A 3D tour consists of sections. You can organize 360 photos or videos into sections in the 3D tour creation wizard which can be started by clicking the Create 3D Tour button.
Technically, server processing for aligning photos and creating the 3D mesh is computed section by section. Therefore, we suggest that to get the best result, you should organize sections keeping the processing performance in mind.
Key considerations when organizing sections
The size of the site
400 photos is the max number of photos per each section we can process. However, given the server processing time is semi-exponential to the number of photos, as a rule of thumb, we would recommend keeping the number of photos per section under 300 if you want to get the result within a few hours.
Therefore, the best practice of capturing a huge site is to organize 360 photos into sections and keep each section to have up to 300 photos or so, which can cover about 10,000 square feet (or 1,000 square meters) space, when you create a new 3D tour.
We assume that 360 photos are taken from a 2.5 D ground or a floor. Its technical meaning is that all camera locations should be projectable to a certain plane without interference. In other words, photos taken from a stair will be acceptable but photos taken from two different levels may not be processed correctly. Consequently, we recommend creating a separate section for each level.
Indoor vs. outdoor
Our software tries to detect whether photos are from an indoor scene or an outdoor scene and process them differently. So, if there are photos taken from both indoor and outdoor sides in a single section, you may get an unfavorable result.
System added sections as a result of the process
As explained in "How to take 360º photos and 360 videos", there are a number of reasons our software fails to figure out the positions of some photos or part of a video clip correctly. As a result, the software separates failed photos and adds sections named with NA or ANC suffix.
- NA or Not Aligned is the case when a single pano is not aligned and separated as a system added section.
- ANC or Aligned but Not Connected is the case when a set of panos are aligned to each other but they are not connected to the entire section and separated as a system added section.
Group and merge sections together
You can group sections to present them as a single site. For instance, you can create several sections for a huge space and group them as a single 3D tour. Or, you can group system added sections and manually fix their positions, the scale and orientation and present them as a whole 3D tour. Tour Editor provides powerful online editing tools for this purpose.
Group, ungroup, and more operations on sections
The tree interface in the Overview tab provides the basic group operations on sections.
- To add an empty group to organize new sections, use
- Select multiple sections (click sections while keeping the SHIFT key pressed) and click to group sections. Or, to ungroup a grouped section.
- You can drag and drop a section to move it around in other groups.
- Use button to move selected sections or groups to up or down in the tree structure.
- You can also move a section into another 3D tour by clicking the left-arrow button.
- After sections are grouped, you can rename the group by clicking
Arrange sections in a group
Now you need to arrange each section in a group to align their locations, scales and rotation angles. Plus, you should edit the pano connectivity between sections to enable natural virtual walk-through across sections in the 3D tour. As explained in "Add a floor plan drawing in the Web Player" article, the best practice of arranging sections in a group is to use a floor plan image as a reference image. When a floor plan image is not available, you can use the auto-generated blue sketch as visual aids. Black lines in the sketch represent walls or vertical planes from the scene.
Go to the Layout tab and choose a group name you want to edit from the Group of Section pulldown list.
If a floor plan image is available, insert it by clicking Floor Plan Image: Choose button in the Drawing view menu.
Arrange each section using the absolute scale factor.
For an apparent reason, all sections should be scaled consistently. You can select a section and figure out the absolute scale using methods explained in "Measure dimensions". After scaling, position them by selecting each section and dragging the mouse while keeping it pressed.
Arrange each section using the floor plan image.
Alternatively, if a floor plan image is available in step 2, you can overlay a section on top of the floor plan image and drag (for positioning) or scale up and down them using the GUI handles as explained in "Compare with other 3D Tours".
- Edit the connectivity
The last step you need to make sure after combining sections into a group is to add connectivities among neighboring panos from different sections. The virtual walk-through enables 3D tour viewers to change panos keeping the same view angle and give them a sense of moving around the space. When pano changes or pano transition is performed, the Web Player looks for the closest pano along the user clicking direction among the connected panos. Our processing software generates this connectivity information, and it is displayed in orange lines when a pano is selected in the Tour Editor. You can also easily add more or remove existing connections by right-clicking a pano and choosing Edit Connectivity menu. Then, just click other pano to alternate the connectivity.
Note:In case of single-pano sections (NA section), you can complete the arrangement just by entering the approximate Camera Height in the Arrange Section dialog.
You will feel the convenience of the Edit Connectivity Mode. In the pop-up window, Connect panos closer than will set a distance from the chosen pano, then connections from this pano will automatically be made to nearby panos within the distance. Same mechanism applies to the disconnection with the Disconnect panos further than.
In addition to above methods to edit connections for each panos, ‘right click’ anywhere on the grid will show “Batch Update” option.
Batch Update window will allow you to edit connection as a whole in a number of perspective.
- “Disable panos Tilted Greater than” will automatically disable all panos that are titled in wider angle than a given angle.
- A given number in “Enable One Pano per a Grid Cell” will represent width of a hypothetical grid. And it will enable only one pano that is closest from the center of each grid cell, and disable the rest of panos in the cell. This tool is useful to prevent panos being too densely distributed, and need to be sorted out with a limited number of panos.
- Also, you can delete all current connections by “Disconnect All” button.