16 Dec How to Add VR and 360° Photos on Your WordPress Site
This is a common question… You have seen the prominent role that 360 photography is beginning to play in shaping image based digital media content. With this in mind, you have either purchased yourself a 360 camera, acquired the necessary equipment to create a great 360 photography setup for your DSLR, or you have simply learned to utilize advancements in Android and iOS to take killer 360 shots on your smartphone. You have been seeing how slick and professional the blogs of your peers who are utilizing 360 photography are looking, and you have decided to join them in this… But, now you are facing a bit of a dilemma: uploading the photos to your WordPress blog is not quite as simple as you might have imagined it to be.
If this is you, do not worry! You are not alone in this struggle, as this technology is new, and has been created to be simple, but still requires some growing pains to become familiar with… So, I have decided to compile a step by step guide to completing this task, based on what I have learned so far.
Many people have been speculating that the momentum being gained by 360 photography, which is also known as VR photography (or Virtual Reality), will be increasing in prominence, rather than decreasing. The possibilities of Virtual Reality seem exciting and nearly endless, and with this technology becoming more usable and accessible for the public, it feels like we are in the midst of a major, important cultural and technological breakthrough.
If this is the case, you will want to become literate in your understanding of utilizing this form of content on your WordPress blog; it is better to be ahead of the curve, rather than behind it!
WordPress is a great website builder for many reasons, and their forethought in creating simple, accessible compatibility with 360 photography is just another aspect that puts WordPress above a lot of their fellow competitors.
If you have a 360 photograph which has been taken with a fisheye or wide-angle lens on your DSLR, the correct app on your smartphone, or a 360 photographic camera, and that has been correctly stitched (either manually or automatically, depending on the method), a WordPress hosted site is the perfect outlet for displaying that photo!
Which Browser Should I Use?
This is an important question.
Make sure that you are using a compatible browser! Chrome is a safe choice if you’re working within a Windows, Android, iOS, Mac OSX or Linux operating system. Safari works fine for iOS and Mac OSX. Firefox works for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX. And finally, Internet Explorer 11 and Edge on Windows will work, too.
If you’re viewing the photos on your mobile device, you must ensure that they have Gyroscope or Accelerometer.
Uploading the 360 Photo on WordPress
The first step is installing the WP-VR-VIEW Plugin. If you are experienced with managing a WordPress-hosted site, you will be very familiar with the process of downloading a plugin.
Regardless, it is a simple step, which is just another reason that WordPress is such a popular and reputable host… Simply go to the Admin area, go to “Plugins” and press “Add New.” You should not have trouble finding the WP-VR-VIEW Plugin, and then simply press “Install” or “Install Now.”
Before initiating the use of WP-VR-VIEW, you will want to add your image to your database. To do this, simply upload your 360 photograph(s) to your Media Library.
Once your photo is there, select the photo and take a look at the details. Beside the version of the photo on the left of the screen, there will be information on the right side. You will want to Copy the URL to have on hand for when you are using the WP-VR-VIEW plugin.
Now, it’s time to add a new post. Again, for those who are experienced WordPress users, this is standard procedure. You will want to click on “Add New” after hovering over the “Posts” icon. Once you arrive on the page for a new post, you scroll up to your toolbar. If the WP-VR-VIEW plugin has been installed correctly, there will be an icon for “VR Image” on your toolbar. Click on that button.
I suggested earlier to have copied the URL. This is when that will come in handy, as your first action at this step is to Paste that address into the “PhotoSphere Image URL” and the “Preview image URL” spaces.
Select “No” on the “Stereo” bar, and the width and height can be entered in either percentage or pixels. Once all of this information has been entered, press the large “Insert” button on the bottom of the page.
To take a look at your new 360 photograph, press “Preview.” If it does not look as clear as you have wished, consider switching the percentage for pixels in the “Height” and “Width” bars, or vice versa.
By clicking on the small square in the bottom right corner of the page, you can view the image in a full screen mode. If you are on a mobile device, the icon will instead by a small cardboard symbol. Also, if you are on your mobile, turn your device horizontal to optimally view and explore the 360 photograph.
If you are satisfied with the image, publish the post, and you will have uploaded your first VR photo to your WordPress blog!
Without WP-VR-VIEW Plugin
With WP-VR-VIEW Plugin
Photo by joxeankoret
360 Videos with WordPress?
Yes, as of its implementation in December 2016, this exact same WordPress Plugin does also work for 360 Video. This accessible VR technology, in general, is a new and exciting plugin for WordPress to have designed.
360 video is not quite as simple or accessible as 360 photography, but is currently experiencing a lot of popularity as brands find ways to utilize this important advancement for their marketing materials, and many hobbyists and adventurers are playing with finding ways to implement the style.
How does 360 Photos and Videos Work on Mobile?
The mobile experience is somewhat different than the desktop experience, but it is equally as impressive. If you use Google Cardboard with your smartphone, you can experience 360 photography and videos for an experience that is as close to Virtual Reality as common tools can currently create! It is best to have a device that is equipped with Gyroscope, whether this is your smartphone or a tablet; this allows your VR environment to be more reactive to your device and your movement. If you use a tool like a Cardboard VR viewer, the experience of an actual Virtual Reality headset will basically be emulated. Although the computer based click and drag is exciting, too, the experience that mobile brings to the table is exciting and unique.
At the moment, Samsung built Android phones are slightly more well-suited than current models of iOS devices, but Apps have been developed by Apple to tighten up this race, and we expect that the gap will be less defined in the very near future.
What Is The Significance Of WordPress VR Viewer?
Basically, the people at WordPress have developed an incredible tool which will allow amazing, sophisticated technology to be grasped in a way that is simple and effective. You can fill your web page with spellbinding 360 degree digital media content which explores Virtual Reality, and you can do this with a very limited technical expertise.
Although the technology that they have developed is not exactly unique, it is certainly an inventive and well-executed application of pre-existing Virtual Reality platforms. Basically, WordPress is using webVR to make a sizeable impact in a new way. WebVR is a common, open-source tool that allows platforms to feature 360 degree content, and WordPress has captured this exciting tool and has the potential to bring Virtual Reality to a much wider and more common audience. WordPress has an absolutely huge body of readers and users, with an average of over 400 million web surfers landing on the sites that they host on a monthly basis; one would imagine that with this new plugin that they have created, which makes publishing 360 degree content considerably easier, VR Content is about to take a major spike in user engagement.
Verdict of 360 Photography and Videography on WordPress
This incredibly complex system has been made simple by WordPress. Here, in this article, I have boiled it down to a six step method, and in doing this I tried to be as thorough and detailed as possible.
In my opinion, almost anybody who can use a computer can grasp this system, and it can potentially do wonders for collections of work of amateur and professional filmmakers and photographers.
We are just at the dawn of the movement towards Virtual Reality, and all of the giants in the Internet industry, like Google, Facebook, Android, and Apple are all still in their preliminary phases of finding the most effective ways to utilize this movement in digital media.