Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

ImmerVision Releases Pure Player for Flash – It’s a Smooth Mover

Posted by larrylohrman on December 14, 2006

Last Tuesday ImmerVison Released Pure Player for Flash. ImmerVision is a company that develops software for displaying interactive panoramas. Up until last week there panorama viewing software was based on Java called Pure Player for Java. I’ve been using Pure Player for Java ever since they released it a year or so ago to create tours for all our listings. Here’s an example. The Gallery page on the ImmerVision site has a series of panoramas that you can display with either Flash or Java for comparison. As you can see Flash still not quite as smooth as Java but it’s very close.

Up until recently displaying full-screen spherical panoramas has been beyond the capabilities of Flash. Back in September I did a post on a breakthrough Flash spherical panorama player by Thomas Rauscher. This was the best Flash player for spherical panoramas I’d seen to date. The movement in full-screen mode was still noticeably jerky. This jerkiness prevented some virtual tour developers I talked to from using it. Real spherical panorama aficionados are use to the silky smooth movement of QuickTime panoramas.

The important feature of Immervision’s Pure Player for Flash is it is much smoother moving than previous players. I think the reason for this is that Pure Player for Flash only works with the Flash 9 player. Flash 9 has some new graphics rendering technology that makes it possible to make panoramas move much smoother than with previous versions of Flash. To date Flash 9 only has around 40% or less penetration because it hasn’t been out for very long.

The impact of these recent Flash panorama developments for Realtors, real estate photographers and virtual tour developers for the real estate market is that we are getting very close to having full-screen spherical panoramas that will work on all machines without any downloading of players.

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4 Responses to “ImmerVision Releases Pure Player for Flash – It’s a Smooth Mover”

  1. Hi Larry,

    1) Are you using your Canon 5D with a fisheye to take your panoramas or another, cheaper camera? I have a panosaurus head and have been fiddling around with my wide angle lens (10mm) but I have to take around 16 shots to get a full 360×180.

    2) I was snooping around on Immervision’s site and downloaded the flash player. In the documentation there is some very detailed instructions for writing your own XML files. I am assuming that one needs to buy the Pure Starter Toolkit anyway to somehow “compile” it into their .ivp file format?

    I am still not sold/that excited about 360 VR for real estate just yet (At the moment, it’s not very user/computer friendly IMHO). But with this new flash software, I can see this stuff becoming very useful a few years down the road. I might have to plunk down some money for a nice fisheye soon!

  2. I currently use my Canon 1Ds along with a Sigma 8mm fisheye to do spherical panoramas. I use the 8mm for just the reason you point out… so I can shoot a room with just 3 fisheye frames. Another very popular lens for 360 work is the Nikon 10.5 fisheye (it can be adapted to Canon DSLR bodies) which is a little sharper than the Sigma 8mm. For years I shot spherical panoramas with a CoolPix-995 with a FC-E8 Fisheye adapter but the 1Ds and Sigma lens have much more dynamic range and are easier to work with.

    Yes, to do ImmerVision Flash panoramas you need to purchase the Pure Toolkit. The toolkit comes with some example xml files and tours and what I’ve done is just use the examples as a starting point and modify them for my purposes.

    You are right 360s cause viewers problems many times. I find that only about 30% of the viewers of our listings look at the 360s for various reasons. Flash 9 will probably fix or improve that in the coming year. I’m working on some HTML for my tours that will work like the ImmerVision gallery examples and let the viewer choose between Flash or Java.

  3. Larry,

    I’m interested to discover why it is that many of your viewers do not prefer the 360-views. The majority of buyers, sellers, and realtors I’ve dealt find a full or partial 360-view to be very important in ascertaining the true feel of the size and layout of the room.

    Is it perhaps because of the “up/down” view ability of your tours? Many people do find this to be difficult to view. Check out my TOUR GALLERY at my website (www.nashvtp.com) to see what I’m referring to; a 360-view without the ability to look “up/down” makes the navigation much easier.

    I would appreciate any feedback you can provide from people who are telling you that the 360-views are difficult to navigate.

    Much thanks,
    Jason

  4. Jason,
    I think you misunderstood what I said. Above I said only about 30% of visitors to our listing actually click on the virtual tour link, not that I have any feedback that they have difficulty navigating the tours. This probably reflects the fact that 70% of the visitors just don’t have enough interest in the listing to a more detailed look.

    I would also like to find out more information about what visitors to virtual tours like and don’t like. I do make a point of talking to our selling clients about what they like and don’t like and many think 360 spherical panoramas are wonder full yet others seem to have no opinion. All the information I have is just anicdotal stories. I would like to gather more data.

    I personally I don’t like cylinderical panoramas. I used them several years ago but personally like to be able to see ceiling moldings and floor converings etc. I also dislike small panoramas. I feel they don’t have enough impact. These are just personal feelings though I’d like to get more data about what real buyers and sellers think… maybe I do some interviews.

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