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Archived - QuickTime VR: Questions and Answers

Learn answers to frequently asked questions about QuickTime VR and its requirements.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Question: What is virtual reality?

Answer: Virtual reality describes a range of experiences that let you interact with and explore a spatial environment through your computer. These environments are typically computer renderings of simple or complex computer models. With QuickTime VR, these environments can be based on photographic representations of real locations.


Question: What is QuickTime VR?

Answer: QuickTime VR lets you rotate your view of a scene through a complete 360-degree horizontal circle. Multiple 360-degree views can be linked together to let you travel around in an area. You can move around in space through as many points as the content developer provides. The content provider can also enable certain objects to be virtual as well, letting you view all sides of an object by turning it around using a mouse. The combination of scenes and objects provides an experience that is like being there. As you change your view of the scene, correct perspective is maintained, creating the effect of being at the location and looking around. QuickTime VR is the first mainstream technology to enable theses experiences based on real world scenes.


Question: How does QuickTime VR differ from other VR systems?

Answer: QuickTime VR differs in several ways:
  • QuickTime VR uses high-quality photographic representations of a space for the virtual reality experience, a breakthrough in performance and compression technology. There is no need to model and render an existing space.
  • QuickTime VR is a software-only implementation; it is an extension of the QuickTime architecture. It does not require additional hardware.
  • QuickTime VR's breakthrough is the proprietary software engine that lets you explore real world spaces on most QuickTime-capable personal computers. This differs from most virtual reality systems, which require a very fast 3D computer with specialized hardware that lets the user explore computer generated virtual spaces.
  • Easy panoramic image capture; pictures are taken with a standard, 35 mm camera.


Question: What software comprises QuickTime VR?

Answer: The QuickTime VR software technology includes two components:
  • QuickTime VR Authoring Studio is a set of QuickTime virtual reality (QTVR) authoring tools that let you create panoramas, objects, and scenes, and manage QTVR projects. Using QuickTime VR Authoring Studio, you can quickly and easily produce professional-quality QTVR media. No programming is required. QTVR creation software is available from third-party software developers as well. See the QuickTime VR site for more information.
  • The QuickTime run-time software provides the environment needed to experience QuickTime VR on your computer. You can experience QTVR movies with the QuickTime Player, a web browser using the QuickTime plug-in, or any software application that uses QuickTime APIs (application programming interfaces). QuickTime is available for Macintosh and Windows environments.


Question: Where can the software be obtained?

Answer: The free QuickTime runtime software is available at Apple's QuickTime web site.

Third-party hardware and software for creating QuickTime VR movies can be found at the QuickTime VR Resources page .


Question: What are the system requirements for QuickTime VR Authoring Studio?

Answer: Here are the requirements:
  • Mac OS-based computer with a PowerPC processor
  • 16 MB of available RAM
  • Mac OS 7.5 through Mac OS 9.2.2, or the Mac OS X Classic environment.
  • 20 MB of hard disk space
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Monitor that supports at least thousands of colors
  • Video input capability (required for object movies only)


Question: How large are QuickTime VR files? Do I need special equipment to view them?

Answer: QuickTime VR files are exceptionally small, which makes them easy and fast to download without using much computer disk space. In fact, a typical panoramic scene can be as small as 200K. Besides the computer, no additional hardware--such as accelerator boards, helmets, goggles and gloves--is needed to view QuickTime VR scenes.


Question: Where can I download QuickTime VR scenes?

Answer: Try these locations:

Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Article: TA21662
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