3D Vista Virtual Tour Pro
BEL+T can provide extensive support to teaching staff looking to create virtual site visits using 3DVista. If you are interested, please contact BEL+T at email@example.com.
What is 3DVista?
3DVista Virtual Tour Pro is a multimedia software package that allows you to create interactive 360º virtual tours. 3DVista Virtual Tours can be used to facilitate virtual learning and teaching through the use of hotspots, quiz cards, integrated scoring, reporting systems and LMS integration.
Features and Media Types
3DVista combines and overlays many different features and media types in order to create immersive virtual environments. Richly layered outputs are able to provide sense of what the real environment might look, feel and sound like. Media such as 360º images (panoramas), 360º videos, embedded sounds, videos, photographs, floor plans and clickable hotspots allow students to explore the virtual site and engage in interactive learning while feeling like they are in the space.
360º images (panoramas) and 360º videos are at the heart of a 3DVista Virtual Tour - they create the spatiotemporal context in which users can navigate. There are many ways that 360º content can be produced, the most common being the use of specialised 360º cameras. The ABP Loans Desk has many 360º cameras available, which can be booked through the Loans Portal (staff-login required). BEL+T recommends using the InstaPro2 Camera, as it captures the highest-quality 360º images and videos. BEL+T has produced a video guide on how to use the InstaPro2 camera, which can be accessed via the button below.
Hotspots are the essence of a virtual tour. They gamify virtual environments, allowing users to click on objects and discover information and details inside the scene. Choose from 3DVista's library of icons, import your own images or highlight objects in your panoramas to work as clickable hotspots.
Watch this introduction on hotspots here.
How to Access to 3DVista
Download a trial licence on your own device here, or
Access the MSD licence on campus from the ABP Micro Studio, Room 203, Glyn Davis Building (133). Bookings available Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm. To book the ABP Micro Studio computer please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting to know the 3DVista Interface
The toolbar at the top of the 3DVista interface includes a number of features for importing and editing media to your virtual tour. These features include:
- My Tours
- Photo Albums
- 360 Videos
- Floor Plans
My Tours is a dashboard library showing the current and all previously opened projects.
Skins are templates that can be overlaid on a work scene and provide users navigational control within a virtual tour. Skins host a variety of components that can be called upon to trigger actions and provide different effects.
To learn more about Skins, watch this video here.
Below is a breakdown of the Skins dashboard;
The toolbar hosts a range of tools to build a Skin for your Virtual Tour. These tools can create elements such as floor plans, containers, web frames, text labels, buttons, icons, images, progress bars, tabs, dropdown menus, thumbnail lists and sets.
The properties window shows all the property settings of the current Skin, such as name and application mode.
The elements window displays all elements within a work scene ordered in a layered top-down hierarchy that determines an element's visible position. New components are automatically added to this list in which you can show, hide, group and move the layers up or down the list. The eye-icon found to the left of a layer controls the visibility of an element, turning it on or off.
Actions program the interactive elements of a tour, defining a set of rules and functions customised by you by specifying both an 'input action' and an 'output action'. For example: certain elements can be triggered by clicking on other elements, or text labels can 'pop-up' when you roll over an icon with your curser.
Conditional actions are a series of linked actions that operate in sequential order to achieve a desired affect or outcome. For example: certain hotspots can be hidden until you watch a video, or you may not be able to progress to the next scene within the virtual tour until you take a quiz.
The properties window defines the style and characteristics of an element.
Size and Position
The size and position window outline the sizing of elements as well as its location within its frame.
The panorama feature enables you to preview all imported panoramic images as well as host a range of tools that help create an interactive and appealing virtual tour. This area is used as a media library in which imported 360º images can be edited and interactive actions can be added to panoramic scenes.
List in Panoramas displays all 360º images imported from a local file. These files are linked to its specific directories and will update accordingly.
The experience of the virtual tour can be controlled through the Settings. Presets such as rotation and zoom speeds can be adjusted in the Panorama Settings window, altering the user experience.
Hotspots can be image icons, polygons, text or videos placed within panoramas and used to trigger actions such displaying hidden media or transitioning to other scenes. Hotspots that transition to other scenes are known as location hotspots - essentially creating a portal and linking two scenes. This is how a virtual walk through is created.
Enhance allows editing of selected images within the current work space. An images brightness, contrast and colour saturation can be edited here without having to leave the 3DVista software.
Lens Flare enables adjustments to the gradient brightness of a scene to reflect a sun's lens flair. Click within the scene to place the sun location and adjust the flare settings to enhance brightness.
The Photo Albums feature creates and stores a library of imported photo media. This feature enables quick editing and consolidates images that can be used for hotspots and actions.
Videos creates a library of imported video media, similar to the Photo Albums feature. However the videos feature also enables hotspots to be integrated within the media and displayed at certain points within a video's timeline. To add hotspots to a video, create them in the Skin editor and click 'eligible as hotspot in videos'.
Similar to the Panoramas feature, 360º Videos enables your to preview all imported 360º videos as well as hosts a range of tools that help create an interactive and appealing virtual tour. This area is used as a media library in which imported 360º videos can be edited and interactive actions can be added.
List within 360º Videos works the same as in other areas such as Panoramas. All imported media is displayed here in a list of thumbnail images. Global image settings can be edited in Lists.
The experience of the virtual tour can be controlled through the Settings. Presets such as rotation and zoom speeds can be adjusted in the Video Settings window, altering the user experience.
Hotspots within 360º Videos can be images or icons and used to trigger actions such displaying hidden media or transitioning to other scenes. Hotspots that transition to other scenes are known as location hotspots - essentially creating a portal and linking two scenes. This is how a virtual walk through is created. Hotspots in 360º Videos can also be timed and appear in a scene within a marked time frame. This can be triggered within the right window panel under Key Points.
The caps feature hides unnecessary details picked up from 360 video photography such as tripod legs.
The Floor Plans tab allows static images of maps, plans or aerial images to be uploaded to the Virtual Tour. Having a floor plan as part of a Virtual Tour is not necessary but can add navigational and spatial awareness as it can provide a sense of where you are when walking through a Virtual Site Tour. A thumbnail view of the Floor Plan can be added into the Skin, to appear on every scene. Multiple floor plans can also be added to show a number of different sites and scales throughout the tour.
The List function within Floor Plans works the same as in other areas such as Panoramas. All imported floor plans are displayed here in a list of thumbnail images. Global image settings can be edited in Lists.
Hotspots within the Floor Plans tab enable interactivity within a virtual site tour defined by elements such as, customised polygons, text, images and videos. In particular location hotspots integrated on Floor Plans behave as markers mapping out views and points of interest, transporting you to scenes at a specific locations within a tour when clicked.
The Radar feature within Floor Plans allows you to add a radius overlay indicating direction and field of view when navigating panoramas and 360 videos. Radars combined with hotspots functions can create a very comprehensive spatial understanding of virtual sites.
Publishing a file will render the current virtual tour and 'package' it in a range of file formats for sharing and viewing without the need of the 3DVista program.
Publish Settings enables last minute amendments to the virtual tour's functionality and user interface.
Playlist can adjust the global settings of a tour by editing panorama, video, VR, background music and social settings. These functions control how a user interacts with the tour and can be found in the right side panel. These setting will be applied to the whole tour rather than the individual scenes.
Loading enables you to customise the loading screen of the tour. Like the skin templates, you can add/delete elements to make the loading screen more engaging. To add icons select from provided elements in the top right corner of the work space and insert it into the viewport.
The Language function provides a consolidated view of all text objects within the file and enables you to make last minute amendments. Text objects are listed in a hierarchy based on their location within the tour, making it easy to find specific elements.
E-Learning provides the opportunity to integrate quiz cards and scores into the tour. E-Learning actions are used the same as actions found in the skins section but instead applied to a quiz as opposed to elements. To further learn about the E-Learning function, please click the follow link here.
Once you have finished making amendments and have previewed the tour, making sure everything is ready for publishing click on the blue 'Publish' button in the bottom right corner of the viewport.
3DVista hosts a range of different types of outputs suited to your intended use. For standard web/mobile view select 'For Web / Mobile', and make sure 'Export 360 Video to Adaptive' is checked under publish settings. Once you have selected a destination for 3DVista to output to, select the blue 'Publish' button in the bottom right corner of the viewport.