We have been using Panotour Pro for our virtual Tours since the beginning of 2018 and had been very happy with it. The controls are intuitive, the generation of HTML 5 Virtual Tours seamless and the support for WordPress excellent.

Because Kolor announced there would be no more updates to Panotour Pro, we realised that there would only be a window of about six months before competitors overtook the product and a year before operating system upgrades rendered it broken. Under the circumstances we would be foolish to persist.

Pano2VR had come up in our initial analysis of toolsets

and it was a very close call to opt for Kolor at that time. In the end, the reason we chose Kolor was because we thought there would be an advantage in having tooling from the same company across the workflow.

That being said, Garden Gnome Software have come up with a very strong contender in Pano2VR. The tooling is intuitively laid out and although it doesn't work in precisely the same way as Panotour, I have found it to be if anything more flexible. We have a particular workflow featuring WordPress so I'll be focusing on that for this post.

The workflow is similar - import panorama - set start parameters - apply skin (menus etc) - generate HTML5 tour. Upload to a directory under public_html and link to it from a post for a full screen panorama. Alternatively, use the ggpkg plugin for wordpress to create an embedded HTML5 player on a page or in a post.

WordPress support in Pano2VR has a small issue that has not been satisfactorily addressed - there is an option to export a bundle that can be uploaded to WordPress as a Media type and thereafter brought into a post or page via a plugin supplied by Garden Gnome called ggpkg. This sounds great until you realise that WordPress out of the box will only allow media uploads of 8mb or less. There is a workaround that involves removing the media from the bundle, uploading the directory structure and xml files as a Media type and then using ftp to copy the media back into the bundle. This works fine. Note that the problem here is WordPress - you can't simply copy the bundle into the media directory via ftp - the upload process registers the bundle in the database, hence the awkward workaround...

For a step by step guide to this process check out the video here ...

I'm more than happy with Pano2VR. I haven't tested it to destruction on every platform, but the HTML5 capability which is what really matters to us is sound and although the deployment to wordpress is a pain, its livable with. The look and feel of the finished tours is in my opinion superior to the toolbars offered by Autopano pro. They offer the same functionality but where Autopano was beginning to look dated, Pano2VR looks slick and modern.

There is a feature by feature comparison of the products here, helpfully compiled by Garden Gnome.