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davidekholm

Posts: 21,450
Registered: 18-Oct-2002
Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 21-Oct-2017 13:24
The upcoming jAlbum 14.2 will support Photo Spheres, i.e. images that gives you full 360 degree viewing experience. .

To test this beta and make your own Photo Spheres, patch jAlbum 14.1 with these files:
http://jalbum.net/download/beta/jalbum-core.jar (put inside jAlbum's lib folder)
and
http://jalbum.net/download/beta/texts.properties (put inside jAlbum's texts folder)

The latest Tiger skin version supports Photo Spheres. If Photo Sphere images aren't recognized by jAlbum, edit them within jAlbum and tick the "Photo Sphere" checkbox under the "Photo Sphere" property panel. This support currently requires images to be twice as wide as they are high.

What do you think?
RobM

Posts: 4,382
Registered: 4-Aug-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 21-Oct-2017 20:02   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
Since I included the core update I'm getting errors when trying to update a skin.
Window: jAlbum skin manager
Message: This is not a valid .jaskin file.

Any skin with an update via the application, downloading and installing is ok.
RobM

Posts: 4,382
Registered: 4-Aug-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 21-Oct-2017 23:21   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
The upcoming jAlbum 14.2 will support Photo Spheres, i.e. images that gives you full 360 degree viewing experience. .
What do you think?
Seems to work, but see below - just to clarify, if the aspect ratio is not 2:1 the "Photo Sphere" property panel will not be seen, so you need to edit the image to crop/scale images to 2:1 aspect ratio first, then select Edit>Photo Sphere.

Sizing:
If linking to originals the sizes are full, as expected. If linking to scaled down images then a 4096 × 2048 doesn't get scaled but a 4000 × 2000 gets scaled to 2048 × 1024.

Photo Spheres controls:
They don't seem to do anything?
davidekholm

Posts: 21,450
Registered: 18-Oct-2002
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 22-Oct-2017 15:39   in response to: RobM in response to: RobM
RobM wrote:
davidekholm wrote:
The upcoming jAlbum 14.2 will support Photo Spheres, i.e. images that gives you full 360 degree viewing experience. .
What do you think?
Seems to work, but see below - just to clarify, if the aspect ratio is not 2:1 the "Photo Sphere" property panel will not be seen, so you need to edit the image to crop/scale images to 2:1 aspect ratio first, then select Edit>Photo Sphere.

That's how it's designed so far. I try to avoid showing that panel for images that aren't intended to be used as Photo Spheres / 360 images.

Sizing:
If linking to originals the sizes are full, as expected. If linking to scaled down images then a 4096 × 2048 doesn't get scaled but a 4000 × 2000 gets scaled to 2048 × 1024.

That's correct. jAlbum scales them down to the nearest power of 2 as Google's JavaScript based viewer library seems to prefer such sizes.


Photo Spheres controls:
They don't seem to do anything?

I've noticed the same :-) The standard supports these settings but not all viewer respect them.
jGromit

Posts: 33,174
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 22-Oct-2017 16:17   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
What do you think?

Yes, that's certainly going to bring in large numbers of paying customers.

After considerable mucking about, I finally managed to install the needed camera mode on my Samsung Galaxy S7. It doesn't come preinstalled, and finding it is a long, miserable exercise. Finally got it working, and made a few test images. Garbage. Badly stitched-together images. Why would anyone bother with this? And the examples I've seen posted online by younger family members are no better.

If I sound frustrated, it's because I am. Needed jAlbum features aren't added, but useless gimmicks are quickly accommodated, I suppose because they're new and shiny.

I think I'll just delete all of my accumulated feature requests. There seems to be no point to them.
MarkusD

Posts: 493
Registered: 13-Apr-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 22-Oct-2017 18:26   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
I agree that Photo Spheres can look very stunning, I have seen some in Google Earth, but in the end its like 3D in the cinema, its good for a hype but not for the masses.

On the other hand as a developer you are under pressure, you have to deliver new functions from time to time. Writing in the news, "fixed 20 bugs and implemented 15 long time required features" will maybe not that thrilling.

Nonetheless I also go for the option to see jGromits feature requests implemented.
AndreWolff

Posts: 2,134
Registered: 14-Dec-2007
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 23-Oct-2017 11:01   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
What do you think?
Currently I have no time to test this, but I don’t think that it is useful to add special software for Google VR in jAlbum.
I the past I made some panoramas with a Google Photo Sphere app on my iPhone, but the result was very poor, so I removed that app. I just tried to install that app again, but I can’t find it in the Apple App store, so I think Google withdraw the app.

The current jAlbum 14.1 version has sufficient possibilities to show panorama photos in albums.
I showed this with the Slide Show 4 skin in this inline 360° panorama test album and for PhotoSwipe skin in this inline 360° panorama test album. If you open the panorama viewer in an external page, you have even more possibilities, see the Slide Show 4 external 360° panorama test album and the PhotoSwipe external 360° panorama test album. As you can see, it includes Google VR panoramas. But I think there are better programs like Panorama Studio 3 (Pro).

I agree with jGromit that there are much more important points in the features requests thread to be implemented. I see that now even jGromit is frustrated, well I was already frustrated a year ago, because of my 50 features requests almost nothing has been implemented. Take for instance my last summary: of 2 years ago: http://jalbum.net/forum/thread.jspa?messageID=299922&#299922 , not any point has been implemented.
RobM

Posts: 4,382
Registered: 4-Aug-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 23-Oct-2017 12:17   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
The upcoming jAlbum 14.2 will support Photo Spheres, i.e. images that gives you full 360 degree viewing experience.
What do you think?
Rather than having to download an Android or iOS app, or using other proper applications for desktop devices, if anyone wants to try this out go to http://street-sphere.appspot.com and download the practice image. This will give better results than any first attempts made using a phone/tablet to generate the image.
jimberry

Posts: 7,465
Registered: 30-Aug-2004
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 23-Oct-2017 12:49   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
jGromit wrote:
I think I'll just delete all of my accumulated feature requests. There seems to be no point to them.

I agree with jGromit that this new gimmick doesn't seem to have much to offer the "serious" photographer (although I recognise that perhaps "serious" photographers may not account for a big percentage of "paying customers").

Among the feature requests that I would like to see addressed in the near future would be
- Get rid of hi-res images.
- Make lifeboat.zip available without using the jAlbum uploader
- More flexible comments sources
- Move the default output directory so that it isn't a subdirectory of the image directory.
jGromit

Posts: 33,174
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 23-Oct-2017 14:18   in response to: MarkusD in response to: MarkusD
MarkusD wrote:
I agree that Photo Spheres can look very stunning....

Some years ago I put together a skin called MatrixPano - Matrix thumbnail page, slide pages that used the DeVal VR viewer. This guy was a real pro, however - he had all the gear, including a motorized tripod head. He eventually moved on to better things, and I withdrew the skin. While it could handle other types of pano's, including simple flat pano's, the skin really had only one user.

I've still got some of his images, jAlbum recognizes them as photospheres (since they are 2:1), and Tiger displays them properly. But even using excellent source material, the results are interesting, but ultimately tiring. A well-done regular image or video is preferable.

An example, which also illustrates why an album of things like this needs to be able to use alternate thumbnails (my old skin let you use, for example, a regular image of the exterior of the building as the thumbnail for the pano of the interior), and to be able to choose an image to use as the theme image:

(demo album removed)

While he did a whole series of pano's, I believe he sticks to large-format regular images these days (again, with pro gear).

Edited by: jGromit on 26-Oct-2017 07:40 to remove demo album
RobM

Posts: 4,382
Registered: 4-Aug-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 23-Oct-2017 14:50   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
It seems to get good results you either need a 360 degree camera or a tripod with offset holder - so the focal plane is at the centre of rotation, or a fish-eye lens of around 170 degrees, or as a last resort a piece of string, a weight and a small spirit level - really!

Is it really twenty years ago that Apple introduced QuickTimeVR? The technology is now defunct. I think that says something about 360 degree images - yes a video is much easier to make.

As for jAlbum and photo spheres, it is in and working so leave it there for anyone wanting to use it - though the ‘settings’ I think should be hidden, are there new variables for them?
jGromit

Posts: 33,174
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 23-Oct-2017 15:12   in response to: RobM in response to: RobM
RobM wrote:
As for jAlbum and photo spheres, it is in and working so leave it there for anyone wanting to use it....

I disagree. David often says that he doesn't want to clutter up the UI with things, and wants to keep the core lean and fast. Adding this kind of bloatware just creates maintenance headaches. There's a whole collection of things I'd strip out of jAlbum, and I don't think any of them would be missed:

  • Hi-res images (if a skin wants to offer "other sizes," let it - most users never need it)
  • Photo Spheres
  • Default image ordering (makes me crazy when thumbnails suddenly rearrange themselves on a whim)
  • Settings on the Naming panel that are always grayed out
  • Arty tab on the Effects panel (I don't think I've ever seen an album that is using them - cute for a week, never touched again)

I even find myself wondering about a couple of other things that obviously took a lot of effort, but that never prompt any forum questions. Is anyone using them?

  • The Structure tab
  • Collaborative albums
RobM

Posts: 4,382
Registered: 4-Aug-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 23-Oct-2017 15:19   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
jGromit wrote:
RobM wrote:
As for jAlbum and photo spheres, it is in and working so leave it there for anyone wanting to use it....

I disagree. David often says that he doesn't want to clutter up the UI with things, and wants to keep the core lean and fast. Adding this kind of bloatware just creates maintenance headaches. There's a whole collection of things I'd strip out of jAlbum, and I don't think any of them would be missed:

If the settings were removed only a checkbox would be required, that would just leave the auto selection code. I’m not bothered either way as it is not something I would use.
jGromit

Posts: 33,174
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 23-Oct-2017 15:25   in response to: RobM in response to: RobM
RobM wrote:
If the settings were removed only a checkbox would be required, that would just leave the auto selection code. I’m not bothered either way as it is not something I would use.

Well, the panel doesn't show up at all if the aspect ratio of the image isn't exactly 2:1. But it's all code that has to be considered when changing other things, and it needs texts.properties in 35 languages.
AnCa

Posts: 2,101
Registered: 25-Mar-2005
Re: Photo Spheres for jAlbum 14.2
Posted: 23-Oct-2017 17:25   in response to: RobM in response to: RobM
RobM wrote:
It seems to get good results you either need a 360 degree camera or a tripod with offset holder - so the focal plane is at the centre of rotation, or a fish-eye lens of around 170 degrees
Yes, I haven't managed to download Googles iOS app for this, (it's possibly withdrawn as someone else thought) but I think the result would be quite poor without the tools you mention. There would be visible stitch lines all over the image.

I recently bought a cheap 360-camera and this is why we got the idea to implement support for it. These cameras are getting cheaper and cheaper and the quality is improving so they will be more and more common. These aren't no longer just for the early adopters.

Is it really twenty years ago that Apple introduced QuickTimeVR?
I (and the university class I went in) actually visited Apple in Cupertino (1 Infinite Loop) in 1995 (22 years ago) and they showed us QuickTimeVR in their auditorium. It was the first time we saw it and our jaws dropped...

The technology is now defunct. I think that says something about 360 degree images
I think is says that there are now much easier way to both create the images and to present them, so the special QTVR tech isn't needed anymore. :)

yes a video is much easier to make.
With a 360-camera it's just as easy to create a 360 image as a plain flat image with another camera. It's way easier than producing a nice looking video.
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