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 their fingers to look around and change the orientation of course. But at any moment they can click on the 'radar' icon at the top/right and the panorama will go back to its original heading.
When you are working in the virtual tour editor, you can adjust the Heading of your panorama in three ways, as illustrated above:
- Click & drag the heading icon within the image to reposition the heading.
- Manually enter the latitude and longitude values.
- Use one of the preset values as explained below.
- Current sets the heading in the direction the panorama is facing at the moment. Best way to use it is to rotate the panorama in the desired direction first, then click this button.
- Initial same effect as manually setting latitude and longitude to 0. This typically reflects the direction the camera's front lens was facing when the shot was taken. If you look at the flattened panorama before uploading it, the default heading will be pointing to the spot right in the center of the image.
- North sets the direction pointing north (in the geographical sense) based on GPS data found in EXIF. If the uploaded photo file did not contain this information, that option is grayed out. Please note that this value is not 100% reliable because of possible magnetic interference issues.
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.
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.
Default heading in Preferences
In the Preferences section, you can choose how the system will set the heading for all new uploads:
If Set heading to GPS north is selected, the system will look for the heading information in the EXIF metadata in the file. If it is found, the heading will be set in this direction.
If this setting is not selected or the heading information is not present in EXIF, the heading will default to the direction in which the camera was facing during the shoot. If you are stitching or rendering your panoramas, the default heading will point to the middle of the image.
The EXIF heading is supposed to point to the physical/geographical north, but it is not always precise. For various reasons like magnetic interference or compass calibration, this value can be off.
Heading & Walkthrough mode
Walkthrough mode can override your heading settings for individual posts. When moving between posts via hotspots, the initial orientation will be dynamically calculated based on 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 to 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.
"Keep Direction" mode
Another option available when setting transitions between posts is the "Keep Direction" feature. As the name suggests, it allows to retain the same orientation when moving from one post to the next.
Thanks to this feature, you can create seamless transitions between similar photos or renders. The use cases for this feature can include:
- Night & day photos blend between photos of the same place shot at different times of the day.
- Before and after photos compare an empty room and the furnished or virtually staged version.
- Different versions of a project present several design projects (renders) of the same space.
If you want to keep the direction when a user clicks a hotspot, all you need to do is to check the Keep Direction box as shown above. This function overrides and disables all other heading settings, including the Walkthrough mode.