Zoom Panorama

THE MISSION

This weeks elearning heroes challenge was to make an interaction using the zoom and/or magnifying images.

THE INSPIRATION

I first considered making a microscope interaction, but I had difficulty finding an appropriate image of a microscope looking down through the lens at the correct angle.  Then I thought that binoculars could make a good subject matter.  I thought that it would be fun to imitate the way that images are seen through binoculars in movies and television,  you know, with the two circles poking through a dark, blurred edge.  I have also wanted to experiment with using panoramic images on motion paths, or with sliders.  When I thought about what scenery I could use, I remembered the big public binoculars that you pay to use at Niagara Falls.

THE PROCESS

I decided to do this interaction on two slides, the first showing the binoculars and the second using a panorama with a zoom and pan effect.  The first slide was the establishing scene, you can see the falls in the background and the binoculars are front and center.  After my jukebox elearning entry two weeks ago, I just couldn’t resist the urge to have the viewer insert the coin to start the interaction.  The second, panorama slide was more difficult.  I tried a few different ideas before finding Glenn Simsek’s post on making a panorama with sliders.  It uses two sliders, the first uses the image as the thumb style and the second is the one that you see which controls the first slider – it’s difficult to explain, but you can download a sample at the link above.  The great thing about using this slider technique is that I was able to place the binocular edges on top of the image without it interfering with the photo movement.  Because this was a zoom challenge, I decided to insert a zoom region as soon as the second slide opens and then have it pan across to the other side of the Horseshoe Falls.  However, I discovered that the slider would not work properly if I began with the zoom.  When I moved the zoom half a second after the start of the timeline, it worked flawlessly.  When I looked at my finished interaction, I realized that a key ingredient was missing.  Anyone who has visited the falls can tell you that all that moving water makes a lot of noise, so I added a sound clip of the falls to add to the atmosphere.

THE OUTCOME

Here is the link to my little experiment, I think that it turned out well and I learned how to do something new with Storyline.  I’d like to play some more with panoramic images, maybe I’ll master it using motion paths next time.

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