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360VR Flash Player Implementations Compared to QuickTime

December 2nd, 2007

Several people have asked about which of the 3 major Flash player implementations are the “best”. Since it’s been my experience that the image displayed and the size of the equirectangular image used plays a big part in how the image looks I thought it would be instructive to do a comparison of the different Flash players all using the very same image as input.For the comparison is used a 360VR image above of my grandson Morgan standing beside the Spruce Goose, SR71 and Atlas missile at the Evergreen Aviation Museum. Since I originally prepared the image for QuickTime I decided to include the QuickTime image. This image that was used as input to all of the players below is a 3600×1800 JPG file that is 1.15 MB. Here’s how it looks in each of the players:QuickTime from: ApplePano2VR from: Garden Gnome SoftwareImmervision from: ImmervisionFPP (Denis Chumakov) from: Flashpanoramas.comBy looking at the same image in all 4 players you can get a feeling for any differences in the load time, rendering or smoothness of these players. I have a hard time seeing any differences between the 4 different players. I’ll let you be the judge of the quality of the different players.Another factor, which I haven’t compared is the ease of use of each of these players. My general assessment is that Immervision is probably the most involved and Pano2VR is probably the easiest. But there are other strong and weak points of each of the Flash players. I’ll have to leave that for another post.

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12 Responses to “360VR Flash Player Implementations Compared to QuickTime”

  • Here is my experience… sitting at the Houston airport using a very weak (2 bar) wireless connection.

    1. QuickTime – loaded well, played the smoothest of all of them No distortion when panning .

    2. Pano2VR – this one was good too although I didn’t like how the vertical lines became distorted when I pannned.

    3. Immervision – smooth but not full screen. I have a feeling it would have become “choppy” at full screen. Also, and this really bugs me! If I look straight up I can spin round and round… in other words there is no “stop” straight up – like our neck stops when we look straight up physically. Points off for that!

    4. I didn’t like how I never got to see anything until it was %100 loaded. After that it is pretty good. Similar Pano2VR.

    Larry wrote,, “My general assessment is that Immervision is probably the most involved and Pano2VR is probably the easiest.”

    Is that for Flash only? QuickTime is very easy to embedd into a web page – DreamWeaver and GoLive authoring software automatically can do this with one click.

    Thanks Larry!

    David

  • @David,
    Yes, I just included QuickTime as a historical reference point. My impression is that despite the fact that most VR photographers have used QuickTime now that Flash has become so close to QuickTime in quality and has so many penetration benifits (That is almost all people can now see VR images without a download) that Flash will soon over take QuickTime in usage.

    What do you think?

  • I am not ur eif anyone is interested, but the program that I use is Tou Weaver 3, and it publishes in Flash or Java, but here is a link to a Flash tour that came out fairly good. the pics aren’t the best, as I was mainly testing the linking pano’s functionality of the prouct. This software is about $200, but it allows you to do a lot of custom stuff. Check out the tour beow, and note the way you can move around in it.

    Flash Demo

  • @Jeremy,
    Your demo looks pretty good! I used Tourweaver several years ago when they first came out and end-up not upgrading after the second version because their stitching wasn’t very good… looks like they have improved it a lot.

  • Larry,
    Actually, the stitching was done using Fanorama Factory 4.5. It is a really nice stitching program, mainly used for stitching “fine art” type scenic pano’s. I am not sure if TW’s is any better than it was when you tried the program as far as it’s stitching though…

    – Jeremy Meier.

  • What customisation does TourWeaver offer? I’ve been looking for a solution where I can customise the user interface, loading screen, size (though most do this one), and also the ability to go into fullscreen.

    Any ideas on this one?

    -Rafe Copeland

  • That sounds like what I need – doesn’t stitch though?

    Haha I just bought a Nikon D80 this morning, looks my wallet is about to take another hit…

    Thanks Larry!

  • Rafe,

    Tour Weaver 3 offers quite a bit of customization as far as the interface, screen size, hotspots, and full-screen, but I think you have to get the Pano Weaver program to stitch. As I mentioned earlier here, I use the Panorama Factory 4.5 software, and I love it! It’s a little involved, but produces great results! heck out my link in my earlier comment if you want to see what a tour looks like. Just Dbl Click anywhere in the panorama image to toggle into full-screen mode.

  • Thanks Everyone,

    That’s been a huge help. Talking to actual people about it rather than plodding through thousands of diatribes from the software industry on how their software is wonderful is so much more helpful!

    Cheers,

    Rafe

  • I am still trying to choose which player to buy, but I thought it’d be a good idea to add krpano at http://www.krpano.com into the mix. This is by far the player with the best image quality. It has a long list of features, but my favorite is the ability to zoom into a multi-resolution panorama and get more detail. Here is an example http://www.krpano.com/krpano.html?pano=panos/hafen/hafen.xml

    Gregory

  • @Gregory,
    I’d not seen this viewer before. Quality does look good. I agree it’s one of the best flash implementations if not the best I’ve seen.

    Since I wrote this comparison post it has become clearer that the supporting software to get from a equirectangular or MOV file to the final web usable panorama it a big factor… FPP has nothing or very little in this area, Pano2VR has a nice GUI for PC and Mac and Immervision has a PC only GUI with very complicated supporting documentation. There is some work going on to build a GUI for working with FPP. I haven’t looked closely enough at krpano to understand what they have but for me this is a big factor.

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