A Guide to Virtual Tour Workflow : This article is about what happens after the virtual tour has been commissioned. We start the process by scheduling the days of the shoot. The client is informed at this time to make sure the rooms are prepared and to review our article.
Everything on the checklist is packed. The checklist covers everything needed for a virtual tour shoot. Virtual tour checklist and equipment guide will be in a future article.
The photographer checks the room and makes any changes. When everything is ready, the tripod is setup. Whether in the middle of the room or where space is allocated. Levelling base is screwed on and adjusted. Panoramic head is screwed on top and unfolded. Camera is slotted into the panoramic head. Exposure is corrected using the camera controls. Photograph is taken of the colour checker. Photographs are taken at three different orientations (middle, top and bottom). The middle orientation is rotated 360 degrees. The bottom is photographed at 0 and 90 degrees. Every angle has up to 7 exposures to capture the tonal range. Images are checked to make sure the tonal range is covered. Camera and tripod are moved to photograph the area beneath the tripod. The equipment is reset for the next room and repeated.
Captured images are imported into Lightroom where they are organised into business name then room name. Colour profiles are created from the colour checker images and applied to each image. Colour correction is applied from the 18% square off the colour checker. Lens correction is applied to correct the vignetting and chromatic aberrations. Small amount of sharpening takes place to correct for lens blur.
Images are exported from Lightroom in a TIFF Format at maximum quality and native resolution. Saved in folders with the room name. Opened in PTGui Pro, where camera and lens data is inputted. Software is set up for auto-align and manually tweaked. A 32-bit TIFF file is saved.
The 32-bit TIFF file is imported back into Lightroom. Adjustments are made from exposure to sharpness. The image is opened in Photoshop where the retouching process begins. Fixing anything that was unable to be done at preparation. The image is resized and optimised for web or print, and saved as a JPEG.
A main folder is created with the business name. A sub folder is created storing all the room images. All other files are placed in different folders e.g. layout templates, maps, close-ups, videos, logo and etc. Documentation is placed into the main folder for a reference. This is opened to view layout plans and colour scheme. The Tourweaver software is opened and a file is created and saved in the main folder. Then all the information is typed in e.g. size, title and etc. Different files are imported and the presentation is arranged. Presentation is outputted into the files needed by the client.
10 Tips On Preparing A Room For A Virtual Tour
A prepared room means the photographer is able to start quickly without spending time on modifications. Removing problems will save you money, as there is no retouching needed.
1. We recommend that a space over 1m be kept in the middle of the room for the tripod.
2. Have room(s) set up and decorated for the photographer.
3. Check all light bulbs.
4. Check chairs for tears or marks.
5. Check wall displays are available and organised.
6. Check for cracks and chipped paint.
7. Clean carpets or flooring.
8. Check outside areas are clean and tidy. As they will be visible through the window.
9. Show relevant content on TVs and projectors.
10. Doors and windows should close.
11. People need to be prepared and presentable.
12. Spider webs should be cleared away.