Pano2VR Ultimate User Guide: How to Create a Two-Node Mini Tour
Pano2VR is a virtual tour creation program first and foremost, but it is also capable of many other things such as small plant creation, animation and flash creation amongst other things.
After working through this tutorial you will have covered the basics of Pano2VR and will have built a basic tour.
What you will need to get started
This tutorial assumes you are using the full ‘Pano2VR Pro’ suite to obtain advanced abilities and features such as automatic progression and automatic linking, although manually completing these tasks shall also be covered. To complete this tutorial you will also require two equirectangular 360*180 images.
When Pano2VR opens you are presented with a set of options:
Click on New Project and you are taken to the ‘Open File’ dialog where you can navigate to your desired panorama’s location and open it. Within Pano2VR and many other tour creation suites these images are named ‘nodes’.
After opening, if your copy of Pano2VR is not up to date an update options dialogue will open up, select ‘Download Update’ to update, ‘Skip Update’ to skip this update or ‘Remind Me Later’ to get on with the job.
If this window does not open, you may begin a new project by going to the menu, ‘File’ > ‘New’, by dragging an image into the central black panel or by clicking the ‘input’ button on the toolbar.
You may now drag and drop more images for your virtual tour into the bottom panel, the ‘Tour Browser’. Drag the second image of the mini tour into the bottom panel now.
In Pano2VR all the settings for your project and can be hidden, docked, rearranged and stacked. These settings are held within what Garden Gnome Software (the creators of Pano2VR call ‘Panels’. There are ten of these panels and they are: Properties, Viewing Parameters, User Data, Tour eBrowser, Tour Map, Output, Overview, List View, History and Viewer Settings.
To show a panel: From the top toolbar or the window menu, select the panel.
To Hide a Panel: Click the x.
Hotspots within an image are points at which a graphic is placed and a user clicks on which then opens up an information window within the tour, take them to a website or move them on to the next panoramic 360 image.
To add a hotspot:
1. Drag the image to view where you want the hotspot to appear in the central window.
2. Click the panels options button at the top left and a set of options will slide out.
3. Click the yellow target icon.
4. Double click within the node at the point ay which you require the hotspot to function.
5. Add the hotspot name and title, its description and choose ‘Tour Node’ as the link type and finally select the second image from the drop down menu in the hotspots properties panel to the left on the image viewer.
Now select your second image and repeat the above process with a hotspot linked back to the original node.
Patching the apex/nadir
To patch an area of the image, for example, to remove the tripod at the nadir:
Enter Patch mode from the viewer:
Move the panorama to the area of the image to patch.
1. To add the patch, double click the panorama and drag the center of the patch to the desired location.
2. Rotate the patch clicking the red arrow and drag it up or down.
3. Patching the apex or nadir will result in the patch snapping into place as the software recognizes your intent.
4. Choose ‘Image’ as the type and then your preferred file format (if jpeg you may also set the desired quality level).
5. Click Extract. The patch will now open in your preferred image editor for editing, here you can touch up the patch and save it for use in your spherical format images, The patch automatically updates in the viewer.
6. After editing your patch and saving the image Pano2VR should update the node and apply the patch.
Now that the nodes are linked and patched save your mini tour by clicking menu, ‘File’ > ‘Save’. The software will now generate the tours files in the chosen directory.
Having saved your tour you can now export it to be used on a website by clicking the green cross in the export panel on the right and choosing HTML5 as your export type.
A selection of new options will now open below the green cross drop down selector.
First, you will need to decide where your output tour files will be generated by pressing the folder button and navigating to your desired location.
Second, you can choose a skin for the hotspots etc to use, for now leave the default skin in place.
Below the four buttons are more options, to enable automatic rotation of your tour, just expand the rotation option and enable it by making sure the tick box is filled and finally click the gear button above this option to generate your tour.
To enable a smooth transition between your nodes, enlarge the transitions options by clicking on the downwards pointing arrow next to transitions in the box below and tick the box next to panoramas to enable the different transition options. Choose a simple transition (cross dissolve is a good basic option) Your tour will now be generated and you will see various progress bars filling.
Upon completion you will be transported to your preferred browser to test out your tour and make sure the hotspot transition is working and that the patch has applied successfully and is covering the required blemish.
At the bottom of the tour window in your browser should be some tour controls, to enable the end user to manipulate the nodes at will.
Your tour should now be rotating slowly through the first panorama, awaiting first use!
Dimona is a VR evangelist and spherical content creator based in London, UK. They have been experimenting within this arena since discovering VR as empathy machines whilst studying psychology at university. Dimona can be reached at Dimonauk@360camerasandfilm.co.uk or on social media by searching for dimonauk.