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QuickTime VR is a software program introduced by Apple to enable you to view object movies, panoramas, and digital video on the web and elsewhere. If you are using one of the computers in the museum’s Education Resource Center, QuickTime has already been installed for your convenience. Users outside of the museum will want to download QuickTime from the Apple website. The information provided below explains how to use QuickTime to view objects and panoramas.

Click here to download the free player software.

Due to the size of some of these files, download time may be somewhat slow. Please allow movies to load at least two-thirds of their information before playing them, in order to ensure the entire movie plays, and objects have full rotation capabilities. The museum assures you it's worth the wait.

Viewing VR Objects

A VR object is a series of images "stitched together" to create the illusion of a turning object. Using the mouse, you can manipulate the angle of the object. If the cursor looks like a hand, you may rotate the object "manually" by clicking and dragging the mouse to the left or the right. The hand will turn into a fist to "grab" and rotate the object.

Drag the cursor to a corner of the image, and the cursor changes from a hand to an arrow. Clicking and dragging the arrow toward the edge of the image will rotate the object "automatically." Dragging the arrow closer to the edge of the window will speed up the rotation.

Some objects are photographed head-on from one vantage point. Others are photographed at several angles. Multi-angle object movies have different cursors, and are photographed on a black background. The hand cursor still allows manual rotation. The arrow cursors vary in appearance, depending on where the mouse is in the window.

Along the top and bottom edges, a vertical arrow allows the viewer to rotate the object vertically, changing the angle of view. When the cursor arrives at either extreme, the arrow has a line that indicates it has reached its highest or lowest point. Arrows are curved on the left and right edges of the multi-angle object to indicate its direction of rotation.

Viewing VR Panoramas

VR panoramas are similar to VR objects. When viewing an object, consider yourself an "exterior spectator" of a rotating object. When viewing a panorama, consider yourself an "interior spectator" of a rotating scene in a cylinder. A VR panorama is merely a series of images "stitched together" to create the illusion of a 360 degree scene. When panoramas load, you will see a grid disappear as the image loads. Once part of the image has loaded, you may rotate the panorama, which often speeds up the loading process.

Panoramas allow virtual museum visitors to "tour" the exhibition galleries using cursors like those found in VR objects. Using your mouse, you can see an entire 360 degree scene, and even travel from one panorama to another using "hotspots" embedded into the panoramas.

Panoramas use a system of cursors to help you navigate through a scene. At rest, the mouse appears as a bulls-eye. Clicking on the mouse will activate a "compass" arrow with 4 points. Dragging the mouse will change the cursor to a single arrow, pointing in the direction of navigation. Again, dragging the arrow closer to the edge of the panorama will speed up the rotation.

At the bottom of the Panorama window is a series of icons. The first is a "back key." The second and third icons are zoom keys. The keyboard shortcuts for zooming out and zooming in are the Ctrl key and the Shift key, respectively. The fourth icon is used to identify hotspots in the panorama. There are two kinds of hotspots: navigational and content-related. Navigational hotspots, which show "doors" to connected panoramas in a scene, are large windows in the museum’s panoramas. Content-related hotspots, which allow virtual visitors to explore more content about a selected item, are located on top of each object. Clicking on the hotspot icon at the bottom of the window will identify where these hotspots are located.

Knowing where hotspots are located will allow you to take full advantage of the content embedded in the Panorama, as well as other linked panoramas in the scene. Two cursors identify navigational and content-related hotspots. Look for a upward-pointing white arrow that indicates a "door" to a linked panorama. Content-related hotspots change the cursor to an internet link icon, which looks like a finger on a globe. Anytime your cursor changes to indicate a hotspot, look at the caption bar at the base of the window to discover what lies beyond the hotspot.