3D Virtual Tours: Stunning Showcases

3D Virtual Tours: Stunning Showcases

The latest 3D photography technique (also called ‘3D tours’ or ‘3D virtual tours’) is the new pinnacle of real-estate photography.

Four years ago, a little known photography technique called HDR (high dynamic range) started to be widely adopted by both pro and amateur photographers. Realtors® caught up slowly as they realized HDR would expose high-contrast areas more evenly. No more dark corners or overblown lights. Today, half of the MLS listings are shot using the HDR technique.

Virtual tours actually pre-date HDR. Back in 2004-2005, 3D virtual visits shot with fisheye lenses and a curved mirror started to show in real-estate websites. The technique was however in its infancy, still expensive to use, and its results not very convincing: curved walls, serious issues with perspective, small display size. After only a couple of years, virtual tours became a memory. A few years later, with the advent of small consumer cameras like the Flip and then, smart phones, the cost of video became really competitive and video tours became more commonplace in the real-estate industry.

The main issue with video tours however is the lack of control offered to potential home buyers: they have to follow the lead of the camera holder, whether they like it or not.

3D virtual tours are an entirely different beast for at least 3 reasons:

  • They give viewers full control over how to navigate a home, stop on any detail, view ceilings and floors, etc.
  • 3D technology has come of age: virtual tours are super realistic and can be viewed in full-screen mode and on almost all mobile terminals
  • Consumers are familiar with the navigation aids, popularized by Google Street View™ technology

This 3D virtual tour was created in a local Tucson church which was severely impacted by a microburst and successive floods during the monsoon season. This church is being reconstructed and this was a good opportunity to shoot the site with its naked rafters and bare brick walls. The staircase leading to the balcony in the back shows that 3D virtual tours can now connect floors in ways that weren’t possible before.

Click to visit the 3D virtual tour below:


You can see more 3D tours on this page…