//New Feature Spotlight: Time-Based Navigation Link Appearance

New Feature Spotlight: Time-Based Navigation Link Appearance

Time-Based Navigation Link Appearance

Check out our newest feature in action below…


Time-based navigation links allow you to select when a navigation link will appear in a scene. It could be after 1 second, 1 minute, 10 minutes — or anywhere in between. It could also be applied to one or multiple navigation links.

Below we’ll look at what are time-based navigation links, why you want to use them, how to incorporate them into your InstaVR app, and some common use cases.

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What are time-based navigation links?

A navigation link is an icon placed in a 360-degree scene that allows a viewer to jump to a new scene. That icon can be either the default “Google Map”-style one used by InstaVR, a custom one of the VR author’s choosing, or transparent. Navigation links can be used in either image or video-based VR to go to a new scene.

Previously, a link was accessible throughout the duration of a VR scene.

Time-based navigation links allow VR authors to specify exactly when the nav icon appears in a scene. And ending duration, at which time the navigation link disappears, can also be added.

Just like with navigation links in general, time-based navigation links work for both still images and videos.

VR navigation link

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Why Would You Use Time-Based Navigation Links? 

There are a number of reasons time-based navigation links might be employed.

For still images, you may want the user to view the pano pretty thoroughly before being able to move forward. This is particularly true if you’re using something like voiceover — you may want to have the voiceover conclude before the VR user can proceed to the next scene.

For 360 video, you may also want the user to have to conclude the video before choosing which video they go to next. Also, because of the nature of videos, you may want to time the appearance of a navigation link to coincide with something going on in a video. This would be particularly true of a transparent navigation link, where you’d want to time the navigation link to appear when the object you’re placing it over in the scene appears.

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How to Implement Time-Based Navigation Links

To create a time-based navigation link:

  1. Select “Link” from the authoring view
  2. Select “Update Position” to place the link where you’d like it to be
  3. Customize the navigation link — this could include adding a custom (or transparent) icon, changing the icon size, creating a new label for the icon, or changing the font/size/color of the label
  4. Select “Transition Options.” This drop-down contains the timing options for your navigation link to appear and (optionally) disappear. A couple things to note here: A.) We use milliseconds for the period of time. So if you’re thinking in seconds, just times that number x 1000 when entering the time B.) The End Time must be after the Start Time. C.) You’ll have to check the box for Start Time and End Time to actually enact it.

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Example Use Cases for Time-Based Navigation Links

Training App w/ Voiceover: If you’re looking to educate your VR users, you may want to prevent them from skipping ahead to the next scene. The best way to do this is through time-based navigation links, which would prevent the user from skipping ahead until you want them to.

A Detailed Tour: If you were doing a real estate tour, and you wanted a user to spend more time immersed in a particular room, you can do so by not having the navigation link to the next room appear until a certain time has elapsed.

Video w/ Transparent Navigation Links: There are many times when you might want to make your Navigation link transparent. For instance, if you were doing an education app where viewers had to “discover” a certain item in the scene before proceeding, a transparent navigation link would be perfect. But for video, that object won’t appear in the scene until a certain number of seconds or minutes have elapsed. Hence the need to utilize time-based navigation links.

Overall, there are many reasons to use time-based navigation links. And now that they’re available on InstaVR, you just have to use a little imagination. We’ll showcase them at Thursday’s weekly training if you’d like to see them in action — 10am EST at https://join.me/instavrandrew.

2018-04-18T22:12:14+00:00 April 18th, 2018|General|

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