Showing posts with label wallpapers.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wallpapers.. Show all posts
Lusus

Create a Desktop Wallpaper using A 360 Degree Panoramic Second Life Image


In previous SL-Inspiration tutorials we've covered how to use Second Life images to create desktop wallpapers, both as a gallery of images and an animated wallpaper. Another subject we've covered in depth is how to create 360 degree panoramic images in Second Life, the hud you'll need to buy from the Marketplace, and the choice of software needed to stitch the images together. In this tutorial these two elements are brought together to create a desktop wallpaper using a 360 degree panoramic image created in Second Life.
 
The image below is an example of a 360 degree image that can be used as a desktop wallpaper. It shows an interior from the very photogeneic location called Eterea, which sadly appears to no longer exist. 
 
To fully view the image Drag it with your cursor, and click the square icon to the right of the image to view fullscreen.


As already indicated, there are a few things you'll need to create a 360 degree wallpaper, such as having a working knowledge of the tutorials mentioned above. You'll also need to sign up for, and install Steam, and then grab a copy of Wallpaper Engine, which runs on that platform. Although Wallpaper Engine isn't free, the cost is very low (around £3.00, or about $4.00), which is easily affordable, and worth every penny.

The last thing you'll need is a 360 degree panorama uploaded to a platform such as Momento360. This platform is used here mainly because its easy to use, doesn't have an intrusive watermark, and not least because its free.

Creating the Desktop Wallpaper using A 360 Degree Panoramic Image 

Creating the 360 degree wallpaper is very simple. Wallpaper Engine essentially embeds the panorama from a website and displays it as a wallpaper. Following from this, the first steps are to get a link for the panorama and create an embed code.


1/ Go to the Momento360 page (or similar site) that displays the panorama. If you don't have one yet the one here can be used


2/ Click on the connected three dots icon shown above and the drop down menu will appear. Click on Share or embed a link.


3/ This window will now appear. Click the Copy button to copy the link.

Shortening The Link

 

This step isn't entirely necassary but Memento360 tends to produce cumbersome links, so using a link shortener makes them easier to work with. Here TinyUrl is used, but you can use whichever link shortener you prefer.

1/ Paste the link copied from Momento360 in the space provided, then hit the Make TinyURL button.



2/ In the next window that appears hit the Copy button. You now have the shortened Url.

Creating The Embed Code

To anyone who knows a little about HTML markup this is a very simple step. For those that are less sure what to do, follow these easy steps.
 
 <iframe src="[URL OF 360 DEGREE PANORAMA]" style="border: 0px none marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="1080" scrolling="no" width="1920"></iframe>
1/ Open Wordpad or a similar app. Copy the above markup and paste it.
 

2/  Replace [URL OF 360 DEGREE PANORAMA] including brackets, with the shortened link we just created. The width and height settings can be changed to the resolution of your screen, although the wallpaper should display well as it is.


3/ In Wordpad select File > Save As. Name the file and give it a html extension, as shown above. Hit Save.
 

4/ Open the folder where you saved the file, and it should look something like above, probably displaying the logo of your default web browser.


5/ Double click on the file and the 360 degree panorama should open in your browser. 

We're now ready to create the wallpaper. 

If you don't have Wallpaper Engine yet, now would be a good time to get it.

Creating The 360 degree panoramic Wallpaper With Wallpaper Engine

1/ If there is a Wallpaper Engine icon on your desktop, double click it to start the app. Otherwise open Steam, then open Wallpaper Engine. Steam can be closed once Wallpaper Engine is running.


2/ When Wallpaper Engine has opened, its icon will probably be hidden on the taskbar. Click the up arrow icon (highlighted in red, above) to the bottom right of the taskbar, then click on the Wallpaper Engine icon.

From the drop down menu select Create Wallpaper.



3/ This window will appear. Open the folder containing the html file created in Wordpad. Drag the file onto the blue Create Wallpaper rectangle.
 
Wallpaper Engine has a quirk that means if there are any other files in the same folder as the html file, all the files will be added to the wallpaper. As we don't want this, it is best to put the html file in a folder by itself before dragging it.


4/ This window will appear. The wallpaper can now be given a name. When you're ready click OK.


5/ This window will now show the 360 degree panorama. 
 
Sometimes Wallpaper Engine will pause at this point. If this happens close the window. Then look at the Wallpaper Engine menu (the one we opened earlier), and under Recent Wallpapers, see if your wallpaper is listed. 
 
Alternatively, select  Browse Workshop, then in the window that opens select Installed. If your wallpaper is listed (no doubt without a thumbnail), then its been created. 

Unfortunately if the wallpaper can't be found you'll have to create the wallpaper again.


6/ Now select File > Save. The preview window will go blank when using the menu options. Its nothing to be concerned about. Now close this window.


7/ If the desktop isn't displaying the 360 degree wallpaper, click on the Wallpaper Engine icon in the taskbar, and from the drop down menu select Recent Wallpaper. Click on the name of the wallpaper you just created from the list it displays.

The wallpaper can now be dragged and viewed just like any 360 degree panorama.


8/ If the 360 panorama has been embedded from Memento360, there will probably be scrollbars visible. Click the icon to the right of the screen (highlighted in red, above), and these scrollbars will disappear.

Wallpaper Engine Settings

1/ To change the settings of the wallpaper, from the Wallpaper Engine drop down menu select Settings.
 
 

2/
In the window that opens, settings such as FPS and Post-processing can be tweaked.


3/ If your PC is high end then changing Post-processing to Ultra will really make the wallpaper pop. 
 
When you're ready, hit OK.

Sharing The 360 Degree Panoramic Wallpaper

Wallpaper Engine has a slightly perplexing system for sharing wallpapers, and even when the steps for sharing are followed, the wallpapers don't always seem to show in the Workshop.

However, there are ways around this. Shared wallpapers are given a page on the creator's Steam Workshop, where subscribers can download the content, (presumably in this instance this would be the wallpaper file). For anyone interested here are the 360 degree panoramas I've created using Wallpaper Engine.

Another option is to simply share the html files created in Wordpad and let friends create their own wallpapers with them. With this in mind, I've zipped three html files ready to be used as wallpapers. (Please keep in mind however, that these html files or wallpapers must not be sold or included in any package without my prior consent, and they must not be passed off as your own work. They can be shared with others, but it must be made clear that SL-Inspiration is the original creator).
 

Adding Wallpapers to The Workshop 

As already indicated, the Wallpaper Engine Workshop is where wallpapers are freely shared. They also appear on individuals' Workshop space. If you're feeling generous and community minded, the following steps will show how to add your own wallpapers to the Workshop.


1/ Click on the Wallpaper Engine icon in the taskbar, and from the drop down menu select Browse Workshop


2/ This window will appear. Click on Installed, then select the wallpaper you've created. To the right, click on Open in Editor.


3/ Sometimes at this stage, Wallpaper Engine will stall, but don't let it alarm you. Just close the windows and repeat the steps above.


4/ From the top menu select Workshop > Share Wallpaper on Workshop.


5/ Information about the wallpaper will need to be added in the window that opens. A thumbnail image will also need to be uploaded.
 

6/ When you're ready hit Publish.


7/ This window will appear showing a progress bar. When the wallpaper is published, it can be viewed in the Workshop.


And here is the wallpaper appearing in my Workshop, with options to the lower right for further editing.

There may seem a lot of steps here for something that could be considered a little niche, but having a working 360 degree panorama as a desktop wallpaper is quite impressive. If you have a 360 degree panorama, give it a try, or alternatively use one of the files available on this page.
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Lusus

Displaying Second Life Desktop Wallpapers With The Free Awsome Wallpaper App

 

In a number of previous tutorials we've shown how to use images created in Second Life as desktop wallpapers. Probably the most versatile app mentioned was Wallpaper Engine which, although very versatile some may not like due to its small price tag. 
 
Ignoring the issue of the paltry cost of Wallpaper Engine, possibly the most off putting thing for potential users is the need to be signed up to, and have Steam installed before the app can be opened. (Steam is excellent and I recommend installing it, but it can be a little inconvenient if all you want to do is create wallpapers from Second Life images). 
 
For these reasons an easier alternative for displaying Second Life desktop wallpapers is Awesome Wallpaper, which is free to download and use.

Creating Desktop Wallpapers With Awesome Wallpaper

Awesome Wallpaper can display a number of different kinds of desktop wallpapers, but the two we'll focus on here are wallpapers consisting of a gallery of images and animated desktop wallpapers. The process for creating both is very similar.
 

 1/ download the Awesome Wallpaper app from the website, (the link is above).


2/ Unzip the downloaded file. 


3/ To run Awesome Wallpaper, open the unzipped folder and double click on the icon highlighted above.

 
 4/ Right click on the ^ icon to the right of the computer's Taskbar, then right click on the Awesome Wallpaper icon. The menu above will appear. Click on Settings.
 

5/ This window will now appear. There is a tab for each type of desktop wallpaper, as well as a General tab. 


6/ To create a gallery wallpaper (i.e, a slideshow) you'll first need a folder containing all the images you want to use. Click the Gallery tab.


7/ To navigate to the folder containing the images, click the grey button to the right of 'Folder with images'. Select the folder and click OK in the navigation pane.


8/ Enter a number in the 'Interval between images' box for the time delay between images. Here 0 has been added so one image will immediatelly follow another.

In the 'Show image (sec)' box enter the length of time each image will be displayed. Here 180 seconds (or three minutes) has been entered.

When you're ready hit OK.


9/ Select the General tab again.


10/ From the Wallpaper Type drop down list select Gallery. Now hit OK. The images in the selected folder will now display in turn on your desktop.

Creating An Animated Desktop Wallpaper With Awesome Wallpaper

Creating an animated desktop wallpaper is very similar to creating a gallery, except instead of using a collection of images an MP4 file is used.
 

 1/ Select the Video tab, then navigate to where the MP4 is located. Select it then hit OK.
 

 2/ Select the General tab, and from the Wallpaper Type drop down list select Video. Now hit OK. The video will now be your animated desktop wallpaper.
 

SL-Inspiration Wallpaper Examples

Creating desktop wallpapers is a good way to share Second Life images, and may provide an opportunity for some people to sell their work. It can also be a unique way for store holders, club owners and any Second Life enterprise to project themselves to clients and patrons.
 
As a starting point here are some desktop wallpapers created by SL-Inspiration. Click the tabs below to view and download each wallpaper. There is a payment option for each download, which is used at the discretion of each person.

This first download is a set of 2048 x 1080px images to be used in a gallery. feel free to add your own images to the gallery.
 



 
This example is an animated desktop wallpaper inspired by Cammino e Vivi Capovolto. Click the button below to view the video and to download.



 
This animated wallpaper is called Clockwork Bird. The location in Second Life can be visited here. As with all the animated desktop wallpapers here, the movement is subtle so it does not become a distraction. Click the button below to view the video and to download. 
 



This last wallpaper is also an animated example, and shows a flying whale created by Sasaya (sasaya.kayo), the owner of HappyMood Forest. Click below to view the video and to download.

 
We hope you enjoy not only using the wallpapers available here, but also feel inspired to create your own. There is so much originality and creativity in Second Life that we're sure many residents will generate some unique ideas for desktop wallpapers.
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Lusus

Create A Panoramic Screen Saver Using A Second Life Photograph


In recent tutorials we covered how to create desktop wallpapers from Second Life images, so the next step forward is screen savers. In this tutorial we'll be focusing on panoramic images that scroll seamlessly and continuously across the screen when your PC is idle, using a lightweight and free programme called WPanorama.

Creating a Panoramic Image In Second Life


In a series of previous tutorials we explained how to create 360 degree panoramic images in Second Life, which you'll need to be familiar with to create these images, as well have a 360 degree panoramic hud for taking the photos in Second Life.

The tutorial linked to above covers both Hugin and Microsoft's Image Composite Editor (ICE), but for this tutorial we'll just be using ICE, because its quicker, simpler and easier to use.

There are a few differences in creating panoramic images to use as screen savers, than creating full 360 panoramas, but they are minor, and explained below.


1/  Since we're not creating a full 360 degree panorama, but one that seamlessly rotates horizontally (ie, a 360 degree cylindrical panorama), we don't need to add to ICE the last two images taken with the hud in Second Life. These are the images taken one directly above the camera position, and the one directly below.

2/ Once the images have been stitched together in ICE, hit the Crop button. We need to crop out the irregular horizontal edges of the image, so grab and drag the nodes highlighted in red above.



3/ Now hit the Auto Complete button so your image looks something like the above.

WPanorama's performance isn't affected by the height of the image, so it doesn't matter if your finished panorama is skinny or fat, although you'll need to keep your screen's resolution in mind. If for example, the resolution is 1920 X 1080, a panoramic image with a height of 720 is not going to look good.

Another tip to keep in mind is that things too close to the camera can become distorted, so they may need to be cropped out.

With these points taken into consideration the image can be exported from ICE in the usual way,  ready to use in WPanorama. There is no need to edit the Exif metadata as you would with a full 360 degree panorama.

WPanorama 


WPanorama is freeware and can be used for both viewing panoramic images on the desktop, and for displaying scrolling panoramas as screensavers. The scrolling movement will automatically loop seamlessly.

If however the image is not a seamless panorama it will scroll in one direction until it reaches the edge of the image, before scrolling in the opposite direction. You can download WPanorama here.


1/ When WPanorama first starts it will display a pre-installed panoramic photo, and in fact comes with a large selection of images. They are stored in Windows' Documents folder. If you don't want to keep these images, simply go to the folder and delete them.


2/ After the images have been deleted WPanorama will look like the above.


3/ To just view an image rather than using WPanorama as a screen saver, select File > Load image, then navigate to where the image is stored.


4/ WPanorama will now display the panorama, which should be scrolling.

Creating A Screen Saver



1/ To Create a screensaver, select Screen saver > Configure screen saver.


2/ In the window that appears hit the Select button.


3/ Now Navigate to the folder containing your panoramas. A screen saver can contain more than one panoramic image and will display each image in turn. To add more than one image click on the first, hold down Shift then select as many images you want. Now hit Open.


4/ Once the images have been loaded this window will appear. More images can be added by hitting the Add images button. All the images can be deleted by hitting the Clear list botton.


 5/  The image list can now be saved, and will be stored in the same folder as the panoramic images we deleted earlier. WPanorama can contain many image lists, and each can be loaded as a screen saver.

To create a list, hit the Save list button.


6/  Name the list, here named SL Panoramas, then hit Save.


7/ The above image shows the files created when the list was saved.

The process of adding images to WPanorama and saving them as lists can be repeated, so you can have as many image lists as you want.


WPanorama can switch from list to list by hitting the Load lists button, navigating to the folder containing the lists, then selecting the relevant list.

If you're only using one or two images, there's no need to save them as a list. Once the images are loaded into WPanorama, just hit the tick icon, lower right  (shown above).


8/ The images have now been loaded into WPanorama and are ready to use. However, if there is more than one image make sure the Auto image change box is ticked, and then select the duration each image will be displayed.

When you're ready hit Apply then OK.

Previewing The Screen Saver



9/ One point should be noted here. The panorama shown in the WPanorama display window will not be one of the images added to the screen saver. It will be the image added when hitting File > Load Image.

To preview the screen saver hit Screen saver > Preview screen saver. Mouse movement will close the preview.


Another way to preview the images, and make sure WPanorama is the selected screen saver is the following.

10/ Click the Windows icon to the far left of the taskbar, then hit the cog icon to view Settings.

11/ The above window will open. Select Personalisation.


12/ The window above will now appear. Select Lock screen.


 13/ This window will now appear. There is a scroll bar thats a little difficult to see to the right of this window. Scroll it until you see Screen saver settings, then click on it.


14/ This window will now appear. Under the Screen saver drop down list select WPanorama if it isn't already selected, then hit Preview. The panoramic screen saver should now be full screen. Moving the mouse will close it. Click OK when you're ready.

Downloadable Images



The above image was created at Hangars Liquides. A full 360 panorama can be seen on Momento 360


...and this image was created at D-Lab.A full 360 panorama of this image can also be seen on Momento 360. Click the icon centre right on the Momento page to view these panoramas full screen.

To get you started with panoramic screen savers created in Second Life we have two images for you to download and add to WPanorama. We'll be creating more too so bookmark us and follow us on Facebook. The images are quite large, but can be rescaled to fit your screen if needed. They're stored on Google Drive so will be pre-screened so you can be sure you'll get a clean download. To grab the panoramas click here.


Click this icon which will be shown top right of the dowload page to get the panoramas.



Watch the short videos above to get an idea of what the scrolling panoramas will look like on your desktop. We hope you'll feel inspired to make your own panoramas and it would be great to see them shared on social media.
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