* Before you start…
“Fundamentals of 360º virtual tour photography”
Cupix links photos in 3D when it finds common objects between the photos as shown in the images below. Therefore, photos require sufficient overlap to be aligned automatically. This is why it’s important you take enough photos for the Cupix 3D virtual tour.
[Image 1] Linking Photo Example1
[Image 2] Photo linking example 2
You can either use a 360-degree camera or a digital camera to create a 360-degree photo depending on the purpose of your 3D virtual tour. 360-degree cameras are useful for capturing large spaces quickly, while digital cameras can be best for taking high-resolution photos, such as luxury homes or museums.
Technically any off-the-shelf 360º camera should be compatible with Cupix. However, with certain 360º cameras, the low resolution of photos, high image noise, overly large spacing between camera lenses, or issues in stitching errors in photos can cause issues in processing. Here are 360º cameras recommended based on resolution, image quality and the typical result of the 3D virtual tour.
[Image 3] Checked cameras are recommended
[Image 4] 360º Camera Comparison
Camera Mount Setting
Tripod or Monopod: Adjust the tripod to a height 4 - 5ft. Maintain a constant height for a seamless transition.
“Selfie Stick”: Place it overhead, keeping body out of the shot. Try not to move while capturing to decrease blurriness in photos.
Helmet: Mount the camera on a helmet. Make sure you keep your body out of the shot and stay still while taking photos.
(* Use a gimbal to gain more stabilized photos.)
Average Number of Photos
About 40 photos are required to cover a 2br/2ba house. However, the number of photos may vary with the structure of the house.
(rf. The size of the house(ft2) / 35 = The estimated number of photos you may need)
Rules of Photo Positioning
These simple rules help guarantee a successful 3D virtual tour by properly linking photos in 3D.
1. Take 1 photo under every doorway
2. Space photos by 1 step near doorways
3. Space photos by 2 steps in hallways
4. Space photos by 3 steps in rooms
5. Don’t take photos near walls or furniture
[Image 5] Positioning Example RED: 1 step Yellow: 2 steps Green:3 steps
Camera Troubleshooting Guide
- Lower ISO setting
- Increase lighting or shutter speed
- Clean camera lens
- Make sure camera and tripod are secure
- Slow down, and use a gimbal if handheld
- Increase lighting or shutter speed
- others; Ask camera manufacturer
Dual Fisheye Image
- Stitch photo to equirectangular format.
(Check with camera manufacturer for photo stitching software)
- Keep camera away from walls and furniture
- Consult camera manufacturer for firmware/software updates
[Face/Fingers in photos]
- Raise camera above head and keep body out of sight
- Attach a handle to keep fingers away from lens
- Select the ‘Interval Shooting’ method when you need to cover a large site quickly. Interval shooting is good for handheld or helmet mounted photography because the shutter is automatically triggered at a set interval (usually accompanied by a beeping sound) every 4 seconds or more. This is easier and can improve the photo quality because you don’t have to press the shutter button.
- Elevate the camera to reduce the nadir angle.
[Image 6] Holding/mounting the camera example
- Taking more photos will generally produce a higher quality tour, including any of these situations:
When you need a better quality 3D mesh
When the places need high-resolution photos
When walls have uniform colors, repeated patterns, or a lack of features
When the places have many objects blocking the sight of a camera
When you are not sure if you have enough photos
- If in doubt, always take more photos if you are not sure if you have enough photos.
It’s easy to hide unneeded photos, but difficult to revisit the site if an area has not been captured.
*Before you start…
You can capture your job site very quickly using video but you should be aware that the resulting tour may be lower quality using video compared to carefully composed photos. By simply taking videos, you can cover a large scale scene 10 times faster than photo taking and still get a quality 3D mesh model. You can also leverage 360-degree video using a hybrid approach which combines photography and videography to deliver a high-resolution tour with better alignment and a satisfying 3D model at the same time.
Rules of Taking Videos
These simple rules lead you a successful 3D tour with improved efficiency in capturing the scene.
1. Keep your head up and walk slowly.
2. Do not stop walking while recording videos.
3. Try to keep the camera steady.
4. Slow down near doorways and narrow hallways.
5. Don’t break the camera on the door frame.