Much as Coke has become the defacto term for cola, so too has Panotour become the defacto standard for, well, Panotour. I’m not even sure what else to call this Virtual Reality Tour Creation software! There are many types of software that are used for virtual tours, with some using 3D Rendering By RenderVision from Melbourne, Australia. There are others out there, but no one that I know calls it anything else.
For the unenlightened out there, Kolor Panotour lets you take a series of spherical panoramic stills and create a 360 Virtual Tour that you can move through and get info about the locations that you are looking at uniquely.
There are so many things that you can do with this versatile software but for now, let’s see just how easy it is to create a basic Panotour.
After Opening Panotour the first step is to click “Create a Panotour project.”
Next Drag and drop your “Scenes.” into the Main Workspace. Be sure to do some scene planning before you import the scenes. This will make it easier for building your Panotour.
You will need to organize your Scenes in the order that you want the Panotour to go. This is accomplished by simply dragging the Scenes into place in the order that you want them to go.
It is also easier if your group shots. This is done by simply dragging one shot into another.
You have numerous styles that you can choose for your hotspots, but I am going to keep this simple for this example. I have picked the iControl preset from the list of presets.
I’ve added three hotspots to the first image and then connected them to the appropriate images. As you add your hotspot, you also want to use the preview panel on the right to adjust your image to look in the direction that you want. Click the “Default View” to set the direction.
For the image that has the entrance to the backyard, I place a hotspot and connect that to the first image in my backyard group. At my final hotspot of the group, I put a hotspot to lead us into the next group which takes us inside the house.
The next steps involve some pre-planning. This is especially true if it is a large property or area like the Commander’s Palace. The Commander’s Palace is in Las Vegas, and the Commander wanted a Virtual Tour for anyone who might be interested in renting the house.
When you get done with your hotspots and adjusting the room view, the next step is to build the Panotour for viewing.
We then go to the BUILD tab at the top and tell Panotour where to build the HTML file and give your project a name. Then simply, click the “Build” button at the bottom left. The progress bar will indicate your build progress. Depending on how many scenes that you have in your project this may take a while.
You can also Build your Panotour from any tab by clicking the “gear” icon on the top menu bar. Once completed you can play your Panotour by clicking the Play icon located next to the “gear” icon in the top menu bar.
I’ve only scratched the surface of what you can do with Panotour Pro.
Add music, website links, both standard and 360 videos, 3D stereoscopic support, and even HMD support. The list goes on and on.
Here is a list of the new features in Apnotour 2.5
Panotour Pro is now able to manage spherical and flat videos as standard scenes.
With this new feature come two new plugins “Video Control Bar” and a “Video Progress Bar,” and a new button combination in standard control bars “Play/Pause” to play/pause the video.
Stereoscopic 3D video support
This version supports stereoscopic videos scenes.
The stereoscopic format can be selected between Top-Bottom and Side-By-Side.
Tours generated by Panotour Pro are compatible with HMD (Cardboards, Homido, VR One, ColorCrossVR, Oculus DK1 and DK2, GearVR*) if they contain spherical scenes. * partial support
With this feature come two new plugins, “WebVR button” that allows the user to enter VR mode on mobiles, and a “Prev/Next Keys” plugin to allow the user to change the scene with the keyboard while the HMD is on.
Web Content spots
With Panotour Pro, you can now add any web page in a distorted spot in your tour, over a wall, a screen, etc… just like you already do with images and videos.
Add a booking form over a table, a youtube video on a TV screen, etc… easily.
A new plugin to be able to add the Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ share and like/+1 buttons over the tour.
Add your Google Analytics tracking ID and you’ll be able to follow the loading of all scenes.
Loading transition plugin
This new plugin allows you to change the way the newly loaded panorama appears over the older one.
The animations only appear with the HTML5 player when WebGL is activated.
There are many new available actions into the “view control”: zoom in/out, move left/right/top/bottom, look to.
Some HTML5 plugins (Gallery, Social Share, PDF viewer, Web video viewer, Website viewer) receive the open, close and toggle actions.
Some plugins (SmallGalleryBar, Compass, Radar, Simple button, Toggle button, WebVR button) receive the show, hide and toggle actions.
Snow and Rain plugins receive the start, stop and toggle actions.
XML files generation enhanced
If your project is already built, the tour generation generates only the XML files.
We enhanced the performance of this generation, so you’ll be able to see your modifications faster on a large tour with many scenes, many plugins and many spots.
Improved Tiles generation
Due to issues on mobile devices, MS Edge browser with WebGL renderer, the tiles of all full spherical panoramas is now resized to 512×512 pixels.
/!\ WARNING: If your project is already built, all full spherical panoramas tiles will be rebuilt during next build to store tiles as 512×512 pixels sets.
/!\ WARNING: If in a previous version, you locked spherical panoramas to not generate their tiles anymore, you’ll have to unlock them during the first build.
Automatic scaling on mobile devices
UI elements of the tour are automatically scaled on mobile devices.
A new option in the Build properties allows you disable this option.
• The search feature in Tour area: Just enter a part of a name to select all the panoramas or groups containing this text into their name
• We have added shortcuts to the hotspot editor to enhance productivity on spotting : Ctrl+F: Fullscreen, M: Move, L: Polygon, P: Picture, S: Spot, V: Video, C: Crop, Left/Right keys: Prev/Next pano
• Group windows are now resizable. They are still created by default with two columns of panoramas, but you can now resize them to facilitate tour management.
• Scene order can be changed easier than before, and groups display reflects the order of its scenes.
• Scenes can be duplicated
• Groups can be duplicated
• Plugin instances can be duplicated
• Spot style instances can be duplicated
• Plugins can be re-ordered with drag-n-drop
• The default view of flat scenes can be set to the whole scene more easily
• All tours are now generated for desktop and mobiles. And HTML5 is the standard and default player used. So there is now only one option that allows you to enable or not the flash player fallback.
• Panotour Pro interface is now available in Italian
• Control Bars
The home button in control bars is now able to load a specific URL.
Previous/Next buttons can call the new actions “Load previous/next groups” instead of the previous/next panorama.
All control bars contain a new button that enables the activation of the VR mode.
• Social Share
Social share plugin now allows you to share the tour on VK.
• Video Box
Added SoundCloud as a possible provider.
• Gallery, Website Box, Video Box, PDF Box, Social Share plugins
The buttons of the Gallery, Website Box, Video Box, PDF Box, Social Share plugins can be customized
Tooltips can be set over these buttons.
A background overlay image can be set behind these plugins.
• Double click
Added double tap support.
Added the possibility to use the group color when displaying the current group title.
Add 45° imagery support on Google maps layer
• Panorama Menu and Panorama List
Support of the “current group” source.
• Generated tours now use the HTML5 player by default. Flash player is now mainly used as a fallback.
• Tooltips on point spots can be displayed permanently.
Tour language and generated files
If you run Panotour Pro in another language than English, Panotour Pro will generate a “messages” XML file suffixed by the language used in Panotour Pro.
For example, if you run PTP in German, and if your main tour file is mytour.html, the messages file is now mytour_messages_de.xml.
A new advanced option in the Build properties, allows you to generate multiple languages files according to a list of languages you want to embed in your tour.
A new advanced action allows you to switch from a language to another using those new files.
Panotour Pro does not any translation, and you’ll have to edit the generated files to translate your tour messages. Make sure you back these edited files up, they will be overwritten if you build the tour again.