Creating a Matterport 3D Virtual Tour is simple and effective. It allows you to create a 3D real-world view of any space. From a photographer’s perspective I need three items; a Matterport 3D camera, an iPad, and a tripod. It’s that easy. The hard part is knowing how to position the camera properly to effectively capture a space that will allow the proprietary software to create the model without any issues.
To begin, a space needs to be “camera ready.” That is, the space needs to be “scrubbed” of anything and everything that you don’t want someone in the outside world to see as this camera allows the viewer to become fully immersed in a space. Dishes in the sink? Put them away. Dog food bowl on the floor? Hide it. Items stored behind a couch? Pack them up. The most effective Matterport scans are of spaces that are devoid of anything “extra.” In other words consider your home as a staged space with only items that belong to enhance the experience showing.
Unlike regular High Resolution photography that I shoot that I always begin without any lights on unless absolutely required due to the horrible yellow color cast that is created by most incandescent lights, with a Matterport camera I always shoot with all lights turned on and shades drawn open to capture the views as the camera utilizes high-dynamic range technology to blend images together giving a scene a balanced look.
Scans used to take approximately 1 hour per 1,000 sq.ft. scanned, however, with a somewhat recent upgrade of their software the fast scan technology that time frame is now a bit more like :40 – :45 per 1,000 sq.ft. Part of what affects the total time is how open a space is. If there’s a lot of furniture and crammed spaces it requires more scans for the camera to really see enough of the space to properly fill in the space for the software to work properly.
In addition to the interior of a space I will almost always include a few exterior, 360° views that will show the front of a property and anything that should be highlighted; back yards, patios, etc. Similar to a Google Street View, this 360° view gives a viewer the opportunity to survey everything around the camera location.
Once I’m finished and back to my office I will upload the finished model to the cloud where all of the Matterport magic happens. Depending on the size of the space being scanned a model is typically returned within hours. The Matterport policy is to state that a model will be completed within 48 hours, however, I rarely if ever have had that happen. Larger (5,000 sq.ft. properties and above), might take 8 hours or so. Occasionally I will have to re-upload a scanned property after having corrected an issue whether it’s a missed mirror or a stray artifact that’s floating in the Matterport black space appearing in the “dollhouse” view as some strange lost piece of the model.
And that’s it!