab should now look something like this (click for larger view):
- Finally, in the HTML tab, disable the HTML file.
- Click OK to output the panorama.
A dialog pops up asking if Pano2VR should create the output file now (or if it should recreate the file). Choose, Yes. When Pano2VR is finished building the file it will open automatically (if you keep Open after creation selected).
Test your flash output and if needed, go back and make changes.