The Presidio Yacht Club Dock on Horseshoe Cove at Fort Baker Play Button

So, What Have I Learned?

Panoramas are such fun to shoot and create. But this is some really deep territory. Not only am I learning about various ways to physically shoot panos (Currently I’m enamored with arial and kite panos. Check out this stunning arial pano of the Eiffel Tower!), various optical characteristics of the different pano projections, stitching tricks (including HDR and normal outputs), equipment options and the resulting impact on visual output, I’m also exploring the whole set of significant challenges surrounding presentation on the web and in iBooks.

Heretofore, I’ve been posting my panos using PTGui, which works very well. However, I want to begin linking panoramas together into tours of the location. I also want to incorporate map, location, and directional information in the web presentation itself. Version 9 of PTGui‘s web tool doesn’t do any of this.

As I explored krpano Tools while Steve was in the hospital, I focused on web presentation. I learned how to create an initial Little Planet view that resolves into a normal panorama view, create my own control button set, add a top banner complete with my logo and social sharing buttons, generate functioning iOS device outputs, and generate multi-resolution images that automatically adapt to the user’s display size. This required numerous edits to 6 files and the addition of 6 files. I must be getting slower in my old age as this was not an intuitive process at all. Aside from the fact that I do not know how to code action script, javascript, or xml, I don’t understand the basics of what config files control what droplets for what purposes.

I’m gradually hacking my way through it and making sense of the logic of krpano Tools. But I still frequently experience the frustration of reading the documentation, the reference sections, the user forums, and poking around the example files and wondering what on earth I just read. krpano Tools is very robust, but I’ve never used a computer program that doesn’t have a graphic user interface.

I still want to figure out how to keep the initial pano view from beginning until the entire file set has downloaded and compiled. I want to add the text of “Loading:  ## kilobytes of  ## kilobytes total” to the loading bar with a logo image. (I’ve seen examples of how to do this. Unfortunately they include things like “Then add some code here to draw something…” Oh, yes. Of course. Huh?!) Finally, I want to improve the control buttons and add sound control (volume and on/off) as well.

I’ve explored PanoTour Pro, which I really like. It actually sits on top of krpano Tools, acting as a graphic user interface. I’ve also dabbled with Garden Gnome Software’s Pano2VR, which I also really like. Each of the three tools appears to offer different strengths. For example, Pano2VR has a skin editor. I can understand that because it more or less guides me through the logic of the process while writing the code underneath! But Pano2VR doesn’t currently support Little Planet Views. PanoTour Pro is awesome but doesn’t have the skin editor. Garden Gnome has super helpful video tutorials! krpano has a very responsive developer in the very active user forums. You get the idea.

So here is my first official krpano multires panorama presentation that is iOS compatible and has my own button set and banner. At least you’ll enjoy the music.

The Presidio Yacht Club Dock on Horseshoe Cove at Fort Baker Play Button