Flash Panorama Player 2.2 announcement

There is a time to update your panorama players. New version brought a lot of new possibilities. You can buy it here right now. All future updates of Flash Panorama Player are free! Thank you for using my software.

Main changes for new version of the player::

QTVR files in mov format can be loaded inside Flash Panorama Player at runtime (including multi-tiles panoramas and cylindrical QTVR panoramas). You do not need to have installed QuickTime player to see QTVR files with Flash Panorama Player, only Flash Player.
QTVR movie example (loads this QTVR file).
Cylinder QTVR example (loads this movie).
I can’t guarantee now all possible QTVR files support, but it should work with all contemporary QTVR creators (tested with RealvizStitcher Unlimited, PTGui, pano2qtvr, PanoCube, Panorama Factory, 3D Studio Max and some others). No QTVR hotspots, QTVR objects or advanced settings supported now, use FPP’s hotspots and advanced settings if you need. I will continue to improve QTVR decoder in future.

From now I should recommend cube QTVR format as a preferred format for Flash Panorama Player: it takes no superfluous memory, it takes almost no time for decoding, it loads smoother than separate cube faces (use tiles), it can contain build-in low quality preview. Moreover it is widely available format, there are a lot of free and cheap tools with QTVR output.

Flash Panorama Player supports now spherical and cylindrical panorama formats as well. I tried to find the optimal combination between the panorama quality and speed of transformation (all spheres and cylinders are transformed to cube faces just after the loading), small spherical panoramas (less than 2000) do it fast enough, but there is can be a noticeable pause for big panorama transformation (5-7 seconds for 9000×4500 panorama). Spherical image example (loads this image).

Actually, any single image can be a panorama now: set rough hfov and vfov settings for your image and load it as a sphere segment: Comet Between Fireworks and Lightning. This is well-known photo by Antti Kemppainen. I like it very much. I drew the bold red border around it to demonstrate how precisely the new Limits plugin works. It shows all possible pixels for any angle of view but it hides all pixels outside the image borders. Also notice that Autorotation plugin can understand the borders of the viewing area in this example.

All panorama images can be loaded now as a stream: cube faces example. Also there is an additional parameter loaderBandwidth to restrict the maximal loading speed. It is useful to test your panorama offline (say, if you want to check your panorama for low speed connection). But you can use it as well to make loader process more smooth or as a “eye candy” effect. I recommend to disable this options for big cylindrical and spherical panoramas (takes too many processor’s time).

Finally the panorama player can load images in swf format. Not as for vector images (they will be transformed to bitmaps just after the loading), not as for animation (you can put an swf animation to the panorama using distorted hotspots), but to have a possibility to load fast panoramas (say, as a first screen in your virtual tour, as a simple background for your panorama-based site menu, or as a part of some online game). For example, this “panorama” is less than 1 kb. Should be useful for someone. Let it be.

New effects for hotspots: glow, shadow, bevel, tint and sharpness (including various subservient parameters like shadowDistance, shadowAngle, shadowStrength, blurQuality, glowColor and so on). Check the old example with updated Editor plugin, for example, try to apply a tint effect to the pano object or play with glow settings of hotspots.

Other changes:

  • I modified 4th point of Personal License. Now you can use Personal License to create projects allowing users to use their own images to play with the Flash Panorama Player engine. Something like http://viewat.org/. Good job, guys!
  • I fixed rare but noisy bug with blank screen in IE.
  • No more problems with hiding loaders: all plugins load now before the panorama images.
  • Hotspots plugin now can reload XML parameters on new panorama loading. I.e. you can use different sets of hotspots for different panoramas in a single virtual tour easy.
  • New function for Hotspots script “javascript:” to run Javascript commands (to open new popup window or to run an external function, for example).
  • New parameters for panorama: frameRate, ratio, allowDomain, shrink, transparentBack, hfov, vfov.
  • A lot of other small improvements.

Plans for October:

  • I’m going to finish some old works (LensFlare plugin, ToolTips plugin and mp3Player plugin). They will be open source.
  • Also I’m going to publish some Actionscript examples: “how to create your own coder/decoder for Flash Panorama Player” (say, for encrypted images), “how to add your own transition function (for hotspots motion)” and “how to create your own transition effect (between panoramas)”
  • I’m going to describe all public functions of Panorama and Hotspots objects. I think it will help developers using my player as embedded object.
  • Some experiments with new type of panoramas. ;)

Watch for updates,