Whirligig Producer

I thought as I've been working on a new project to the Whirligig brand, yes I've decided to make it a brand :) Kind of. I thought I'd post some pictures of my progress.

The update I'm refering to is an overhaul of the Publisher soon to be called the Producer. I've been working on this for a while and the producer has been a long term plan of mine to try and make something that expands the creativity of the player and make something that others will hopefully find really useful. The end goal of this is to start work again on my game and during that process build on the producer to make it a much more useable product.

So here are some pictures of the Producer so far.

Some of the notable improvements are the design and the addition of the images menu. This is going to be rename as it currently makes no sense. A lot of what's gone on is under the hood. You'll notice that the publish menu has gone and is now combined with the projects menu. The way that projects are built is totally different as well.

All of this will be explained much better on release :) until then marvel over the preview and also don't fear, work on the player has not stopped. The player is an integral part of the producer so as I build on the producer new features will be added to the player and vise verse. I hope to release a new version with new features of the player next Monday. Hopefully with a new room :)

Until the next update. Keep on Whirligiging or whatever.



3.85 updates to the Steam version, Backgrounds, Menus, Image Adjustment and more

Ok. I've added a few more features this time. This is in beta release until Monday when as long as no one lets me know of big bugs I'll release as the standard release.

So without further adieu lets continue with the big changes.

Backgrounds Added

Background options.

Background options.

So I've added a new background option. This allows you to change the background to a selection of 12 different backgrounds. This is the first phase of this option. I intend to also allow people to use their own backgrounds as well but that will come in future versions. The options to choose from are 4 colour backgrounds, 7 cloudscapes and one image I've provided from my up and coming game. Expect more to come and also the option to add your own.


Menu Menus



There has been an option in the player to be able to add your own menus or at least switch between the new ui and the ui from the free version. This option has been hidden under the 'h' keyboard shortcut. Well I've added a whole menu system for it now. This is similar to the backgrounds menu where once you open it you can choose from a selection of different menus (3 at the moment). Just simply click on them and the menu will change to that version. All menus have the menus option button on them so you can easily switch back if you like. There are currently only 3, these include the default menu which you will know from before, the free version menu with added buttons which is bigger and will probably be easier to read on older VR headsets and the third is a simple version of the menu with the progress bar and buttons but no tilt,FOV etc. All these settings are available in the settings menu so you can use them there if you need to.

Here are the different menus.

Here are the different menus.


Added image adjustment menu

Change media settings

Change media settings

You can now change the saturation, brightness, contrast and gamma of the video (not images yet but will be there soon). This option is in the buttons tab and on the main menu. Once open simply use the sliders as you would expect. The settings are saved for each video and can be easily reset.


Settings menu gets buttons tab

Buttons menu

Buttons menu

The settings menu now has a buttons tab. What this is is a tab that contains all the buttons that you get on the ui. Why I've put this in is so that you can access all the menu options you need from the settings menu which in turn should allow for an even more stripped down menu. Also it kind of unifes all the options.


Also ran updates

Added reset buttons to all the options in the settings menu to get back to the standard settings easily.

Added option to turn off mouse control which unlocks the cursor. This is very useful if you don't intend to use the mouse as it allows you to easily jump to your desktop and move the Whirligig window etc.

Changed the way the drives are detected in the explorer hopefully fixing issues with drives not showing up.

Change f2 shortcut so it doesn't hide and reveal the menu as this is an option in the settings menu. Now it reveals the settings menu. So people who want a way to hide the menu untick the 'select play/pauses' now when clicking outside of buttons the menu will hide and reveal, to play hit the play button. 

Subtitles now work in rooms and Curved Cinema.

There are a few other updates I've done along the way in the form of bug fixes etc and tweaks here and there but I won't mention them here as they are either too boring or I forgot what they are.

So I hope you like the updates. I'm going to continue to update and improve the player and I've been updating and improving the publisher which runs alongside the player so hopefully You'll see some interesting updates in the future :) 

Again if you find bugs or have suggestions please let me know and if you like Whirligig and want to let me know leave some nice reviews on the Steam page :)

Until the next update, happy watching.


3.83 update now set to default build

The Steam version of Whirligig is now updated to 8.3

The free version of Whirligig is now updated to 8.3

The publisher has been updated.

So what have I been upto. I've been hard at work trying to integrate a new video rendering path into the player that allows for 3 options of playback Directshow, Media Foundation and VLCVideoLan. I've now completed that an in the process added a load of other stuff. If you use the Steam version and you're trying out the betas you'll probably know quite a bit about the updates. If not then you'll be jumping from version 3.72 to 3.83 which a load new features and updates. Hopefully all good and hopefully I've not added a load of bugs into the mix. 

Here is a brief rundown of the updates.

Settings menu including, full adjustment, Background glow, position adjustment, volume,supersampling and access to many more options. 

Video paths added, Directshow, Media foundation and VLCVideoLan. 

Directshow plugin update which should be faster and allows gpu decoding on Nvidia. 

Srt separate subtitle support. 

Arrow keys,gamepad and Oculus remote work in explorer. 

General bug fixes. 

The free version has also been updated to include all these features. The only difference is that the UI is much more limited in the free version and you won't get the latest updates as they come in. If you're not sure about whether you want to buy Whirligig on Steam then consider trying the free version first. If you do buy the Steam version then thank you, you're helping to support me in improving the player and also you'll get all the bonuses of new updates and the new UI.

I've also started work on the publisher again and that has been updated and works with the latest version of Whirligig. It's hard to explain the publisher so if you're interested check here:

It's not totally up to date but will give you some idea of what I'm trying to do with that.

I hope you like this update and if you do let me know with a nice review :) 

known bugs. (that I'm working on to fix) 
The player sometimes crashes when going from DirectShow to VLCVideoLan. If you find that this always happens then try going to media foundation first before VLCVideoLan. 

When setting the radius really small sometimes the menu will goes behind you. Resetting your position can help fix this. 

There are probably loads of other bugs but I'm trying to work on them as best I can. If you come across any let me know how you caused it and I'll do my best to fix it. 


Below I'm going to go into more details relating to each update for people jumping from 3.72 to 3.83. 

New Menu
I've been adding loads of features over the development of the player but a lot of the features have been somewhat hidden. I've now created a new settings menu that has all these features making it easy to access them and easy for me to add more to them. So firstly to access this menu use the cog icon on the main display at the bottom on the left. Each menu explained: 

Background glow. Turn off and on the background glow for cinema films. 
Loop. Turn loop on and off. 
Swap Eyes. The standard for stereo is left right but this allows you to swap those eyes. 
Mirror display. Mirror the display to the monitor off and on. 
Glue UI. Glue the UI to the hmd. 
Subtitles. If there are subtitles turn them off and on. 
Select plays and pauses. This allows you to hide the menus with the select buttons and simply use the playpause icon. Default as like the orignal system. 
Volume. Turn volume up and down. 
Stereo Separation. Increase or decrease stereo separation of a 3D film. 
SuperSamping. Increase or decrease SuperSamping. 

This menu allows you to move the camera position around. Currently simple Backward, Forward, Up, Down, Left, Right. 

Here you can access all the controls you need to adjust the projection and playback of the video. So a quick list: 
Stereo options. Mono, Over Under, Side by Side. 
Projection Type. Fisheye, Barrel, Cinema, Curved, Custom, Rooms. 

Video Path
You can now choose from 3 different types of video path. These include. 

Directshow. The original type of playback. This is the most stable and best quality but requires you to install codecs to get the most out of it. If you have the LAV codecs installed and running properly I'd stick with this one. 

Media Foundation. This is the default type of support that Windows 8 and 10 brings. It's has a lot more supported codecs and requires no additional codecs to be installed. It isn't as fast as the Directshow codecs. Media Foundation isn't compatible with Windows 7 so will be disabled on those systems. 

VLCVideoLan. This has a far wider support than Media foundation and is relatively fast. It doesn't have as many as LAV support with directshow but is a good place to go if you don't want to install additional codecs. It also is compatible on all systems. VLC also can play back Youtube videos and I'm currently working at integrating this support into the player. 
Subtitle support. 
You can now have subtitles with your films. If you have a film and want to have subtitles then simply accompany the film with an srt file so for example. Alice in Wonderland.mp4 and the subtitle file Alice in Wonderland.srt 

The subtitles will play automatically but you can turn them off with a xbox mapped button or by using the new menus. 

There are loads of other little things such as bug fixes and little improvements.

Whirligig Update 3.72 available in betas


I have for a long time been updating the beta, leaving the main default build behind. This was due to issues with a bug in Unity. From the last release 3.71 this won't happen and any version that goes into beta will soon be followed by an update of the main build. This is the first of those update with the main build being updated this friday. 

I will make a better announcement on Friday once the testing process is done but until then here is a list of the changes with highlights on the main features. 

To try this build simply right click on Whirligig in Steam, go to properties, go to the beta tab and in the beta dropdown select 3.72

If you find any issues let me know so I can fix them for the friday release :) 

Free Version

 The new Steam version also herolds a new version of the free version of Whirligig. This version also contains all the updates and additions of the Steam version. The one thing it doesn't have is all the new UI updates, so the new icons the new look and menus for the Rooms, Select projections, Custom Projects etc.

All functionality though is still there. You just have to use the keyboard and Gamepad to access them.

The update of the free version is to continue on to an update  for the Publisher. At present though the publisher is using an old version. A lot has changed in the menu system since the last publisher update so it needs to be rewritten before it will work with the new version.

New features

Added 10 more Save slots. 

Added clear to save slots so you can tidy up those slots. 

Added clear to presets. 

Added video outer glow option for Cinema and Cinema Curved. This is accessible by the keyboard 'z' and is mappable to the xbox controller. 

Next Media and Previous Media added to the options for the xbox controller. 
Add .ts and .tp now support. 

Improvements and bug fixes

Updated Unity3D to UNITY 5.4.0F1 

Remote press button holds now so that you can easily scroll up and down. 

Glue to HMD now glues the Explorer and over menus to it as well. 

Fixed small scale not setting the menu distance properly. 

The cursor is now hidden when the menu is hidden. 

Fixed issue with the menus not changing when loading presets. 

Fixed crosshair while save slots are present so it is over the slots and not on a separate plane. 

If a film is no longer found then the save slot will disappear. 

Changed the buttons of and the way they work on presets so they look nicer. 
Added name on presets so you know which one you're loading,clearing,saving. 

Fixed the over menu option. The old menu didn't work when going to it as it was setup wrong.

Update to 3.7 Default another big update :)

Something I'd like to say before diving into the updates.

I've been working on this player for a long time and I've been working on it as an individual with a full time job. Putting it on Early Access has allowed me to reduce my full time work hours giving me more time on Whirligig to improve and add features that people have requested. Anyone who has bought Whirligig in these first stages of commercial development has helped support me and allowed me and will continue to allow me to add more cool features. 

If you have enjoyed using Whirligig and want to thank me in any way other than paying for it :) please give some nice reviews on the Steam page. Anyone who as read through the reviews of Whirligig will probably be quite confused as to whether the player is any good or not as they seem to range quite dramatically from 'this a garbage and gives Early Access a bad name' to 'this is the best VR video player out there and well worth the price'. This is bloody confusing for me I can tell you. Hopefully the UI updates will help to improve the overall negative feedback. 

I want to continue to build on Whirligig adding features and improving the player on each update. I am aware that my time for being one of the only VR video players out there are numbered but I do want to continue to make Whirligig something beyond a Video player giving options that no other player would have. Your support in both investing and giving feedback is incredibly important to me and I very much appreciate it. 

Thanks for your support and I hope you enjoy all of the new features in this version. 

All the best and happy watching. 

Phil from Whirligig

Now thats over let's look at the updates :)

Well here is another big update. The large part of this update is that it is an update to the default build so bringing the default build up to speed with the beta builds. I've had to give up on Oculus and Unity fixing the mouse problem before updating as this doesn't seem to be something they are fixing soon. I've worked out the problem and if you use the mouse with the Oculus you are informed that you have to click outside the area and back in again to use the mouse properly. If you don't use the mouse then this message won't appear. 

So lets look at the updates from the previous default version. 

UI Updates 

The design
(Main UI) 
I've complete redesigned the UI. The old UI was designed for the DK1 and although useable was large and a bit confusing for a lot of people. It was also designed for keyboard control not mouse or crosshair control. 

What I've done to improve this is to shrink down the UI change the feel of it so it isn't so intrusive. I've designed the buttons to be more compatible with the feel of new UI interfaces and hopefully it is much easier to understand straight away. 

(Play,fast forward, rewind, previous and next) 
The original design did not have these options on them. This is because playing was a simple case of pressing fire/select and fast forward and rewind was left and right. However this seems to of confused a lot of people and also not having that familiar video controls puts a lot of people off. I've add them in and they are now a prominent part of the progress bar. although I have added these I am aware that I don't think I've got the order right. If people think it should be a different order let me know. 

(Other Menus) 
The left and right buttons for things like tilt and rotation makes sense but I don't think that this is user friendly for things like select projection, custom projection and rooms. These all have their own menus now that appear when you click the button next to the name. This makes a lot more sense and hopefully should improve the user experience considerable. 

(Custom Projection) 
The custom projection option of Whirligig is one of the most powerful parts of the player allowing me to add bespoke options for cameras such as the Theta and weird projection formats such as the wide selection of cubemap options. The way to select this before wasn't the best I can think of, having to go through a list of options rather than just selecting the one you prefered. Now you can do this with all the customs projections being listed in it's own menu. This allows for the addition of new formats with ease and makes custom projections a proper feature of Whirligig. 

The explorer icon used to be above the UI. Now it is part of the UI next to the video name. I felt that this is a fundamental part of opening a new file and made sense to be part of the UI rather than a separate part of it. 

The Explorer has also been improved in a few ways including a better look and easier to grab scrollbars. The colour of the scrollbars have also been changed to make them more easy to see. For some reason people weren't noticing the scrollbar and thinking they had to have their films in alphabetical order or something. 

Other improvements
I've added a presets option. This allows you to save the settings of a video and then load it up with another video. 

(Grip of Vive makes the controls sleep) 
I've added a way of turning all the menus off on the controllers so that they go to sleep when pushing the grips. This allows you to hide them easier when watching a film. 

(Xbox GamePad) 
The Xbox gamepad controller now uses a different control system which should remove incompatibility which some people were having problems with. It also means there is no need to have a dropdown option to select your gamepad. I've also added two new button options the two shoulder triggers. These are set left and right as default but can be change to any function in the same way that all the other buttons can. 

Other things added
I've made many other updates since the last default update. I won't go into detail here but here is a list. 
Updated to the latest Unity3D build. 
Updated to the latest SteamVR plugin
Updated to the latest Oculus Build. 
An ability to change the stereo separation on 3D films. 
An ability to change the SuperSampling for SteamVR. 
Defaults the Vive to right handed. 
Numerous custom projections added. 
Look of save slots improved. 
Mappable Gamepad options for hide and show menu added. 
Full player reset option. Do this by pressing ctrl, alt and tapping f9. 

And a load of bug fixes. 

I hope you like the UI update and if not let me know. As I said at the top of this post if you like the player and want to see it develop let me know and post some nice reviews. If you don't like it then also let me know. I want to fix problems and make it a player worth owning so all feedback good or bad as long as it's constructive is aprciated.

So happy watching and I hope you enjoy the Whirligig experience.

Whirligig on Steam

Update to 3.8 beta on Whirligig for Steam ( Big UI and Video plugin update)

Big update number one. Video plugin

OK so this has been talked about for a long time and now it is here. I have finally updated the video plugin and now DirectShow and Media Foundation support can be built from the same build. Firstly what this means is that I can constantly update the Media Foundation option (Both will be combined into one in the future) and I am now running the latest version of the plugin which is faster and plays smoother in both directshow and media foundation. So in the direct show version you should notice smoother playback of files, I've noticed it switching backward and forward between the old and new plugins and I'm on a relatively slow machine.

Big update number two. UI

I've been taken a lot of the comments about the UI on board and I've worked on a new UI system which I hope will be considered a new and improved version over the previous one. 


I've been working on a way to add new UI's so that you can choose between them and this has required a lot of recoding to make this process easier. If you've browsed my website you will know I have a publisher that runs alongside Whirligig. The publisher is a way to design your own UI's. After updating the player this is no longer going to work in the current version of the Publisher but I will be working on an update to this which will allow you to make your own UI's.

So currently the default UI is the one you see in the example above. If you prefered the old one just press 'h' on the keyboard and you can switch backwards and forwards between them.

Why isn't this the default version yet and still only beta.
There is a bug in Unity3d which means that with the Oculus Rift the Cursor doesn't stay locked to the centre of the window. What this means is that if you use the mouse you very easily click outside of the window causing the player to become unfocused. I consider this a significant issue that prevents me from making the latest Build the standard build. I might well have to just release it anyway though, as the amount of changes are becoming too large to not consider it an improvement.

Updating to the betas a howto:
Simply right click on Whirligig in Steam, go to properties, go to the Betas tab and then in the betas dropdown either select the Directshow latest build or the Media Foundation version.

Final word.
This is one of the biggest updates so far. Both the UI update and the video plugin update has changed a large part of the code. For this reason it is possible I've added issues to the player. I hope that all these changes are making it more stable but if there are issues please let me know.

Feedback Feedback Feedback
I've tried hard to improve the look and feel of the UI and hope that people will consider it an improvement over the previous version. The previous UI was originally designed to be used on the DK1 which is one of the reasons for the large buttons and size. I've built this new version with the DK2 and up in mind so buttons are smaller, Everything that should have a menu option has one now i.e. the projection type, the custom formats, the explorer etc. I've tried to mirror other UI's for video players (although this is hard as VR requires a different approach to many things). There are still many improvements to make but I hope this is in the right direction. If you think otherwise though please let me know and I will continue to improve it in my weekly updates.

So hopefully you find this week's updates to your likely. 

Until next week.


Whirligig Steam Page:



Other updates
-A new room has been added called bedroom. Now watch a film as if you're in a Hotel.
-Unity version update to Unity 5.4.0b22
-And some other bug fixes. I've probably added more in this update though so I won't shout to loud about it.

New update with new Explorer improved UI (Hopefully)

Whirligig Update.

OK. So Whirligig has been on Steam for over 5 weeks now and I've got the comments back and found more time and generally tried my best to work out the reasons behind the bad reviews and comments on the discussion forum. So what have I done?

The Explorer
The first port of call was mostly the Explorer. Something that I generally didn't think was that bad and was adequate enough until I had time to put into making a new one. It appears it was that bad and I needed to put time into it now, so I have. So what have I done with the Explorer. I've completely replaced it, that's what I've done. I've made something that I think will make a whole lot more sense to first time users and will will be considered a great improvement on the previous version.

The Menu
So the next port of call was the main menu. Generally, although it looks basic and can do with a bit of tender loving care I thought the best thing to do with this is add the functions from the Vive controller on the main menu. By doing so it makes all of the quick access options onto the main menu for Oculus users. Although all these options are on the Gamepad it doesn't always seem to be obvious. So for example all the Stereo Options are easily visible on the menu.

Gamepad Options
Now there has been an ability to change all the gamepad options in Whirligig from the start but one thing that hasn't been possible is that you don't see the options window in the HMD. Well all this has changed. Partly as this was confusing a load of people and also when I implemented the explorer it broke the Gamepad Options. Because of this the gamepad options is a new button on both the main menu and Vive controller. Hopefully it feels more integrated into the main player now.

Mouse Control
All of these new control systems are accessible with the HMD cross hair and Vive controller Laser. But there is a natural inclination to want to use the mouse to select the controls and buttons. This is especially apparent for the Explorer. So what I've done is add a mouse control system so that is, if the mouse is moved it will take control of the cross hair/laser and allow to navigate with that.

A word of warning regarding the mouse control. So one of the things that I have to do with the mouse control is to lock the mouse cursor to the centre of the display, otherwise you would keep moving outside of the bounds of the window and accidentally defocus the player. This means that unlike the previous version where you can go off and click on other windows you will not be able to do it with this version. I don't yet know if this is a big problem for people or actually will help as you won't accidentally loose focus on Whirligig. I am going to include in the next update a command line option to disable the mouse support for people who don't want this option. Feedback on this is very much appreciated.

Other stuff
So there has been a load of other changes including updates to the Unity version, SteamVR version and many bug fixes. I've tried hard to removed the ini file getting confused and breaking everything and I've also tried to fix the gamepad failing to be recognised so that people have no D-pad options. Some of these bug fixes are hard to test and as a result my attempts to fix them may well have failed. Please let me know if you find these issue continue and if they do I'll keep having a crack at them until they are squashed for good.

Final word
In this update I've tried to address a lot of the problems people were having and make the whole experience a much more enjoyable thing. Whirligig is not part of a big company or a throw away experiment, it is solely written and developed and continues to be developed by one person, me. I am going to continue to develop it for the foreseeable future and want to make it into a tool and player that people want to use. I hope you like the updates and I want to know what updates you want to see in the future. The more feedback I get the better Whirligig can be for everyone who uses it.

Future updates
Now I've got a new UI system in there I want to continue to develop that so that you can easily select formats, rooms and custom formats. I've had a good amount of feedback on the discussion forum and a few of those ideas will soon be in there too, including stereo separation, Vive controller sleepy time (so you can hide them and they don't come on while watching a film) and many more hopefully. The big one I want to do is integrate the new Video plugin from Renderheads which will improve performance and add Media foundation support. This won't be in there until they have release full directshow support across all windows platforms though but they are hopefully releasing this this month so fingers crossed that will be in there soon and herald a new era of better performance and default support. Long term I'm also looking at another plugin called Popmovie which will allow for multiple audio channels, spacial sound and subtitle support.

So hopefully you'll stick with me and enjoy the new updates as they come.

Until next time

Over and out


Here's a link to the Steam page



---------------------Full release details----------------------
A big UI update.

-Unity3d Updated to 5.4.0b17
-SteamVR plugin updated to 1.1.0
-Brand new explorer replacing the old one completely.
-In HMD Gamepad Options.
-Bug fixes to confused ini files.
-Gamepad update to help with problem not detecting gamepad. The default gamepad is now Xbox one without Auto Detect. I removed this as it was causing problems. Hopefully this should help alleviate gamepad d-pad problems.
-Mouse support. The UI system now has mouse support. This means that all the options on the UI are now selectable with the mouse. This should hopefully really improve the usabilty of Whirligig. This does pose one big problem which is that I have lock the mouse in the view otherwise you end up clicking outside of the view. This may be a problem for some who are used to being able to select outside of the program. I am going to see what the feedback is and see what to do from there.
-Added Icons to the menu to allow people without the Vive controller to be able to select those options.
-Added Gamepad Edit as a new icon.
-Updated documentation to reflect changes.
-Updated the start screen with changes.
-Aspect ratios for 3D over under films should be auto detected properly now.
-Curved and flatscreen aspect ratio script has been re written and the models for these have been replaced. This means that they will appear bigger but that the size represents the height in meters of the screen. This will benefit updates in the future.
-A new custom format has been added 'Facebook Pyramid'. Thank you Andrew Hazelden http://www.andrewhazelden.com/blog/ :).
-The trailer has been updated.

Known Bugs
-Gamepad and Explorer are going to be a bit wierd in the desktop mode as the mouse is stil controlling the movement while trying to select options. It will be fix in the next update hopefully.
-The explorer doesn't always select the correct drive. I don't know why yet. You can simple click a different drive and back again.
-Dropdowns in the Gamepad options will select the option if clicked to the left of the dropdown to close.
-If the wrong gamepad is selected the d-pad will access will be mixed around. Xbox one and 360 have different mapping so need to be selected correctly to get the dpad working properly.

Fixed Zoom and Volume cross over issue.
Updated Help screen.

Whirligig is now on Steam

Well just under a week ago I uploaded the first version of Whirligig to Steam. This is a big thing for me and is the first time I've ever put anything I've made up for sale. A one person project is a big task to take on especially as I've had to work on it part time. Well below is 'the announcement' that I've put all my cards on the table, hat into the ring or neck on the line.

Why are you selling a free player?

So I've been working on this player/maker thing for around 2 years now and I've spent a long long time trying to make it a useful tool for just watching films or working with media in a production environment. I've done this for the joy of working in VR and looking to the future of making my own interactive experiences. Well now I think it's at a stage to see if anyone else would like it. I was sent a Vive  by Valve which was coool and I started working on interaction with their controllers. They also gave me a steamworks account and a way to put Whirligig on the Steam Store. So as the first step was done for me I thought it would be a good idea to get it up and running on the Steam store and see if people wanted it. As far as I could work out I couldn't find any way to put it on for free (I'm sure there is I've seen other stuff for free). So I've put a reasonable price on it, I think $3.99, less than a pint of beer, at least here in the UK to see what happens.

I want to continue working on this player/tool and to do so I need time and hopefully feedback from the community to find out what people and want. I think that although there are other video players out there, that there is a place for Whirligig amongst them. It has some unique features and I am constantly updating it to try and make it even more useful. With your support I can carry on that development and make it an even better tool for everyone.

What about the free version?

I don't want to get rid of the free version. I think the free version is a good way to get people using VR as a video format and it has some good features that makes it stand out. So I'm going to continue to release free versions. What might happen is the free version might become a demo version on the Steam site. I don't intend to have a crippled unusable version. It will play the films in the same quality and with the same features. But the paid version will have some interesting inclusions. More of which, next.

What does the paid version offer over the free version.

The paid version has full VR control without the need of the keyboard. It should turn the Whirligig experience into a much nicer experience for all.

Example of the Vive controller interaction.

Better rooms for that living room effect

Better rooms for that living room effect

The above examples show some of the advances in the player for the paid for version, including a far nicer looking room.

I also intend to update the paid for version a bit more regularly. The great thing about steam is that I have an ecosystem for me to release the player in. It has forums, pushes out updates to users, beta options and much much more. An ecosystem such as this is a proper place to have a product to allow it to grow. With something like this I can communicate and work with the community to help make the player better. This is something that is quite difficult to achieve when you just have a website and dropbox account.

A little bit about the steam site

I've released it as Early Access. This is because at this stage although it been out for a while it still needs proper feedback from the platform it's being distributed on and also when I finally go to release it I want to know that it is at a stage where it is documented well and free from the bigger of the bugs. Although it has a homemade feel to it I want it to be useable and enjoyable. Once I'm happy that Whirligig is at a stage that can be released I'll then release it and have a stream of betas that will add more features for the most adventurous of us.

So what do you want from us then? Is it just our money, it's just our money isn't it.

No, dear god no. I've put it up for a small amount because I'm hoping to be able to continue to develop it. With sales comes the ability for me to make time (I'm currently in a full time job as well as making this player). I'll also be able to invest money into better video plugins, assets to make more rooms and work with others to make the experience better for everyone. It will give me a chance to be able to add much more advanced features such as watching 3d blurays, watching with friends from anywhere around the world, advanced production support such as Spout support, planetarium rooms for dome production and integration with other programs such as PlayblastVR (currently it has it but there is alway room for improvements) or even After effects.

If it is supported then it will be possible to add these features or many others that I haven't even thought of yet that can be suggested by you. I also want to continue my development of making Whirligig so customisable it can be used in promote other people's work, be used in demonstration environments and also my muse that is to make an adventure game in it :)

So if you do buy it you can help me by reviewing it on Steam (I would really much prefer positive reviews but if you have to, tell me what's wrong with it) get on the forum and report bugs, make suggestion, talk amongst yourselves. 

I think Whirligig can be far more than just a player and I hope to be able to make this happen.

And finally

I've just updated the Steam version of the player with bug fix updates and control updates to help people having problems with the d-pad. I will be updating the free version tomorrow with these updates so that everyone can benefit.

So if you buy Whirligig on Steam, thank you very much, I look forward to hearing what you think. If you are downloading it for free from here then also let me know what you think. Either way I hope you enjoy using Whirligig and I hope to be impressing you some great updates in the future.

Until next time.

Over and out.


Head on over to Whirligig on Steam here:


Or download the free version from here:



Big update and with that comes a lot of waffle

This is the last big update for the free version of Whirligig before it makes its way onto Steam for sale. I also want to have it on the Oculus Store but the player is still "Under Review". Also as Valve were kind enough to send me a Vive for development and assist greatly in getting my player ready for Steam it seems only fitting it appears on there first.

Don't worry that Whirligig is going to become overly prices, I intend to sell it at a low cost of around 4 Eurosish. I would also like to have a free version available still with less features. If the player/publisher has any success then I will be able to continue to develop it adding new features and make it both a great place to watch films and also develop your own films. I've always wanted Whirligig to be more than just a player and many of the hidden features are used by artists to assist with their own film making. Being able to add more of these features is my long term goal.

So, what's actually new in this version? I hear you mutter impatiently under your breath. Well here we go.

This is going to be a difficult one to list as a lot has happened. 
I've basically going to do it from memory and will most likely miss stuff out.

Active in this build
Oculus Runtime 1.3 support added.
SteamVR and Oculus now in the same build.
Unity 5.4.0b10 updated.
Menu redesign.
Dome changed to Fisheye
Fisheye OU added.
Rooms SBS added.
OU, SBS removed from menu.
Stereo options added so you can select the ou and sbs options.
Fixes to the Custom format.
Explorer now transparent.
Xbox incorrectly detecting controller fixed. Hopefully.
Moved the menu slightly back to improve VR viewing.
Moved it forward in desktop mode for the same reason.

Menu Changes in Detail
A couple of explanations about changes to the menu. The menu has been slightly redesigned. The design is mostly the same as before (Original design by Aaron Bradbury, check out his website. He's a very good artist http://www.luniere.com/ ). Firstly I've removed the 'Quit' option. It seems a bit pointless as you can just close it with the x and also in the SteamVR and I guess Oculus Home you can close it though the VR setup. Removed 'Play' option. This isn't strictly true. What I've actually done is move it to show it as if it's selecting the progress bar. In truth to play the film you only have to press fire/spacebar etc. What the play menu allowed though was an ability to skip forward and backward in the film. It made sense to just have it represent that. For this reason I've also increased the Progress bar height so it's easier to read.

Nothing. They are still there. I've just removed them from the format menu. As every format option had all three 3D options Mono, Over Under and Side by Side, it made sense to remove them from the format options and have a simple one key press on each option to go through the selection. This key press is both on the xbox controller and also the key 'y'.

So Whats going to be different in the Steam version

There are lots of additions to the player I haven't listed here. The reason being is that they currently disabled. This is due to the fact they aren't finished and also that they are going to be in the Steam version.

Things I will have (hopefully) in the Steam version. The list

Full Vive controller support.
I've worked hard on getting full Vive controller support so that you can use the controller like a laser pen and change the options simply by pointing at them. Also on one of the controller you will get a full selection of options you can point and choose from.

Oculus head mounted Control?
If you don't have a Vive controller the laser pen will be mounted to your head so you can simple point it and what you want and change it that way. The extra controls on the other Vive controller won't be present but they will be all acessable using the xbox controller anyway.

Improved documentation.
I'll be making a proper help file listing all the key presses, hidden options troubleshooting guide and anything else I can think off.

Better Rooms.
The two rooms in the current build. The drive in cinema and Living room will be a bit more that just a proof of concept. I also hope too but might not be able to depending on time, get an extra room in the in the form of a planetarium. If this isn't available on the 5th of April (intended early access release) it soon will be and will appear with standard updates.

Automatic updates
Releasing on Steam means that I can also provide automatic updates for the player. This is really useful as with new hardware there are constant updates coming out for Unity3D, SteamVR, Oculus runtime, the list goes on.

You get to support Whirligig
When you buy Whirligig you will be supporting me and giving me time to work and money to add additional options continue to improve the player. optionals I want to add and by buying this would directly support are.

Steaming Videos from URLs.
Many more Rooms.
Changing the Video plugin to improve performance.
Mac support.
IOS,Android support.
GearVR support.
Being able to sync with another person to watch a film together.
Bluray playback (God knows how I would do this but I'm sure theres a way).
Spout support.
Webcam support.
And loads more that I can't think off right now. I also intend to continue my drive to make Whirligig a proper Adventure game creator and release my game with it,.

Final Thoughts

With the addition of SteamVR support and Unity allowing Oculus and OVR to be in the same build this release is quite a big change to the way the program works. For this reason please let me know if you have problems with this version. I've tried my hardest it make this a stable release and I'm hoping that with the two VR headsets finally getting to or close to their Release dates that version incompatibility will become a thing of the past. I don't think we're there yet. So, as always, let me know what you think, suggestions from you are always good. If I can't add them now then I'll have my eye on them for the future.

So happy watching and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


SteamVR Support and other updates


Well another update has emerged and in my eyes a big one, maybe.

I was recently sent a Vive by Valve  to aid the development of my player on that platform. It's really nice to get free stuff and in this case it has really helped me in getting my player compatible with the Vive using the SteamVR plugin for Unity. This hopefully should mean it's now compatible with other SteamVR compatible devices. So this includes support for OSVR. To be honest as far as I'm aware when it comes to public consumer VR headsets for computer systems there are really only three, the Oculus, Vive and OSVR. It's good to include support for all three devices with one plugin.

So currently the player has split in two with a separate streams for the SteamVR build. The two versions apart from the Steam support are identical so all features should be the same. you can download from here http://www.whirligig.xyz/player2-1-2/ I am hoping to condense these two versions down to one in the very near future.

There are other updates apart from the SteamVR support and here they are.

Other Updates

  • The Whirligig format has been born .wlg Why I hear you cry, Why WHY WHY!!!!! Well I wanted it and the use may well help development in the future. The first thing that the wlg format allows is to reference another video files and give it different settings but be it's own thing. I've added the ability to set a frame range for a video. What this means is that you can have several referenced wlg files that look at the same video and have different frame ranges. This can help if you want to say, make a game. The second thing which I haven't added yet is the ability to have files  which give different properties to Whirligig. I intend in the near future to add a Webcam.wlg and Spout.wlg options which will stream webcam and spout stuff to the player. Adding a file type will set me quite a way down that road.
  • Fixed hotspot sbs and mono not loading correctly.
  • Updated the Video plugin to the latest build.
  • Updated Unity version.
  • Andrew Hazelden has kindfully provided another custom format LatLong 360x90 visit his page at http://www.andrewhazelden.com/blog/

Submission to the Steam site

I've started the process of having my player on the Steam site. There are going to be several ways to distribute your VR applications, the Oculus Store and Steam being the two main ones. I've already started the process of getting my player on the Oculus site and now I've started the process of getting it on Steam. Now Whirligig has SteamVR support it seems only natural to distribute it there as well.

Pricing is a big question regarding getting your player out there through this route.  Up until now I've given it away for free and excluding the small number of greatfully received donations have made no money on it.  Now that I'm going to put it on the Oculus store and Steam I'm going to charge for it. Only a small amount probably around 3 euros. There are some really good advantages in this type of distribution. Firstly anyone who purchases it are supporting future development, that's good for me :) and secondly you will get all automatic updates and based on the popularity of it I will be adding new feature at a continuous rate. I don't intend to remove the ability to download it from here though. I'm considering having it free to download from here with less frequent updates. I'm hoping that people will purchase it just for the convenience of having it in there library.

Let me know what you think. There are lot's of players out there and most likely to be more coming soon. I've spent a lot of time making mine unique and hopefully it will stand out from the crowd.

Many updates including the exciting ROOMS!!!!!!

I've been working on a few improvements over the last few weeks in an atempt to get things ready for the release date. Simple fixes, updates to the player that work with the publisher, intergration of the gamepad setup and of course the biggest of all the intergration of ROOMS!!! :)


Firstly Gamepad control Integration

You have been able to change the controls of the player for a while. This has been done by opening the gamepad.exe and you would get something that looks like the picture below. This has now been integrated fully into the main player. This means there is no need to open up a separate program. Simple press the edit gamepad button or hit 'x' and on your monitor you will see this display. You won't see this on the Oulus Rift and will be able to continue to use it as normal as you setup your controls how you like them. I'm hoping that this will allow me to add more functions without having to have them integrated into the player as default.


What are 'Rooms'?

Rooms are a preset location in which you can watch your films.

Currently there are only two rooms available, this includes a drive in cinema/3D and a living room/3D. This is currently in the proof of concept stage so the rooms are very much unpolished. especially the living room. Over time I hope to improve the 2 already available and also continue to add more. I quite like the idea of having themed rooms to watch your films, such as an old shack to watch Cabin in the Woods or a tent to watch The Blair Witch Project or even an xwing to watch star wars :) Anyway hopefully they will be improved on over time if people like them or at this stage at least the idea of them. Most of the work to get 'Rooms' into the player has been acheived so now it's just a case of the artistic element of creating the locations that people can be in. 

To get to 'Rooms' simply navigate the 'Format' menu until you get to 'Rooms' and then the 'FOV' menu to go through your room options. Currently the examples here have no changable options so you can't change the size rotation or anything like that. They are set to 16x9 mono and Over Under Stereo. Hope you like them.


The drive in cinema with menu.

The drive in cinema with menu.

The drive in Cinema

The drive in Cinema

A basic room

A basic room

Other Stuff that I've done

A few other things to mention including an addition of the 'Ricoh Theta S' in the Custom Format menu kindly created by Andrew Hazelden http://www.andrewhazelden.com/blog/

Updates to the publisher and player so that hotspots work better and are more accurate. Also when hitting 'f6' for the secret menu you get green blobs so you can see where the hotspots are.

The publisher has been updated so that it can now be full screen. This has been included so I can work on my game on a windows tablet without having to squint.

The left mouse button now plays and pause the film again. This may have to be locked to only the none windows version.

Loads of Fixes and probably the addition of loads of bugs as well :)

So I hope you like the new updates. I'm sure there will be more to come and hopefully I'll fix bugs during that time to. If you have any problems give me a shout and I'm always open to suggestion. Until next time, happy VR Cinemaing.

Domemaster3D by Andrew Hazelden Update

I've worked in 3D animation and 180/360 degree development for 8 years now. Dear god where did the time go. During this time there have been many developments in new technologies and one of the biggest has been Fulldome 3D. I can honestly say that good full 360 degree 3D wouldn't of been possible without Andrew's plugin for Max and Maya. 4 years ago 3D in this sort of environment was only possible is one of the few full 3D planetariums in the world. Now with the onset of VR this is all about to change.

If you are a CG Artist and are considering branching out into the realm of pre rendered full 3D worlds then the first place you should go is his site. Here is a link to his blog demonstrating his latest updates to Domemaster3D and from there you can access all of his other great tools.


And on a side note, his plugin also works with my player :)

TimeCodeServer Re-emerges

TimeCodeServer Re-emerges
The TimeCodeServer was a way for the player to push out information to a network port that would allow another program to read it. This can be useful for someone who wishes to link a haptic device to the video and have it effected but certain time points in the video. The information that is past to the port is the video name and location, the dometype of the video, the position in seconds of the video and whether the video is paused or playing. This is at the early stages and its use will be dictated by the people using it.

How to switch it on.
To do this you will have to edit the player.ini file located in the "Whirligig\production\menu" folder and the video you wish to send the information out to the ports ini in the "Whirligig\production\menu\inis".

Within there you will find a timecodeserver option which can be set like this:
 timecodeserver=off (Timecodeserver is off)
 timecodeserver=on (Timecodeserver is on and set to 2000)
 timecodeserver=2200 (Timecodeserver is on and set to 2200 or whatever number you put in there.)

Once the TimeCodeServer is on you can read the output from it, an example using NetCat is below.
D:\netcat-1.11>nc localhost 2000
C "D:\Media\videos\My Holiday.mp4"
dometype = 8

As I said it's currently in development and as I'm not using it for anything it requires people who want to use it to let me know what they need to make it useful for them. So if you any suggestions or questions let me know.

Notes on the Script written for this function

The TimeCodeServer was originally asked for by Lovely2 (lovely@crm114.net) for a project he was working on. He wrote the original code and I adapted it for the player. He is happy to release the code and for this reason I am happy to also. If you would like a copy of the script that allows this function please email me and I'll send you the a copy. Thanks again to Lovely2 for assisting with the implementation of this feature for the player.

Download the new version from the download page here :http://www.whirligig.xyz/player2-1-2/


Whirligig Updates 2016

Howdy. Well it's now 2016, the year of VR if you believe the hype. I've started back on the player and the first release of the year (actually there was an earlier release but it was small) is mostly a couple of bug fixes and Custom Format additions.


Firstly I'd like to thank Andrew Hazelden for his support. He have kindly created some custom formats that will help people with production and when downloading Facebook videos. I've included the update notes below which highlight his contribution. If you are interested in 360 Video production in any way check out his site. http://www.andrewhazelden.com/blog/ There are many great tools on there so check it out.

In other news I've not done anything on my game for a while but want to get back into it now that the madness of Christmas and the new year are behind us. This production should also promote more updates.

I've also submitted my player to the Oculus Store. It is currently under review but once I've got feeback I hope to be able to sell it there. My plan is to sell it on the Oculus store and maybe the Steam site while also maintaining a free version here. I'm not sure if there will be a difference in the versions yet. I've got 3 months to decided. 

Oh and another thing. A fan of the player recently emailed me regarding getting the player to work with Nvidia's  3DVision. He's put a lot of work into writing up his findings and helping others to get there 3DVision's working also. You can find a full explaination

here https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/908302/3d-vision/how-to-play-vr-images-and-videos-in-3dvision-using-the-whirligig-vr-player/

Thanks Brooke for letting me know that this was possible and leting others know how to do it themselves.

Here are the update Notes:

The dead zone of the joystick input has been increase. This hopefully will fix the issue of some machines constantly pushing left. If you experience this still, please get in touch. I need to establish why this happens and if I need to include a different type of fix.

Custom formats added. 

Cube Map Horizontal Tee
Cube Map Vertical Tee
Facebook Cube Map 3x2
GardenGnome Cube Map 3x2
Courtesy of Andrew Hazelden http://www.andrewhazelden.com/blog/
Andrew works on a great deal of tools that aid in 360 video production from Photoshop plugins to 3dsMax and Maya shaders.

Vray Cubemap
Vray Cubemap Inverted

Custom Format bug fix.

Rotation limit to 360 rotation as this isn't needed.

Happy new year. Let me know if you want new features and if you have any problems. Keep watching. Adios amigos :)

New Update, Anaglyph, OU for custom format and other stuff

I've added an anaglyph option for non Oculus use. To use this either start the player without the Oculus plugged in or press f10 while using the player. Once in the standard mode (non Oculus) press f7 to cycle through the 3D anaglyph options. This is the first ituration so it might have some issues. Let me know if you run into problems or if there is a feature that this doesn't have let me know.

Anaglyph Options

Updated audio Oculus Audio SDK 1.0.1 for addition audio ogg files.
Unity3d version updated to 5.3.
Added Gamepad control to non Oculus looking around.
Add Over Under option to custom Format.

Custom Format Updates

I had a request for a custom format for the Kodeak PixPro SP360 so I've added it. I've also fixed some issues with the cubemaps where they weren't facing in the right direction. An explanation of the custom formats below

Cube Map Vertical

Cube Map Vertical

Cube Map Horizontal

Cube Map Horizontal



A bit more details on updates, well pictures anyway.

As I mentioned before I've updated the player and the publisher with a load of updates and hopefully I'll be producing some stuff with them as we go. Here are some images of the updates including the save feature in the player, the reorganisation of the publisher and the addition stuff in hotspots. for the save function press 's'. Also these options are in the gamepad setup as well so you can add a shortcut to the gamepad for the save if you want.


And I thought I would uploaded some images from the game I'm working on here :)

Big update briefing :)

OK, so a big update to both the publisher and the player. Loads of updates to both, but mostly unless you are making a game you won't come across a lot of them. One you will be able to use is the savegame option which allows you to bookmark the media that you are watching and return to the media and position you left it. So to do this just press 's' and go from there.

I've also updated to the latest version of Unity which means that the player and publisher requires 0.8.0 Oculus runtime and above.

I'm going to do a proper update blog on this tomorrow but wanted to throw out a quick blog just to let people know. Here is some info of the updates from the readme file.


Quite a few changes here.
projects menu
It now selects the project you just made once you've made it.

Menu Menu
Fixed the time and duration so that when imported it selects that button.
Added VR to bottom right corner which will load the player on that menu so you can check it.

Options Menu
Removed the change background colour.
Removed the menu representation on the right and replaced it with showing the media.
Removed a lot of the options that are now unavailable.
switched the position of the disable keys and options.
Added a when media finishes next option. This allow you to go to a different video or menu or the next video in line. New options will be added on request.
Added VR to bottom right corner which will load the player on that menu so you can check it.

Hotspots Menu
Removed the change background colour.
Added a key image. If you select key then you are required to add an image. That image will be the one reporcented in your inventory.
Added an ability to have sound on hotspots. They are positioned in the location of the hotspot and loop and aren't linked to the video sync. They are also reactive to the hide unhide on variable option.
Moved and updated media hotspot location.
Fixed. Stuff, and probably broke stuff, you tell me.
Added VR to bottom right corner which will load the player on that menu so you can check it.
Hotspots were half the size they should of been, or twice I can't remember, anyway it's fixed.

Publish menu
Added VR to bottom right corner and removed test in player.
Fixed an issue with the published file being saved out into the wrong folder.


Ok so a load of stuff has gone on here. An updated version has happen which means the player is now only compatible in runtime 0.8.0. Unity version 5.2.2p3. You can download an older version from the website that should work with eariler versions of the runtime.

A save function has been added which you can use to save a bookmark to the media your looking at. When you load it will return to the media at the place you saved.

Adventure time :)
I've built in an Inventory and save system for game creation. This the first version and may or may not have bugs. There will be tutorials very soon on this, hopefully.

Fixes, probably a load of other stuff and as always I've probably added a load of bugs as well.

You can now scroll with the mouse wheel on options in the menu.

Looking to the future of adventure

Well although I haven't been posting much. I'm not a great poster person. I have been up to a great deal of stuff.

For starters I've continued to work on Whirligig improving and fixing where I can. A couple of things have changed including an ability to have an ini file with the video file with all the settings allowing people to give out there films with accompanying ini file and people can play without having to setup. I've also included a volume control while in the player with hot keys '-' and '='. This is only a temporary change and any new videos loaded will be set to full volume again. It does however give some control where before there was none.

So where has a large part of my effort been put into then. Well I've started working on making Whirligig double as an adventure game creator. "You're crazy" I hear you cry. "Down that way only madness lies". Well I am doing this for a couple of reasons. One I want to make an adventure game, I've been working on it for a while and this is a good opportunity to do so and two although people like Whirligig and find it useful it is a small fish in a big pond. Before long there will be better featured players with more options and that will also run faster. Whirligig will continue to be a player but one of the major elements I've created it for is customisability. I don't think any other player has or will have such an ability to customise and ease in which to do so (with the publisher). By making a game I will have an ability to extend all these options, add to the wide range of setting that are already available and also make something unique and entertaining. I also want to allow people to do the same and as I'm extending the publisher all these new features will become available to people.

So what's happened so far. Well I've been working on the different locations for the game, many of which are used in this website. I've added an inventory system so you can pick up objects and I've added a niffty if then system that allows you to interact these objects with other objects. The system I've come up with envolves the powerful "hotspot" with a none, key, lock, switch option. Once I've got it in there properly I'll be releasing it with some explanation videos. The next step is to add a 'save' option which I hope to do this week.

So the next version of Whirligig and publisher will include:

  • An inventory system.
  • A Save option.
  • An if,then, do system (I will explain this in full when I release).
  • A positional audio system. All hotspots will be able to have audio attached coming from the position they are set.
  • A next video option so that once one video finishes the next begins(great for cut scenes).

All new options will be available and editable in the publisher and compatible in the player. The player will also work in the same way as it always does as well and improvements will be made as time goes on.

I hope people are going to be interested in this. I'm going to do it anyway regardless. I might also do a kick starter to be able to work on it full time. If you're interested and have ideas that you might want to see, let me know. Other than that, watch this space :)


New version with added secret menu :)

OK I've added another menu. One of the things about creating your film is that you want to go through all of your media and set them up. You also want to block off menus so people can't access options like tilt, dome size etc. This is all much easier through the player so what I've added is a full menu. If you press f6 you get all the options available to you in the menu. So for example this reveals sound which isn't normally available in the standard player. I've also added an option to disable this key in the publisher.

Hopefully this will make the setup of your projects much easier.