There may be other free programs to create panoramas, but since we intend to share them online I highly encourage you to use CleVR. It’s a convenient 2-in-1 tool, both stitching software and an online service that can be used separately.
So, if you’ve stitched your photos with the CleVR software, you’ve probably noticed that the program does not only create interactive virtual tours out of your images, but these can also be rotated side to side, up and down and zoomed in and out.
Here are a few simple steps to take your panoramas online:
First, watermark photos to make sure your copyright is protected. Otherwise, you may find them traveling across the network without any credit back to you.
Once you’ve created them, panoramas can be either saved as JPEG files on your computer or uploaded to CleVR.com and the stitcher will transform them into an interactive view that can be shared or embedded.
Uploading is quite easy. When you click on the ‘Upload button’ you will have to name your image and provide several tags and a short description (optional).
It will take a little time for the panorama to be uploaded and you will see a preview of the final image. The + and – buttons will zoom in and out and you can rotate the image by clicking and dragging it with your mouse. The process is pretty straightforward and this is all you need to do. Click on the ‘View’ button at the bottom to check your panorama.
The coolest feature of CleVR is definitely their panorama viewer. Once your panorama is uploaded, you can get the embed code to share it and post it on your blog, like with any YouTube video.
Embedding is a simple Flash-based process and your panoramas can be easily viewed in any web browser. For most websites, you just copy the code from the “Embed” box on the panorama page and paste on the site you want to use it. You can also share your panoramas on Facebook, MySpace or send them by mail (one click of a button).
If you want to tweak your panorama a little bit, you can retouch it in Photoshop. You should edit the finished panorama and not each image that made the panorama.
If you are using the CleVR stitcher, you can export the panorama so you can edit it Photoshop or other editing software. The program offers an Export option in the ‘File’ menu and once you’re done editing, you can then reopen it in the CleVR stitcher and continue as usual.
You must have seen the ‘Edit Hotspots’ button by now, which is another great feature of CleVR. Basically, hotspots are areas on the panorama that viewers can click on to get additional information, in the form of text, an image, a video or a link to another of your panoramas.
You can start adding hotspots to your panoramas by simply clicking on ‘Edit Hotspots‘ and then ‘Add Hotspot‘. The program prompts you to drag a rectangle around the area you want to highlight and it will become clickable.
When you’re done, you will see a box where you’ll have to add a name for your hotspot, a description, a link of an image file or, you can choose another panorama to link to. Your hotspots are automatically saved as you create them and you can also add more later on the web.
One of the most exciting ways to use hot spots is to link panoramas together into a full virtual tour (e.g. create panoramas of each room in your home and them put everything together and create an interactive tour of the house). Plus, CleVR also allows you to organize your panoramas into groups and easily move between locations.
The software is very easy to use, allowing all non-geek users to effortlessly create their own panoramas in a fully automated process. All you need to do is log to your CleVR account, select the images you want to use for your panorama, drag and drop your files and press the ‘Stitch’ button.
You will have the perfect panorama in a matter of minutes. Next, it will upload it to CleVR. Com and your panorama is now ready to view and share. But as with most tools of this kind, the larger the file size and higher the resolution, the slower your photos are processed. To make it go faster, select medium sized photos of no more than 200 KB.
Alternative to CleVR
Photosynth is a free Windows-based panorama application with iPhone & iPad versions that allows you to capture, upload and share 360-degree panoramas.
The app lets you take pictures in all directions, up, down, left and right using Full-sphere Panoramas function and then easily share them on Facebook or Bing Maps.
Another great feature of this app is its live image tracking in the viewfinder, which totally sets it apart from other pano apps. The cool thing about using Photosynth is that you can actually see the panorama coming to life, as you shoot your images using the Interactive Capture function.
You can also view the final image right away using the o-device processing and the end result is a sharp, high quality interactive panorama produced with the Photosynth Advanced Image Stitching Engine.
You can view and share your panoramas at any time using the on-device library and you can save as many as you want and see them later online at www.photosynth.net.
Download the app for free from the iTunes App Store:
Well, these are just some of the things you can do if you get a little creative with your camera (or iPhone). Test these tools for yourself and see what works for you. These are all easy to use applications and from your camera to the web it only takes a few minutes.