MP Embed Dev Blog
Feature Requests, Changelog and Tentative Roadmap
Hi All! It’s been quite a while and things have been very silent from me concerning the development of MPEmbed.
In the past few months, I’ve been focused on keeping up with customer support emails that are largely related to our control panel — and nothing to do with the MPEmbed product itself, sadly. Account terminations and account upgrades take up most of my time. #1 reason for accounts not working tend to be that a credit card was declined 3x.
However – a few useful things / bug fixes:
- Password Protection – Did you know that MPEmbed Premium can password protect spaces? It most certainly can and I’ve patched a bug where forcing &play=1 would stop it from working. (Thanks, Peter Wolf)
- Disable Filters for Firefox – This feature wasn’t working. It is now.
- Editing Spaces with a Proxy – The save button was disabled. This is now resolved.
- Linking to .webp Files on Wix.com – Users who are hosting assets such as logos and custom minimaps may want to use their Wix.com account to host their files. Wix automatically converts files to .webp and provides those URLs to users. Unfortunately, they don’t work on Apple devices! Simple fix – change the .webp to .jpg — and it’ll still work.
You can now add Matterport Spaces (or MPEmbed URLs) to the highlight reel! MPEmbed automatically pulls the thumbnail from the space and adds it to your highlight reel.
MPEmbed Premium’s highlight reel adds support for adding both YouTube Videos and Matterport Spaces. These are game changing features that many clients have requested that you can now offer them!
Are Mattertags making your guided tours look kind of silly? With MPEmbed, you can now turn off Mattertags from displaying during guided tours!
Over the past week, there have been some minor platform changes made including:
- Addition of all help text into the ‘Customize Text’ menu in Premium (help text for dollhouse, floorplan and 360 view modes were not completely available)
- A major bug was discovered and fixed that prevented MPEmbed from loading on spaces that were not visible when starting. This bug was worst if a user applied &play=1 to a space.
- Mattertag Colors are now visible in password protected mode if you have changed the sort order of your tags and saved. I’m still working on bringing the minimap to password protected mode.
MPEmbed now has a snapshot button that can be enabled in MPEmbed Premium. When clicked, you will be able to select output format including multiple resolutions at 4:3 and 16:9. 4096 x 2048 Equirectagular spheres can also be exported using the snapshot button.
Filters are not applied to the snapshots. The blue circle cursor that appears while you are navigating the space will, unfortunately, appear in your snapshot too. As this functionality is a direct application of the Matterport SDK, I am imagining that this will be resolved soon when the next feature roll-out comes to Workshop 3 (Snapshots, Measurements, 3D Paths).
Highlight Panel Sorting & Disabling
You can now sort the content in the highlight panel as well as disable individual highlights. Sorting includes space thumbnails and joined highlight reels. This feature provides some customization that may prove handy if you are using both a highlight reel and the highlight panel for different purposes.
Mattertag Transition Selection
You can now pick if you would like to ‘Fly’ between Mattertags, ‘Cross Fade’ or ‘Instantly Transition’ when using the Mattertag Panel and mini map to navigate. Thanks, Showcase SDK 3.0.6!
Hide Mattertags in Dollhouse, Floorplan or Walkthrough Mode
This ‘experimental’ feature is now available to use for all spaces. Previously, hiding / redisplaying Mattertags would cause embedded multimedia content to be stripped from the tags. As of Showcase 3.0.6, this has been resolved and the feature has been moved into the ‘Tags Panel’ box. It’s a great tool if you have a ‘scavenger hunt’ style tour and don’t want people to see the locations of your tags while in 3D mode! It can also make your space much cleaner if you have a massive number of mattertags!
3D Measurements Button
Speaking of measurements — there’s a bug with 3D Measurements related to the Showcase platform. After displaying 3D Measurements and then moving, they will disappear and cannot be displayed again until restarting the tour.
The bug is likely due to a change in the data format between Workshop 2 and Workshop 3 and may be the reason that the public Workshop 3 roll-out did not include the Measurements feature.
On a positive note, 3D Measurements on the mini-map (that display as 2D) are now working correctly on multi-floor spaces and will appear and disappear as you swap floors. The code that handles the minimap shifting between floors has been rewritten to properly identify which floor things belong on. The SDK identifies the floors that panoramas and labels belong to, but not Mattertags or measurements.
If you would like to view a Space that has Workshop 3 measurements with MPEmbed and the 3D Measurement toggle, click the tour below:
New Parameters (Supported in MPEmbed and listed in MPEmbed Premium’s options)
&portal=0 – Hides 360 Placements Portals
&pin=0 – Hides 360 Placement pins that are shown during the introduction fly-in, dollhouse and floorplan modes.
New Mattertag Colors
MPEmbed now supports assigning ‘labels’ to the new colors introduced in Workshop 3.0.
Here’s a space that contains all of the new colors and the Mattertags Color Filters options setup — enjoy!
And another thing …
&reels is now &spaces
&reels is now gone (it still works!) and has been replaced with &spaces and &spacereels.
Originally, &reels would merge multiple highlight reels together. If a space did not have a highlight reel, a single thumbnail would be added for the space itself.
A user could choose to link multiple spaces together and not build highlight reels so that they would have a simple ‘spaces’ box. Or, if a user had highlight reels, they’d get one large multi-tour highlight reel.
I did not realize this was confusing until I started speaking to several of my users.
&spaces are better
&spaces=SPACEID|SPACEID|SPACEID – This will add a thumbnail to the highlight reel for each space that you have listed.
&spacereels=1 – This will include the highlight reels from each space in the highlight panel.
Use of &reels will automatically convert to &spaces.
MPEmbed’s Text-to-Speech support now extends beyond Chrome in support for dozens of multi-lingual female and male voices. Customize the speed, pitch and volume of your voice overs.
As a note, it’s easy to make silly sounding voices by adjusting the rates and pitches — but these features are quite practical when dealing with certain languages that require the adjustments based on how they are implemented. Play around and find the right voice!
YouTube 360 Videos are now fully supported by MPEmbed Premium. Simply add them to the highlight reel as you would a normal YouTube Video. The difference is that you will be able to control panning, while standard videos have their controls disabled and replaced by MPEmbed to suppress display of related videos .
In addition to 360 Video support, the YouTube player will now inherit the language settings from MPEmbed.
Finally, for those of you who missed the additional ‘More Help’ section of the ‘Help Screen’, this has been restored – along with mode specific help screens for Dollhouse, Walkthrough, Floorplan and 360 Views modes. Did you even know that the help screen changes during these modes? I didn’t before tonight!
Announcements open up many new opportunities for storytelling and documentation with Matterport Spaces. There are some occasions where storytelling and mobile might clash – or where your viewer simply wants to view the space distraction free. By popular request, announcements have now inherited the ‘visibility toggle’ – just like the about panel.
Oh, and now the minimap slides when toggling it 🙂 Gotta be consistent, right?
Measurements are a useful tool, but they can only be viewed in Workshop. With MPEmbed, you can now display your measurements on the minimap!
As an added bonus, imperial / metric is automatically detected based on your space settings. Measurements are in 3D, despite the display being limited to 2D.
- Premium Checkboxes – Sometimes it would take two clicks to check a box, this has been fixed.
- Panel Scrolling Issues – Scrollbars would not always appear when a space loaded for the mattertag panel or highlight panel. This has been resolved.
- Blocked ability to navigate tour while YouTube video plays – Because you should not be able to.
- Minimap Color Filters – Minimap color filters were not being applied during load. Fixed.
- Minimap Rotation Controls – Rotation controls were always appearing, regardless of option set. Fixed. Also, if one were to hold the left mouse button and then press the right mouse button, it would cause the minimap to never stop rotating. Ouch! Fixed this weird bug. Also fixed on the zoom controls.
- Minor UI Text Changes – You may notice that some of the minor text has changed in the Premium language options for analytics-related text. I have made changes in order to unify how events are logged to analytics and made the text a bit more flexible to integrate for future integrations.
You now have the ability to set background music to your Matterport Space. Users will be able to turn on / off the music from a native UI icon right next to the tour controls. You may also set the volume and whether or you you would like the audio to repeat. A non-repeating background track is a great way to provide an audio intro!
For non-Premium users:
|&bgmusic=https://…||Address to audio file (mp3, ogg, or wav). Must be https://|
|&bgmusicloop=1||Loop background audio|
|&bgmusicvol=0.5||Set volume from 0.1 (10%) to 1 (100%)|
- Removed rounded borders on color filters.
- Color filters now turn to default UI color when hovered.
- Removed extra space at bottom of highlights panel.
- Changed hover color on highlights reel (was black, now is staying white).
- Changed font sizes for announcements to reflect the same font sizes in the title area of the about panel (consistency!)
- Confetti disabled on mobile as it does not perform well.
- Fixed &reels (was not working when highlight reel was turned off)
- Fixed display of custom floor names
- Fixed button that minimizes the about panel — wasn’t allowing people to click it.
- Fixing &reels caused normal highlights to disappear, which is fixed.
- Left side of screen was unclickable, which was fixed too.
- Floor Menu was either invisible or visible — as opposed to open / closed. For desktop users, one would rarely click on the invisible menu. For mobile users, the menu fell in a logical place to click to move.
Got an amazing aerial video that you’d like to bundle with your Matterport Space? How about an awesome cat video that you’d love to share. Using 3D Tours for training? Add a training video.
The YouTube integration uses the YouTube API and adds a custom start/stop/play mechanism so that related videos are not shown within your space. Videos are also whitelabelled — neat, right?
Your MPEmbed Space can have a global color filter as well as individual per-pano filters.
If you would like to see which filter is being applied – you can roll your mouse over the recently added filter toggle. If the toggle is on, the name of the filter will be crossed out too!
After much hard work writing all sorts of crazy code in a futile attempt to resize the about panel whenever the highlight reel opens and closes combined with the appearance and disappearance of panorama announcements, I had a crazy idea and restructured these 3 elements into a vertical flex grid that automatically resizes without the need for a lot of silly coding. #cssmagic
The result? Overlapping issues should now be resolved with announcements that are multiple lines long.
In addition, a few more UI tweaks were made:
- Got rid of the 20px black area at the bottom of the Premium UI. This arrived when I shortened the header by 20px last week. More room to work!
- Mattertags Directory can now be scrolled with the mousewheel in Premium.
- Reduced spacing a bit in the footer area / highlight reel.
Lock About Panel
MPEmbed focuses on maintaining the same look and feel as Showcase. This is a core design philosophy that extends to the Premium UI Configurator where configuration of options happens within the ‘About Panel’.
One challenge during configuration is that the about panel disappears whenever the user moves. One solution would be to enable the ‘No Fade’ option (&nofade=1). As this is an option for the presentation of your space, it really shouldn’t be part of the Premium Workflow.
As a solution, a new ‘Lock About Panel Fading’ icon has been added. It’s in a really easy to find location, right beside the standard Matterport UI icons.
If you are using global or per-pano color filters, it is nice to be able to quickly A/B test your settings.
A ‘Toggle Filters’ button has been added. This allows you to quickly turn filters on and off while editing!
As a sidenote, the ‘filtersoff’ configuration option has now been removed as it is unnecessary.
Panorama Options visible in Pano List
When adding tons of panorama settings, it can be difficult to remember where you have applied all settings.
Now you can see status icons for all pano features that are turned on in the panos panel!
- Some panorama setting checkboxes were not clearing when moving between panoramas.
- Some multi-select checkbox panels required clicking twice to uncheck the previous option and check the new one.
- The Mattertag Panel would stop working if Mattertags that were nested in category folders were removed in workshop.
- &title and &brand were not working as expected. Behavior is now the same as Showcase.
You may now choose to filter out the types of views that display in the Highlight Reel or Highlight Panel. This is useful if you have created a guided tour with multiple dollhouse / floorplan views as transitions, but would not like to show them as thumbnails. In addition, it can allow one highlight reel to be used for snapshots only in the ‘reel’, but perhaps showing the dollhouse and floorplan views in the panel. It’s up to you!
MPEmbed’s users are amazing and I LOVE how fast bugs are found and resolved thanks to their feedback. I was unaware that the Mattertag Content Panel — which appears when you click on a Mattertag in the Mattertag Directory while Mattertags are turned off for the sapce — (&mdir=1&mt=0 / Disable Mattertags + Enable Panel) — was causing the entire about panel to disappear while closing. Fixed!
I also discovered a bug of my own today and resolved it quite quickly. Custom filters and events on the ENTRY panorama were not being applied when a tour began. This was a quick fix.
If you discover something that is not working as you expect, please drop a line! Fixes are fast and I could not possibly find them all without your help! You’re all my quality assurance team — and you guys do not miss a beat!
So, thank you!
Here’s to a new year with so much more to do, create and enhance!!!!
Do you need a fancy invoice to help you with writing off MPEmbed this tax season? We’ve got you covered.
You can now access a printable invoice for each month — or a single invoice for the entire year — within the ‘Billing’ tab. Be sure to complete the ‘profile’ tab to provide the information that you would like to see on your invoice.
Need a PDF? Just ‘Print as PDF’ 🙂
Premium users can now see a history of payments from the control panel including their subscription ID and transaction IDs for each payment (which should appear on your credit card statement.)
This is also great if you change subscriptions or have issues with payment as the actual transaction dates will display.
I’m hoping to add the ability to upgrade your subscription from your control panel as well as cancel your subscription. I’m not too much of a fan of cancellations, but even less of a fan of not providing the option.
Now MPEmbed features text-to-speech for announcements! The voice that reads your text will change based on the language that you are using! Of course, this means that if you are writing in all caps, the language that you choose might opt to spell out the letters. This feature is Best Experienced in Chrome!
And … Thanks to Paolo Tosolini, MPEmbed is now available in Italian!!! This is the first time that Matterport Showcase has been available in Italian, and it can be used by anyone simply by using the following link:
Another great reason why MPEmbed rocks!
You can now set text to appear as users navigate your space. ‘Announcements’ are attached to individual panoramas. You can add the same announcements to multiple panoramas in order to constantly show the name of the room that you’re in — or you can hide them like easter eggs.
Additionally, you can now also set the colors of hotspots on the minimap individually. It’s pretty exciting what you can do with MPEmbed!
I also fixed a nasty bug that was happening that may have impacted settings saved for panoramas (hotspot visibility, hotspot labels, etc.) that impacted spaces edited in the past two weeks. I reviewed everyone’s saved data and no more than 20 spaces were ‘possibly’ affected. Glad to get past that!
I should mention that ‘Announcements’ is one of many features made possible by the completion of ‘UI v2.0’. By being able to fully control the user interface, the highlight reel can be opened and the ‘Announcements’ will move up along with it. Previously, the user interface was preventing quite a bit of progress.
So … next up … adding videos into the highlight reel?
A user let me know that embedding on social media would show ‘Explore [name] in 3D’ – regardless of the language used. I’ve fixed that! (Great Feedback).
This prompted me to do a bit of an audit on the code for MPEmbed … spacing / indenting / and validating.
Spacing and indenting one’s code is merely cosmetic (many people crunch their production code to keep people from stealing it and to marginally speed up loadtime). I like good looking code!
On the other hand, having 100% standards compliant code helps resolve browser issues and speeds up render time. I’ve audited MPEmbed’s code and streamlined where needed and fixed a few little things.
For what it is worth, Matterport Showcase 3’s page has 4 errors and 3 warnings. The code that is dynamically created contains many more error messages – a total of 84 errors/warnings combined. Now of course, while MPEmbed has (currently) error/warning free — we’re still embedding Showcase, so this does not fix that.
MPEmbed on Facebook
Things I Cannot Do Right Now
Mattertags cannot be opened via SDK. This feature will be available VERY soon as well as the ability to instantly transition to where Mattertags are located instead of ‘flying’ to the point. I’m waiting on the Showcase v3.0.6 / SDK v3.0.6 release to enable this.
I cannot change the URL that is shown when clicking the ‘share’ icon or hitting ‘u’ to get a deep link.
I cannot do anything to fix issues caused by the VR Modal Box, Terms of Service or Help Modal Boxes.