A relatively old term but a good one, virtual tours are used to cover many forms of online digital media. 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 a category:
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 pictures.
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.
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.
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