Creating an Album

Posted 2017-08-30

We've recently released a new version of the dashboard! I wish I had a screenshot of the original to show a before and after; it was a monster of confusing tools and poor layout.

I am far from the best UI designer, and I would never claim to make a great UI (or UX, for that matter!), but I do like the new look and think the simplified layout makes it much easier to get what you want done. You can see a small overview of the dashboard to the right, with 3 main sections: Set the Scene, Photos and Videos, and the Preview.

So, that said, let's dive in!

 

Set The Scene

This section allows you to set the ambiance of your album and sharing settings.

Sky

The sky is the 360 degree photosphere that will wrap around the entire scene. It's pretty simple, just take a photosphere with your phone, select new, and upload the photo. The existing tab will list any photospheres in the album and let you select between them.

Audio

The audio tab works just like the sky tab, except, well, it's for audio. Upload an mp3 that sets the mood of your scene. FreeSound.org is a great source of no-attribution audio clips ranging from nature and water, to city and some basic music. This can really help set the mood and immersion of your album.

Rain

If you enable rain, an effect will be added to your album of falling drops. This section will likely eventually turn into a list of effects that can be added to your scene.

A quick note: Rain will turn the scene black on a mobile device, and will be disabled on them until a more light-weight effect can be used on mobile.

Layout

The layout tab allows you to change the way the album carousel is displayed. Image Layout allows you to choose where to place images. Away From Viewer shows images out of the center as vanishing into the distance, while Toward Viewer displays them almost like they are circling around the user (really more of a parabola smiley). One experimental option we added was Wave, which works well for large albums, showing the photos in a squiggly line from left to right. Image Rows allows you to stack images on top of each other. With large albums, setting it to 3 or 4 creates a nice looking wall of images for the viewer to choose from. The downside to 3+ rows is that it can obstruct a beautiful Sky photosphere, so it's best to play with each of the options and figure out which one you like best!

Sharing

Sharing allows you to do 2 things: (1) mark the album as Private or Public, and (2) get the share link and embedding code. If you mark the album as Private (the default), you are the only one who can see it, and must be logged in. Public means anyone with the link can view it. The next sharing option we'll be building is a Private Link, allowing the link to be more secure, and specific so you can limit it to people who have the link, not anyone who can guess the ID.

The embed code will be interesting for anyone with a website! If your site or blog editor allows you to place HTML code, you can copy and paste the embed code directly on your website so your visitors can view your album directly on your website! If you have some HTML knowledge, you can modify the style to fit your needs, but we tried to set a reasonable default that will work on most page.

Photos and Videos

This section allows you to upload files for your album's content.

When your album is empty, you will just see the big "Add" button. Click that, then choose files you want to display in the album (images and videos), and click Upload. This may take some time, but as each file is uploaded and processed, it will be added to the list.

It's as simple as that!

Preview

Last, we have the album preview section:

By default, the preview isn't shown. Simply click the 'Preview' button, and then 'Load Album' once you see the blue cube loaded. The goggle icon in the lower right of the preview will full screen it on the desktop, or enable VR mode if your browser supports it or you're on mobile.

This is exactly what your viewers will see!

When you make changes, you will need to click 'Hide Preview', then click Preview again and Load Album to view. We're working on simplifying this smiley