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WebRotate 360 Product Viewer v3 Released

by WebRotate 360 June 28, 2012 13:57
HTML5 360 product viewer software by WebRotate 360
We are proud to announce that we have now officially released WebRotate 360 Product Viewer v3. This was a long journey and we are really thankful to our users who contributed their ideas, thoughts, issue reports, most of which have been incorporated into this major release.
 
With this release, the viewer is fully operational in JavaScript / HTML 5 mode including hot-spots, zooming, panning and much more, and it all works nicely either on your iPad or iPhone or a desktop browser without Flash. We don't require HTML 5 either as the core functionality is pure JavaScript and will work pretty much in any major browser.
 
This release is truly ground breaking for us here in our own 360 product photography studio. We are now able to offer the most advanced out-of-the-box web solution for interactive product presentations with a pretty unique mobile support and our product photography service - all in one package. We encourage all commercial photography studios and digital agencies to try this out and start incorporating 360 product photography and interactive product photography in their suite of photography services also.
Below is the list of major changes in v3:
  • [+] JavaScript / HTML5 mode (JS) is completely reworked (90% rewritten) and is now used as a default.
  • [+] SpotEditor is completely reworked (80% rewritten). Now supports viewer theming, zooming, and more.
  • [+] Added full hot-spot support in JS mode.
  • [+] Added full zooming support in JS mode.
  • [+] Added new hot-spot type via custom HTML content (JS only).
  • [+] Added new "deep zoom" feature using second image set loaded for zooming only (JS and Flash).
  • [+] Added support for custom hot-spot indicator images (JS only).
  • [+] Added new "thin" toolbar theme and new hot-spot indicators, including animated ones (JS only).
  • [+] Added new fixed hot-spot positioning mechanism via screen sections and margins (JS only).
  • [+] Reworked iPhone and iPad implementation for smooth hot-spot presentation and zooming (JS only).
  • [+] Added new features to enable rotation direction control, including forced single rotation direction (JS only).
  • [+] Added new progress indicator animation with optional progress numbers (JS only).
  • [+] Updated all samples to highlight latest 360 viewer capabilities (JS only).
  • [!] Fixed numerous issues reported from beta testing and production testing of our previous releases.

It's interesting that many of our clients have been quite happy with the beta v3 for almost 6 months now (the beta program was started early in the development this time). Just as we have reported a week ago, one of our v3 beta clients just finalized their 360 viewer deployment of 4000 designer sunglasses and eyeglasses on all of their websites - now available in 30 countries.This is including their dedicated mobile websites and a centralized storage of their 360 degree product photos. This tells us that focusing on sun-setting Flash capability and pushing forward with more interactive capabilities was the right decision. And we look forward to more success stories like this and will make sure that an adequate support is available from WebRotate 360 - such deployment always requires it!

What's next? We have a long burning list of priorities that is largely influenced by our users. Just in about few weeks there should be a follow up 3.1 beta release that will show some of the latest improvements requested by our clients in v3, the ones that didn't make it into this release. Some of the biggest concerns in the field with v3 right now is the lack of the full-screen support and some complexity involved with having multiple viewers on the same page. There will also be some cool enhancements in the hot-spot interactivity and more resources will be shifted to the Mac compatibility in our 360 view software. But we have much bigger plans and announcements in store that are still in the early stages of development.
 
In about two or three weeks, we are planing to run our first global (and likely the last in the next 12 months) one-day promotion event on the PRO viewer v3, offering a whopping 20% discount. This will be the last chance to jump on our full-featured PRO license before we make changes to our pricing. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to our Newsletter on the right to learn more. Please note that if you already have our PRO or Enterprise license, this upgrade is free!
 
Other resources:

- Take our latest 360 product photography tour that now runs on v3
- Visit our dedicated website with our latest v3 samples
- Download our quick v3 user guide
- Download WebRotate 360 Product Viewer v3
Visit our 360 photography equipment store  (our website launch promotion is 50% off on the WebRotate 360 Product Viewer v3 with certain equipment purchase).
 
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Local Testing of WebRotate 360 Viewer in Google Chrome and Opera on Your Computer

by WebRotate 360 May 25, 2012 11:42

There have been some new security developments with Google Chrome browser in that their latest releases do not want to load local files using asynchronious requests when testing pages locally on your computer (i.e when they are not loaded from the Internet or local web server). We do rely on such requests in our 3D product viewer to load viewer configuration xml files..

Note that it all works fine if the viewer is loaded online or from your local web server (ie localhost / 127.0.0.1).

Chrome has a special key that Google gives to web developers and testers to avoid this issue in their local testing. This is very simple to apply to your Chrome also. If you are on Windows, just go to your desktop, find Chrome's shortcut icon, make a copy of this shortcut for your webrotate tests and then right-mouse click on it and select Properties to bring up the Shortcut properties window. There's a Target field, so just add the following to the end of the target path right after the closing quote sign (add a whitespace as well): 

--allow-file-access-from-files  
 
Mine for example looks like this: "C:\Users\...\chrome.exe" --allow-file-access-from-files

 

 

It's bit more involved on Mac which we haven't tried yet but you can see how it can be done in this post.

 

[UPDATE: Sept 2014] - Note that when you launch your local previews in Chrome from inside WebRotate 360 SpotEditor (v3.5 and up, Windows version), we pass this key to Chrome automatically so you don't need any extra manual steps described above. Just make sure that Chrome is not running before you hit Publish in SpotEditor (unless it was also launched by SpotEditor).

 

Same restrictions have been recently introduced in Opera browser as well (again this is only applicable when testing your product spings locally, i.e when loading them from your computer hard-drive directly in your browser). To avoid these restrictions in Opera, follow these steps:

  • Type opera:config in the browser address box.
  • Navigate to User Prefs tab 
  • Check Allow File XMLHttpRequest
  • Click Save below.

 

[UPDATE: May 2015] - Opera has transitioned to WebKit/Chromium recently, so you can now use exactly the same steps with the shortcut / key as described above for Google Chrome to bypass the local restriction in Opera. We will update SpotEditor asap to automatically pass the --allow-file-access-from-files key to Opera as well if it's selected on Publish with the local browser preview.

 

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Another Cool 360 Product View - Manfrotto Sympla

by WebRotate 360 May 03, 2012 12:06

Wanted to share this one here as every photographer will surely appreciate it! We just finished the other week 360 photography of the latest revolutionary product from Manfrotto - Sympla, which is a super cool, extensible PRO modular video rig. 

If that's not enough, we used our latest stable 360 degree product viewer V3 to integrate it all with our new 'thin' theme, slick hot-spots, deep zoom and capabilities only v3 could do. Folks at Manfrotto already have it running on their website and I really like how it all worked out. Just click on the image below to see it in action!

We are really proud to work with the company that gave us so many reliable and innovative products that we use in our own 360 product photography studio every day.

 

Example 360 product spin of Sympla

 

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New Version of SpotEditor Beta v3 is Now Available

by WebRotate 360 March 05, 2012 23:57

Here's just a few screenshots of the new SpotEditor beta that also includes our latest 360 product viewer build (beta v3). You can download it here and then just run setup.exe under SpotEditor. Thank you to all our users who contributed their ideas and thoughts, and made this release possible.

SpotEditor has been pretty much rewritten from scratch to improve workflows, add support for the latest viewer features and be flexible enough to accommodate some cool new ideas we have in store for our next releases. Also, it's now almost ready for being fully operational on Mac OS via Mono framework (but this will not be available until after we finally release v3).

 

Just click on the images to see a full preview / gallery:


 

 

Download our 360 photo software here and give it a try! As always any feedback is welcomed.

 

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Download WebRotate 360 Product Viewer V3 Beta Bits. Full hot-spot support in HTML5 / JavaScript mode, Deep Zoom and More!

by WebRotate 360 November 19, 2011 02:37

 

Since many of you have requested, and while we are still ironing out some of your requested enhancements in SpotEditor v3, would like to share with you a release candidate of our new viewer module. What this means is that you can now try the cool features we have been working on in the last few months on your existing / test views and see if you like it and if it's worth the upgrade (we surely think so!). Below is a download link.. To apply to your test views just overwrite your imagerotator folder with the one included in this download, then add the following two lines to you pages before calling runImageRotator:

_imageRotator.settings.jsScriptOnly = true; (if you want to stop using Flash which is what this release is all about)
_imageRotator.settings.graphicsPath = "imagerotator/html/img/basic";

 

Download HERE

or

Checkout Demo

 
 
We also included our classic shoe sample that uses v3 that runs without Flash and which highlights the "deep zoom" and our new HTML-enabled hot-spots. Even though the new SpotEditor is not available for download yet (you can get it with the free download on our 360 product viewer page- released version 2.5.3), we hope that you can still try the "deep zoom" and new hot-spot styling via HTML/CSS using included xml sample as a reference. We're hoping to release SpotEditor v3 RC also within about week, so you may decide to wait until then if mingling with xml files manually is not your thing :)

 

NOTE: The download / demo links above have been updated on March 2nd, 2012 and now include latest SpotEditor tool, new features and fixes.

 

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Teaser of our new 360 viewing mode (v3.0) with hot-spots, deep zoom and more

by WebRotate 360 October 26, 2011 11:03

Finally can share with you a teaser of our new 360 viewing mode (no Flash). Super fast, works on your phone / tablet, with full hot-spot support, "deep zoom" using a second set of high-resolution 360 degree product photos (standard zoom is also supported), and a new hot-spot content that can be edited / presented as a standard HTML/CSS markup!

Demo / Download (updated on March 2d, 2012)

Please give it a try! If you don't heavily rely on the full-screen capability that we have in our Flash viewer, this new release should allow to completely abandon Flash ("full-screen" will be coming in HTML too) as it's now even more feature rich than the Flash mode. Also, since the images for the control buttons and hot-spot circles now sit in a separate folder as PNGs, you can change their look and feel to match you vision exactly!


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New WebRotate 360 Product Viewer Beta (3.0) Is Blazing Fast

by WebRotate 360 August 30, 2011 18:18

Some initial results from our test lab! In Flash mode, WebRotate 360 Product Viewer 3.0 Beta loads 3 times faster than our previous version - 2.5.3. The difference is quite dramatic, especially when you think of wait times when these 360 views are embedded on e-commerce websites, where this is a very sensitive subject. Check it out by clicking the links below:

 

2.5.3 (OLD)   - this link is no longer available 

3.0.0 (BETA)  - Updated Beta v3 (latest release on March 2d, 2012) 

 

Average loading speed for the test 360 degree product view on our end was ~13.9s with the old 2.5.3 viewer and just ~4.62s with the new beta!

Download this beta module (only Flash swf in this drop for now) using the link below and just replace imagerotator.swf under the imagerotator folder in your 360 packages. Any feedback would be awesome!

In the next few days we will post another beta with a new high resolution mode where high-rez images can be configured separately (same xml file) and are only loaded on demand on zoom. Stay tuned!



Download our latest 360 photo software here


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Announcing the release of WebRotate 360 Product Viewer 2.5.3

by WebRotate 360 August 19, 2011 11:29

So far the only place where we mentioned about our new 2.5.3 release was Facebook and Twitter. We love both of the social networks for the interactivity and quick feedback they provide but we shouldn't forget about our neat little blog...

Without further ado, we're announcing here the release of WebRotate 360 Product Viewer 2.5.3! This an important release for us as it provides an extensive ground work for launching cool new features in the upcoming v3.0 (more on this later).

I think the most important update in 2.5.3 is the release of the revamped SpotEditor utility. Now it's finally possible to edit pretty much any configuration setting available in our 360 degree product viewer using our simple user interface and then preview your 360 degree product view in your default browser or even publish it to your hard-drive with everything needed for a quick deployment on your website.

 

Couple of screenshots of the updated utility:

 

       WebRotate 360 product viewer software new release 2.5.3

 

        

 

        

 

I hope you will also find it handy that we supplied 5 integration samples with the free viewer package that show how easy it is to create 360 product views with dynamic or static hot-spots using either Flash or the new html5 360 viewer mode and integrate them in a variety of ways on your web pages.

Not to mention our new website that is dedicated to showcasing the types of samples that can be created with our free 360 degree product viewer - http://www.360-product-views.com/

 

Full list of updates in 2.5.3:

  • [+] Revamped SpotEditor tool; added support for all configuration settings as well as Preview / Publish function
  • [+] Added five new samples (Basic, Color, JS, Popup, Phone)
  • [+] Added support for loading image / hotspot assets from locations separate from xml config (for CDN, etc)
  • [+] Added API for in-place viewer reload using different xml configuration
  • [+] Added API setting (flybyJsMenuFix) to fix an issue where Flash may overlap dynamic JavaScript menus
  • [+] Added new type of hotspot indicator that pulsates constantly
  • [+] Added urlTarget (xml) setting to allow specifying URL open mode on click inside hotspot (_blank, _self)
  • [+] Added xml setting (bounce) for viewing when full set of 360 images is not available (e.g., 180-degree rotation)
  • [+] Added two xml settings for configuring color of progress animation
  • [+] Allowed hotspot popups to close on mouse click
  • [+] Removed dimming of product images when activating hotspot popups
  • [+] Enabled hotspot disable (xml) setting to also apply in JavaScript mode
  • [+] Enabled toolbarBackAlpha (xml) setting to also apply in JavaScript mode
  • [+] Enabled disableMouseControl (xml) setting to also apply in JavaScript mode
  • [+] Added support for checking viewer version via Firebug
  • [!] Fixed static hotspots to prevent browse action when no URL is assigned
  • [!] Fixed IE security issue specific to Free edition (presented itself as a jQuery access error in IE statusbar)
  • [!] Fixed issue in Webkit browsers where mouse cursor would sometimes change into selection mode on click
  • [!] Fixed issue in JavaScript mode where viewer was skipping on a single image during rotation via mouse dragging
  • [!] Fixed issue where JavaScript mode was not letting more than one static hotspot
  • [!] Updated End-User License Agreement (License.PDF)
  • [!] Launched our new website 360-product-views.com with a quick tour of the key product features

 

Download your free 360 product viewer HERE and join us on Twitter or Facebook for realtime news, updates, and a live dialog!


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Eliminate reflections in your 360 product photography projects

by WebRotate 360 July 03, 2011 19:16

Here's a quick tip on how to work around one of those issues that we often have to deal with when photographing reflective products, which is especially applicable to our 360 product photography.

If we take a cell phone or an iPad or a similar product with a reflective screen and place it on our turntable "as-is", and then try to shoot it straight such that our camera points straight towards the screen, we will notice immediately that our 360 photography turntable can be distinctively seen as a  white curvy reflection on the product screen. The table reflection will stay there on the screen on pretty much all 360 product shots where the screen is visible as light from our lighting will bounce of the turntable and will reflect straight to our camera via reflective surfaces on the product. This is pretty much impossible to avoid as we still need plenty of light around our product and any kind of a bounce or reflective card we would use to block the light may not let us to eliminate the reflection completely. Not to mention the time required to properly adjust the bounce card for 10-15 images, which is a daunting task on its own.

The answer to this problem is pretty straightforward - we just need to raise the product above our turntable just enough to hide the reflection for our chosen camera angle. It may require some additional work as mounting a product above the table will often require building a custom base that has to fit and hold the product in a desired configuration. We have been using solid wooden blocks that we would cut into different shapes and that worked great. With wood though you have to be sure to wrap it up in some sort of white tape or white paper to ensure that it doesn't produce a yellowish cast on your product images. Recently we started using Styrofoam and it works much better as it's easier to cut and we don't need to worry about the color cast as it's pretty much neutral light Grey. You can get various shapes and sizes of Styrofoam blocks in your local arts and crafts store or order online.

Of course if you have 360 product photography equipment that allows you to mount and rotate a product from the top, this is not an issue. From our experience though most of electronics with reflective surfaces and similar products have to be shot upright mounted on a turntable one way or another.

Here's a few images to better illustrate the problem and our solution:

The curvy glass frame is sitting right on the turntable and we can clearly see its reflection:

         360 product photography setup for reflective products

 

Let's now cut a Styrofoam stand with a narrow platform just enough to hold the thin glass frame:

        

 

Now the table reflection is gone on all 360 degree images:

        

 

        



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Computorized DIY Turntable For 360 Product Photography (Guest post)

by WebRotate 360 May 17, 2011 09:22

Not long ago we published a post on how to build a simple DIY turntable for 360 product photography  sing a couple of rounded plywood sheets and a Lazy Susan bearing. Many of our blog readers used the guide and actually built it for their own 360 photography projects! But our DIY turntable was missing an important feature - automation. You have to rotate it manually by aligning marks on the top and the bottom of the table for each 360 degree product photo. This can still be useful when you work on a single and complex product where you need to quickly asses your lighting setup and product positioning, but when you work on a bunch of uniform items the manual rotation becomes an issue.

Here is a guest post by TINYenormous on how to go one step further and build a fully automated table using off-the-shelf microcontroller board, stepper motor, and an EasyDriver stepper motor driver.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

I have wanted to build a rotary turntable for quite a while. With it I can shoot 360 degree product photos, I can set the camera up on it and shoot panoramas. I can use it with my timelapse setup to put motion into a long shot. I also have an idea about trying to use it to build a masterlock picker!

      

There is a stepper motor connected to a sparkfun easydriver via an arduino (not shown) The motor has something like 1.5 degrees per step and it is geared down heavily via the rubber belt, so it is very precise.

         

I used a table saw to cut this notch. Not something that I would recommend for the faint of heart.

         

Here is the easy driver on the breadboard.

        

This shot shows the bottom of the board. I used a “lazy susan” bearing from Home Depot to keep the turntable rolling smoothly. One thing I did wrong is that it was mounted several times while I was sanding or grinding and I definitely got a bit of grit in the bearings.

      
 

Here is a new thing I have been doing to make adjustable feet. It is a furniture nut pressed into the wood with a 1/4 x 20 bolt and wingnut poking out. It is cheap, adjustable, and keeps me from having to do any more woodworking.

       

With the easy driver the arduino code couldn’t be easier. I think I based it off of the “blink” example code. You need to enable two pins to set the stepping mode, a pin for direction, and a pin for step. It is that easy. I also have it connected to a converted pc power supply to give the motors 12v. I’m not sure how much I’ll use this, but it has been in my head for forever, so it’s good to let it out!

Please check out TINYenormous Blog to read about his other cool ideas and DIY projects that utilize microcontroller, programming, cameras, lasers, and all things technology!

Have you already captured 360 degree images of your products? To publish them on your website use our interactive 360 Degree Product Viewer. Windows and Mac software is also included to make creation of your 360 product views as simple as possible.

If you plan to work on 360 degree spins often and rather prefer to use a specialized commercial 360 product photography turntable with robotic control, check out our new 360 photography equipment store where we offer a variety of sturdy turntables built to simplify the process and save time.


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About this Blog

WebRotate 360 are specialists in interactive e-commerce solutions, web and software development for Internet retailers, product manufacturers, and marketing agencies.

We're a team of great individuals who bring our commitment, passion and skills to help you showcase your products online.


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