Panoramas are another type of virtual reality component, similar in some ways to VRML in that the user needs a special plug in to view and control the viewing of the panoramic virtual reality component.  However, unlike VRML, panoramas are made up of a series of photographs "stitched together" to create one image that you can view entirely as you move your cursor across the image.

Web designers add virtual reality (VR) components to web pages for several reasons, including to make web pages more interesting and interactive, and to display an item in a 3D view.  Some common formats for panoramas include
Quick Time VR, VRML2, Black Diamond's Surround Video, and Infinite Pictures SmoothMove.

VRML offers uses for many types of websites, including entertainment, education, computer aided design, product marketing, virtual malls, and much more.  Panoramas are useful for these same types of websites, as well as real estate and travel.
VR components offer many advantages to web site designers. They make web sites more interesting and interactive, provide more detail for objects or places than regular flat photos, there is no need for complex programming to add a VR component to your web site , and they generally have cross-platform and cross-browser compatibility.  Some disadvantages include requirement of a plug in for viewing, (in many cases), long download time for some web VR components, depending on the file size and type, and the needed skills and creativity for quality output.

Many computer animation software programs, such as
Caligari's TrueSpace, Micrografx Simply 3D, Silicon Graphics Internet 3D Space Builder, and Platinum Technology's VRCreator learning edition, automatically create VRML files for you.

Some computer animation software options for panorama creation include
Apple's Quick Time VR Authoring Studio, Enroute Imaging's QuickStitch 360, Video Brush Corporation's VideoBrush Panorama, Live Picture's Photo Vista, Infinite Picture's Smooth Move, Ulead's Cool 360, and Black Diamond's Surround Video.
Present A Virtual Tour On Your Website:
Panoramas and VRML are two technologies web designers use to add virtual worlds to websites.  VRML, which stands for virtual reality markup language, is a technology for animation and 3D modeling that lets you create 3D scenes for websites.  A special VRML browser plug in lets you control the viewing of VRML components on any sites that utilize this feature.
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