Panorama & Cardboard

Overview

Enscape allows you to generate 360° panoramas in both stereo and mono. Stereo exports can be used with Google Cardboard. Panoramas exported from Enscape can be saved locally as a file or uploaded into the cloud where mono panoramas from the same CAD project can be combined to make a Gallery or a Tour that can help to showcase a project.

Individual panoramas are assigned a QR code which can be scanned to open the panorama on a mobile device, for example. Once a panorama has been uploaded to the cloud, whether single panoramas or sets of panoramas that are created as either a Gallery or Tour, they can be shared via a link, a QR code, or direct via email. These can then be viewed with a web browser on both desktop computers or mobile devices.

If you render a stereo panorama for Google Cardboard you can enable the cardboard mode on your mobile device by clicking on the cardboard ‘glasses’ symbol on the device when the panorama is open.

How to Export a Panorama

Load a project into your CAD, start Enscape and open the Visual Settings window and set the Projection to Perspective. Optionally, you can adjust the Panorama Resolution in the Visual Settings’ Output tab. Higher panorama resolutions will take longer to export.

Navigate to a position in the Enscape Viewport where you want the panorama to be captured from. You can click the Render Panorama button directly (which will export a Mono Panorama by default) or click the small arrow next to the Render Panorama button to choose Stereo Panorama if you want to view the panorama in Google Cardboard.

Enscape's Render Panorama buttons

Enscape's Render Panorama buttons

The panorama will now be generated and exported, indicated by a progress bar.

Panorama Export Progress Bar

Panorama Export Progress Bar

Once exported, by opening Enscape’s Upload Management dialog via the associated button  Manage Uploads button located back in Enscape’s CAD specific toolbar, you will be able to manage your exported panoramas further.

Manage your Panoramas

The Upload Management dialog will open and display the Panorama tab by default. If no panorama has yet been exported from a project the dialog will reflect this fact:

Upload Management dialog if no panoramas have been created

Upload Management dialog if no panoramas have been created

If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and create a panorama as outlined above. Come back to the Upload Management dialog, select the project listed under the Projects section of the dialog and any associated panoramas for that project will be shown in the dialog window. Here, in our example we are using the panoramas associated with the project named ‘SampleLibraryMusuem’. A previously opened project is also listed, named ‘testVilla’, as that project has an existing panorama associated with it also.

It’s possible to manage and edit panoramas that have been created in another project whilst having another unrelated project open in the CAD.

A set of exported mono panoramas not yet uploaded to the cloud

A set of exported mono panoramas not yet uploaded to the cloud

NOTE!
If you have issues uploading a panorama to the cloud, then this may be due to your Firewall. You may need to add some exceptions to your Firewall, and you will find the information you need to do this available here.

Hovering your mouse over any of the panorama thumbnails in the Upload Management dialog will display a set of buttons, as well as some information about which project the panorama is associated with, when it was created, its resolution, and if it is a mono or stereo panorama.

Default buttons available on exported panorama

Default buttons available on exported panorama

Thumbnails for stereo panoramas will additionally display a ‘glasses’ icon, as well as indicating the Type of panorama when  mousing over it.

Stereo Panorama

Stereo Panorama

The four buttons along the bottom of the thumbnail allow the following functions:

Save panorama as file… – will prompt you to save the file locally. You will be able to choose from a JPEG Image (*.jpg, *.jpeg), Portable Network Graphics (*.png), Windows BitMap (*.bmp), or Tagged Image File (*.tif, *.tiff)

Save panorama as a file button

Save panorama as a file button

Delete panorama – file (only available when the panorama is not uploaded to the cloud.

Delete panorama button

Delete panorama button

Replace uploaded panorama in cloud… – As long as there is already a panorama uploaded to the cloud, then the Replace uploaded panorama in cloud… will become available to the user. This allows the panorama selected in the Upload Management dialog to replace a panorama that is already uploaded to the cloud. When replacing a panorama, any QR Code or URL associated with the panorama in the cloud to be replaced will be adopted by the panorama that replaces it.

Replace uploaded panorama in the cloud button

Replace uploaded panorama in the cloud button

Upload panorama to cloud – This will result in the selected panorama being uploaded to the cloud so it can be shared and be used in the Gallery / Tour feature.

Upload panorama to cloud button

Upload panorama to cloud button

Once a panorama has been uploaded to the cloud, the thumbnail will display a small cloud symbol at the top right of the thumbnail image to indicate that image is now also stored in the cloud. If you hover your mouse over panorama thumbnails you will notice the above four buttons have changed slightly to reflect some more functions that become available to a panorama that is stored in the cloud.

You can still download the panorama as a file locally, but deleting it is disabled, and two new buttons appear.

Functions available for panoramas uploaded to the cloud

Functions available for panoramas uploaded to the cloud

Clicking on the 3 vertical dots will reveal the following menu which, as well as providing an option to view the panorama in your web browser, also provides a QR code which can be directly scanned or which can be saved as a file locally, or which can be directly copied and then pasted into a document. The Copy link option will copy the panoramas URL.

Note that, if you use the Replace uploaded panorama in cloud… the QR code associated with the file being replaced will be retained and used for the panorama that replaces it.

Menu for QR code, copy link, and open panorama in browser

Menu for QR code, copy link, and open panorama in browser

The last button, a cloud with a line through it, will remove the panorama from the cloud if clicked. The panorama will remain in the Upload Management window until deleted via the Delete panorama button.

You will be prompted to confirm deletion from the cloud.

Prompt to confirm removal of panorama from the cloud

Prompt to confirm removal of panorama from the cloud

NOTE
If you have issues uploading a panorama to the cloud, it may be due to your Firewall. You may need to add some URL exceptions to your Firewall and  the information you need to do this can be found here.

Replace a Panorama

To replace a panorama in the cloud you will need at least one panorama already uploaded to the cloud and at least one panorama that is not uploaded to the cloud but is listed in the Upload Management dialog.
Once these requirements are met, click the Replace uploaded panorama in the cloud… button which will open a dialog where you can choose the file you’d like to replace.

Replace Panorama dialog

Replace Panorama dialog

Click Next to confirm the replacement, here in this example you’ll notice were replacing a mono panorama with a stereo panorama:

Replacement Confirmation dialog

Replacement Confirmation dialog

Go ahead and click the Replace button if you are sure you would like to continue. A ‘Replacing’ progress bar will indicate replacement is processing. Note, the Reference Link will stay the same for the newly uploaded panorama.

Replacement Process Bar

Replacement Process Bar

On completion you will then be informed replacement has succeeded by the message ‘The panorama has been replaced in the cloud’. Click Close.

Confirmation that a panorama has been replaced

Confirmation that a panorama has been replaced

Tune the Parameters

In the Enscape settings, you can modify the overall rendering quality of panorama files, and this can be found in the Visual SettingsOutput tab. This also affects the panorama rendering time and quality. Medium generally produces great results at a high speed, Ultra provides the highest quality but takes the longest time.

The resolution can be specified in the Output tab from the PanoramaResolution drop down menu. Be aware that only the height is taken into account. The width is adjusted accordingly.

Panorama Resolution menu

Panorama Resolution menu

Resolution Mono Stereo
Low 2048×4096 4096×4096
Normal 4096×8192 8192x 8192
High 8192×16384 16384×16384

If you are not happy with the exposure brightness in your final panorama, disable Automatic Exposure in the Visual Settings’ Main tab and set a manual exposure that works for you. If Auto Exposure is enabled, Enscape measures a good exposure when starting the panorama capture that might not be ideal for the overall panorama.

Where issues arise exporting ultra high resolution / stereo panoramas, Enscape’s Rendering options should be used.

Preview Panorama

Navigate in the panorama by holding the left mouse button and moving the mouse. Try it below.

License Center Upload Area

When you are logged in to your Enscape License Center, navigate to the Uploads area to access a feature that allows you to create a Gallery or Tour made up of multiple panoramas created from the same CAD project.
Make sure to refer to this Manage Uploads article to understand how having an account will allow you to log in and access this feature.
NOTE: The Panorama Gallery / Tour feature is not available to Student or Trial accounts. Additionally, the Panorama Gallery / Tour will not work in VR HMD units.

Once you have uploaded a panorama to the cloud, it will be available in the Enscape License Center Upload area.
In the License Center -> Uploads area, a folder will be automatically created using the same name as the CAD Project the panorama has been exported from.

License Center Upload Management

License Center Upload Management

If your panoramas are created in stereo, then these will not be available for selection for a Gallery or Tour, as only mono panoramas are supported. Mono panoramas are listed in the License Center Upload area along with a small thumbnail of the panorama. Stereo panoramas will have a generic icon next to them instead. You will also notice the distinction is also made under the Type column.

Mono and Stereo Panoramas listed in Upload Management

Mono and Stereo Panoramas listed in Upload Management

Any panoramas that are uploaded to the cloud will use the name, date, and time as their file name by default. These files can be renamed in the License Center -> Uploads area if required.

Renaming, Moving, Deleting, and Share Options can be accessed via the 3 dots menu next to each panorama listed in the Uploads area of the License Center.

Create a Panorama Gallery

To begin to create the Gallery / Tour, click on the Create Mono Panorama Gallery button.

Once you have uploaded any Panorama from a project to the Cloud, it will be available in the Enscape License Center Upload area. Here we are using some Panoramas from the SketchUp SampleLibraryMuseum project.

Create Mono Panorama Gallery button

Create Mono Panorama Gallery button

Then select the panoramas you want to use from the Select Panoramas dialog that will appear and press Start Editing once done. Note that you will need to select at least 2 panoramas from the same project to continue past this point and that only mono panoramas can be used.

Select the panoramas you want to include in the Gallery

Select the panoramas you want to include in the Gallery

The Gallery simply provides a slideshow with Previous and Next buttons located at the left and right sides of the browser window.

Gallery Navigation buttons

Gallery Navigation buttons

The Gallery Editing mode can also be set to full screen by clicking the button located at the bottom right side of the browser window. Press [Esc] to exit full screen mode.

Full Screen mode button

Full Screen mode button

In contrast to creating a Gallery, a Tour can have two methods of deploying waypoints (or hotspots) within a set of panoramas to allow navigation between those panoramas. Show 2 waypoints will only show a maximum of 2 waypoints in a single panorama. These lead to either the Next or the Previous panorama which are set out in the editing strip at the bottom of the browser window.

The Gallery / Tour editing strip

The Gallery / Tour editing strip

Show all waypoints will provide all the navigation waypoints between any and all panoramas of a set, no matter the order or position of the panorama within the set.

In more detail:

Once the Gallery / Tour has been saved, it will be listed in the Enscape License Center with an associated Gallery / Tour icon as well as being named under the Type column. From here you can move, share, rename, or delete a Gallery / Tour, and this is explained fully in the Manage Uploads article.

The Gallery is now available in the License Center

The Gallery is now available in the License Center

View it in Cardboard

Use a QR code scanner on your mobile phone to open the panorama. We recommend using Google Chrome or Safari to view it properly.

Panorama in Cardboard in Mono mode

Panorama in Cardboard in Mono mode

Click on the cardboard icon in the lower right corner to enable the stereo mode. You will then be asked to put your phone into a cardboard device.

Top-Tip
In your Documents folder you will find an Enscape folder which contains the Panorama folder where Enscape stores the files associated with panoramas. These files are stored as .xml files and if you delete these files you will remove the panoramas from your My Panoramas as well as any connection to the files in the Cloud.
Pro-Tip
Insert Links to Navigate
Enscape gives you the panorama in mono and stereo via a normal image file or uploads it to the web. If you want to go further, you can connect the panoramas with clickable arrow links to make it more interactive. A variety of tools exist to do that, for example krpano.
For Software Developers
If you want to host the panorama on your own webspace, follow these guidelines. This is for users with software development background only – usually, our one-click cloud upload is a great solution to host your panorama reliably and fast.
Note for iOS devices
A couple of points to consider when trying to view Panoramas on iOS devices:

  1. As of iOS 12.2, Apple decided to limit accelerometer and gyroscope access in browsers for “privacy reasons”.
    You should be able to re-activate the access through the following settings:
    Settings > Safari > Privacy & Security > Motion & Orientation Access.
    Since iOS 13, Apple have disabled access to this option altogether, and as this is now on a per request basis, a prompt will appear each time on opening a panorama.
  2. If a Panorama has been rendered out from Enscape with the Panorama Resolution set to High, the Panorama will not work on iOS. Instead, render out the Panorama with the Panorama Resolution set to Normal.

Security & Privacy Policy for Cloud Service

For our Security and Privacy policy for Cloud Services, please refer to our EULA’s


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