Part VII – Panorama hotspot interaction, light up on mouse over

With respect to the previous post (part VI), only a few minor changes were required to the demo we had so far. Basically making the hotspot light up is implemented by drawing on the plane’s material. That’s all there is to it. I’ve implemented this idea in the interactive material class.

Lots of room for optimization, but the basic principle remains the same.

Although the goal has never been to deliver a set of reusable classes/components, the basics are all there, and the possibilities are legion. And although the architecture of the code samples can be improved, and they are far from being a complete application, most of the principles and a lot of the sources can be reused and applied to your own panorama implementations. Also note that you might need to clean the code a bit (I saw some left over parameters sneaking around that are no longer used, hunt them down!).

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Part VI – Panorama hotspot interaction

How you define your hotspots is up to you. For example you could write a tool which allows you to edit and generate a CubicPanorama. For a project for the dutch police academy I’m currently working on at TriMM, I am writing such an editor in Flex. Here is a screenshot of the work in progress:

Flex tool

Basically it allows you to select a cube side, import a picture for it and draw hotspots on it. The complete definition/model for the cube is then saved to xml, the polygon information with it.

In this demo I’m simply generating rectangular hotspots on the fly randomly as you can see when you reload the page. No matter whether you are using irregular shapes through xml or random rectangles the principle stays the same.

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Part V – Mouse to Plane coordinates, second step to implementing panorama hotspots

In the previous post, we implemented a vector pointing at the cube plane under your mouse. In this post we will look at deriving the local x,y coordinate within that plane, and with it the local x,y coordinate of the pixel within the plane’s texture under your mouse. (Although for hotspots, any local coordinate system will do).

In order to do so, we need to project the vector at the plane it is pointing at. This results in a coordinate that lies within the plane. The coordinate comes from a set of coordinates that all lie within that plane, and this set can be mapped to a range representing the texture coordinates (or hotspot coordinates as we will see later). Although this might sound complicated, it is not so bad as it sounds.

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Part IV – Plane detection, a first step to implementing panorama hotspots

In order to be able to detect hotspots under the mouse, the first thing we need to do is find some way to detect which plane the mouse is currently over and what the local x,y coordinates of the mousecursor are in the local space of that plane.

Instead of providing all the theoretical background I want to try and make it conceptually clear how we can do this. So let go of the mouse coordinates for a moment and take a look at our untransformed starting cube we discussed in a previous post:

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