360° Snapshots in Second Life

A new Second Life “Project Viewer” has been released by Linden Lab that allows for the creation of 360° snapshots in Second Life virtual world scenes.

2016-10-26-SL-360-Snapshot-Menu-1 2016-10-26-SL-360-Snapshot-Menu-2

There is also a package of HTML and JavaScript that can be installed on a web site (supporting Python) which provides a framework for viewing the images that are created (works in Microsoft Edge, Mozilla, Google Chrome and Apple Safari on iOS, but not Internet Explorer).

The 360° snapshot web viewing framework mounted on our own server at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/ looks like this…


The current experimental project viewer saves a set of six 1024×1024 snapshots in a .zip file. Add any new 360° image .zip files you save to the “shots” directory in the web framework, and then access them via a URL of the style…


E.g., http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/default.zip

Vue Region in Second Life


Click for 360° view… http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/vue.zip
The icon in the top left corner gives you a link to visit the destination.

I-Room on Vue Region in Second Life


Click for 360° view… http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/iroom.zip
The icon in the top left corner gives you a link to visit the destination.

Fish4Knowledge (F4K) Gallery in Second Life


Click for 360° view… http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/f4k.zip
The icon in the top left corner gives you a link to visit the destination.

Menu of 360° Images


A sample file menu.html in the web viewer framework can be edited to show the collection of 360 images available. Click on icon in top left corner for full sized view. See example at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/menu.html

360-Snapshot-Viewer-ButtonsUsing other Formats – 2:1 Pixel Apect Ratio for Flickr

Once you are viewing an image using the web viewer framework that operates on the .zip files, you can download it in a 2:1 aspect ratio suitable for upload to Flickr for sharing and viewing in 360°. The download button is indicated in the image to the right. Images download using it are in 2:1 pixel aspect ration (PAR) at 4096×2048, and contains XMP metadata specifying a “ProjectionType” which should be recognized as a 360 image. This means they can be uploaded directly to Flickr for 360° viewing. Inara Pey’s blog post gives helpful details.

Some examples produced using this procedure are available in http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/pano/.

After creating an album and uploading some of the 2:1 PAR images downloaded in this way… here is an example of a number of panoramas in Flickr… this also works in Internet Explorer…



360° Snapshots in a Virtual Reality Headset


The “360 Photos” app in the Oculus Store can be used to view 360° snapshots saved in an appropriate format. One of the formats allowed is the same 2:1 ratio image format that can be output from the Linden Lab web viewer framework and that works with Flickr. Any JPEG photos with either an equi-rectangular projection (recommended 4096×2048) or a cube map (recommended 1536×1536 per cube side) will render in the application. You simply place these in the directory indicated below and they appear as “My Photos”…



Advice to Create Better 360° Snapshots

The Second Life Wiki 360° Snapshot Page has advice on setup of the viewer to create better snapshots, particularly for this early test version of the viewer with its limited facilities to “freeze” the scene to capture the multiple camera angles needed.


As expected there are a few glitches with this initial project viewer.

  1. When the box to “Do not capture my avatar” is ticked in the 360° snapshot creator tool, avatar attachments such as hair and shoes continue to show. A sample of this is at
  2. If you try to take a snapshot with a viewpoint that is too high up in the sky, not surprisingly, there is an obvious “box” straight edge effect on the horizon at the junctions of the stitching of the images. A sample of this is at
  3. In the menu.html web page template, the icon in the top left corner of each thumbnail opens the full sized image, but the same icon in that full sized view gives you a link to the Second Life map location. Maybe two different icons would work better, especially as the “About -> Controls” help page indicates that icon is to visit the region via the map.
  4. A few viewer crashes occurred.

Other 360° Snapshot Creation Approaches

Other approaches to creating 360° snapshots in Second Life using multiple cameras have been created and are documented in this blog post.

Happy Halloween 2016


and in Flickr…

Setup to Hide Ground in Aerial 360° Snapshots

SL-Setup-to-Hide-GroundWhen taking snapshots at a height above a region, even if the viewing distance is set low enough that all objects on the ground do not show, the surface patch, ground and water of the regions below you can show in a snapshot. To avoid this you can turn off the rendering of these elements… in Advanced (Ctrl+Alt+D to show) -> Render.


360-Supercar 360-Supercar-Cockpit

Click for 360° view… http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/supercar.zip
and http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/supercar-cockpit.zip
Works in Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Apple Safari
(but not Internet Explorer)

360° Snapshot Viewer 5.1.* (Updated June 2017)

In June 2017 revisions to the 360° Snapshot Project Viewer were released as version 5.1.*: on 19-Jun-2017 and on 29-Jun-2017. The 360° degree snapshots created by this version were of the “pano” style used by many web sites rather than the multi-image “zip” style of the previous 4.1.* versions.

The early development versions had some metadata issues which could be resolved in various ways:

  • For Flickr, the uploaded image had to have a tag of “equirectangular” added manually.
  • For Oculus 360° Photos app use the image had to have its suffix altered from the default .jpeg to .jpg.
  • Second Life JIRA BUG-100923

360° Snapshot Viewer (Updated July 16, 2019)

The 360° Snapshot Viewer saves the output as a standard equirectangular JPEG rather than the previous .zip format so that there is no need for preprocessing before it can be used use in sites like Flickr.

Set a suitable viewer distance for what you want to capture, and I find it best to look round and ensure all content loads without refreshing as you look round. Try increasing the viewer cache size if it doesn’t.

360° Snapshot Viewer (Updated September 3, 2021)

The 360° Snapshot Viewer also saves the output as a standard equirectangular JPEG so that there is no need for preprocessing before it can be used use in sites like Flickr.

This version is updated to the latest features of the Second Life viewer, and includes a UI Button to allow for a capture of the 360° image (as suggested by me in Second Life JIRA BUG-228033.

View on Flickr Use Chrome, Firefox, Internet Edge, etc should work. The old Internet Explorer does not work).

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5 Responses to 360° Snapshots in Second Life

  1. bat says:

    e-onsoftware.com note that their professional 3D environment production product is also called VUE… See http://www.e-onsoftware.com/products/vue/. It is not specifically for Second Life 360° snapshot production.

  2. bat says:

    As noted in a blog post by Inara Pey… Issues have emerged with the latest version of the 360 snapshot project viewer (, dated November 23rd) and the back-end web viewer, with people reporting:

    * Images captured using the latest version of the viewer will not load into older versions of the web viewer (pages remain stuck on the gear cogs).

    * Images captured using any version of the viewer will not load into the latest version of the web viewer (which also uses a different folder hierarchy for the location of ZIP files).

    * The Lab indicates that some of these issues can be corrected by adjusting the image resolution in the snapshot floater to take pictures at a lower resolution.

    Right now, effort is being directed towards the 64-bit viewer’s media handling, it is therefore unlikely further work will be carried out on the snapshots viewer until 2017.

  3. bat says:

    Using the second version of the 360 snapshot project viewer from http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Release_Notes/Second_Life_Project_360_Snapshot/ and the web support package from http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/360_Snapshots (link to https://bitbucket.org/callum_linden/360-snapshot-web-viewer/get/tip.zip) as at 5-Dec-2016 loaded onto our Apache web server, I was able to generate and view snapshots in Mozilla Firefox browser at resolutions of 1024×1024 and 2048x2048m but the 512×512 resolution snapshot showed the same image on each of the 6 box sides rather than choosing the size different images. The problem with the 512×512 .zip seems to be that all 6 images in the zip are one identical shot.

         (does not work properly)

    The previous multiple thumbnail viewer given by the menu.html example is not in the new web code framework, but a similar example inline.html is there. This needs a bit of modification to work a sit uses web site base specific embedded URLs.

    These need to be made to point to the snapshot .zip files in a suitable location that is relative to the inline.html web page.

    I.e. change zipFilePath: “/demo/shots/default.zip”,
    to zipFilePath: “./shots/default.zip”,

    Examples are shown at
    (order shown is default, 360snap-512, 360snap-1024, 360snap-2048)
    (make sure you use Firefox, Chrome, Edge, etc. Internet Explorer does not work)

    N.B. The “360b” and “360b/demo” test directories indicated above will be maintained once a fully working 360 snapshot setup is in place.

  4. bat says:

    The 360 snapshot viewer, version, June 6th 2018 appears to work very well now, with earlier test releases which incorrectly included some HUDs in the snapshot now corrected.

  5. bat says:

    Kanae K360° Snapshot Viewer to view 360° snapshots taken … https://modemworld.me/2020/07/03/k360-a-360-degree-image-viewer/

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