A relatively old term but a good one, virtual
tours are used to cover many forms of online digital
Our virtual tours are of the 3D variety and are for the
presentation of new real estate developments. We usually
prepare video virtual tours but can also produce the old
fashioned 360 degree virtual tours and VR objects.
Each kind of Virtual Tour can be but into
- Real time 3D
Panoramic Virtual Tours
These are probably the first ones to have come about and
are still prolific. They are made from taking special photographs
and converting them to either circular panoramas or cubes
that wrap around the viewport. By using arrows or a mouse
the viewer tilts or rotates the view, hence moving the
The advantages of these panoramic virtual tours is that
they are inexpensive to make and the quality is high. This
is because all the work to make the scene has been done
already, so all a panoramic virtual tour needs to portray
is photographs of something existing.
The disadvantages are that you are fixed to certain locations
in rooms and you don't get a real understanding of space,
proportion or orientation. The scenes are often distorted
to make the rooms look bigger, so they are often deceiving.
Panoramic Tours can also be made from 3D scenes.
Video Virtual Tours
These presentations are normally 3D based
but can be done with a video camera too. In 3D the animator
sets up a camera path that
takes the viewer along a pre-defined tour. This is then
rendered out to video footage. A virtual tour using a video
camera is normally made with a Steadicam or Glidecam, which
stabilizes the movement of the camera.
This term is described further in the
glossary but simply it is a tour of a scene that is user
controllable with instant results. The technology is still
in it's infancy as far as usability goes although Archiform
3D now has it's Meander™ interface
that gives a clean user experience with superb quality.
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