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QuickTime VR Authoring Tools Suite

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The QuickTime VR Authoring Tools Suite (v. 1.0) is a set of authoring tools and run-time software that allows you to create a new class of multimedia products incorporating Apple's breakthrough QuickTime VR technology.

QuickTime VR technology enables a virtual reality experience using just an entry-level Mac OS or Windows personal computer with a keyboard and a mouse-no special hardware accessories are required. QuickTime VR run-time software allows a user to explore and interact with real-world spaces and objects.

With QuickTime VR run-time software, a user can walk through a real- world space, looking around, zooming in for a closer look, or "picking up" objects of interest to examine them more closely. As the user navigates through the space and looks at objects, correct perspective is maintained.

QuickTime VR enables this experience by incorporating two new techniques: panoramic movies that enable a user to look around a 360 degree scene ("node"), by panning left or right, up or down, or zooming in or out, and object movies that allow the user to examine objects, turning them around or tipping them up or down. The QuickTime VR interactive experience can be based on images from the real world captured by mainstream 35mm photography (or specialized panoramic cameras), digital cameras, such as the Apple QuickTake 150, or on computer-generated images.

The QuickTime VR Authoring Tools Suite is an integrated authoring system designed to enable experienced, professional multimedia developers to create QuickTime VR experiences. It includes complete instructions for planning and photographing QuickTime VR scenes. The authoring tools include: a software tool that stitches together sequential still photographs or computer-rendered images into a 360 degree panoramic-image PICT file; a software tool that dices and compresses panoramic or object movies to reduce file size, producing nodes from which the user views a scene; and scene editor software that allows you to create QuickTime VR scenes by adding and positioning nodes, linking nodes together, and adding interactive objects.

The Tools Suite also includes a variety of utility tools and the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Macintosh and Windows that enable the formatting of QuickTime VR data into run-time software. Apple has designed QuickTime VR to help you reach the largest possible market for your products. The QuickTime VR run-time software is cross-platform, and runs on the existing installed base of Mac OS and Windows computer systems (minimum 68030 Macintosh and 80386 Windows machines). Because QuickTime VR is an extension of Apple's QuickTime architecture, your applications can be delivered on nearly 10 million QuickTime- capable machines worldwide.


  • Easy panoramic-image capture-get high-quality, 360 panoramas, using only a 35mm camera and a tripod.
  • Flexible interaction-use hot spots to build interaction into any QuickTime VR scene, such as audio or video recordings, text, or by linking to a panorama or interactive object.
  • Small file size-store a complete 360 photo-graphic representation in less than 540K. Storage requirement for a computer-rendered scene is even smaller.
  • High performance-thanks to a revolutionary, distortion-correcting algorithm, images have a normal perspective when panning around. The speed of the algorithm allows systems to use up to 24-bit color images. Both vertical and horizontal panning can occur at fast speeds.
  • Cross-platform development-create dynamic virtual reality products for Mac OS and Windows environments.

See Also