How to Use the Sphere Manager
The new sphere manager is here! If you've got existing content that you're ready to upload or manage and are using Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, follow the tutorial below to learn the ropes…
To upload spheres to a new collection, roll over your avatar in the top-right corner of the site to access your account menu. The first option (a green "Upload" button) is what you're looking for. Alternatively, you can add to and edit existing collections within "My Spheres" (which is your profile).
Assuming you choose the big, green "Upload" button in your account menu, you'll be directed to a page where you're prompted to enter a new collection name. Keep your name confined to the space provided, and you'll be sure to have something that doesn't get truncated later. Once you've created your collection, you'll be presented with a page to upload images. Drag image files onto the web page — or to browse your computer for those images you want to publish. Our uploader accepts panoramic (and specifically spherical) images in jpeg format. For those of you who know what an "equirectangular" image is, you're in the right place. Please avoid uploading images greater than 100MB in size, or images in CMYK or grayscale color modes. And if you have a lot of images to upload to the same collection, please limit the initial upload to 8 files. You can add additional images on the next step.
Once you've selected (or dragged in) at least one image, the sphere manager is displayed. Each of your uploading spheres is initially presented with a placeholder thumbnail graphic that fills up (left to right) indicating that sphere's progress as it is uploading. The next step is for Sphere to process each image, which is represented by the thumbnail's pulsating effect. Once done (which may take a while depending on your file sizes and connection speed), each placeholder thumbnail will be replaced by an actual thumbnail image.
Selecting & Rearranging Spheres
To select multiple spheres, you can command-click (or control-click) each additional thumbnail after your first selection. You can also shift-click to select all thumbnails between your first selection and your subsequent selection. Rearranging the order of spheres is as easy; just drag them to a new position.
When you're ready, you can customize each thumbnail image. This single action actually serves two purposes; it also defines the initial orientation of each sphere when they're viewed. To set the image used for a thumbnail — and set its initial orientation — tap the small icon embedded within the top-left corner of any thumbnail image. The subsequent tool that is presented allows you to drag your orientation to any view you'd like. Once you're happy with the composition (and initial orientation), just save your changes. Note that your thumbnail may take a few minutes to reflect the change.
With one or more thumbnails selected, the "Edit" menu on the left of your manager will reveal a set of editable fields. These include the sphere's title, location, categorization, description, and privacy settings.
Setting the title is only possible if a single thumbnail is selected. A word to the wise… consider short (but still descriptive) titles so that they're not truncated when delivered via mobile channels. When entering a location, you can type in an address or drop a pin on the map. Performing either action will populate the address field or pin placement to match. The category selection is a simplified set of tags used by the Sphere app to help your content be more discoverable. As for descriptions, anything goes, provided you abide by Sphere's Terms of Service. If you want to get the most bang out of Sphere publishing, be sure to leave your privacy setting as "Public," but if you need to be the only person easily accessing your spheres, an "Unlisted" option is also available.
Clicking the trash can in the top-right corner of each thumbnail allows you to delete that sphere. If this is all you've done, you'll need to click the "Done" button found in the top-right corner of your sphere manager. However, assuming you've edited or uploaded at least one sphere, this button will be labeled "Update" instead. Again, it is necessary to click this button before leaving the web page (though you'll be warned if you forget to do so).
Collections within your profile screen include options to "Edit" (pencil) and "Delete" (trash can). Editing a collection will bring you back into the sphere manager for that set, allowing you to modify, delete from, or add to the collection. To add more spheres while editing a collection, look for the "Upload More" box immediately following the last thumbnail within your collection. Want to move some of your spheres to a different collection? With one or more thumbnails selected, use the aptly labeled button toward the top of the manager. Clicking this "Move Spheres to a New Collection" button will present a list of existing collections you can move them to. From within the manager, you can also edit the name of any collection by clicking on the collection name itself. Once clicked, it will switch to an editable state. Finally, when deleting an entire collection from your profile (not within the manager), be careful; doing so will delete all of its contents.
That's it! Enjoy. Upload tons. When you're ready to begin embedding your spheres into third-party websites, check out this tutorial. And if you have trouble along the way, feel free to reach out to us.