How to Create a Virtual Tour in HoloBuilder

The prime use cases of HoloBuilder that should be particularly interesting for, e.g. real estate agents and people working in construction, is the creation of virtual tours.

In our case, virtual tour means a set of 360° photospheres that are interlinked to a HoloBuilder project. Make it possible to virtually discover a place by “walking” from one photosphere to the other.

Get a quick overview on how to easily create a 360° tour and what else you can do with HoloBuilder:

1 Capture 360° images
1.1 Capturing 360° images with a one-click camera
1.2 Capturing with the JobWalk app
1.3 Capturing 360° images with the smartphone
2 Upload your 360° images
3 Interlink your 360° images
3.1 Drag and drop
3.2 Select the default action object
3.3 Add a custom object design
4 Edit your tour
4.1 Set the initial view
4.2 Add a sheet
4.3 Track your process with Time Travel
5 Share your HoloBuilder project
6 View your HoloBuilder project through a VR headset

Support

 

1 Capture 360° images

A crucial prerequisite for your virtual tour are some 360° photospheres of the place you want to make virtually accessible. 360° images can be captured by either using a dedicated spherical camera like the Ricoh Theta S, Samsung Gear 360 or LG 360 CAM, as well as directly by using your smartphone, as it has been described in this tutorial. Find out more on the current 360° cameras here.

Note: HoloBuilder is not part of the capturing and/or stitching process of photospheres! 

1.1 Capturing 360° images with a one-click camera

One-click cameras are an easy and convenient solution to capture 360° images with only a single click. The images will be stitched automatically and thus, do not involve any manual stitching effort as the image capturing process with a professional DSLR camera does.

There are plenty of 360° cameras available. Find below a list of cameras also compatible with HoloBuilder:

Learn, for example, how to capture photospheres with a Theta camera and upload the images from your computer with the following video:

 

1.2 Capturing with the JobWalk app

A more professional option for creating your HoloBuilder projects is the JobWalk app. With the JobWalk app, you can connect your 360° camera with your mobile device and directly link the captured 360° images to the desired tour. Check and edit your tour later on again in the JobWalk app or on your computer. The JobWalk app can be linked to the following cameras:

… and more to come!

1.3 Capturing 360° images with the smartphone

A more convenient solution for capturing 360° images, is using a smartphone. While the capturing process is much longer, this is an option not needing the purchasing of an extra camera. The video below explains how to do the capturing and uploading with your smartphone:

Note that Google just recently re-branded almost anything related to 360-degree images with “Street View”. The mobile app for taking 360-degree images can now be found by the name ‘Google Street View’ for Android as well as iOS. Take your time while capturing the 360-degree images with your smartphone. In indoor scenarios, it is not that easy to get a straight image with the apps and you might end up with badly stitched scenes.

Learn more on ‘How to create 360° photos right with your smartphone‘ to get going.

 

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2 Upload your 360° images

This is the point at which HoloBuilder comes into play. Transfer your 360° images from your mobile device or camera, e.g. Ricoh Theta S, to your computer and open the location of the files. To upload your 360° images to our web platform, launch HoloBuilder in your web browser, preferably Chrome. Click on the highlighted area in the tab ‘Virtual Reality’ and select the file to be uploaded. Alternatively, you can also drag and drop the files to be uploaded from your desktop onto the rectangular interaction area of the upload popup highlighted in green in the image below. Subsequently, your 360° images will appear in the left-hand project panel.

Note: Add multiple photospheres at once by drag and drop or directly selecting them by browsing your files.

Drag and drop image files to upload

Figure 1: Drag and drop image files to upload

 

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3. Interlink your 360° images

To interlink your uploaded 360° images, you can either drag and drop the scene you want to create a link to from the project panel into the scene or add the corresponding action object from the object menu. For a more customized solution, you can also add your personal object designs to link to another scene.

3.1 Drag and drop

When you drag and drop a scene from the project panel on the left-hand side of the editor into the main editor window, a virtual link to that scene will be created with the ‘Go to scene‘ action object. To do so, first select the scene you want to add the link object to. Now, click and hold the scene you want to link to in the project panel and drag this element to the corresponding location in your scene. A 2D arrow appears in the scene as depicted below.

Figure 2: Add a link to another scene by drag and drop.

 

3.2 Select the default action object

HoloBuilder offers a variety of integrated actions already connected with a default action object. Click  in the panel on the right to open the object menu. In the tab ‘Action Objects’ you can find any provided integrated actions already attached to a simple 2D object.

To add a link to another scene, click on the ‘Go to Scene’ object to add it to the currently displayed 360° image. In the popup, choose the scene you want to link to. Continue you like this for each scene you wish to link to another scene.

Figure 3: Choose the default action object from the action menu.

3.3 Add a custom object designs

You can also add a custom 2D or 3D object to your scene as action object. Simply drag and drop the according object from your local drive into the scene or use the upload help ( Custom Text & Objects).

Open the action menu  in your right-hand side panel. Select the previously added object and choose the option ‘Go to Scene‘ from the menu (see image below). Alternatively, you can right-click the added 2D or 3D object, select ‘Add/Change action‘ from the context menu to open the action menu. Choose the option ‘Go to Scene’ (see image below). In the subsequent dialog, select the scene that you want to link the object to when clicked.

Figure 4: Create your custom action objects.

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4 Edit your tour

Apart from connection your scenes to an interactive tour, HoloBuilder also offers other options for enhancing your projects interactively, e.g. sheets and Time Travel.

4.1 Set the initial view

You can choose the perspective a viewer should have when first opening a scene. For setting the initial viewing direction when “entering” a photosphere, rotate the current scene to the corresponding orientation in the editor. Subsequently, click the  icon located at the corresponding scene preview of the currently displayed photosphere in the project panel. The thumbnail displayed as scene preview will be updated to the new orientation.

Learn more about setting the initial viewing direction for each scene here.

4.2 Add a sheet

Click on the green -button in the project panel. Now, select the second tab ‘Sheets’ and add your sheets, e.g. floor plans, by drag and dropping them from your local drive or by browsing your files. Learn more on how to add and edit sheets here.

Add a single sheet with any of the paid plans. Starting with the Real Estate plan you will also be able to add Multiple Sheets.

Add one or more sheets to your HoloBuilder project

Figure 3: Add one or more sheets to an existing project.

4.3 Track your process with Time Travel

With HoloBuilder, any progress or changes can be easily documented and followed with the Time Travel feature. Time Travel allows you to add multiple iterations of a single scene over time to display changes and document progress. Learn how to use Time Travel for your purpose here.

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5 Share your HoloBuilder project

To share your project, simply click on the share icon in the upper right corner of the editor, then, use either the share URL to distribute the tour via your various social media channels or the embed code to seamlessly integrate your virtual tour as an iframe within your website and any other HTML-based platform.

Learn more about your sharing options here or how to responsively embed the iframe into your website with this tutorial.

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6 View your HoloBuilder project through a VR headset

HoloBuilder supports a variety of VR headsets for better visualization, among others

  • Any smartphone + Google Cardboard  – Now also with stereo scene rendering for a better depth perception
  • Samsungs Phone + GearVR glasses – beta
  • PC + HTC Vive connected – coming soon
  • PC + Oculus Rift connected – coming soon
  • Daydream-ready phone + Daydream Glasses – coming soon

To view your project with the Google Cardboard, open the virtual tour in your mobile phone’s browser (preferably Chrome) and enable the sensor and Cardboard modes as highlighted in the image below. For a better experience, rotate to your mobile device to landscape view. If not automatically turned on, select the fullscreen icon for a better experience. Following this, insert the phone into your Cardboard.

The tiny dot at the center of the screen is for clicking the integrated objects. Point the dot on an object until the loading circle is completed to trigger the added action and walk the tour you just virtually created.

Find out more about how to use HoloBuilder with your cardboard here.

Cardboard view on smartphone

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Support

If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@holobuilder.com!

 

This tutorial has also been summarized in the following video:

 

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