High-Resolution 360° Tours – My thoughts

If one goes to the effort of asking a designer to design interior details, then paying craftsmen to bring these details to life, it seems a shame not to show them off. That was my thinking behind offering high-resolution 360° tours.

Virtual tours started as a way to give interested parties a way of seeing something in 360 degrees along a horizontal axis. Then, as technology improved, view a vertical axis too. The virtual tour is a great way to see how a layout works or where doors of a yacht, house or home lead to. As the web progressed, so did the capabilities of the tours: individual point hotspots, polygon hotspot areas linking to images or videos, or embedding videos, images, galleries, sounds and animations are all now possible within a tour. 360° video is the latest advance, but I’m still looking for applications for that one.

The improvement in camera equipment and the resolution cameras can produce, has meant the image quality is improving. The software used to create these is also constantly progressing, finding cleverer and quicker ways to display these image on the web, tablet or smartphone.

There is also an evolution in specialist equipment to make these tours quicker for the photographer to capture. Unfortunately with speed and convenience for the photographer there has been decline in image quality. It’s hardly surprising: my standard-resolution image takes around 5 minutes to set up and capture – after the interior have been prepared – the high-resolution images take around 12-15 minutes to capture. Integrated systems can achieve a 360° panorama in 2 minutes, but I feel they lack the resolution – the clarity of vision – that a tour should provide. These times are how long it takes to create the photographs, then there is the extra time assembling and stitching the images, correcting mis-joins etc. all before I can start creating the tour. It’s the price I pay for a higher quality final result; a price I feel is worth it.

Here you can see the detail that’s captured in one of my 180 megapixel images.

360detail

 

And here you can compare a screen grab of high and standard resolution tours. The standard-resolution is around 33 mpx, the high-resolution is 180 mpx.

Compare

All the tours I create myself; I don’t outsource any of the work, I control the quality from start to finish. The tours can be as simple or as complex as a client requires. I price by each panorama, so I can complete a tour within a budget. Whether it’s a single standard-resolution 360 like the Winner 900 (standard-resolution), a slightly more complex tour with animations like the Arcona 430 (standard-resolution) or a full tour like the Contest 42CS (standard-resolution) or the high-resolution Windy 48 Triton below. There are many elements these tours can add to your business.

High-resolution tour

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