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Moving around in a panorama by sliding a finger over the screen is a burden; moving much too fast.
I get the too-fast part, but on the "burden" part, are you asking for a "velocity cursor" as some pano-viewer offer?
Could you link the rest of us to some examples, Joscelin, or maybe shoot a little video with your phone of what you mean?
If there is one thing that I would criticize in touch controls right now, it would just be a lack of easing animations / a lack of a higher default inertia setting.
Somehow when zooming stops the instant I stop 'spreading' or 'pinching', it feels too... abrupt.
Maybe I'm just nostalgic for old Seadragon animating everything on springs.
I'm not suggesting having the inertia so high that people constantly zoom further than they meant to... just a little subtlety.
I know your team isn't responsible, but I felt very much the same thing playing with the Bing Maps Preview app.
I'm really digging the 3D models there, but the lack of animation finesse when zooming and tilting leaves something to be desired.
Sorry that I have been so brief. It was already late and after a day and a half taking in, exploring and commenting on the preview, I needed some sleep desperately, but wanted to try touch and could not stop commenting on it right away.
I was using my notebook with touch screen of 15.6", 1366 x 768.
I do not know what a "velocity cursor" is.
I feel that moving along the synth path with touch is not smooth. Moving my finger a "millimeter" results in quite a move in the synth. So, trying to move along the synth path slowly is a "burden". Having gone over Nate's comment here, I get the impression that it is related, but may not be exactly the same.
Maybe this is something like the acceleration option of the mouse. With moving slowly, one can be very precise in the movement and when the acceleration option is on, then moving faster the move is accelerated.
With touch moving the synth, I could not be slow, smooth and precise.
I think that what I have described above, would be difficult to capture in video clearly .
I am playing around with my synths using both my touch notebook and my Google Nexus 7 tablet. To be continued.
To get more precise.
Nexus tablet: 7",1280 x 800.
Touch notebook: 15.6", 1366 x 768.
Samsung Syncmaster 2343 NW: 23",2048 x 1152.
The experience issue I try to get across might primarily be more an ergonomic one.
I am not talking about zooming and moving within one frame. I am talking about moving along the synth's path.
This is a spin with a clear subject of focus, the D'Artagnan statue.
Moving along the synth path by touch or playing it, does not give me an uncomfortable feel. Although, I would prefer the play to be a little slower.
But, this was shot in portrait with little background to see and eyes focus on the fixed subject naturally. Try not focusing on the statue, but on the background. It makes me start to feel less comfortable with the experience.
Like example 1.
This is a panorama with no subject of focus.
Moving along the synth path by touch or playing it, does not give me a comfortable experience.
16:9, wide angle, huge space, no fixed subject for focus. Eyes naturally focus in the distance on different spots in the scenery, which regardless of touch or play moves way to fast for me.
Like example 3.
Another observation is that as soon as focus to a frame is lost because of moving, the whole view becomes vague/blurred. I feel this to be an uncomfortable experience too. This seems to be more noticeable at a lower compared to a higher number of pixels per inch.
I wonder what the experience would be on a big 720p/1024p TV screen.
I would think that the viewing experience will have to be great from 3.5" phone to 40"+ 720p/1024p TV screens. The latter controlled by xBox One.
All the above gives me the impression that you have got a challenge here still.
I want to come back to this discussion later, but for now just wanted to answer your question about what a velocity cursor is.
If you load up a stitched panorama here on Photosynth.net, (example: http://photosynth.net/view/cb77e8f1-2e25-4de2-98f2-7e9a12d5eac3 ) you'll see an icon in the controls at the bottom of the viewer to the right of the [Play] button and the left of the compass type control in the center.
When hovered over, you'll see a tooltip that reads "Change Panning Mode".
When you click it, the icon will change from two outward facing arrows to a hand. The icon represents the panning mode that you will get after you click it.
When it displays a hand (meaning if you click it, you'll go back to the default panning mode of grabbing the pano and dragging it), you'll be using the velocity cursor mode.
You click your mouse button down and don't lift your finger off the button.
Then drag your cursor. The further you move from where you first clicked, the faster you will move in that direction, relative to where you first clicked.
In touch controls, this would mean that where you first touch, you don't lift your finger and if you move your finger a little to the right of where on the screen you first touched you'll pan slowly right. Move further right without lifting your finger and you'll pan right faster. Likewise in any other direction, based on where you first touched the screen.
Microsoft HDView also has these two modes: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/hdview/HDHelp.htm (look under navigation).
You'll need to use the controls in the lower left tab of IE's F12 tools to change document mode or user agent to IE10 or previous if you install HDView and want to use HDView in IE11.
Install the plugin from here: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/HDView/HDInstall.htm
View some sample panos here: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/hdview/HDR.htm
Apologies for the rabbit trail.
@Nate. Thanks for explaining about the velocity cursor. Yes, I think that would be a nice feature for navigating a synth manually.