Heading & thumbnails
This article explains all about managing the heading on your panoramic photos and creating thumbnails for your posts.
Heading defines which direction the panorama is pointing to, when it's initially loaded. You can set the heading to point in any direction for each of your posts.
The user can use the mouse or tap with his fingers to look around and change the orientation of course. But at any moment they can click on the 'radar' icon in the top/right and the panorama will go back to it's original heading.
When you are working in the virtual tour editor, you can adjust the Heading of your panorama in two ways:
Option one is to click the heading icon within the image (1) and drag it to where you want to heading to be. Option two is to click the icon in the panel on the right (2) which will center the heading in the current view. After you adjust the position of the heading, simply hit SAVE to apply the changes.
Heading can be changed at any time and multiple times over - it doesn't have any lasting consequences for the post or tour, so do not be afraid to experiment and move it around.
Special case: if you are building a tour and would like to make use of the backlinks feature, it's recommended to align all the photos in the same direction. More info can be found in this tutorial.
As soon as you save, you can refresh the page and you'll see that after loading, the photo points in the direction you selected.
One important exception: Walkthrough mode
Walkthrough mode can override your heading settings for individual posts. When moving between posts via hotspots, the initial orientation will be cdynamically calculated based from the hotspot position, regardless of where you set your heading to.
It is a very powerful feature and can be used to greatly improve user immersion, but if you want have complete control over the heading when moving from post to post, you'll need to turn off the Walkthrough mode. You can learn all about Walkthrough in this article.
A square thumbnail is generated each time you hit the SAVE button in the editor. This image is used throughout the site - on your profile page, in the thumbnail bar at the bottom and in ohter places. It's also used when sharing the image on social media or in messaging apps.
The thumbnail orientation and framing is not related to the heading settings. Instead, the thumbnail will be generated from whichever direction the panoramas is facing at the moment of saving.
That allows you to be flexible and creative with your thumbs and choose the most interesting element in your 360 photos. For drone photos - it could be looking down, for real estate shots - find a element in the room that is unique and captivating. You can also use zoom to change how wide or narrow the thumbnail image is.
It's best to experiment and see what works best for you!