More and more commonly, real estate professionals do away with the standard photo of a property and choose the virtual tour instead. This is particularly popular in Houston, where someone even made a proposition to suggest all real estate offerings should come with a virtual tour. People simply no longer have faith in real estate photographers, believing that they always take pictures from angles that make them look absolutely perfect, but actually nothing like the real deal. Here, Allen R Hartman explains what virtual real estate photography actually is.

Allen R Hartman on the Virtual Tour

More and more professionals in Houston, TX are interested in creating virtual tours. They look for ways to provide a 360 degree look at their properties, thereby enabling people to view a property without ever visiting it. Interestingly, this type of real estate photography is proving to be very popular not just for those looking at selling properties, however. Indeed, hotels, conference facilities, and other establishments looking to attract visitor now use this type of technology.

Essentially, creating a photographic tour is done in three ways. They are:

  1. The creation of a 360 degree cylindrical image that has the horizon as its focal point, after which various still photographs are stitched together. Usually, this is done in portrait position and, when put together, forms a rectangular image.
  2. A spherical image that is 360 degrees by 360 degrees from floor to ceiling. This can be done on any type of scenery using a good quality fish eye lens. In fact, it will only require taking four individual shots.
  3. Taking numerous pictures and stitching them together on a box or cube, essentially creating a 360 degree by 360 degree view that can be manually turned around. Here, six images have to be taken to also fill the top and  bottom of the cube.

Regardless of the preferred method, a number of photos should be taken that are then stitched thanks to advanced graphic software, which then creates a singular image. While a virtual tour looks fully interactive, it is actually a static image and it is the viewer that moves along that image. It does provide a full motion tour, however, making the viewer feel as if they are physically walking through the space. This is what sets it apart from the pan and walkthrough subjects or wrap around static methods of the past.

The technology is improving on an almost daily basis. One of the reasons for this is that many tech companies and universities now have virtual tours for their offices and facilities. The very people who use the technology, in other words, are the people who develop it. Unsurprisingly, it is improving so rapidly that it is now even possible to have VR (virtual reality) tours of properties, which really make people feel as if they are in the space proper. Because interest has been piqued and because the technology is advancing significantly, it is also becoming more affordable.