WHAT TO LOOK AT WHEN INSPECTING A 360° VIRTUAL TOUR




Are you interested to learn more about the major factors that you need to inspect before selecting the professional that will create the 360° virtual tour of your business? We give you below the most important factors to look at a professional's portfolio in order to evaluate the given result.

Our long term experience on the field and the hundreds of 360° virtual tours that we've created, have tought us a lot and we can guarantee our quality of work and high efficiency in all of these factors (and many more). Teach yourself in knowing what to look for in a virtual tour, by reading the points below!

1

Corrent image stitching

There are many lenses out there and techniques that allow us to create a 360° virtual tour even by taking only one photo, each time having the relative pros and cons.

Following our own technique and taking multiple photos which we later process to fully cover the space around us, there is a slight chance that some of the image's spots are not 'stitched' corrently, thus displaying minor faults on the final panorama. We spend enough time and attention to alleviate all flaws on this stage so that we produce a pixel-perfect stitched panorama.

See below examples of one 360° virtual tour with stitching flaws and another one with all flaws corrected.

2

Correct horizon and vertical lines

In a number of occasions we take photos on seaside locations where the sea horizon is within eye reach. Other time we shoot in internal spaces where we have dominant vertical lines of surrounding walls around us.

It is very important to make a horizon and vertical lines adjustment in both cases, so that the final panorama doesn't seem that it's 'tilting' on a wave-like form when panning left-right in the tour.

See below examples of a wrong horizon tour next to one with corrent horizon and vertical lines.

3

Correct exposure and sharpness

Some virtual tours often have exposure issues of the individual photos taken, due the shooting mode of a DSLR, compact or (in the worst scenario) of a mobile being 'Auto' The visual result is quite obvious, especially in areas of the panorama where there's a transition from a shadowy area to a really bright one (pe in a room, panning from the entrance door to the balcony door, during high-noon in the summertime) where on part of the image would possibly be overexposed and the other one underexposed and look almost white. Sometimes the only thing you can make out in front of such bright spots, is just a dark silhouette with no particular detail.

Another important issue is picture sharpness and clarity, related to the depth of field that has been selected but also to the quality of the equipment used to take the photos. Amateur shots with low-end cheap cameras and lenses or mobile phones, obviously give a significantly lower quality result than professional equipment.

4

Balanced image processing

A 360° virtual tour is also another form of advert for your business. This means that it has to be an attractive product that presents your business in the most realistic and stimulating way possible, without crossing the limits though of being deceiving and portraying false impressions.

It is very useful to process the panorama image prior to creating the final tour so that emphasis can be given on all the right spots, while toning down all unnecessary colours that might attract attention for all the wrong reasons. A good balance in colours, shadows, brightness and many more minor parameters can produce a stunning result without giving you though the impression that you visited Las Vegas!

See below examples of a non-processed tour and an enhanced one.

5

Tripod removal from image - ability to see the nadir and zenith spots

This is where a photographer's skills also come to life! The first thing you can check straight away when viewing a virtual tour, is whether the tripod has been successfully removed from the nadir point or not. There are many techniques to do so and each photographer uses the one that feels most comfortable with, considering the equipment that he/she uses as well. Unfortunately there are a few professionals that don't spend enough time to perfect the tour by sorting out this detail as well, in other occasions they present a poor result or even worse they don't know how to do it.

You might come across a virtual tour that hides this 'weakness', by not offering a full spherical 360°x180° projection in the virtual tour - as will be mentioned in more detail in point {6}.

As mentioned in point {1}, there are many one-shot lenses that offer the option of a virtual tour through one photo only. The downside when using such lenses is that you can't show the zenith and nadir points of the space you're shooting because the lens and the tripod are in the way respectively. This means that these points will be black at first and then the company producing the tour will patch them with a logo in most cases. If you're interested in a 100% coverage without blind spots, ask the virtual tour photographer about what coverage result you should be expecting.

See below examples of the tripod and shadow being left in the picture and then being removed.

myPanorama always places its logo on the nadir spot as a distinguishing trademark of our work, with a 50% opacity though so that you can also see the panorama content under the tripod which has been removed.

6

Full 360°x180° coverage

A good virtual tour will give you a 360° coverage on the horizontal axis and 180° on the horizontal. This means that there shouldn't be any parts of the panorama that you can't visit when spinning the camera around. Anything less than this should worry you, as it might also worry your customers thinking why they can't actually visit a particular part of your space.

Always remember that by showing a 360° virtual tour of your business, you are telling your customers that you have absolutely nothing to hide!

7

Compatibility with any device

The rapid technology progress constantly changes the internet map, with smart phones and tablets gaining ground over desktops and laptops as the preferred devices for browsing. This means that a virtual tour should also be constructed in such a way that is viewable by all these devices.

Virtual tours are in essence flash files that if not exported with HTML5 compatibility, it will not be possible for them to be displayed at all in tablets and smart phones - they don't support Abode Flash. It is therefore really important to be sure that your virtual tour will be HTML5 compatible, to approach the full extend of the audience out there and convert more visitors to customers.

Evaluate us on all of these factors through our work Portfolio!


Portfolio