DevalVR/FPP/Flash/Quicktime? Which?!

It’s confusing but it is good to have alternatives. Traditional VR Photography has evolved a lot and VR Photographers now have a bigger array (or arsenal) of tools to output their final masterpiece into. Here’s a short list:

1. Quicktime (http://www.quicktime.com)
2. Flash (http://www.flash.com)
3. DevalVR (http://www.devalvr.com)
4. Krpano (http://krpano.com)
5. FPP (http://flashpanoramas.com)

I personally almost exclusively release my 360 VR Panos as DevalVR and Flash and are generated automatically using Pano2VR’s droplet that I created to save time when processing for a past commercial project 46 panos. ok, here’s the why.


DevalVR is small and fast to install. Quicktime is bloated, as of writing version 7.5.5 without iTune for Windows is 26mb vs DevalVR 0.7.5.8 weighing light as a feather at 307kb.

DevalVR is also very flexible with minimum programming needed but if you’re interested like me, in extending this wonderful engine, you can do embedding of videos in 360 VR (I released an example sometime back).

Then I will export the same pano in Flash format honestly, for people who just do not want to install things on their PC or are not able to as their office PC may have policy restricting them from doing so, hey, we do surf the Internet during office hours still don’t we? :P. Flash is commonly already installed and it’s useful when I need to show potential clients or people I want a pano taken of what a pano is.

fpp

Then, there’s the rest more advance one like FPP which I bought to have a go at it and found the learning curve kind of steep even for me, I am in IT first then into photography. Linux, UX, Windows, PHP, mySQL and running Apache and all like what this site is running off but it’s too tedious to be running FPP…then came the GUI for FPP. A graphical interface for FPP but after paying $85SGD for FPP and needing to fork out another 55 Euros (about 106SGD) for the Flashificator (http://flashificator.com/), I’m skipping it for now till some features I may need for a particular project comes along. Promoting 360 VR around Asia hasn’t been easy and with prices like these, it puts many people off especially those who intends to do it for recreation.

Control

FPP however, do have it’s advantages of course, as with every other things…good things cannot be cheap but expensive (or paid) stuffs are biased being “good”. It’s super fast and you do not need to output your equirectangular images in any format to FPP. You simply feed the equi image to FPP and it’ll load. Need other plugins? They have quite a few, embed video, a realtime clock and even artificial sun beams/lens flare! Simply load the particular plugin with your pano and viola!

skineditor

VR Walkthroughs with compass, maps etc are popular especially with property agents/ companies. Both can do it well and the fastest way of doing it? Personally, Pano2VR’s built in editor is more than enough with a WYSIWYG interface and very good tutorials.

Want to zoom, auto-rotate, zoom out and repeat zoom in and out, any of the above are able to do it with minimum coding. Compare the codes:

DevalVR (From http://www.devalvr.com/paginas/soporte/sequencer.html):

<OBJECT codeBase=’http://www.devalvr.com/instalacion/plugin/devalocx.cab#version=0,2,9,14′
classid=clsid:5D2CF9D0-113A-476B-986F-288B54571614
style=’WIDTH: 400; HEIGHT: 300′ width=’400′ height=’300′>

<PARAM NAME=”src” VALUE=”panorama.mov”>
<PARAM NAME=”firstautoplay” VALUE=”0, 50″>
<PARAM NAME=”autoplay” VALUE=”6″>
<PARAM NAME=”sequencefile” VALUE=”sequence.txt”>

<EMBED TYPE=’application/x-devalvrx’
PLUGINSPAGE=’http://www.devalvr.com/instalacion/plugin/install.html’

src=”panorama.mov”
firstautoplay=”0, 50″
autoplay=”6″
sequencefile=”sequence.txt”

width=’400′ height=’300′></EMBED>
</OBJECT>

FPP’s coding (From http://www.flashpanos.com/plugins/patrick/autohorizon):

<panorama>
<parameters>
layer_20 = files/hotspots.swf
layer_80 = files/cl_returnToHorizon_0.1.swf
</parameters><br /><br />
<cl_autohorizon>
pan=20
tilt=10
zoom=2
pause=3
speed=2
quality=low
on=true
autorotate=false
</cl_autohorizon>
<!–// “on” above is different from “off” below
ON here means at start – while OFF below means immediate disposition
//–>

<autorotator>
speed = -1
interval = 30
pause = 1000
quality = low
</autorotator>
<hotspots>
<global
testFunction = “pano.tint=0;pano.tintColor=#ac7a33;pano.tint=1,400”
>

<pano></pano>
<!–// ALLOWED CALLS FROM HOTSPOTS, with examples:
external.cl_autohorizon.tilt=-10;
external.cl_autohorizon.pan=10;
external.cl_autohorizon.zoom=1.2; (in degrees)
external.cl_autohorizon.pause=3;
external.cl_autohorizon.speed=2; (in seconds)
external.cl_autohorizon.quality=low; (medium, high, best)
external.cl_autohorizon.autorotate=true;
external.cl_autohorizon.doNow=true;
external.cl_autohorizon.off=true; (or false)
external.cl_autohorizon.next=SomeFunctionNameHere;
(as in: global.testFunction)
//–>

<spot id=“001” static=“1” sAlign=“lt” staticX=“67” staticY=“30”
url=“files/nav/001.png” blockMouse=“1”
onClick=
external.cl_autohorizon.pan=200;
external.cl_autohorizon.doNow=true;
external.cl_autohorizon.next=global.testFunction;

/>

<spot id=“002” static=“1” sAlign=“lt” staticX=“101” staticY=“30”
url=“files/nav/002.png” blockMouse=“1”
onClick=
external.cl_autohorizon.pan=-270;
external.cl_autohorizon.doNow=true;

/>

<spot id=“003” static=“1” sAlign=“lt” staticX=“135” staticY=“30”
url=“files/nav/003.png” blockMouse=“1”
onClick=“external.cl_autohorizon.off=true;”
/>

<spot id=“004” static=“1” sAlign=“lt” staticX=“169” staticY=“30”
url=“files/nav/004.png” blockMouse=“1”
onClick=“external.cl_autohorizon.off=false;”
/>

<spot id=“005” static=“1” sAlign=“lt” staticX=“203” staticY=“30”
url=“files/nav/005.png” blockMouse=“1”
onClick=
external.cl_autohorizon.pause=5;
external.cl_autohorizon.tilt=0;
external.cl_autohorizon.zoom=1.5;
external.cl_autohorizon.pan=40;

/>

<spot id=“006” static=“1” sAlign=“lt” staticX=“236” staticY=“30”
url=“files/nav/006.png” blockMouse=“1”
onClick=“external.cl_autohorizon.doNow=true;”
/>

<!–// Auto Rotate: //–>
<spot id=“autorotator_button” static=“1” sAlign=“lt” staticX=“33” staticY=“30” url=“files/nav/rotate_normal.png” blockMouse=“1”
onClick=“toggleAutoRotation;”
toggleAutoRotation=“pano.pan_v=0; pano.tilt_v=0; pano.zoom_v=0;external.autorotator.disabled+=1;”
/>

</global>
</hotspots>
</panorama>

Please note it’s not the length of the coding we’re comparing here but the functionality. Both offers a very neat way of coding, straight forwardand is clean.

Support/ Community

Peer productivity. It’s the IN thing now and support from the orginal developers are not as fast with FPP but DevalVR offers faster response to “problems” within their forums from both fellow panographers and the developers.

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