Preparing panoramas for use in the ORBX player – currently the most exciting 360 media player on the Gear VR platform – is, well, fiddly. This is a stereo viewer with support for left-right panorama pairs, and the image format is a horizontal cubeface strip in PNG or JPG format.
For some reason Gear VR viewers invert the scene, so you need to invert your own content first to ensure it reads the right way around. The cubefaces must be arranged in the following order: front, back, up, down, right, left. In addition, the up cubeface must be rotated by 90 degrees and the down face by -90.
Doing this to just one panorama is fiddly. Doing this to a handful at once is a royal pain in the... well, that's why GearShift exists. This takes regular cubefaces (JPEG form only, sorry), flips, rotates and arranges them as needed, and generates the required double-length horizontal strip.
If you're not working with stereo panoramas just uncheck the Stereo option and GearShift will automatically double up one set of cubefaces.
Use KRPano? Try the beta of version 1.2
Preparation: use your preferred tool to generate JPEG cubeface files from a spherical panorama. The standard resolution for Gear VR use is 1536px bbut other resolutions will also work. Use the single-letter naming convention: front face is f.jpg, etc.
Production: click 'Generate' and select one of your cubeface files. For Stereo pick from the LEFT set first, then pick one from the RIGHT set. 'Double length' doubles a mono panorama to the same width as stereo. GearShift generates an image suitable for ORBX playback and ask you to save it. The output format is JPEG; use .jpg as the filename suffix.
Oh, of course this is free to use. If you like it please visit the IVRPA.org site and show us what you're doing. Bug reports and questions are also welcome!
First-time launch: Mac users may need to open this app the first time by right-clicking/control-clicking and selecting 'Open'. Windows users may see a one-time warning about allowing unauthorised applications to run. In both cases this only happens once.
Virus warning from Avast anti-virus software? In 2016 and again in 2017 a version of Avast's security software for Windows reported the Win32:Xpaj-gen virus inside the zip archive. This is a known 'false positive' alert, and it has been fixed in the latest Avast updates. To be 100% clear: the virus report by Avast software is a false positive; the zip archive is clean, and updating the Avast virus definitions cures the problem.
This software is free to use, of course, although tips help me pay for my development costs. If you like it please visit the IVRPA Facebook page and show us what you're doing. Bug reports and questions are also welcome – you can find me on Twitter (@thatkeith) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thatkeithmartin)
See below for a link to older versions.
— Keith Martin
New BETA version 1.2: works with KRPano to generate the initial cubeface files from your original equirectangular images at the specified pixel dimensions.