At a purchasing decision crossroads
I have been producing VTs since the late 90's right smack dab in the middle of the *pix battles over the spherical technologies. Thank goodness that is no longer an issue!
I have also used many acquisition technologies and tour creation software and have been a member of this forum since 2002.
My question to the forum is do you feel confident with the responses you have received so far from Easypano and that they as a company are going to do the right thing with regards to fixing the bugs in TW2.0? Do you find the bugs are to the point that it effects your productivity and your abilities to publish your finished tours? Or are they just small annoying problems that you can find workarounds for?
For example from playing with the fully functioning demo (kudos to Easy Pano for allowing this ability) I ran into an issue of trying to supply my own designed .gif buttons created in Photoshop's 7.0 Image Ready but was initially disappointed when imported into the software as the transparent areas did not "key" as cleanly as I would have hoped over the background image and certainly did not display as nicely as the buttons you can create within the software. I am not a Photoshop expert and I also know there is a lot I don't know about graphics such as working with raster vs vector graphics and to know what is the best resolution vs quality to create your graphics in. So I'm sure with a little tutorial (if it could be supplied in the manual) the parameters or specifications you need to follow to create acceptable results could be figured out. Also I wanted to create an animated three button effect, normal, mouse over and selected mode, but after designing the buttons within the software no".gif" file seems to be generated but rather a proprietary file with the extension of ".cf ". Once again when navigating to the button library to load in the newly created and saved to the internal programs library button , one encounters the choices of .bmp, .gif, .tif files and so on. The option to load the internally created .cf file is not available. What is also with the empty file folder "Popup" that seems to be generated? This is just an example of the type of file handling that I feel is sure to have a work around or certainly an acceptable set of customizable and editable buttons would be made available. Also kudos once again to Easypano for offering the additional designed viewers free of charge.
It is quite the dilemma for me because yet again I find my self at that junction in the road of already having a commercially viable VT software to produce cookie cutter acceptable tours for my Real Estate clients, but I need a more robust and flexible software for custom and hopefully corporate work. This is so that I can offer custom made viewers and control placement of branding. I also pay a nominal hosting fee to save and publish my current VT's. This would make my VT business more profitable not to have to pay any fee.
I have decided on leaning toward Easypano because I already have one of their original stitching software and was very happy that they offered an option at that time to stitch spherical panos. I feel looking at the other tour creation software currently on the market, that TW offers the flexibility, and the features I'm looking for. But without the support to help you over those bumps in the road, and if you can't find a way to accomplish or finish your projects, the software however great the bells and whistles becomes useless to you. I am speaking from experience with other VT software which I was burned on and will not mention in this forum.
I would like to thank the forum, and Easypano in advance for any replies and input you may have on my above comments. Also Easypano I am looking to procure my copy of your software by supporting and purchasing TW from one of your resellers. He has been in this business a long time, a forum member and often gives freely very useful information in aiding one to navigate obscure directions with practical solutions. Will the offer of the free upgrade to 3.0 be extended to me even though I choose not to buy through Element 5, and instead support one of your resellers?