When creating a panorama the most important step is the photo capturing. If this is done well the stitching software should work smoothly without any problems. To create the 360 spherical photos, you can use a specific 360 camera or try out a number of phone apps available, including the free Google Streetview app that can be used to create photo spheres.
To ensure you end up with the desired virtual tour, use these tips and tricks to get the very best photographs:
- A small room is not ideal. When shooting small rooms e.g. a bathroom try and position the tripod in the middle of the room as this will minimise the 'warp' effect small rooms usually have.
- Avoid shooting continuous scenes where there are no distinct features in the photos, e.g. a wall with white paint. The stitching software will not have any points to compare or match up.
- Make sure you have enough memory on your camera for all the photos.
- Use the same zoom setting and resolution setting for all photographs.
- Turn off the flash. The flash will create shadows and will bring about differences in light.
- Try not to take panoramas early in the morning/late afternoon as the sun will be directly in the field of view for a portion of the photographs(when outdoors) and this will lead to big variation in lighting and may lead to undesired effects when stitching. Overcast conditions are ideal. Shooting at night is also possible and sometimes preferable if there is good artificial lighting.
Place the tripod & camera:
•Choose a place to setup the tripod. If you are shooting a 360 degree panorama it is best to position the tripod in the centre of the area designated to be the 360 panorama. Make sure the tripod is level using the level indicator (if available on the tripod)
•Note you may find it difficult to create panorama images in very small rooms depending on your camera and lens used.
•Panorama images are also more suitable for outside areas and rooms with a lot of distinct features. (the distinct features are used to join the photographs together seamlessly later).
•Next find a fixed point in the room. Capture photos one by one by rotating the camera clockwise with every shot. You will take about 8 to 16 photos in total. Make sure the photos overlap by at least 15-50 degrees with every shot as illustrated in the image below. You should end up at the start point of your first shot, to ensure a full 360 degree panorama is created. Here we've rotated the camera a full 360 degrees taking 8 photos:
•If you are going to do more than one area / room cover the lens and take a blank/black photo so that you can distinguish the photos when
downloading it to your pc.
•Below is another example done of the garden area of a property captured with 15 overlapping photos: