VR Experiment (Mi Sphere Takes the Cake)

What have I learned about 360 cameras? 

For one, the Gear 360 was trendy and cool when it came out. Alas, its time has passed. The new affordable alternative is the Mi Sphere, created and shipped by Xiaomi from China. The best thing about this 360 camera, is that they do not have copyright limitations in China. Xiaomi has ripped off all the great features of a dual lens 360 camera. The still shot resolution is large enough to create beautiful virtual tours. So after playing with the Gear360 I returned it to Amazon. The best part about that camera was the iPhone and Mac compatibility. The Mac Desktop Application is supposedly coming for the Mi Sphere, so I shall wait. 

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In the meantime, the PC desktop application works. I am a little disappointed the Gear360 software was not compatible with my new device. The Xiaomi Mi Sphere PC software is tiny on my high res screen, thus I need to use the magnifier to see what is going on. However, it does stitch the images/video together quite nicely. I will be making Virtual tours in no time. ^_^

At this time I am packing up my things, and moving to a new place. This means I will have 2 empty homes to photograph and experiment with for my new hobby. I wont have a product until November, but when the time comes to share it I will be able to host these tours on my website with a word press plugin, I am considering “iPanorama” or “WP Virtual Tours” … I pay for a hosing service that I am not truly using. My dream is to add another domain to my hosting and sell links to realtors, The guests will be navigated to my alt domain and get to interact with potential homes as much as they would like. 

Very excite!

ThreeSixtyCameras Comparison: Gear 360 vs Mi Sphere

Many Thanks to Ben from “Life in 360” on Youtube, check out his review on the Xiaomi Mi Sphere 360 camera: 

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Virtual Tour Programs for WordPress

iPanorama is a program I’d love to experiment with. I would like to learn how to use programs that can create virtual tours with 360 degree panoramas (and have WordPress compatibility). I wonder … what is it the perfect tool for me to build virtual tours? What can it do? What else is important to include? What else do I need to make an efficient tour? 

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Short Code: ipanorama id= “3224” width= “100%” height= “240px”


I might also try the WP Virtual Tour plugin for WordPress, it shows how the portals work as hot spots, that is essential functionality for my tours.

I also found a pano embed tool for WordPress, but you would need one of those $$$ programs to create your tours first. 

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VR and Real Estate

Recently I have been looking through postings on Zillow.com and other Real Estate websites to look at home listings in my town and what they are selling for. It’s interesting at this time not many listings include video or virtual walkthroughs. New Virtual Tour technology has not effected the realtors in my area yet, and this technology is here. My goal is to figure out how to make beautiful virtual tours, and market them to people who are really making money. Starting with my neighborhood Realtor! 

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What will be involved?

  1. First I need a 360 degree camera, I picked the Gear 360 (2017) video camera. 
  2. Then I need a program to edit and publish virtual tours, I’ll try iPanorama for now. I choose this program because it is a WordPress plugin that has been tested with my current version on WordPress. It seems like everything I need for $25.
  3. $250 later I will have everything needed for a DIY Virtual Tour. I can’t wait!

First I will need to install the memory card, possibly charge the battery of the device. I’ve already downloaded the app for my iPhone 7. Then I will need to find a tripod that is minimalistic. I’ll go to an open space and experiment. Once I have some footage I’ll play with my demo of iPanorama. Once I create a few 360 degree panorama views I will try to add hotspots or portals that will navigate you from one center image to the next just by clicking. Lots of these programs offer free trials with watermarks. Which isn’t what I want for my finished product but it is great for experimenting with what is possible. I hope to investigate the possibility of voice over, logos, ect. Thanks to iPanorama I have a way to embed them on my website if all goes well. Further down the line I might consider a tour hosing site like “TourBuzz.” This is a program that is marketed toward Real Estate Agents. It costs $15 a tour and it is extremely shareable and includes all the bells and whistles important to the target audiences (the Seller, Potential Buyers and the Relator). 

What are companies charging for tours? 

  • 3000 sqft = $200-$500
  • 2br=100 euros

What is out there as far as virtual tour companies? What is a fair price to charge clients? Top 11 Most Innovative Real Estate Virtual Tour Companies

11. Our first contestant is OpenHouse charging a monthly rate. $30/mo and a staging fee of $60 per photo. 

10. Real Tour Vision is next These guys are selling programs that are for a diverse variety of clients. They want $100 for their Real Estate software. 

09. ImagineAHome wins, they are using drones, WOW. They want $100 for 5 Images and $235 for 8 scenes, every extra scene is $20. The portals/hotspots work beautifully, it’s truly a premium virtual tour. 

08. Imagemaker360 offers tours and web hosting for tours a business would sell to their clients. It really polishes all of the issues a realtor might have with virtual tours. 

07. Houssmax is expensive, but they have an algorithm that lets you figure out what your tour would cost. My example was a townhome less than 2500-3000sqft estimated price $300. This includes 30 still shots and 120 sec of video. They will charge $0.17/sqft for anything over 3000sqft (until you get to the next price range.) They are marketing to get everything a potential buyer would want to know. 

06. BlueLaVaMedia pricing starting at $125 for their basic package and up to $250 for the full house package. 

05. Planitar brings the consumer an “iGuide,” this pricing example is for a company in Arizona. They want $50 a tour, or $50 a month. They include all the bells and whistles. 

04. 3DScanExperts are hardcore, they are making tours for VR headsets. This experience is full submersion, it feels like you are at a showing. They still want $500 for a home with 2000-4000 sqft. 

The rest of these are the big fish in the sea, the professionals $$$$: ADhocStudioStartVR, and Floored.

Ok, so now I’ve browsed through what the Pros are doing. I will need to do a test run before I can decide on a fee that would make virtual tours worth my time and overall investment.  It seems like $100 a tour would be a great price, and maybe I could add logos, voice overs and blue prints for extra fees. I will ponder these questions for now. 

Live, Love & Inspire!

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Fiber Optic Dress Cover

Featured Artwork
Fiber Optic Dress Cover | Fiber Optic Whip and Mesh Top | 2015

Fiber Optic Dress Cover | Fiber Optic Whip and Mesh Top | 2015

Natalina’s Fiber Optic Dress on Instructables has inspired me for a long time now, and I feel blessed to have finally purchased a fiber optic whip from Ants on Melon to create a similar outfit. Thank you so much for the inspiration Natalina, I wouldn’t have thought of such a project without your instructable! ^_^

I decided that I wanted to create a garment that would allow for change and ultimately layers. So I ran with Natalina’s idea and …

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bought a netted stretchy top from China. Unfortunately by the time it got to me the concert was already upon us. So I followed your pattern with the fiber optic placement for the time being. It was the months after the show that I chose to refine the dress cover and really put some time into the project, like I originally dreamed of. I ended up restringing all of the strands in groups of two. Tracing my figure with some strands and following the given pattern with the others. It was time consuming, but I would say very much worth the monotony in the end.

This design does not include a zipper. I cut down the front of the mesh and sewed the edges so they would not fray. I tied it together with a stretchy string. The shirt it self was designed to be baggie throughout the netting and tight along the waist. Once the fiber optics were woven in pulling on the strands would create a form fitting top, without the use of a corset or boning. I also bought a cheap tutu and inflated the poof with a thick layer of foam to really get the lights away from my center. Though it does look more elegant in Natalina’s tutorial, my design was supposed to be a more festive and comfortable rendition. I must say I am pleased with the material and the overall functionality of this Fiber Optic Dress Cover.

My next step is to focus on a way to use a 3.7V battery pack with the led flashlight for my optic whip, to boost the power and over all charge of the device. This part should be a challenge for me. However, I hope to use an electrical wire, soldering equipment and a power supply that is easier to get to than directly behind me. I hope to create a more elegant design for my wedding dress when the time comes. Thanks for introducing me to such a magical medium and for the wonderful inspiration!

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Clear Cache Instructions

Clear Cache Instructions for 3 common browsers and operating systems:

Internet Explorer 9-11 or Firefox w/ Windows 7, and Safari with Yosemite.

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Internet Explorer (9, 10 & 11) & Windows 7

1. Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon on the top right corner of your window to open your browser settings.
2. Select “Safety” and “Delete Browsing History
3. Select “Temporary Internet Files and Website Files
4. Uncheck all other boxes/ options and click “Delete

Firefox & Windows 7

1. Click the Menu icon on the top right of the browser (This is the icon/button with 3 horizontal bars)
2. Click “History
3. Select “Clear Recent History
4. Time range to clear will have to be “Everything
5. Click the arrow next to Details if it does not show a list
6. Select at the minimum “Browsing and Download History, Form and Search History, Cookies, Cache, and Active Logins
7. Select “Clear Now
8. Once it is done clearing the history, close the browser
9. Open Firefox and try to access your unresponsive webmail page again.

Safari & Yosemite

1. To clear your cache on your Mac running Yosemite go to your menu bar at the top of your screen. Click “Safari” and choose “Clear History & Website Data” from the drop down menu.

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One Drive Tuts

This post was created because I am learning about OneDrive and how it will work on campus for FLC staff and faculty. The following page includes links to tutorials from the Office 356 support page.

Office 365 Tutorials

Office Support Search

Reihana DM 2001

Lisa Reihana, “Digital Marae,” 2001

Five deities from Maori legend, rendered by Auckland, New Zealand’s contemporary artist Lisa Reihana. She is a proud feminist and a multi-media artist. the “Digital Marae” collection of 2001 is made of color photographs printed on aluminum. The following artworks are life size digital works. Nevertheless, Reihana claims to think of them as “carvings” similar to the ancestral carvings from primitive Maori culture. 

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Hinepukojurangi – mist madien
@ artsforall.ca

Lisa Reihana | Digital Marae, “Hinepukojurangi” | 2001

Hinepukojurangi is the mist madien or the Goddess of wind from Maori legend. It is believed that she fell in love with Uenuku, a human among men. She would visit him in our world at night and return to the heavens no later than dawn with the Goddess of light, Hinewai, sister to Hinepukojurangi. Similar to many legends where there are Gods among men, the flawed human betrays his love’s secret and she is forced to leave him until the end of his days.

Reihana recreates Hinepukojurangi in a sacred environment rising above earth and into the heavens. The space is rendered to look vast, she has split the space into three sections, the clouds at the base blend into a deep blue in the middle, which blend into a true darkness at the top of the composition. The figure is placed in the middle of the ceremonial space split into thirds. The figure hovers above the cloud line, which represents earth. She is rendered expressionless, her body language is strong, her eyes filled with passion, and her heart mourning for the one she has lost. She embodies the grace of Marvel’s present day hero “Wonder Woman” (Smith201).

Hinewai – light goddess
Lisa Reihana | Digital Marae, "The Artist" | 2007

Lisa Reihana | Digital Marae, “The Artist” | 2007

Hinewai is the little sister of the mist maiden Hinepukojurangi. Hinewai is the essence of light, the goddess of the sun. She represents the purity of the divine. Riehana has rendered this artwork in radiant light, fitting that of the beautiful Greek goddess Aphrodite.

Kurangaituku – bird woman
Lisa Reihana | Digital Marae, "Kurangaituku" | 2001

Lisa Reihana | Digital Marae, “Kurangaituku” | 2001

This artwork is based off of a Maori Legend. Hatupatu, the protagonist, ventures alone into the dark forest. He realizes how dark, cold and far away he is from everything he knows, when he hears a loud screeching sound in the distance. As he becomes acquainted with the sound he realizes it is coming from a large bird-esque form. He began to run, and looking back the bird took the shape of a woman. Hatupatu runs for cover under a rock, Kurangaituku–the bird women–tries to finagle her way in, with little success. This is a familiar story about predator vs prey.  Reihana creates a magnificent space of darkness, and in the middle is the bird woman, as if she is launching out of the canvas towards her prey, Hatupatu.

Mahuika – fire goddess
Goddess of Fire "Mahuika"

Lisa Reihana | Digital Marae, “Mahuika” | 2001

The goddess of fire is rendered on a throne, representing honor and power. The red ribbons of color add a splash of vigor, the sky is illuminated in a complementary glow. Mahuika is centered with importance in the midst of the dark ceremonial space within the composition.

Marakihau – sea monster
Lisa Reihana | Digital Marae, "Marakihau" | 2001

Lisa Reihana | Digital Marae, “Marakihau” | 2001

Marakihau, is the word for sea monster. Reihana has created a human-esque figure sharing the resemblance of a mermaid tale, her hair is wild similar to the cursed snake covered head of the mythical Medusa. The image in the text book was mislabeled Marakihau, however the still in the Smith’s book representing Reihana’s Digital Marae turned out to be the first goddess of mist or wind, “Hinepukojurangi.”

Resources on Reihana and her famous “Digital Marae” are referenced on my Pinterest board, “Maori Art Legend.”

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Life Lessons

8 page Zine, “Through the Spectacles of a Child”

There is multitudes of gratification by living life in a positive and open demeanor. The following Zine has been digitized and includes seven lessons I have learned in life, and know to be true. If it takes mistakes to scaffold our life journey so that we are constantly learning, then I say lets make as many mistakes as it takes to gain partial clarity.

photoshoped meme - meant to behave

Digi Puppy

Isn’t this guy just adorable! I added some quick edits with Photoshop using predominantly filters and blending modes, and minimal brush work. Sometimes creating an image can be somewhat of a surprise when the edit is complete. I love the way the white digitized into neon lines on black in the middle of his adorable face.  

On a different note,

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I will be relatively digital free this weekend, so I will think of this guy when I am in the desert. Some friends and I are meeting up in Utah to camp near Lake Powell and have so much fun on the water. I cannot wait to try out some of my backpacking gear! My companions are car camping pretty comfy. Nevertheless this is a great chance for me to familiarize myself with the gear I have acquired from my dad for my trip in late June. I hope to be mindful this weekend and become more aware of my camping and trekking needs.

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Live, Love & Inspire!