A Definitive Guide on Shooting Panoramic Photos for Virtual Tour Creation

A Definitive Guide on Shooting Panoramic Photos for Virtual Tour Creation

When taking 360-photos of the different areas of a house, it is important for you to stay focused. From the start, you have several aspects to consider. You need to think about double exposure in the case of high lights or what is known as HDR exposure. It is also important for you to tilt or rotate the panoramic head and move the tripod for shooting the nadir.

Tips for Beginners

The following are the major aspects to consider when shooting for a virtual tour:

  • A virtual tour that doesn’t use a tripod or is handheld is not possible. You need to use at least a monopod. Best of all, use a tripod.
  • It is important to set the camera on a panoramic head and on a tripod for ease of use.
  • Remove every trace of the tripod on the photo.
  • Compensate the high lights through a door or a window.

When Shooting the Photos…

It is crucial to decide whether you will use a tripod or not. Almost every photographer uses the circular fisheye on a monopod. This lets the camera stay on the nodal point, particularly in height. Handheld shooting can only be possible for a virtual tour when you only have to take up to three photos to complete the entire sphere. It is better to stick to the entrance pupil or nodal point and to have a mobile solution. It is compulsory to use the tripod when you have to take more photos.

Note: The more complicated the tripod, the more space it will take at the nadir level.

During the preparation, you have to decide on the number of shots to take for rotation and also the number of ranges. You have to tilt or rotate the camera between two shots depending on the angle covered. If the camera used is notch-based, you only have to rotate the camera to the next notch. Without the notch, you can base everything on the viewfinder or the control screen. The viewfinder has its own set of benefits if the camera does not have any built-in cloaking device. An important piece of advice: look around to find out whether the subject can enter the field of the photo.

Ghost in a relinquished building
Photographer: Ferdinand Stöhr | Source: Unsplash

How to Shoot the Nadir With or Without the Tripod

There are several methods to eliminate the tripod. It depends on the nature of the floor level, the panoramic head, and the time you can spend on taking the photo. One method of shooting is one that requires you not to include the floor underneath the tripod. The second method is to take the floor under the tripod and let the tripod disappear in the actual virtual tour.

When you include the floor under the tripod in your shoot, the tripod appears on the photo. There are two methods to remove it: by placing a circular shape in its stead, covering it and by ceasing the downward movement of the mouse until the boundaries of the tripod’s arms. For the first method, it is important to include the copyright and the name of the location.

It is preferable not to include the floor in the photo. But if you still prefer otherwise, it is imperative to show as a little tripod as possible and make sure that the circle will be the smallest possible. These can be done through any of the following means:

  • Shoot with a circular fisheye
  • Shoot with a full-format fisheye and make sure that the vertical field of view makes the circle small
  • Add one more line at its bottom where the boundaries of the tripod’s arms are.
  • On the other hand, shooting the nadir without the tripod can be done following these steps:
  • You have to shoot the raw materials that you will need later.
  • Using photoshop, make sure that two or three photos match; and through the layers’ masks, remove all possible traces of the tripod.

How to Shoot the Raw Material

  • Shoot at 0 degrees.
  • Shoot the zenith photo at 90 degrees.
  • Shoot towards the floor at -90 degrees. This can be done by directing the camera towards the floor right above where the rotary axis is. Be sure that the vertical arm is right above one of the tripod arms.

You will have a photo that is directed towards the floor with a print of the panoramic head and one of the arms of the tripod. This photo will go well with the others because the tripod is not likely to move. You will see that 80 percent of the photo tripod and it is free from the panoramic head. Only a small area of the floor is missing for the sphere to be complete.

It is necessary to shoot a photo of the place again, this time without the tripod. When shooting indoors, it can be complex and quite impossible to use the Photoshop stamp. The only solution to this is to use the same tripod for the panoramic head but tilt the tripod a little towards the floor.

Here are some more tips to consider:

Put a coin marker on the floor under the central column of the tripod before the tripod is moved. This represents the rotary axis of the nodal point of the lens and the camera head. It is also wise to rotate the vertical arm of the panoramic camera head at 180 degrees. Here the camera is already hung on the floor yet still on the tripod and at the same height which makes it stable all the time. Hence it is important to reposition the lenses accurately. All you have to do is to look through the viewfinder or make use of the live view or else position the coin at the center of the viewfinder. For the rest of the preparations and editing of the photos, you only need the raw material of the floor and paste on the old photo of the nadir through the use of Photoshop.

HDR or Double Exposure

This requires only minimal focus. Make sure to create a photo with less exposure time and a second one with exposures of 1.5/2 diaphragms. Make sure that you will not move the tripod or the panoramic head at this point. Exposure will always be in manual mode. Exposure changes must be done through speed change instead of the diaphragm to stay away from stitching problems.

Now you’ll be able to take amazing 360-photos upon following the above-mentioned guidelines. Don’t forget to upload those photos into Virtual Tour Easy and start marketing your real estate properties today!

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Virtual Tour vs Video Tour: Identifying What's Best for Real Estate Marketers

Virtual Tour vs Video Tour: Identifying What’s Best for Real Estate Marketers

Real estate agents are always confused about what to use for their marketing campaigns; is it the virtual tour or a video tour? First off, most of them don’t know the difference between the virtual tour from the video tour; hence, it is crucial to define these two types of technology.

Model High-Tech : Fabien Benetou
Photographer: My name is Yanick | Source: Unsplash

Virtual Tours

A virtual tour is simply a 360-degree photo that can be rotated and can be viewed in any direction. There are companies that deliver them such as the Tourbuzz, Matterport, and Virtual Tour Easy. It can include around one to two 360 views to about dozens of 360 spins.

Some people call still photo galleries as virtual tours. However, it is not a slide presentation.

Video Tours

A video tour is a motion video of the property. It looks like the ones that you can view on YouTube. You can also use it while walking around the property similar to what you do in an open home. It can also be a great tool when you are story-telling about the featured property while doing your real estate marketing video.

Photographer: Patrick Schneider | Source: Unsplash

Other Differences

Today you can easily find really complicated virtual tours that they can blow you away. You would truly feel that you’re inside the house. You can, in fact, get into all the rooms and figure out if it’s what you prefer. This is the best advantage of a 360 fully immersive virtual tour.

In general, the best quality photos are key. It’s because when the photos are great, viewers would check the video. Yet when the video is amazing, the viewers may check on the virtual tour. Virtual tours are often thought of as an expensive approach to marketing a property, but this won’t be the case when only three or four 360 degree tours are required. It helps if you discuss video tour production with a real estate photographer and find out more about the actual cost.

Buyers are also comfortable with the video since they know how it works. Videos can also be used anywhere from Facebook, YouTube, and other sites where people are active.

Marketing Priorities

To sum up everything, the following are the steps in prioritizing your marketing campaign:

  • Obtain top-quality photos from a photographer.
  • Video tours are next. They can work with any site or social media platform which can help build the company image.
  • Virtual tours follow. This can be achieved when you possess high-resolution images and a high-performing video.

Remember that there are three key elements to a successful real estate marketing campaign: photographs, video tours, and virtual tours.

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Hail the New King of Photography, the 360 Degree Photos!

Hail the New King of Photography, the 360 Degree Photos!

It used to be that photos are the king in print media. The photographer has the task to freeze-frame any interesting scene. Commercial photography is considered superior over the rest. But today consumers are looking for the real inside story and no longer wish to see the commercial aspect of this art. They aim for transparency, honesty, and authenticity in all the photos shown. Consumers abhor the airbrushed marketing methods of most brands.

Why Static Images Don’t Work Anymore

Static images are easily ignored online. They often don’t meet the requirements of network connectivity and the use of mobile devices. The consumers’ desire and expectations on brand content and the need for interaction between the company and the consumers also increased due to the prevalence of social media in everyday life. The business world has become more interactive, layered, three-dimensional, and immersive.

The Use of the 360 Degree Photo in Business

A 360-degree photo shoot welcomes consumers to look into the business more from every angle. A lot of businesses around the world make use of 360-degree photography. This type of photograph has already become popular in the physical space such as in the hotel and real estate industries. Retailers have also followed suit as they use this type of photography for promoting their brick and mortar shops. This can also turn online visitors into offline visitors.

The Future of 360 Degree Photo

The use of the 360-degree photography is more than just a trend. It is rich in content and in providing benefits in communication and SEO benefits. According to statistics, 90 percent of consumers begin their search for products, services, and information using Google as the search engine. In many US cities, the 360-degree virtual tour is considered a necessity for any business which is much like having a website for your business. The UK is also starting to follow the US on this. Immersive and highly interactive 360 virtual tours are in.

The Positive Figures of 360 Degree Photo

There are important facts and figures that entrepreneurs have to be aware when it comes to the use of 360-degree photos and virtual tours. Real estate listings get to be viewed 87 percent more than just viewing still photos. According to Property Week, useless property viewings are cut back by 40 percent which means a lot of time saved for both the agents and buyers. The Carlson Hotel group, on the other hand, revealed that virtual tours increased the bookings by 46 percent more compared to just using websites with static images.

Find out more about how to leverage 360 virtual tour for business. Sign up to Virtual Tour Easy Today for FREE!

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