Thursday, August 30, 2012

ProtoSphere Tip of the Week #3: Enabling the Free Camera View

The ability to control your view of the 3D environment in ProtoSphere is important, however we’ve designed it so that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. We’ve employed simple interactions, such as hitting the V key on your keyboard to toggle back and forth between 1st and 3rd person views, enabling the scroll wheel on your mouse to do the same, or allowing you to right-click and drag your mouse in order to look around the space. But did you know there’s another view in ProtoSphere that gives you a lot more flexibility in where you position your camera, called the “Free Camera View”?

To enable this view, hit CTRL + SHIFT + C on your keyboard. You’ll notice that your camera appears to detach itself from your avatar. While in this mode you can use either the left or right click actions and drag your mouse to change the angle of the camera. You can also use the following keys to move the camera around:

W or Up Arrow
Moves the camera forward
S or Down Arrow
Moves the camera backward
A or Left Arrow
Pans the camera left
D or Right Arrow
Pans the camera right
Moves the camera up
Moves the camera down

While in this mode, you’re moving your camera around, not your avatar. But you can still interact with objects, such as clicking on a chair, or zooming into a Media Board.

To return your view back to what it was prior to entering this Free Camera View, simply hit CTRL + SHIFT + C again on your keyboard.

The video below shows what this looks like:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ProtoSphere Tip of the Week #2: Maximizing the View of the 3D Window

In this week's tip, I want to show you a quick and easy way to maximize your view of the 3D window. I've had trainers tell me they use this technique to get a better view of their class and I personally use it if I'm in a meeting where the conversation is mostly taking place over audio. Note that maximizing your view of the 3D window will temporarily hide both the People lists and Conversation area that are on the right side of the screen.

To maximize your view of the 3D window, simply double-click anywhere on the border that separates the two areas of the screen (see where the arrows are pointing below).

Arrows indicate where to double-click your mouse to expand the 3D window

After clicking, your view of the 3D environment will change from this...

ProtoSphere with the People lists and Conversation area visible. this:

ProtoSphere with its 3D window maximized.

To restore the 3D window, the People lists and Conversation area to their previous configuration, double-click again on the vertical border that is now located on right edge of the screen.

The video below shows this technique in action:

I hope you enjoyed this Tip of the Week. If there's another feature that you'd like covered, please let us know.

Monday, August 13, 2012

ProtoSphere Tip of the Week #1: Getting PowerPoint to Fill Media Boards

We're starting a new series of blog posts where we'll share various tips & tricks, techniques and overall best practices to help you get the most out of using ProtoSphere. Although much of this information is documented in the User Guides that are distributed with the product, we thought it might be helpful to remind users about how to use specific features and do other things that may have been overlooked, but can help tremendously, when planning for and conducting training sessions, events or meetings.

So, without further ado, here’s our first Tip of the Week:

Getting PowerPoint to Fill All The Available Space on Media Boards

In this example, the easel's surface is vertically oriented to display in a portrait layout. The slide being shown is typical of those created using a slightly modified default PowerPoint template (we only added a background graphic). As you can see, the slide does not fill the available space leaving both the top and bottom of the display unused.

Default PPT slide added to easel surface

To make full use of the space available on this particular Media Board, you will need to change PowerPoint's Page Setup Properties for the presentation so that it is vertically oriented. To do that (in PowerPoint 2010), select the "Design" Tab, then click on "Page Setup".

PPT file’s Page Setup properties

As shown in the above picture, when the Page Setup window displays, you can change the "Width" and "Height" in the "Slides sized for" section to match the size of the Media Board. In this example, those values are 8” wide x 10.08” high. Finally, click "OK" and you're ready to upload your presentation.

A PPT file formatted to the size of the Media Board it is being applied to
Wasn't that simple?

To make things a bit easier for you, you can download some PPT templates that are specifically sized to work on the various Media Board surfaces within ProtoSphere (the link will download a .zip file).

We hope you enjoyed this Tip of the Week. If you would like to learn how to do something specific, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How ProtoSphere Enables Immersive Collaboration

The other day, Jeff Owen over at Telecom Reseller, conducted a short podcast interview with our CEO, Ron Burns. During the interview, they discussed a variety of topics including our new version of ProtoSphere, 2.1, how it stands out against the competition and our integration with both Microsoft Lync and Polycom.

The whole podcast is only about 13 minutes long, so jump over to their site and give it a listen.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. You can leave them in the comments or give us a call at (215) 631-1401.

Thanks to Jeff Owen and the crew at Telecom Reseller.

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