Virtual Tour Techniques

How polygon hotspots can give your virtual tours a sophisticated ADVANTAGE (FREE tutorial)

What are polygon hotspots and how do they give you an advantage?
What are polygon hotspots and how do they give you an advantage?

How can polygon hotspots give your virtual tours an advantage?  Here’s why to use them and a free tutorial for how to add them easily to your virtual tour (aka 3D tours).

Imagine if you have a museum as a client and they want a 360 photo of a room with many objects of various shapes.  They want to have hotspots for each of the objects.  With a conventional virtual tour, you can put hotspots on each object, but the photo would look awkward with so many hotspots dotting it.  What if instead, the viewer sees a clean room with no visible hotspots, and instead, click on any object to see the hotspot?

That effect I described can be done with polygon hotspots.  Like regular hotspots, clicking on them can bring up text, photos, or link to another part of the virtual tour.  However, rather than being a simple circle or square, a polygon hotspot can trace the edges of an object, which lets the entire object act as a hotspot.

Polygon hotspots can be especially useful not just for museums but for car interiors for example (imagine polygon hotspots for the dashboard display, radio, and glove compartment).

Here is a sample virtual tour with polygon hotspots. In the first photo, there is an invisible polygon hotspot on the whole piano.  In the second photo, there is a simpler polygon hotspot on the piano keyboard, with a white translucent overlay.  I linked the hotspots to a video of my client’s performance.

Polygon hotspots are an advanced feature and some virtual tour software don’t have them.  You can add them in desktop-based virtual tour software such as Pano2VR, 3DVista, or kr2pano.  If you don’t have time to learn desktop-based virtual tour software or don’t want to have to host a virtual tour, you can also use polygon hotspots on a few web-based virtual tour software such as Teliportme, which supports high resolution 360 photos, split-view comparison 360 photos (for before and after shots such as this one), and now polygon hotspots as well.  Other web-based software that support polygon hotspots include Seekbeak and Theasys.

Here is a polygon hotspot tutorial for TeliportMe, showing how easy it is to use.  I would have liked for the mouse to change when it is hovering over an invisible hotspot and the developer said they will be adding that feature soon.

Meanwhile, if you want to learn other techniques for impressing your clients with high quality 360 photos using a 360 camera or better yet a DSLR, check out HQ Method or VTE2 respectively.

About the author

Mic Ty


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