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When creating your first 3DVista virtual tours

The official 3DVista Youtube channel provides more detailed tutorials if needed.

1)     Creating a ”Panorama” (also called 360 photo)

In order to create a 3DVista virtual tour, the first thing you need is one or more 360 panoramas. Essentially these are generated by using software to combine multiple pictures into one, so that the photo covers 360 degrees. The easiest way to get these is by using 360 camera which you can borrow from Aalto TakeOut. You may also use normal cameras but this is not recommended as the photos leave horizontally incomplete due to the lens properties (if you are not using so called “fish eye lens”) e.g. centers of roof and floor are not visible.

How to create panorama tutorial video


Combining multiple pictures into a 360 panorama is called “stitching”. The 360 cameras usually stitch the photos automatically but they also provide you with the original single pictures. Usually the cameras (and most of the free online software) do very crappy stitching results, so do not settle to these. It is recommended to use the stitching software, that comes with the 3DVista software. It is easy to use, results to very high quality panoramas, and has many additional properties if needed. 

Stitching panoramas with “Stitcher” tutorial video

2)     Connecting panoramas

Second important step is to import the panoramas into the 3DVista program and connect them. Importing the panoramas is simple. When you create new project in the 3DVita it asks you to import panoramas. Just choose all the panoramas you want to include into your project. You can also easily add panoramas to the project afterwards in the “panoramas” page.

Next, you want to connect the panoramas (if you have more than one) so you can jump from one panorama to other in the final product.

(1)     In the panorama page, choose one of the panoramas by clicking it.

(2)     On the subpage, choose “Hotspots”

(3)     Add hotspot by clicking “image” or “text” in the upper left corner of the screen.

(4)     Pick suitable icon style and clicking it and click select

(5)     Click the place in the panorama where you want to insert the icon (you can also move it later)

(6)     Click the icon to choose it if not chosen.

(7)     From the right panel, click “Add Action”

(8)     Choose “Go to Panorama”

(9)     Choose to which panorama

Now if you go to the “Preview” you can see that if you click the icon you just created, it jumps to other panorama.

Linking panoramas video tutorial

3)     Creating hotspots

There is two ways of creating hotspots; the easy way, and the right way

The easy way

(1)     Go to Panoramas page and hotspots subpage

(2)     Click “image” or “text” from the upper right corner menu

(3)     Choose the icon style you want

(4)     Click the place in the panorama where you want to insert the hotspot icon (you can also move it later)

(5)     Click the icon to choose it if not chosen.

(6)     From the right panel, click “Add Action”

(7)     Choose “Open info Window”

(8)     Now you may edit the info window as you like, see the picture below. Note that the Layout is very limited, so it is recommended to do only very simple info windows this way

The right way – Creating custom info window

The right way is more complex, but allows much more modifications to the layout of the hotspot window, resulting to much nicer results. It is highly recommended to use this way if sufficient time is available.

This video explains how to create custom info windows. It is highly recommended to watch it as this wiki page is too short for throughout explanation.

You can use these and the video together to create your first custom info window

(1)     Go to “Skin” page

(2)     Click container on the subpage menu and create a container that covers the whole page

(3)     Click container again and create a second container inside the first one. This is the container that includes your texts and photos. Fix the position and size of this container by using the editing menu box in the right.

You can…

-set the container width and height by pixels or % of the screen

-set min. or max width and height for the window by pixels or by % of the screen

-set the position of the container by pixels or % of the screen

These settings are very important as they determine how the info window looks on different screens (eg. phone) or when decreasing the window size. It is recommended to always use % when setting the container (or element) dimensions as it ensures that the elements stay in proportions. Settings in the image below are a fast solution or at least a good starting point.

Tutorial: Aligning Skin Elements and Making them Adaptive

(4)     Now you can create more containers inside the second container if you want to make even more complex info window structures (see the image below). One container can only have elements in either way; horizontally or vertically (see the above settings “Layout – Horizontal”), this is why you have to create more container levels if you want to have elements in multiple lines, horizontally and vertically, as presented in the image below.

It is not recommended to use the “Layout – Absolute” setting as it fixes the container/element in the single place of the screen resulting in problems with different screen and window sizes

(5)     Finally, when you have your container structure ready you may create the elements inside the containers. Choose “Stylable and multiline text” to insert text, “image” to insert photo, or “Icon button” to create a closing button (see point 6). ‘

(6)     When you add the closing button you have the option to import you own images. This is recommendable, as the 3DVista library does not have basic closing icons for some reason. From the menu at the right, click “Add action”. Choose “Show/Hide Component”. Choose “Hide”. Then choose the Container which is in the highest place in the hierarchy, in this case the first container that was created. Hiding the first container hides all sub containers inside it.

(7)     To make your custom info window work as a hotspot go through the steps in “The easy way” but in the step 7 choose “Show/Hide element”. Choose “Show”. Choose the highest hierarchy container that you want to be visible.

Embedding external contents (like Youtube videos), is very simple if you have managed to create a custom info window. Watch this video to learn more

Pro tips!

  • When creating anything in the ”Skin” –page, make sure that you have chosen the right container that you want to edit! You can see which element is chosen by the highlighting in the right side menu. You can also choose elements by clicking them in the right side menu.
  • Always hide (eye icon on the right side menu) only the highest hierarchy container because this also hides the sub containers. When you want to edit the info window you can just click the one container visible and you see the whole info window.
  • When starting to create a new info window make sure that there is nothing else visible in the main viewer. Otherwise you are starting to create sub containers above those. Especially transparent containers can be tricky. You can make sure that nothing is visible by clicking the main screen in multiple points and observing if any element gets highlighted in the right side menu. If so, click the eye icon to make them unvisible.
  • Use the 3DVista Youtube channel to lern more about the software. Almost everything you can do with the 3DVista is explained in the tutorials.
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