Whirligig Player and Publisher for windows
What is this all about then?
At the beginning of 2014 I was introduced to the new emerging VR technology and wanted to make a film and maybe some interactive content. I noticed there were some video players out there but all they allowed was playback of content. What I was after was a way to package my films so people could install them, play them back and not have to change a thing. So I embarked on the task of making the tool to do this and along the way expand it into something bigger and hopefully better than I intended.
The Player is the core of the system. On the service the player is simply that, a video player with a simple interface, a simple setup and all workable with in the VR headset. As a player it is designed to work as well as it can, including playing back many different formats including flatscreen, fisheye and equirectangular. The player also remembers setting of the files it plays, has a simple explorer that can easily be navigated through the VR headset. For more information about it standard setting head on over to the player part of thisw site.
The more powerful part of the player is the way it works with files and it's customisable menu system. When any file is played and ini file is created for it. This ini file contains a whole host of setting that can be customisable to an extreme nature. For example you can set the media file to play on opening and the continue to loop. You can also say what menus will be visible, what buttons will be available to the user and so on and so on and so on and so on. I've designed the system to be updatable so what it can't do now can be added in the future.
By creating such a customisable system I hope to make it possible to design the player so it stands alone and doesn't even look like a player but a custom built application that controls the media that you want it to control.
If all you want to do is play films and the new and growing immerse content that is emerging then the player will serve you well. If you want to publish and customise your own content, use the player to review your work and explorer the possibilities of interactive media then with the help of the publisher the player will expend to fill your needs.
So now we come to the publisher. First I made the player, all the ini files and menu systems were editable manually using text editors and copying over image files. The publisher does away with that allow you to access and change each of the media files settings through and interface. In addition you can replace the menus images, add hotspot links and when you are done you can publish your project to an installable exe that can be installed completely independently from the player. There are many, many options to customise you project so it looks like it's own application.
The publisher gives the power of customisability and with it I hope creativity. I have created several tutorials to help people get started so go on over to The Publisher and check it out.
What is it available for?
I am programming the player through Unity3D so as long as they support the device I will. The original support was for the Oculus Rift but I've also included SteamVR now which means that it also support the Vive, OSVR and any other devices that SteamVR choose to support in the future.
Currently the player and publisher are only available for Windows 7 and above in both 32 and 64 bit. There was a Mac version but i stopped developing it as it was becoming to difficult to support. This isn't my plan for the future though as I'm hoping to change the way I make the player so that all many more platforms can be supported including Andriod and iphone and Mac. This is currently all work in progress at the moment so keep an eye on this space.
I've worked hard on this to allow myself to be creative and I hope you find the player and publisher a way to be creative too. If it doesn't do what you want it to do let me know and I I'll see what I can do.
Over and out.