Feature Requests For 2012As most people know, when it comes to creating a feature rich virtual tour, Tourweaver is the way to go. I've been using Tourweaver since 2007 and the GUI is pretty simple to understand while even the most novice of users can pretty much get the hang of the software's functionality WITHOUT using any of the help files to assist them. You can pretty much just wing it and get some pretty fantastic results.
Creating a virtual tour is really easy to do, but creating a Masterpiece that makes each and every viewer say "Wow, this is really f'ing nice!" is a tad more difficult, especially when you don't have the control that's required to create such a tour.
Tourweaver's competition is relatively small, especially when we talk about the features, functions and ease of use. However, when it comes to functionality and the ability to create a virtual tour that plays EXACTLY as you want, then I have got to admit,flashificator has got Tourweaver beat.......but not by very much. There are a few simple things that flashificator has the ability to do, that takes what is a regular tour in tourweaver, and makes it into a very elegant, stylish and amazing tour.
As I said, Tourweaver is the best when it comes to ease of use saddled up with all the great features it contains which are at our disposal......but I personally need a little more control over some very basic finessing features (which I think that many Tourweaver users will agree with me) Tourweaver is lacking but desperatly needs.
Here is my list of future requests that I feel Tourweaver should incorporate so that it's paying customers can create the very best virtual tours in the business, instead of merely wishing that they could create virtual tours of the same caliber as Regal360.com (Imagery Aside), which I would absolutely argue are the best virtual tours on the planet......to date:
1. FRICTION - I can't tell you how many times I have had viewers complain that the scenes spin WAY too fast when dragging the mouse around. Most have even told me it made them feel a little queezy. If anyone has ever visited a tour that DOES have friction, you immediately feel that this is something that Tourweaver is lacking in the elegance and finesse department. When creating a tour in Tourweaver, the "immersive" view has friction by default.....I do not see why this isn't an option for our spins, especially when it so dramatically changes the recipe for the percieved value of the tour.
2. POP-UP WINDOW CONTROL - Control......we do not have. A lot of the perceived value in a tour comes from the presentation. In order to maximize that value, one needs to have control. As of now, the only control we have is "how long" the window transition takes. What would be even more benefical to all of us Tourweaver devotees, is more control over:
A. WINDOW TIMING - Maybe I want my navigation controls to pop-in AFTER the scene loads......or maybe I would like some kind of sequential display where each of my nav buttons pops in one after the other, or maybe I want a window to very gracefully slide in "whenever I want it to!" ;)
B. WINDOW LAYERING - as of now, the windows are layered in the order that you create them.......well what if I think of something 2 days later that needs to go UNDER the first window (for whatever reason)? Then I have to REMOVE ALL OF THE WINDOWS and start over. There should be a way to layer the windows just as you can layer the scene order by dragging and dropping.
3.SCRIPT HANDLING - SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION - Now I can't speak for the rest of the world, however, here in the United States, the social networking sites ARE HUGE! Everyone including their grandmothers are on them. I realize that this can be done on the html side of things, but that's something that would be so much easier to use if it was already built-in to TW, or, ideally, we should be able to create a window and add a script that would do all the work. This would be a great feature for Easy Pano to add to their portfolio and would only make the decision to purchase the $600 -$800 Pro software that much easier. Even the EasyPano site has a Facebook and Twitter link.....
4. RECORD MOVIE CONTROL - I could be completely wrong and just haven't figured it out yet, but it seems that we have very limited control over our recordings....and that the recordings aren't very smooth, no ease in or out. I would like to be able to record my first scene...zooming in and out, panning left or right, and then when the user clicks on the next scene I would like to be able to show the recorded second scene...zooming in and out, panning left or right, and so on. As of now I haven't been able to figure out if this is even possible. If it is possible then I apologize and just forget that there was a number 4 ;)
There are a few other features/options that I would like to see incorporated, but these, to me, are the most important. People often say "You're only limited by your imagination", which for the most part is true, but you're also limited by what your software can do. The "Window Control", "Script Handling" and "Record Movie Control" would dramatically increase the potential of the imagination ,which is what makes flashificator so powerful, you can do ANYTHING with it, and it's way more affordable for the average Joe, but no matter what you've heard, there is a serious learning curve which makes Tourweaver a better choice.
These five options would really help to create the very best virtual tours available. EP has done an amazing job in creating a software that is way, way, way, way easier to use then any other "would be" competitors out there, and I believe that these would really help to cast all other doubts aside as to "who" is really in the lead of virtual tour development.
Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.