[vlc-devel] QTVR in VLC?

Rafaël Carré funman at videolan.org
Thu Dec 6 14:36:46 CET 2007

Le Thu, 06 Dec 2007 07:54:19 -0500,
Yuval Levy <vlc07 at sfina.com> a écrit :

> Dear VLC Developers,
> First of all, thank you for this excellent media player.
> This is my first post here. I hope I am at the right place here and
> that I don't offend anybody. If I do, please accept my apologies and
> kindly direct me to the right place for this topic.

You're in the right place

> This introduction is a bit long - if you just want to skip to "the 
> point", scroll down to THE QUESTION. However you might need some 
> background information to understand the question, which I provide
> below.
> My intention is to contribute to VLC's development, even if strictly 
> speaking I am not a developer. My coding experience is very limited.
> I am a media producer (hence my interest in VLC) and I was the admin
> for this year's participation in the Google Summer of Code of the
> hugin / panotools project.
> <http://code.google.com/soc/2007/pano/about.html>
> I would like to discuss with you a particular type of media - 
> interactive panoramas or, in Apple's terminology, QTVR; and one of
> our GSoC projects, FreePV
> <http://freepv.sf.net/>
> <http://sourceforge.net/projects/freepv>
> All media players I have seen so far, including VLC, that claim
> support for QuickTime, don't support QTVR. Strictly speaking,
> QuickTime and QuickTimeVR are two different animals that have been
> placed under the same brand by Apple's marketing, with the
> consequence that they share the same MIME Type, same OBJECT/EMBED
> HTML tag, and can not be distinguished from one another when on a web
> page.
> The result is a conflict between the VLC plugin and the FreePV plugin.
> When you look at
> <http://geoimages.berkeley.edu/worldwidepanorama/wwp607/html/YuvalLevy.html>
> - with FreePV installed, you will see the QTVR content on that page.
> - with VLC installed, you will see a black screen (at least it was so 
> last time I tested, a few months ago).
> on the other hand, if FreePV is installed, mainstream QuickTime
> content will show a black screen, while VLC will display it properly.
> To see what should be displayed without fiddling with the plugins,
> you can go to
> <http://www.photopla.net/070618assnat/>
> and click on the thumbnails. There are a few technologies to display
> VR and chances are, that you have at least one of them on your box
> (Flash or Java, though Java is low resolution due to heap memory
> limitations and Flash is bumpier than QuickTime, especially on slower
> boxes).
> If you click on the help link, you will have a choice out of the 
> detected plugin technologies to display that content.
> Note that FreePV does more than just display QuickTimeVR. During this 
> summer of code it has been added with the ability to display SPi-V 
> panoramas, a competing VR technology based on Adobe's Shockwave.
> Roughly speaking there are four major VR technologies / plugins:
> - QuickTimeVR is the original. Over ten years old, still unbeaten, 
> particularly on weak CPUs. Available for Mac and Windows only :( lack
> of availability on Linux motivated Pablo d'Angelo to start writing
> FreePV.
> - Java. There is a whole bunch of Java-based VR applets. Most of them 
> are crap, with the exception of the OpenSourced ptviewer and the
> closed sourced Immervision Pure Player. Java is no longer a serious
> contender in the arena despite intense use by some industries. The
> problem is the default heap memory limitation. It is also burdened
> with other problems, particularly on the Mac.
> - Shockwave/SPi-V - based on the Shockwave engine, SPi-V is probably
> the first GPU-accelerated VR viewer, and it shows! Amazing stuff can
> be done, unfortunately available for Windows only, and with some
> caveats for Mac (the Intelmac version is still missing).
> - Flash is the new kid on the block. Flash 8 introduced basic 
> functionalities and Flash 9 has improved on that. It is still far
> from the smoothness of Shockwave/SPi-V and it eats much more CPU than 
> QuickTime, but it's ubiquity makes it a technology of choice.
> Other technologies exist, but they are nearly irrelevant in terms of 
> audience. The latest statistics (September 2007) are
> - 67% QuickTime
> - 85% Java
> - 58% Shockwave
> - 99% Flash (98% > Flash 8)
> <http://www.adobe.com/products/player_census/shockwaveplayer/>
> Is it possible to support QTVR in VLC?

It is, the problem being how much interaction vlc can provide.
When you say "interaction" is that only a matter of where the mouse
pointer is located on the screen ?

> If so, what would be the best way to do it, avoiding duplication of 
> effort with the FreePV project and conflict between installed plugins?

The best way would be to use FreePV as a library, and use either vlc
plugin, either freepv plugin, but not both.

> Can the VLC plugin identify if a QuickTime content is a QTVR?

If quicktime can do it, we can do it too !
There must be some difference in the header to differentiate QTVR from
other medias.

> Can it somehow pass it on to FreePV for processing, e.g. integrate 
> FreePV as a library?


> Could it also "take over" the OBJECT/EMBED tag for Shockwave content
> to pass SPi-V panoramas to FreePV?

afaik the mozilla plugin only knows about mime types, i'm not very used
to web things.
So if what's in the object/embed tag is a mimetype, answer is yes.

> What would need to be done and who can do it?

Differentiate quicktime content from QTVR content and pass it to FreePV
library (quite easy i guess)
The interaction part (more difficult, because it would require work for
every video output module). At the time there is already some form of
interaction through the DVD menus, so it may be easier than I expect.

About "who", I don't really know.
If you have experience with C, we may be able to help you in your task.

> Thank you for your attention.
> Looking forward to help developing VLC and to see my content in VLC.
> Yuv
> <http://www.photopla.net/050412paris/>
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Rafaël Carré
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