Do I need special equipment to create a virtual Tour?
The only basics that you need to create a virtual tour are:
- a camera (or even only a mobile phone),
- a computer
- and 3DVista Virtual Tour Suite software
Even though before creating the actual virtual tour, you will need to create a panorama, you will not need to buy 3DVista Stitcher separately because it is already included in Virtual Tour Suite software. Besides these three basic ingredients, there are some further hardware gears that can help you in taking panoramic photos and will improve your results:
- A tripod – which gives you stabilization so that you’re not moving too much while shooting the different angles (more accurate stitching results)
- Certain special lenses can help you minimize the number of shots necessary for a panorama. While really any camera will do and is compatible with 3DVista software, there are special lenses that can improve the quality of your panoramas and virtual tours remarkably.
- A wide angle lens, for example, has a bigger field of view than standard 35mm lenses, which means you will need less shots to create a panorama and therefore less pictures to process in the Stitcher. This will make the stitching process considerably faster and more precise.
- A fisheye lens has an extraordinarily wide field of view. An image taken with a fisheye lens can be equivalent to four images taken with a standard lens, meaning that you will need even less shots to create a panorama. There are three different types of images depending on the type of the fisheye lens: Rectangular fisheye lenses, semi-circular and circular fisheye lenses which all vary in the level of vignetting they have. We recommend rectangular or alternatively semi-circular fisheye lenses for shooting panoramas.
- A panohead -that will (1) keep the camera in the center of the tripod to avoid changes in perspective between your individual shots and (2) automatically help you maintain the exact right angles between shots so that you don’t have to worry about sufficient overlap anymore. This is a must when using fisheye lenses.
The additional hardware refers to the optimization of the photographic process, which is why the same suggestions appear in the FAQ equipment section for panoramas. The only extra step you have to take for creating a virtual tour is the conversion of the flat panorama into a spherical format. For this you only need 3DVista Virtual Tour Suite once you have a readily stitched panorama. The above therefore explains the equipment suggested for the whole process of creating a virtual tour, which includes the photographic process for the creation of a panorama.