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Dynamic JavaVRs?

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  • Mark Banas (lists)
    Greetings, oh great and knowledgeable community of panoramic enthusiasts! Some of you may be able to help with this panorama related query... I am setting up a
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 10, 2006
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      Greetings, oh great and knowledgeable community of panoramic
      enthusiasts!

      Some of you may be able to help with this panorama related query...

      I am setting up a gallery of panoramic images that are currently
      displayed as "flat" JPEGs, but I would like the option to present
      them as VRs. I am using a PHP/db-driven gallery software (Gallery2)
      which dynamically creates the gallery pages. You can see the initial
      test results here:

      http://www.mab3d.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=21

      What I would like to find is a Java VR display solution that can show
      each "distorted" image in the typical VR fashion, but reading the
      image source from the dynamically generated page. Would any Java VR
      display method (PTViewer, Immervision, etc.) work? I understand PHP
      to some degree, but have very little experience with the various Java
      VR solutions out there and how they define their image sources. All I
      know is that I want a link on each gallery page to open the current
      image in a VR view, and I would assume that a common PHP page could
      handle this. Has anyone done this ;-) , and do they have any wisdom
      to share about how to do it, or what to avoid?

      BTW, I am aware the Gallery2 package has a "java panorama viewer"
      component, but it doesn't work consistently on all platforms, and
      truly doesn't work at all with equirectangular images like those
      shown in my initial gallery.

      -Mark
    • Kathy Wheeler
      ... The PHP should be simple, once you determine which viewer you want to use, and whether you want to show them in a new window (pop-up - full screen or
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 10, 2006
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        On 11/07/2006, at 9:02 AM, Mark Banas (lists) wrote:
        > What I would like to find is a Java VR display solution that can show
        > each "distorted" image in the typical VR fashion, but reading the
        > image source from the dynamically generated page.

        The PHP should be simple, once you determine which viewer you want to
        use, and whether you want to show them in a new window (pop-up - full
        screen or otherwise) or the original window. Can't help with the
        viewers (although I do have a personal favorite I'm a bit out of
        touch with current best recommendations) but if you'd like help with
        the PHP I'm happy to look at it.

        Cheers,
        KathyW.
      • Mark Banas (lists)
        ... Thanks, Kathy. I just might take you up on that... I guess what I should look for is the easiest to configure applet to read the image from the page and
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 10, 2006
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          On Jul 10, 2006, at 7:38 PM, Kathy Wheeler wrote:

          > On 11/07/2006, at 9:02 AM, Mark Banas (lists) wrote:
          >> What I would like to find is a Java VR display solution that can show
          >> each "distorted" image in the typical VR fashion, but reading the
          >> image source from the dynamically generated page.
          >
          > The PHP should be simple, once you determine which viewer you want to
          > use, and whether you want to show them in a new window (pop-up - full
          > screen or otherwise) or the original window. Can't help with the
          > viewers (although I do have a personal favorite I'm a bit out of
          > touch with current best recommendations) but if you'd like help with
          > the PHP I'm happy to look at it.

          Thanks, Kathy. I just might take you up on that...

          I guess what I should look for is the easiest to configure applet to
          read the image from the page and simply display it. Nothing too
          fancy, but an easier to understand "visual format" for non-pano folk
          (as opposed to an equirect). I have lots of experience with QTVR, but
          that is useless here as I would have to make individual QTVRs of each
          equirectangular I upload and the files would be directly referenced.
          Fine for a fullscreen gallery, but nuts for just an additional way to
          look at images. I know people like Yuval have done this already, so
          I'll wait until he has had his dinner and hope can opine on viewers
          and techniques. ;-)

          -Mark
        • Kathy Wheeler
          ... No, really, you don t want to do that, seriously. Your page contains thumbnails - nice, small files, fast to load. They can each be a link that will call a
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 10, 2006
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            On 11/07/2006, at 12:05 PM, Mark Banas (lists) wrote:
            > I guess what I should look for is the easiest to configure applet to
            > read the image from the page and simply display it.

            No, really, you don't want to do that, seriously.

            Your page contains thumbnails - nice, small files, fast to load. They
            can each be a link that will call a page (same one if you want) that
            will bring up the (java) pano in it's own window or in the base page,
            downloading the full sized image only when (or if) it's needed. All
            you need to do is pass your PHP script a variable that will identify
            the image you want to display, and have a function or routine to
            handle it in the script. Pretty simple stuff.

            Cheers,
            KathyW.
          • yuval_levy
            Hi Mark, I am not exactly sure I understand what you are trying to achieve here, but there are a few possibilities. I will first ask you some questions to
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 10, 2006
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              Hi Mark,

              I am not exactly sure I understand what you are trying to achieve
              here, but there are a few possibilities. I will first ask you some
              questions to understand your needs.

              When you write about an an <quote> easier to understand "visual
              format" for non-pano folk (as opposed to an equirect) </quote> do you
              mean for the thumbnail or for the image as a whole? and do you want
              the image to be interactive, i.e. the user to click and drag inside
              like a VR, or do you want to show a transformed version of the
              equirect, flat on the page?

              There are a number of viewing technologies. My take on them is to be
              agnostic and try to deliver the VR in whatever technology is available
              on the browser.

              The basic dynamic page will just have the tags for the VR technology
              and will replace the file at the appropriate place. You can see such
              an example at
              <http://www.items.ch/panoramas/panorama.asp?filenum=298> (PT 185kB)
              <http://www.items.ch/panoramas/panorama.asp?filenum=300> (QT 684kB)

              (BTW, that's me with Jean-Marc Paratte discussing the French
              translation of Pano2QTVR and other fun stuff while it was pouring rain
              outside). Jean-Marc holds the copyright for the ASP script and the pano.

              A similar approach in PHP (wont work for much longer as I have to
              remake completely that website - it is not even Eola compliant):

              <http://www.photopla.net/pano.php?id=63>

              The filenum or id parameters tell the script what panorama out of a
              list, usually in a database, to display. In Jean-Marc's script it also
              determine the technology. My script is mono-technology and thus
              inferior: people w/o Java won't see it, while people w/o Java but with
              QuickTime will see the second link from Jean-Marc.

              Choice is the difficult stage - most people do not know nor care what
              panorama displaying technology the have on their computer. This is why
              I wrote Brocap, a tool to detect the technology available and use it.

              You can see Brocap in use at two sites. My commercial site for real
              estate, e.g. <http://www.voxcasa.com/visite.php?sia=x42500> will
              display in five different technologies.

              A different approach was developed together with Bernhard Vogl for his
              <http://www.austria-360.at/>.

              The main difference is in the master format of the VR. For me it is
              the equirect, while for Bernhard it is the QTVR. He has scripts that
              transform on the spot a QTVR into Spi-V cubefaces. The jointly
              developed scripts are available at <http://dativ.at/brocap/> and I
              should fix the bugs and release the latest version at
              <http://br.xenaura.com/> - with a little bit of PHP knowledge you'll
              get Bernhard's version up and running fairly quick, but it has no Java
              support because using Java to display the QTVR format is tricky and
              does not always work.

              This is why I took the equirectangular as input format. I have written
              a script to transform the equirectangular into the different output
              formats (using Pano2QTVR for the QTVRs and ImageMagick / PanoTools for
              the rest), although the transformations can also be done manually.
              This runs offline, so it requires more storage space on the server but
              is faster in the delivery process.

              I am currently examining a few content management systems to see if I
              can integrate my viewing technology as a module / plug in. Then,
              publishing panos dynamically will become as easy as writing text with
              a word processor.

              Yuv
            • Mark Banas (lists)
              ... Heh, simple for you perhaps! 8-} I am thinking that each pano would be linked from an image-specific page like this one:
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 10, 2006
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                On Jul 10, 2006, at 10:35 PM, Kathy Wheeler wrote:

                >
                > On 11/07/2006, at 12:05 PM, Mark Banas (lists) wrote:
                >> I guess what I should look for is the easiest to configure applet to
                >> read the image from the page and simply display it.
                >
                > No, really, you don't want to do that, seriously.
                >
                > Your page contains thumbnails - nice, small files, fast to load. They
                > can each be a link that will call a page (same one if you want) that
                > will bring up the (java) pano in it's own window or in the base page,
                > downloading the full sized image only when (or if) it's needed. All
                > you need to do is pass your PHP script a variable that will identify
                > the image you want to display, and have a function or routine to
                > handle it in the script. Pretty simple stuff.

                Heh, "simple" for you perhaps! 8-}

                I am thinking that each pano would be linked from an image-specific
                page like this one:
                http://www.mab3d.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=40
                not necc. from the thumbnails page, but that is academic.

                I guess my thinking (correct me if I'm wrong here) is that since the
                image has already been loaded on the page at an acceptable resolution
                (1000x500) then it would be a matter of referencing that same image
                in the the source of the Java VR. In other words the PHP for the new
                window with the pano would build off of whatever the Gallery page
                defined as the source of the main image, which in this case is this
                cryptic bit of code going back to the database:
                img src="main.php?
                g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=16&g2_serialNumber=2"

                IIRC: I think this is done to prevent wholesale image theft, and to
                allow high-res images to be uploaded and resampled for various views
                automatically, but these images are actually JPEG-HDR, so they are
                not resampled at all (or they would lose the 32-bit depth) but their
                location is known only in the database entries.

                What I think you are saying is that I need to look at the PHP for the
                Gallery display pages and figure out how it goes from thumbnail to
                main image and defines that img src, and then to do the same in my
                panoviewer PHP. Correct? Does it matter that at the time the
                panoviewer page is called the previous page already has the correct
                database entry in the generated page it is linked from?

                Sorry if this is all "way basic PHP" for you, but I'm trying to
                shoehorn a feature into a gallery setup that already meets 90% of my
                needs.

                -Mark
              • Mark Banas (lists)
                ... Hi Yuv, Image as a whole, click-and-drag JavaVR. I d prefer JavaVR (whatever type) mainly because my images are already equirectangulars and would work as
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 10, 2006
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                  On Jul 10, 2006, at 11:37 PM, yuval_levy wrote:

                  > When you write about an an <quote> easier to understand "visual
                  > format" for non-pano folk (as opposed to an equirect) </quote> do you
                  > mean for the thumbnail or for the image as a whole? and do you want
                  > the image to be interactive, i.e. the user to click and drag inside
                  > like a VR, or do you want to show a transformed version of the
                  > equirect, flat on the page?

                  Hi Yuv,

                  Image as a whole, click-and-drag JavaVR. I'd prefer JavaVR (whatever
                  type) mainly because my images are already equirectangulars and would
                  work as a source - and because Java has a much greater installed base
                  than Shockwave (for Spi-V).

                  > The basic dynamic page will just have the tags for the VR technology
                  > and will replace the file at the appropriate place. You can see such
                  > an example at
                  > <http://www.items.ch/panoramas/panorama.asp?filenum=298> (PT 185kB)
                  > <http://www.items.ch/panoramas/panorama.asp?filenum=300> (QT 684kB)

                  While I am sure the delice was just that, the above links are pretty
                  much what I want to avoid: no pano ever displayed from either link.
                  I think panoserve.atoms.ch wasn't responding fast enough (or at all)...

                  As Kathy and Sacha have alluded to, this is probably dead simple if I
                  know what I'm doing. Problem is that I'm starting out with a pretty
                  fully-developed gallery system and image manager, but trying to stick
                  this onto it. Might be better for me to start asking questions of the
                  kind folks who developed the gallery in the first place. If only
                  their VR viewer actually *worked* I wouldn't have to consider this! I
                  might not even pursue it in the end, if only because it could be such
                  a waste of time for what amounts to meeting a need I don't know if I
                  have. I mean, these aren't real estate images - these are simply
                  panoramic HDR images!

                  BTW, now that some of you have actually loaded the "high-res"
                  equirectangular image onto your screen - congratulations, you have
                  been served one of the few truly High Dynamic Range Images viewable
                  on the internet! In other words, your browser thought that was a
                  tonemapped JPEG, but the image itself contains the 32-bit luminance
                  data just waiting for you to copy it to your desktop and open it with
                  Photosphere or something else that reads JPEG-HDR files.

                  In the very near future, those of us with HDR monitors won't see the
                  tonemapped version, but rather a luminously glowing image surrounded
                  by the otherwise flat, grey interface of a naive browser. Pretty cool
                  once you think about it...

                  -Mark
                • Kathy Wheeler
                  ... I just did a right click View Image on that img and it certainly came up too fast to be coming from anywhere other than the browser cache so in theory it
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 10, 2006
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                    On 11/07/2006, at 2:18 PM, Mark Banas (lists) wrote:
                    > I guess my thinking (correct me if I'm wrong here) is that since the
                    > image has already been loaded on the page at an acceptable resolution
                    > (1000x500) then it would be a matter of referencing that same image
                    > in the the source of the Java VR. In other words the PHP for the new
                    > window with the pano would build off of whatever the Gallery page
                    > defined as the source of the main image, which in this case is this
                    > cryptic bit of code going back to the database:
                    > img src="main.php?
                    > g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=16&g2_serialNumber=2"

                    I just did a right click "View Image" on that img and it certainly
                    came up too fast to be coming from anywhere other than the browser
                    cache so in theory it should work fine. The only thing I am a little
                    uncertain of is how the java viewers interface with the browser/
                    server. IF they simply call for the image as (in this case) "main.php?
                    g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=16&g2_serialNumber=2"
                    then it should work. Certainly worth a try.

                    > What I think you are saying is that I need to look at the PHP for the
                    > Gallery display pages and figure out how it goes from thumbnail to
                    > main image and defines that img src, and then to do the same in my
                    > panoviewer PHP. Correct?

                    Yes.

                    > Does it matter that at the time the
                    > panoviewer page is called the previous page already has the correct
                    > database entry in the generated page it is linked from?

                    Shouldn't do. The index for that image should not change. I haven't
                    looked at the PHP for Gallery2 to be certain, but it's certainly
                    worth a try. If you need any help feel free to contact me off-list so
                    we don't bore the good people here with technical coding, just the
                    announcement when you get it working ;-)

                    Cheers,
                    KathyW.
                  • Kathy Wheeler
                    ... Where do I get me one of those monitors and can I afford it (think I know the answer to the last bit :-( KathyW.
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 10, 2006
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                      On 11/07/2006, at 2:45 PM, Mark Banas (lists) wrote:
                      > In the very near future, those of us with HDR monitors won't see the
                      > tonemapped version, but rather a luminously glowing image surrounded
                      > by the otherwise flat, grey interface of a naive browser. Pretty cool
                      > once you think about it...

                      Where do I get me one of those monitors and can I afford it (think I
                      know the answer to the last bit :-(

                      KathyW.
                    • Mark Banas (lists)
                      ... http://www.brightsidetech.com/ And, um, right now they are around $50,000 USD and mostly handmade - but that is 40% off of their original price! ;-) As the
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 11, 2006
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                        On Jul 11, 2006, at 1:23 AM, Kathy Wheeler wrote:

                        >
                        > On 11/07/2006, at 2:45 PM, Mark Banas (lists) wrote:
                        >> In the very near future, those of us with HDR monitors won't see the
                        >> tonemapped version, but rather a luminously glowing image surrounded
                        >> by the otherwise flat, grey interface of a naive browser. Pretty cool
                        >> once you think about it...
                        >
                        > Where do I get me one of those monitors and can I afford it (think I
                        > know the answer to the last bit :-(

                        http://www.brightsidetech.com/

                        And, um, right now they are around $50,000 USD and mostly handmade -
                        but that is 40% off of their original price! ;-)

                        As the larger companies, with better manufacturing abilities, get
                        involved and license the technology the price will likely fall.
                        However, just as with cameras and computers, the really innovative
                        stuff will be delayed to maximize the profit of existing tech. I
                        heard about this technology in 2002, and now 4 years later it can be
                        "purchased." Maybe in another 4 years it can be "afforded?"
                      • Mark Banas (lists)
                        ... Thanks, Kathy. I will poke around and ask the Gallery2 folks what they recommend first, as well as refresh my grey cells with some details of PHP coding. I
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 11, 2006
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                          On Jul 11, 2006, at 1:16 AM, Kathy Wheeler wrote:

                          >> Does it matter that at the time the
                          >> panoviewer page is called the previous page already has the correct
                          >> database entry in the generated page it is linked from?
                          >
                          > Shouldn't do. The index for that image should not change. I haven't
                          > looked at the PHP for Gallery2 to be certain, but it's certainly
                          > worth a try. If you need any help feel free to contact me off-list so
                          > we don't bore the good people here with technical coding, just the
                          > announcement when you get it working ;-)

                          Thanks, Kathy. I will poke around and ask the Gallery2 folks what
                          they recommend first, as well as refresh my grey cells with some
                          details of PHP coding. I was thinking the hardest part would be
                          setting up the java applet to display the image, but it seems just
                          *getting* the proper image will be the real struggle for me. (After
                          about an hour last night I understood the Immervision applet and XML
                          methods - very nice!)

                          And thanks to Sacha and Yuval's wonderful examples I can see that the
                          end product is quite feasible and workable! I've seen all this
                          discussed before, but never had a real need to explore it or learn it.

                          -Mark
                        • bernharv2000
                          Hello Mark, I use PHP to create some Spi-V content on the fly. If i understand your simple need to insert a filename into plugin code correctly, a code snippet
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 11, 2006
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                            Hello Mark,

                            I use PHP to create some Spi-V content on the fly.

                            If i understand your simple need to insert a filename into plugin code
                            correctly, a code snippet for Java content could look like this:

                            // Get Filename of JPEG-File
                            $file = (array_key_exists("file", $_GET)) ? $_GET["file"] : "";
                            [...]
                            // Generate HTML Page
                            ?>
                            [...]
                            <param name="file" value="<? echo $file ?>">
                            [...]

                            The call of the dynamic HTML would be something like:
                            http://www.mab3d.com/gallery/viewer.php?file=panorama.jpg

                            Best regards
                            Bernhard
                          • vtourdk
                            Have a look at Simpleview - an automated PHP/PTviewer based previewer I made some years ago. I might not be exactly what you want, but it can give you some
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jul 12, 2006
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                              Have a look at "Simpleview" - an automated PHP/PTviewer based previewer
                              I made some years ago. I might not be exactly what you want, but it can
                              give you some idea on how to use PHP for this kind of tasks.

                              http://www.in2.dk/pttours/ <http://www.in2.dk/pttours/>

                              best regards

                              Flemming



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