The tours are created using your own panoramic images captured with your own equipment. We do not send out photographers to capture the tours. Always ensure that you have captured good panoramas before leaving the premises.
The first thing you should do, even before obtaining a subscription to our service, is ensure that you can capture panoramic photographs. The photographs should be standard rectilinear photographs, which are essentially normal photographs that are wider than the standard width - this allows them to pan across the screen in our viewer.
There are essentially three different ways that you can generate a panoramic photo suitable for use with our service:
- Taking a high resolution image with a wide angle lens and cropping away the top and bottom of the photograph.
- Using a smart phone with a panoramic photograph function.
- Using a digital camera with a built-in panoramic function.
Generally you will stand in the corner of a scene and use a camera or smart phone which captures panoramic images. You then upload these captured scenes to our web service using your own login account or our web app on your smart phone, and then publish and share your completed virtual tours with a URL or web link which you add to other software or sites.
- Perform the operation from the corner of a room.
- Pan the camera slowly to capture the scene - if your resulting image is jerky or disjointed, this is usually the result of panning the camera too fast.
- Try to avoid contrasting brightness within the scene itself. If there is a bright area on one part of the scene and a dark area in another, then try to do what you can within the confines of the property to reduce this contrast, such as using the room lighting, blinds, curtains etc to your advantage to equalise the lighting across the scene.
- Try not to have objects in the foreground close to the camera - the parallax effect can reduce the efficiency of the stitch. Try to avoid capturing a scene which includes moving objects such as cars or people.
- If you find that the scene you have captured does not have enough height to it, you may need to get further away from the area or the area you are trying to capture may be too small for this capture format. Remember that you can also use most devices in portrait orientation which will often capture more scene height. Furthermore some devices have better wide-angle lenses which also capture greater scene height. Finally, for mobile phones, if your device does not have a sufficiently useful wide-angle lens, you can often buy adaptors which clip on to your mobile phone and provide wide-angle lens functionality. We recommend https://www.olloclip.com/.
- Please experiment with your kit to find the best solution for you. Taking a high resolution standard image from a distance using a wide-angle lens and cropping away the top and bottom of the photograph can also yield good panoramic photographs.
- If your completed scene has black areas as part of the image, these black areas can be cropped out of the image easily. Within the Virtual Tour Online system, when examining your photos you can use the Crop tool (scissors icon) to crop the image as needed. There is also a Brightness tool which you can use to lighten or darken the image generally if you need to. Many devices have sophisticated cropping and brightness adjustments built right in which you can use before uploading the image to our service.
- Images you supply to us should be in the correct orientation - i.e. horizontal panoramas, not vertical panoramas. If you need to rotate the image this can also usually be achieved by the camera or smart phone application itself. Alternatively both Windows and Mac computers can rotate images with their standard image viewing software built into the operating system.