Virtual Tours, or Panoramic Tours, have become quite popular over the past 5 years. However with it still being fresh you are being charged the learning fee from many companies. This fee would include the time for them to experiment and hand stitch these photos together, let a lone adding these images to hopefully a flash front end to give you the tour feeling.
Nicholas Tuck, a creator and owner of Camid Studios, has some virtual tours on his own page. You can visit his Virtual Tours on his personal site.
We have taken the experience from Nick and created a systematic approach to virtual tours which does a couple of things for you. We have a very quick process of stitching the photo’s using Windows Live Picture Gallery. Notice the ‘live’ in that. Windows Live came out with this option however did a poor job in marketing the entire package, however seeing a video Nick immediately tried it out and it works great. There is a function in Photoshop that will stitch photos however it does not try to match and alter lighting or the photos really at all, it leaves that up to you. Windows Live Gallery matches up the lighting the best it can, and then we just have to do the touch up work. This saves us time, and saves you money.
The next step is our front end flash ‘virtual’ tour. First lets mention that it is a flash tour, we don’t need you to download special java plugins to view our panorama tours. The tour has simple to use speed and directional buttons. Though experimenting with complex movements based off mouse positioning, we found it is much easier for people to use different speed buttons, and it keeps the focus on the tour itself, not on moving the mouse.
For the flash file itself, we have to do very little work in order to get your full panoramic photo to copy over, and the only real customization needed, is size, and color, which take very little time at all. This simple process of using other software that works great, and re-using our own past software minimizes the time to create a virtual tour. Now instead of a virtual tour breaking the bank, you can add it at the same cost of a flash intro, however much more useful, practical, and interactive!