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360 view for virtual tour

Hello,
I have to find out how to develop "a virtual tour" service for an apartment management company. They need a web-site where they whant to view each apartment type in 360.
Example:
http://parkvillagepaloalto.com/live/site/Listing.PubOffPO?usid=&p_poid=GDKBM1335F&lid=GKMCFE1335G&event=&p_moid=

Go to "Virtual Tour" link
Urgent help needed.
Thanks
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soferstam
Asked:
soferstam
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4 Solutions
 
weedCommented:
QuickTime VR and its associated tools is your best bet. Pretty simple tools actually. Shooting the footage is the hardest part.
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DonelsonCommented:
I specialise in 360-degree panoramic virtual tours.

You can see samples of our recent work at

  Explore Kew Gardens
   http://www.explore-kew-gardens.net

and

   Explore the Taj Mahal
   http://www.taj-mahal.net


You do NOT need QuickTime VR to do these kinds of tours, although in development you may find QT and QTVR to be very helpful.

We offer a service to take pano photo sections and stitch them together, and set them up to work with PTviewer on clients' websites.

Regards,
William Donelson



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weedCommented:
Why would you not do it with QTVR?
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DonelsonCommented:
If what you want is for the Internet, please remember that QuickTime is a 10MB+ download these days. This is why our newest site uses a Java Applet (PTviewer = 25kb) for panos instead.

We also own a panoramic camera, so do not need to stitch multiple pictures together.

To do the stitching, we use QuickTime VR Authoring Studio. It is a pretty old programme, and there are others out there on the market, particularly VR-Worx.

How many, and how often, will you be doing panoramas?

William

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dearsinaCommented:
I used to shoot 360 degree tours in London and what 'Donelson' has mentioned is very important, you want something that clients can download quick and although the QTVR software itself probably is a head better, the safest bet is to go with a Java applet. The company I worked for used a piece of software called 3dVista which takes "single" images and merges them into a panoramic photograph which it then takes and makes into a virtual tour.

Now, if you're serious about 360 panoramas, or if you see this is something that you'll be doing many of, you should seriously invest in a 360 camera, it will make your job much much eaiser by avoiding the stiching of images which will in the longer run pay off the initial investment.

sina
london

ps. I worked for http://www.instanttours.co.uk/


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webwomanCommented:
QT is probably overkill for this...it really isn't the best tool.
 
If you get PhotoSuite, it comes with all tools needed to stitch together regular photos (digital or scanned) and make the 360 views. It's also CHEAP, and will do other retouching as well (though it's far from the best, IMHO).

If you really want the top end tools, QT is better, but you'd probably take longer to get what you want, and you'd probably need add-ons (at least, that's what it looks like from Apple's website).

I've used PhotoVista (which I think either changed to or used to be 3dVista), and it's very straightforward to use.
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webwomanCommented:
I just checked that link... they use PhotoVista/3dVista/whatever it's called now. It's a java applet and a special photo. Interface on the applet is exactly the same as what I've used.

You CAN get expensive panoramic cameras to take the pictures, or use the software. The photos from the panoramic cameras are better quality, but the stitched together stills work just fine.
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soferstamAuthor Commented:
webwoman,
So are you saying that I can shot the pictures with regular digital capera, put them together using PhotoShite or something like this, make one long picture and use some JavaScript to move the pictiure?
If it's correct I will try it,sounds very easy to do
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dearsinaCommented:
Stitching is no easy job, if you want it right you should run your pictures thru a program like Photosuite (Ulead 360 is also good) and then finish them off manually using Photoshop etc. If you look closely at the "seams" of automatically stiched pictures they hardly ever match up.

sina
london

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webwomanCommented:
They can match up pretty good if you take the pictures right. It won't be as good as a panoramic camera, but it's not bad. You DO need the stitching software though.

And it IS easy, if you have the right software. ;-)
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stelogicCommented:

I spent ages trying find a good way of doing this that didn`t involve everyone who looked at the site needing to download some weird plugin that they would only use for this.

it can all be done simply in flash ... 2 layers with the same image meeting up at one end and put on loop and it looks like the following..

http://www.rs-design.uk.com/kelso/kelso_races.htm

contact me and i will send you the fla.

regards

stelogic


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weedCommented:
If i recall, flash requires a plugin...
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stelogicCommented:
yes flash does need a plugin your right ..

but its not "some weird plugin that they would only use for this."

steve
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weedCommented:
Like?...QuickTime?...Everyone has the QT plugin. It's probably the most common browser plugin around.
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dsprenzelCommented:
Try PixMaker (http://www.pixaround.com/)

IT's a fantastic program that stitches photos together in 360 degrees, flat panoramics, Outside (matriix-style) shots, and much more.  

There's a free demo at the site, and i was able to, ahem, procure a key to unlock the full version, FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES ONLY, natch.
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webwomanCommented:
Or a java applet? That's what the PhotoVista software uses. It will even generate the HTML page for you, then you just need to copy/paste the code. It's one line. ;-)
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webwomanCommented:
And remember, the software we're talking about costs about **$50US***

It's not a major expense. Cheaper than Flash, and less of a learning curve. ;-)
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soferstamAuthor Commented:
Hi All,
I'm still looking for the best and cheap solution. It will take me a few more days to evaluate each suggestion.
Thank you.
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dsprenzelCommented:
Like i said previously, try PixMaker/PixAround.  The evaluation is free.
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musalmanERP ConsultantCommented:
yes u should searc by google.com,,,
hope u will find ur result
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jmherbisonCommented:
Stelogic has the right idea.  I also use Flash to do my virtual tours and I think that flash pluggin is downloaded a lot more than QT.  I bought a Canon Powershot G2 it came with Photostitch and then I put the image in flash the same way that Stelogic was talking about.  The real good thing about Flash is that if it is a small enough Virtual Tour you can export it as a gif.  Everyone can see a gif file.  The only bad thing about the gif is that the tour is not as smooth.
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falarakiCommented:
Have a look at http://www.ipix.com. The solution they sell is cheap if you have a compatible digital camera and it requires no stitching together. It all works on a tripod with a 180 degree fisheye lens. Seems a pretty simple solution to me!!
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shamstarCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.  I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:

- Split points between Donelson, weed, webwoman & Stelogic

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

shamstar
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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