Virtual Tours and Networking as a Photographer
In this interview, my friend Troy Miller, a very well-accomplished wedding photographer in Southern California interviews me about what it takes to create 360° and virtual tours
Here's the full transcript (note that transcripts don't always translate perfectly):
Thanks for joining us. Uh, my name is Troy Miller with F64 Live and I E P P V we're putting this together as a team because Hey, both of us are awesome. And today I brought, uh, Marc Charette on. Now, Marc Charette is, a very distant friend of mine. I feel like I know him really well, but he is in Australia.
And, uh, so we've never actually personally met, but, uh, I love his work. Great personality. He's going to be fun to talk to today. What we're going to be doing is if you've been following us, Two sessions with David Swanson who talked about real estate photography, how to photograph a house, how to edit those images and what Marc is going to do is he's going to kind of build on that with 360-degree photography, how he uses it in his business, how you might want to look at it for your business.
Another thing about Marc, and I'll let Marc introduce himself here in a minute, cause he knows more about him than I do. Uh, he's also quite of a LinkedIn genius and he just did a recording with Frederick van Johnson from This Week in Photo.
I don't know if that's live yet, but uh, okay. Yeah. So go to This Week in Photo dot com and you'll see it in the blog there it's quite informative and he was just schooling me a little bit before we get on with that without any further ado. Uh, Marc. Thank you. And welcome for being here, please, please tell everybody a little bit about yourself and what you do and how.
Great. Thanks for having me Troy really appreciate this, a little bit of background. Um, well, to start off with, I should say that I actually didn't get into photography as a commercial service all that long ago, like some of you in this room probably have been shooting possibly even more than I have.
Historically speaking, I actually started doing Google Street View virtual tour photography, as a service about five years ago and Google Street View, if most people know is really the world's largest virtual reality experience, we know of. We often forget how powerful it is as a tool for being able to navigate and see the world.
But one of the other areas that often is where virtual tour photography and 360-degree photography is used is in the real estate space, basically, because it is, it's all about showing spaces. It's all about showing an environment, but in a way, whereby you're kind of like a, a bug or a fly that's, you know, happens to be able to look all the way around and for, for, for this session, what I wanted to be able to share with you a little bit about is more having.
How does this fit into, um, a workflow for a business if you're doing photography for real estate or for that matter, for commercial spaces, because there's also commercial real estate. Of course, that's the other area we can't forget exists. And, um, but basically some of the stuff I'll be talking about is actually more like tips tricks, and also some warnings about how challenging this industry can be.
And also how technically challenging it is so that you can decide whether or not it's actually a good fit for you to add, add onto your, your, your portfolio services. So what I'm going to do is I'll start off with a short presentation. So I'll do a screen share, we'll go through some slides, um, but also be showing you, you can probably see behind me, I've actually gotten the camera equipment that I use, um, for, for doing the imagery.
And by the way, also, if you've got questions, fire them away because I'll bet you, there's going to be a lot of things. I'm going to be. You're going to go, what the hell did he just say? What is the word world of 360?
That does include a lot of language that doesn't sound very photographic. It sounds more like you just walked into a lab, so you've made some of it up.
I was listening to your, one of your talks and I'm like, no, that's not a real, that's not a real word. Marc made that up. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. And so, but I'll, I'll throw out three words right off the top. So that we're sort of, you know, on a, on a, on a, on a plane of, of, of language that we can all understand each other, you will hear a word often in the world of 360-degree photography.
And that is called equirectangular or equirec. It is a, is a really a two-by-one ratio image, which if you think about the way that a. Is, you know, the world map. When you see a world map on printed, it's all stretched out. Well, that's actually an equity rectangular, um, variation of what the world looks like.
And so we often work referred to that as being an equity wreck. Okay. Or photo spheres, and other words that's used, but these are all versions of the same idea, which is a photo that's been converted from being all 360 degrees to a flat plane so that you can edit it and you can do stuff to it. Like you can do Photoshop or whatever you need to do to fix it, to make sure that it's correct.
Um, and then once you display it, you're actually loading that equity rectangular image into a, uh, platform, uh, w whether it be Google Street View or another hosting platform, like some of the realistic platforms that are. And then you can actually show the content. So unlike a lot of other photos, uh, you can't just kind of put, you know, put it up on a, uh, on your website, like any other image, like a, and say, um, put the image at 800 by 600 and it's done.
You just can't do that. You do need a lot more technical stuff in the background. So, so keep that in mind. And the other thing that we'll be talking about is really two spots in the image, which is looking straight up and the word for looking straight up in a 360 photo is Zenith. That's looking straight up and then looking straight down in a 360 degree photo is Nader.
And nadir. So if you think about, if I actually say those words, hopefully you'll keep that in mind. I just don't want to dump those words onto you and you go, what did he just say? Are you going to use the word. Yes. That's a well nodal point or no parallax point. That's another one. Yeah, we'll be talking about that.
That's yeah. That's another little cool thing in the world of three sixty. I'm glad that that is a fourth one. And there's always a three version point. One of things you have to remember about photography in 360 and the nodal point or the new parallax point more accurately is, um, in fact, let me just go grab one of my cameras and I'll show you what that is now, if you want, and that'll get that out of the way.
Okay. Yeah. It's going to show us a nodal point there exactly, because all have that. So you can tell me if you can see this, I'm going to pull his chair out of the way here. Okay. I don't know if you can see this or not. Hopefully you can, with this particular, uh, this is a Canon 70 D it's nothing special.
It's just a crop sensor camera. But when you're shooting 360 photos, you're using a fish eye lens. In this case, I'm using an eight millimeter Sigma, which is one of the most popular lenses for this. Um, and I can get into more as to the reasons why, but you'll notice that I'm sorry. Is that a full frame? No.
It's crop products. That's important when it comes to fish. It is. Yeah, because what happens is we're actually seeing, um, in the crop sense of the full height of the fish fish eye view, but the width on it is actually cut. So you're getting 180 degrees up and down, but you're getting about 120 degrees wide in the image in this case.
Okay. So what happens is it fills the sensor up as much as you possibly can, because if you can imagine, if I put this fish on a full frame, you'd get a circular image in the center of the sensor, whereas now we're actually filling out a lot more. Okay. The beauty behind that then is it means that I get more pixel.
I get a bigger, a bigger image in terms of qualitative to work with. And when I'm actually shooting 360 degrees with this one, I'm actually taking four images all the way around. So one. Two three and then four all the way around. All right. So I'm actually, and this is actually this Mount, which is where we're talking about the noodle, the nodal point or no parallax point.
You'll notice that it's the, uh, the Cameron lands are mounted via the lens to make sure that the center of the parallax point inside the lens is right over the center of the tripod. So as I rotate things in the distance, don't basically move. Cause you know how, if you actually close one eye and do that things move, that's the parallax effect, which gives you three dimension in 2d photography.
You have to eliminate that because then you're going to end up with stitching errors, your images won't stitch properly. So that's what the no parallax point has to do it. And it gets far more complicated whenever you don't actually have a Mount like this one, because when you get into, um, to show you a slightly larger rig, but I use only for higher wrestle, higher resolution shots, which is pretty good.
You use a rig like this one over here now, I don't know if this is pretty high up. Let me just tilt the camera up a little wee bit. Yeah, we see that. We got it. All right. You got it. Okay, cool. All right. This will be here is actually a nodal ninja mounting system. And what this does is it allows me to Mount a far larger lands and you'll notice that the no parallax point has been adjusted to quite, quite a ways in, right.
So you actually have to basically back the camera up. That means that when I actually take shots and I need to take multiple shots, I can also take up and down shots and rotate and I can stitch all those images so that all the stitching points line up. How does one find in the no parallax point on, uh, the way you find a new pair?
Like good question is you actually, what you want to do is you would use, what I tend to do is I'll actually use two lighting stands and I'll put them basically standing one in front of the other. And what you do is you rotate a little. On the parallax point that you think is approximately, right? And as you rotate the camera on that, on the, on its axis, you'll see whether or not you can actually see the, um, uh, the other lighting stand behind the first one.
The idea is, is that as you rotate the camera, you want to be in a situation where you, the front lighting, Stan always hides the backlighting stand. It doesn't leave the backlight inside. It doesn't come into view. Oh God, if you've actually got it. So there's not like, oh, you're using this particular lens that hears that, that know prevalence point.
This is like every lens you have to find it and dial it. And every lens. And if you're using a zoom lens, it can actually change depending on the distance in a, in zoom. Like if you're actually a 16 to 35, like I've gotten now this right here. If I dial into the 24 mil, the no parallax point might be a little bit different.
If you set that up on Atlanta. You got to know what you set it at otherwise. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So one of the favorite things for most virtual tour photographers to do is they tend to avoid zoom lenses. They tend to stick around, you know, we tend to use, uh, you know, prime lenses for that. Plus, you know, they can to be a lot sharper.
It's just easier to work with. Um, but that's, that's the, that's the principle behind how you actually, you saved everybody a couple hours of work and we're done that's
that would screw up your day if you have, but that's but taking an image of like, you know, using one of these rigs, it's not a, you don't just kind of show up and start shooting. Like you just, you have to set up your rig. You've got to make sure that your, your, your, your level no different than in any other, uh, photography, uh, for real estate, you want to make sure that your walls are nice and straight and that kind of thing, as much as you possibly can.
So there's more involved in, in setting up your. And using your gear, it's not straight up photography. Um, there's a lot more to it. Okay. So hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea of what's involved in, in doing that kind of imagery. So again, it's, um, this is, this particular kid is from, uh, nodal ninja.
This is a nodal ninja and N four, which is no longer, no longer manufactured. Um, and I've got a rotator base, which has it's set right now. It's 60 degree rotating points, but you can set it from, uh, seven and a half degrees all the way up to, to, uh, I think it's up to 90 degrees. So you can do basically. And the whole idea of these rotators is that this helps you remind you to stop at a particular point.
So it locks in that stop point. So when you're going around, you're making sure that you've got the right level of overlap for your stitching. So that's what I was going to ask you next is like I noticed on the fish, I, you said that it's, it's four rotations, right? You're taking one order of the room at a time.
Yeah. So basically if you were to go with a longer lens like this, you wouldn't. Take more photos, right? So maybe it's eight to get the whole room. Okay. Okay. And why would you want to use one like a fisheye over a longer lens? What's the benefit, the benefit of the fish? It's just faster. And you got to think about what platform are you going to be showing your imagery on?
Because if the only thing that images are going to be looked on as a mobile phone, you don't need to get a lot of resolution. So fisheye, the number of pixels you're gonna end up with is more than plenty. Even if you pinch zoom on a mobile phone, but if you're going to be doing something where it's going to be looked at where the pinch zooming is going to be like extreme, you know, like some 360 photos that have been shot are done at, at the top of a large building, right?
And you're looking down over the city and you want to be able to zoom in and zoom in and zoom in and zoom in all at that point in time, you're going to need to have a far, you can get a bigger lens and the bigger the lenses, the more stitched images you're required to create the image. It's basically, if you've ever heard of what a GigaPan image looks like, same idea, except as opposed to just going wide, you're going all the way around.
Got it. So. Okay, so that's, this is the, so this over here is, again, this is kind of an overkill kit for most of the, for most people, generally speaking, a smaller kit with a fish islands is more than plenty. Um, and in some cases, a lot of people will even resort to using very inexpensive equipment such as, um, these types of cameras, which are the little one-shot cameras.
This is in this from a company called Xiaomi and it's, um, it shoots at 23.8 megapixel spherical image, another made up word. Yeah. And yeah, actually Xeomin, it's actually the name of the company. They're an Asian company. It's also known as the Meese fear. Um, and then there's one over here with the Ricoh theta, which is probably the most popular one of them all.
Um, and to be honest with you, I don't use these for any commercial work at all. I use these for proof of concept to show people what an image might look like. Um, there are people who sell using these, these cameras. Um, they sell imagery in the real estate Marcet. Um, it's quick, it's far simpler than trying to stitch images after the fact, but the problem then becomes is just image quality.
Really your there there's a lot of limitations, you know, you can't pull out tiny a lot of, a lot of, um, a lot of dynamic range out of a little tiny sensor, the size. So those are the limitations. Got it. I'm going to, I'm going to grab some links for those here. Yeah. That's the only thing is I think there's like 200.
Yeah. So like those, those are great little cameras for, for doing, you know, uh, if you want to do a quick, quick tour, you want to give somebody an idea as to what, what what's involved in doing a 360 and then it probably, and I won't get too much into it, but you probably can see at the very back here, I've got this great, big, massive oversized tripod that I use for doing, um, elevated photography.
And I do use it for 360 is also, but that's, that's actually a 7.2 meter tripod, I think. Okay. Who's signed in. It took a great image of me doing a shot down, uh, near, near the ocean, uh, a few months. Was it two months ago? Yeah. Yeah. That one. That's the beast fully extended. Now what is on top of that? Um, well, at that time I actually was using the eight millimeter Sigma that's what's, that's what I was shooting with at that time.
So even in a situation with that, I tend to just put the eight mil for doing 360 is almost all the time. It's just an easier lens to work with. So you have a DSLR on top of that. Yep. And then how, how are you rotating it so that the tripod doesn't come down? Cause if you loosen the bottom, you can actually rotate the whole pin.
Oh. So is that meant to do three sixties or is that just a train? It just happens that the tripod allows it, which is a great thing. I was, it was one of the conditions for me to buy it is could I actually wrote. The whole tripod P I, you know, basically as a rotating piston on the inside from the extended, well, the extended.
Okay. I mean, I guess, I guess worst case is right. You don't extend that, that bottom. Correct. Which would which in this case you would lose, you know, what three feet of height or something. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So the whole light, the only time I take that thing out is if I actually really need to get a different level of elevation, that would be really useful in a situation where if you're doing, you know, a real estate shoot of a three-story home, you know, it's a relatively large home and it, you know, you're really wanting to have that view looking onto a balcony or something like that.
Then it looks really, really, really schmick. It's a pretty cool field of view. Has that blown over? Uh, not yet. Oh, but, but Peter Short tripod blew over, but your giant tall tripod, you know, the reason why is generally speaking when you're actually shooting with one of these. Guidewire's stakes. There's actually holes in the bottom of the feet.
Yeah. And you, you tie this sucker down and it will fly you sandbag it. Yeah. I've got you. I've got sandbags that I keep in the, in the garage. Put them in the car if I need them. Yep. Cool. So, yeah, definitely. It's, it's a beast to use you. Ideally, if you're doing shoots with that thing, you really should be two people.
So you've got a spotter who can actually keep an eye on what's happening because you might not even notice that if you're, if you're not perfectly straight up and there's actually is a level that comes with it, that you actually Mount on the, on the, on the, on the leg, on the, on the center point, if it's just leaning more than about five or six degrees and that the, once it goes good luck, it's just going to keep going.
Yeah. If anybody's interested in some of his equipment list, just let me know. And then we'll, I'll put it in. When I posted on the, on YouTube, I'll put it in the. Cool. All right, let me do all the research. You've already done it, right? Yeah, exactly. Like, I mean, I can give you, uh, plenty of, uh, recommendations and it's all very dependent on the existing gear you've already gotten.
What do you want to upgrade to and all that? Cause it it's, some of it can get a little expensive, but let's just go, go into the presentation if we can now. So I'm going to do a screen share. So I'm going to click on present and oh, hang on. I've got to guess I'm going to do screen share first, right?
You're going to do screen share and then pick your window. Okay. So there, okay. And all right. Tell me, can you see that? All right. Yes. Super. Okay. All right. Super. So, all right. So should you offer virtual tours? That's the question? Number one, is this even something you should be considering doing? Um, and.
Because if you don't really, you know, the, the, the, the fact of the matter is, is that, especially right now, as COVID 19, the coronavirus is forcing a lot of real estate agents to start thinking about how can we continue to do showings of properties when we're dealing with the inability to have people in the same space at the same time, you know, you can't have social distancing is really causing a lot of these problems.
I don't even like to use social distancing. I'd rather call it physical distancing. Um, but that's really what, that's one of the reasons why I believe that this is actually a Marcet area. That's going to grow an awful lot more over time, because people's awareness of the technology. Once it kicks in because of coronavirus isn't necessarily going to go away.
And it's already an area that has a reasonably strong footing because of some of the technology that's already out there. And one of the greatest risks for photographers in terms of choosing to do it or not, is that their biggest competition is going to be the real estate agents themselves. Um, I don't know what it's like so much in the states, but I can tell you here in Australia, they're real estate agents are not big fans of spending a lot of money on imagery.
It's, uh, it's an absolute minimum expense, whatever it takes to get the property sold. And if that's the case and if they can figure out a way to do it themselves, chances are they will. Okay. So be aware of that. And what they'll probably do it with is one of those small little three sixties I was showing you earlier on, and they're not going to get the results, but you're, so really your point of difference should really be your ability to provide a better quality product and service.
Um, so, you know, when you look at the real estate Marcetplace right now, the vast majority of, of it is actually done, uh, with, um, Um, either 360 cameras breaks like I've got, or, um, a system called Matterport. And I'll be talking a little bit more about Matterport as, um, as a powerful tool, highly respected, but has some downsides to it.
And, and, and, um, they're, they're a bit of a, they're perceived as a bit of an evil company in some ways that in the, yeah, they're a bit evil. Like it's like, you know, the opposite of the early days of, of, of, um, Google, where it was, don't be evil who these guys are, they're kind of evil, some of the other Marcets other than real estate that you could use this in.
Um, um, in terms of commercial, um, industries. I, I see a lot of value in it in forensics. For example, actually one of the areas where 360 photography has already been used for quite some times is in police forensics when, when they actually need to be able to collect a data of a scene, a crime scene. So that, because that gives you a complete sense of the space as it was at that time.
That's one area. Another one is insurance for, uh, on the, uh, sort of pre category of insurance. So if an insurance company wants to insure a, let's say a manufacturing plant and they want to have a status quo shoot of what, uh, what exactly is it that they're insuring? And then if this way there's also, if there's a claim, there may be a requirement for a follow-up of a photography shoot for claim to show what damage took place.
So they can actually document that with the 360. So again, because three sixties have the impression of not being able to be photo-shopped as much, although they can be, but it's harder. It tends to make people feel like they're not lying. It's it's more realistic. It's more authentic of what the space was like.
And of course the rain, oh, sorry. Can I, uh, can the 360 be turned connect? Can a 360 presentation be turned into a video presence? It can, yes, you can actually convert it to 360. If you've actually looked at any content on YouTube, that's 360 before you can actually convert, basically create a 360 slideshow from photos that are 360 and converted into a video and still look at it in a video like format.
So that's an option that can be done. And with the, um, with higher end 360 cameras that are one-shot cameras, you, they tend to be more focused for video collection, but they do suffer with a lot more of that parallax effect, because if you've seen what those larger 360 cameras look like, one that, uh, Troy, you may want to pull up, uh, as a, as a reference point, when I don't have was, is called an Insta 360 pro, and it looks like it looks like a basketball, basically with a bunch of lenses on it.
Um, it's got, you know, eight lenses on it and that one allows you to do 360 3. Um, but it does it at eight K. So it sounds like a lot of resolution, but you've got to remember that in, in the world, the 360 8 K is never really, it's not like watching a video on a screen because you're only ever seeing a certain section or portion of that imagery at any given time.
Um, but that's, that's another camera that's actually used, um, more, more for video than, than for Photoville simply because of the fact that that's really what it was designed for. All right. Um, and of course the last category of business, that really is what I've, what I've been doing is basically for commercial, um, Marceting purposes.
So if you think about, you know, where Google Street View photography is powerful as being able to show cafes, restaurants, accommodation, you know, uh, you know, um, function centers. I think Troy for you in the, every function center that hosts weddings ought to have a virtual tour of the premise, especially now.
So you can show the brides of what, what does this place look like before? You know, they, they come and have a look at it because they can probably virtually visit 5, 6, 7, 8 venues first and then decide, oh gosh, that would be, that would be amazing. And for me as a photographer, to be able to see what the place looks like in advance.
Yeah. That'd be great. Also, I'm sitting here thinking like F 64 live, like I'm doing this event in this old downtown, downtown Santa Ana. Like there's no way I can tell you in photograph. What this place looks like, you know, and I'm thinking, all right, how do I get you out here to, well, this is exactly it.
This is the kind of use it. You really do need to think about virtual tour photography and 360 photography as a utility. It's a service and a utility. Yes. It can be artful. It can be, you know, very, it could be beautiful, but it's really about being a, a business or a business service or a product that you're offering to people for, for, for some utility.
Right. All right. Uh, so, so obviously, you know, I'm already touching a lot on the biggest barriers to entry to this is, you know, start with the technology, right? We've just talked about a whole bunch of gear. You may not already all. And so you've got, you may have to think about looking in your bag, you know, your, your, um, and if you've already got some equipment, but not all of it.
Needing to fill those gaps. So a company that's definitely worth checking out. If you're looking at this space is nodal ninja. Really? I highly recommend them. They're probably one of the few companies that produce a high quality, a 360 equipment. I own a number of different heads from them also. And, um, they're just known as being sort of the leaders in this space.
All right. So, you know, is this a fad or is this a new core service? I think it's going to be a new core service, really. And that's my view. In fact, if you were to talk to a guy by the name of Kevin Kelly, if you've ever heard of wired magazine, I don't know if you've ever heard of that. It's a magazine that's been around for quite a long time.
Um, Kevin Kelly who started wire magazine actually said about three years ago that, uh, most websites are going to be VR based, you know, five to seven years out. That was his prediction. He tends to be a little bit aggressive on that. Uh, even Gary V Gary Vaynerchuk has already saying the same thing that he figures by 2025, it's going to be commonplace.
Um, so the right time to get into this and get comfortable with it. It's probably now because you want to be ahead of the game so that you know how to use this stuff. Um, as far as the expense to give you an idea in terms of the cost, you know, one part of the cost obviously is the lenses and mounts like that nodal ninja Mount that I was showing you that hold that 16 to 35 mil, uh, and the, uh, the 60 that I'm using on it, that's, that's about a $500 head.
So it's not huge money. And that's, you know, five to 600 bucks for a head, that'll allow you to do that kind of thing. That's not bad. The small one that holds the eight millimeter cost me, I think $300 free 400 bucks in that ballpark. Um, so you have to think about that. Um, and, and of course the Fisher lenses, and the other thing you definitely want to be doing is make sure you've got some, some, um, some solid remote controls, because chances are, you're going to need to.
Uh, not, you know, you need to remotely trigger the camera for two reasons. Number one for camera shake reasons. But the other thing is so that you can get out of the scene. And what I mean by getting out of the scene is imagine where you're taking a 360 photo and no matter if you're behind the camera and let's see there's glass there's mirrors, especially in a house or an a bathroom, you've got to be able to get yourself out of the shot.
So remotely triggering your camera's a really important thing to, to have as, as another piece of equipment. Um, and obviously the right tripod. So like have a variety of relatively solid tripods that will hold your camera because a lot of the time, because you're not going to be shooting with flashes or speed lights, you're going to be doing an awful lot of, uh, dynamic high dynamic range type photography.
You're going to be doing long, uh, long exposures. A lot of my exposures are 30 seconds long when I'm doing internal stuff. Like for example, I did a, um, a place called planet fitness, which is a big fitness center and their cycling room was completely black, was pitch black with a couple of black lights in it.
And that's the way they actually do their, their, their, their rooms. So I had to show it with that, with that ambience. Right. So you can imagine you're shooting a lot of very, very dark images, so very long exposures. So, you know, you want to have a camera. That's not going to be bouncing around much. Um, and Hey, go ahead.
Cool. So Marc, I, do you have a question? Uh, you had mentioned the, I think it was the nodal plate. You had said it's like five or 600 bucks. Is that us or Australia? Um, well I purchased that one used cause the guy was getting out of the business and gave it a go and failed and I paid 500 Australian for it, for that kit.
But that actually was including the rotator and the leveling tool that came with it. So I got the whole lot, so got it. You could pretty well, I would suspect it's probably close to five to 600 us brand new in that, in that ballpark, right. For a kid like that. Um, so the next question I had on, uh, or, or, or point on the slides is, you know, how long does it take to get from, you know, the you're actually set up with all your equipment.
You've bought all the software and you get, you get to the point where you're actually selling. Well, you can expect that you're going to have to number one, create some sample content. So you can show everybody off how good you are at it. Right? And then you have to be able to actually figure out how long it's going to take you to produce those images at a, at a rate that people are willing to buy and in different Marcets have different timeframes, very similar to like, if you're doing headshot photography versus.
Uh, wedding photography, the timeline from shoot to sales, or it can be very different real estate agents. They want their images in their mailbox tomorrow morning. That's what they want. Okay. Um, commercial spaces, usually you can get away with about a week and sometimes two weeks, um, architectural or, or insurance will that could vary depending on what the application is.
If it's just basically data collection, it might be a month out. They may just need for you to go and do it and supply it when whenever, you know, um, but if it's actually on a claim, it might be that they need it, like right away. Like as soon as you take the photos, go home and process and send it to, you know, as fast as you possibly can.
Right. It depends on the industry that you can be working with. Okay. Um, so, uh, I'll just bring up this slide over here again. Uh, whereas the, my screen share here, uh, disappeared. Cause I've actually overlayed the screen-share, uh, screech. All right, so this one will be here. So you've decided to go ahead and do this.
What do you need? Well, first, you've got to think about what you're going to buy, and then you've got to think about what software you're going to be using. And I did mention Matterport earlier on, and I've got that there and I'm, I'll, I'll speak to that. First is Matterport is a closed environment. They sell the camera to you.
They tell you which iPad you're going to buy to operate the camera from. They're going to tell you where you're going to publish the images and they're going to charge you for all of it and all of it. Okay. Yeah. Now, so have you got control over your content? No chance in hell man. Seriously don't but here's the thing why Matterport is really cool is it's it's a it's virtual tour in a box, right?
Like you buy the equipment, you show up, you take this short little training course and it produces the imagery and it's in the net imagery for the most part is actually very. And it does a couple of things that no one else does very, very well yet. There's stuff that's starting to change. One of the things that they do is called the dollhouse effect.
So I do is I encourage people to go and check out Matterport and see what Matterport samples look like. I don't actually have any setup today cause I I'm not a subscriber to their program, but definitely one of the things that they can do this particularly cool is it does a dollhouse. The other thing that the dollhouse effect does is it actually creates a floor plan of the house as you're shooting it.
So they, because they actually have a LIDAR technology, which is the, you know, the laser system that actually measures the room. So they can do both in one shot, really slick as far as that goes. So that's the good news. Why Matterport is really cool and why a lot of people like it cost is relatively high.
I think the camera, the Matterport pro two is somewhere in the air of roughly about three and a half thousand dollars us. Plus you got to buy. Yeah, the rest of the year and you have to pay for the hosting on top of that, on their platform. So it's not a cheap, cheap thing to get into. Um, but you also can get a lot of work out of it because people, you know, like that dollhouse effect.
So that's what that's that's about here. Okay. Um, I'm just going to go back to, uh, stop sharing here just for a second, because I want to basically talk about the other software items that were in that list, um, which was PT, gooey, um, or the other ones which are infuse easy panel hugging, and there's a whole bunch of others.
And those other ones, those are the software programs that if you decide to shoot using a, a regular DSLR, like I do, you're going to be using those pieces of software along with the stuff you're used to shooting or using like Lightroom or to shop or affinity photo, those kinds of things. Those are the pieces of software you're going to need.
And I'll be able to give you a short demo shortly on how I actually use the software to actually create the. Okay. I was just looking up the Matterport site. I mean, yeah. I mean, they get you everywhere. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's obviously, it's probably very niche-y though, right? It totally is. It's. Yeah. And you know, and here's another thing, one of my biggest bugaboo about it in terms of image quality is it's actually not a proper 360 camera.
It's a cylindrical camera, which means it doesn't shoot the Zenith and the Nater. It has no way of doing them and it doesn't even have any way of patching them. You can't patch it. So in other words, if you've got, if you're doing a virtual tour of a house and you decide to put your, your Matterport camera right below or right under a chandelier, that's absolutely gorgeous.
You're not going to see the chandelier. So cause it won't be in the shot because it's a cylindrical image. It doesn't actually shoot all the way up. Whereas if you shoot it with a rig, like I've got, you can make a point of actually taking extra images with a, not even a higher risk. And show everything full 360.
So that's one of the reasons why I'm not a fan of Matterport. Um, but again, I mean, some people look at it and go look it I'm prepared to, you know, give up on, on some of these things because I can walk into a house and just put the tripod down and just let it go do its thing. Cause it's it. And it's actually, it's a motorized system.
It actually automatically, automatically shoots all the way around. It just rotates. Another thing that Matterport won't do is it won't shoot very easily outside. It's not good at shooting outdoor imagery at all. It's it has a really hard time, uh, with, uh, trees that are moving or anything. That's got motion in it.
It just, it tends to fail very badly. It can, it gets very confused with, cause it uses it's more of a computerized device than it is a proper camera. Whereas with a 360. You know if I want somebody in the image because I'm doing a commercial shoot, like for example, somebody at a front desk at a, at a fitness center.
Well, I can tell them stand there and don't move look really cool with it. Right. It becomes, it becomes a proper photo shoot with, you know, where you got models and you've got talent. Um, whereas with MetaPort, that's just not it's, it's not it's um, it's strength. Okay. Um, I know you did a, you did a car, a car lot where you start outside and you literally can, can walk around the outside of the car lot, see the car lot and then go and then go through the front doors and go into the building and go down the halls and, and see the sales spots and stuff.
And I thought, oh my God. And into the car, brilliant. Yeah. Into the car in the showroom. And there's people there. Yeah. So, so that's the difference with being able to do it with proper camera equipment is you can do things that are far more, um, valuable in the state, but that's where as a business, you, you have to think about being able to sell that because, and you've got to be able to sell that in a way that really makes people think about the longevity, the longterm value of the images that you're actually creating.
There's a lot of the time, the problem is is that, you know, people are actually in the real estate space. They want to, you know, they, they want to basically get the shot, sell a house, be done with it and it's over, right? So their lifetime value of a 360 virtual tour in real estate is shorter for there's no doubt about that for commercial spaces.
It's, it's the, you know, the longer it stays up, the more valuable it becomes because you building up on your SEO. So it's a different mindset altogether between the two. And I'm sure everybody's taking notes right now on the sales point. Yeah, I hope so because that's that's, that is absolutely critical.
So I'm just going to go back to the presentation once again, just a second to get a couple more bullet points. There's not that many that I think I've got two more slides to go to just put a link in there to that, um, the, the, the car dealers. Cool, awesome, great stuff. So I go back to the talking about the imagery I had said earlier on that you also have to be sure that you know how to host the images because they're not regular photos.
You can print them. I've got some printed ones behind me, but really the, the point about, um, this kind of, um, uh, photography is really about being shown digitally. Um, and some of the most popular ways of showing the images, obviously Matterport shows their own product on their own platform because it's a closed system, but you can use programs like panel to VR to create an HTML public.
Virtual tour that you can give to a client that they will actually put in directly on their website. So I'd say, uh, penetrate VR is a, uh, end-to-end publishing tool. It doesn't help you stitch the images, but it does allow you to be able to create a finalized published tour. Um, penetrator pros and other company that does the same thing.
But if you see it, I would highly recommend you stay away from it because, um, it's bankrupt, but there's lots of people thinking that they should use it. Uh, yep. One of these days, you know, and there's a lot of people who actually are using the source code from penetrator pro called care panel. And, um, the problem with it is that there is no support.
So it was actually a company that, um, uh, GoPro purchased and they basically bought it and shut it down. And so they're gone. Uh, 3d Invista is another one that's quite popular because they do some cool things. Um, one of the online ones that I really like using, and I've, I've used them on a number of occasions is one called Kula that's K w L a and is, and the reason why I like them is because it's something you can do for free initially.
So if you get to this and go to start off with very quick and simple to do, um, and you can basically stick your images and then put them up and show them off. And if you decide you want to do commercially, then you can have a paid account and go from there. Um, but there's a whole heap of different platforms you can use.
And each one of them is dedicated to the industry. You're going to be working in, for example, a virtual tour creator that's specific to the real estate. Walk into that. One is and go through those two companies are specifically for Google street, new virtual tours seek me. They tend to be more for fancy, uh, virtual tours that are going to be including, for example, um, you know, if you're doing like a music studio and you really want to have live audio, so you have virtual 360 audio included in CPQ, we'll do that.
So each one of these platforms has their own little niche that they're actually working in. Okay. And then, um, uh, so, so basically, you know, as I said, is this about photography or is it not? Well, actually the fact of the matter is, is again, these images are in fact really about offering a business service.
Um, and the difference between you and someone else in doing this kind of work really comes down to the, the quality that you decide to shoot at. You know, you can start by picking up a Rico. Or a one of those MI sphere cameras and give it a go. In fact, one of our friends in the, um, in the, uh, twin pro group community, um, picked up, um, a GoPro 360 camera recently, and he's been posting and you know what, I don't know if you recall, Troy, he posted a couple of his, um, little planet shots recently.
Oh, William William. Yeah. William. Exactly. Yeah. So, so William's been playing around with it. He and I have been chatting away bit and that's again great for that kind of photography. Great. For, for fun and for experimenting, but is it something that you can use commercially for this maybe, but probably not, not if you really want to stand out and actually show that you've got a quality product.
Um, but the real, the real, the real, um, skill, if you wish to shooting 360 is about understanding your equipment incredibly well, understanding the circumstances and understanding the utility really that's the first thing. And by knowing that, then you can then start thinking about your sales and Marceting and how do you actually do this as a.
'cause for the most part, people who get into this space, they think, oh, cool. I want to become a 360 photography, or I want to be Google Street View trusted because it's cool to be called Google trusted. It's bad idea. You know, you've got to go, you've got to really approach this far more from having technical skills and the ability to sell and run a business.
Yeah. Like, like all the businesses, like we talked in the sort of in the green room before we kept on is yeah. Yeah. So really, you know, if people were actually looking to get some training, I do actually offer some training in this space. If somebody wants to learn how to use PT, gooey, and if they want to get into, um, you know, really deep into deep diving into the stuff, I can also refer you to some of the other really high-end photographers that I'm actually associated with, who already have training programs, whether it be for the post publishing, uh, post production, even a, a friend of mine, John who I mentioned very often.
He's, um, one of his most amazing photos that I've seen him shoot. Um, is the inside of a, um, Boeing 7 87 cockpit simulator that a guy had built in his own house. This guy was like full on simulator. We're talking. It must be, I don't know, a couple of hundred thousand dollars with a gear in there. It's just crazy.
But to shoot that and to get it so that it looked really good. He actually had to do focus stacking in 360. Imagine how much work is involved in doing that. It was a huge, huge undertaking for him to do. And so, yeah, and people will often think, oh cool. And they don't realize how much work goes in in producing that.
Right. Um, so, so that's really the thing to keep in mind is that, you know, you're, if you're doing this, you have to think about what your niche is going to be and know where, where, where the big challenge is going to come from is that the vast majority of people who are going to be exposed to 360 will either be exposed to it because of Google Street View or Matterport.
Those are the two areas. And so really think of getting yourself familiar with both those avenues first. And if you know both of those, but I think you'll have a much better understanding of really, um, what's, what's the best way to handle, uh, you know, your approach towards getting into this space as a business.
So that covers my presentation portion, uh, for now, um, uh, what I'm going to do is I'm going to, I'm going to share a screen. Let's see if this works. Cause what I want to do is I want to show.
Yeah. Yeah. That was a fun little Worthington mini garage. And we'll think that, uh, I think what I got to do, let me stop the share. Cause I wanna, I want to show it full screen. So what, what I, what I find to be really, really kind of cool is, um, this one that I'm going to share here in a second, you, uh, you have a person in there, right?
Like this is one of those. Okay. Here we go. So I went full screen. All right. And you take one step back. Yeah. If I take one step back, you got a guy hanging out there showing off. So this is obviously for, you know, a mini dealership, right? Exactly. Exactly. Well, I mean, what is, what is something like this? Uh, what do you charge to do something like this?
Just general ballpark figure. Yeah. Just, just to kind of know, is it worth getting into and spending the, yeah, absolutely. You know, when you, if you think about like this particular shoot was, and if just for fun, you might actually really enjoy going into one of the cars too, while we're doing this, because actually I did shoot the inside of these minis.
Um, this was probably about, uh, about a thousand bucks to do the shoot. So it's, um, you know, so you can go right inside. It's funny because when you look at this particular car and the inside of this one, it was, um, w I actually had to tell them I really was disappointed. They didn't clean the windscreen.
And I really had a hard time trying to Photoshop all those little dirt spots on the plain screen. So I did as much as I could, but there's a limit, you know? Um, but yeah, so the a thousand dollars for a shoot of this size is about right. It takes about to actually do the photography site was probably.
About an hour, hour and a half. Um, all right. So onsite that's my on-site time. And then the post-production side of it, I tend to allow roughly, but anywhere between 15 minutes, if I'm quick per image to stitch, if everything goes exceptionally well, and as much as two hours per image to stitch, like the one you're about to go into right now, which is inside this car, um, if you really look very carefully, you'll see some stitching errors and some, some, some failings, but more because it was incredibly difficult to keep the tripods stable on the seat, because you can imagine.
So, so there were, there were, so there's a lot of Photoshopping that went into this particular, particular image, but it gives you an idea like that particular image was probably about three and a half hours to get right. Just to, just to make it so that it work. So, and then on that particular job, total shooting time to deliver.
Yeah, I've used this. There's probably about six to eight hours of post-production plus an hour, hour and a half. Um, and then there's also publishing, publishing takes a button hour on average. And just basically, because you have to remember that once you've actually shot the images and made them look pretty, then you've actually got to put them on, on Google maps or in some kind of a publishing platform and interlink them all and make sure that there are GPS location is all correct.
So that takes time too. Okay. So there's, there's some, there's some publishing work involved in 360, that's beyond the scope of just photography. So imagine it's like, imagine where you're actually doing photographs for a website and your job includes putting the images on the website also, and, you know, and making sure you wrap your story around it, right.
Okay. So that's that part of things now we're watching, what we can do is I can actually show you a little bit more in terms of with, with some screen share of how I actually go about creating these images. All right. Yeah, that'd be great. Cool. Then I can continue napping while I'm up. No, it wouldn't do that.
He would never do that, Peter. So I am going to go screen, share let's again and maximizing this. So if you can you see, this is light room. Can you see that? Okay. Uh, I think, hang on. I'm going to trust that it's there. My screenshare went away. There it is. Okay. Yeah. I see, uh, a whole bunch of thumbnail views and like, yeah, exactly.
So this was a, um, a number of 360, um, shots, the, the source images that I shot to create a, um, a virtual tour of a real estate product. It's 20 kilometers away from here. And I'm just using this as a sample to show you what's involved. So when I actually take the images, I shoot very, very consistently. And there's one of the things you do when you're shooting 360 is you always have to shoot manual and you absolutely want to be shooting raw.
And there's, there's no latitude for making any mistakes in this space, because what happens is when you're actually shooting all the way around, uh, each bracket has to be able to blend with the next field of view. So for example, I'll just open up this image over here, looking towards the pool. Well, that particular image is if I just go into my info shot at one 40th of a second at F 13, you'll notice that I too, I shoot at from FAA.
They have 13, most of the time, you know, cause you want lots of depth of field. You don't want to have, you want everything and focus as much as you possibly can, but this particular shot looks a little bit on the heavy, you know, a little bit over. Um, this is a good on the underside and I've got my normal shot and I may do this over and over again until I get a good sense.
And then once I got, okay, all right, I've got that. I do the same thing again. So one 40th, one went one 60th and one 80th, and now those will be my shots that I'll be using. And as I go around, you'll notice I'm always going to be using the same bracket settings all the way around. I don't modify that. So when you're actually exposing for 360, you're exposing for both the brightest and the darkest sections, and also deciding on how many brackets you're going to require to create the Madrid and stack those into an HDR.
Basically. Exactly. Everything gets back. Yeah, absolutely. So once I've actually gone through this process, I've actually decided which ones of these images are actually going to be the ones that'll be the final pick and I'll, and I do a little bit, let me just go into the develop mode so I can show you, I don't know, actually that's not the development and where's the, where's my D.
I don't do a lot of post-processing. So highlights down 20 shadow is up 20, a bit of clarity. Good. A vibrant that's about it. That's all I really do. But that little bit that you do that on every image that you use in your set and you do it exactly the same way too. Don't model, like everything you do in a set, like in a set of, of three brackets on four shots around, you've got 12 photos.
So those 12 photos have to have been processed exactly the same way. All right. And then what I do is I export those into a TIF, uh, into, uh, into, uh, into individual tips, I should say. So there'll be 12 TIF files, 16 bit tips. And the reason why I use 16 bit tips is basically the software that I use for assembling the 360 4.
Really the best way to actually assemble them is to maintain the best amount of dynamic range you've got because when you start doing HDR blending, that's where you start screwing things up in a hurry, right? You'd know that that's where you're going into danger zone. So the next step, once these have been exported, um, let me just pull up a folder over here of images.
Uh, so you must love the new Lightroom feature where you can, you can batch merge all those HDRs. Well, actually not you say I am, but I do all my merging for the HDR merging doesn't happen in Photoshop or in Lightroom it's old valley. So all of these images go into your. As separate files. Oh yeah. So see what happened?
I jumped ahead. I made an assumption. There you go. So let me do the wedding photographer. What have I? Yeah. Yeah. There you go. So let me just go back one step over here when I'm going to get to the right processed images. Okay. Pool area. So here, I don't know if you can see this or not. You still see your light room.
Are you doing okay, so stop, share, and share screen. And now I'm going to share,
I don't know if you can see that, but there's a bunch of TIFF images in there. Yep. Yep. Okay. So there's the process tips. Okay. So you can see that I've got all those process tips that I'm actually going to be Atlas. And each one of these files by the way, are because of the way our process. They are identical in size.
They're all a hundred and sixteen, nine ninety three kilobytes, basically. So 114 megabyte images, each one of them. So once I've actually got all of those shots, I then actually open up a program called PT, gooey. All right. So PT, gooey. So I'll actually have to stop sharing this one to open the next one.
Cause this is like, there's a lot of steps that are involved in processing this and some of it you can automate, but not all of it. All right. So, okay. So now I'm going to go to PT, gooey. All right. So tell me if you can see now, did you know that when you do a batch export out of Lightroom, that you can have it batch export to a folder and then run an application like a droplet?
No. Really. So, yeah. So you could, you could automate that to say, Hey, every time I output to this exact same folder, now I want you to go run this application. If that application has any kind of batch features built in or whatever, you can make it run on that, on that existing folder. Cool. Yeah. That's useful.
It's a neat feature. A lot of people don't realize you can do. Yeah, no, it's one of those things that like, you know, what happens in a lot of cases as we get used to doing things the way we've always done them. Right. Um, I'm a big fan that if you can take one step out of your process, that's a win. Oh yeah, absolutely.
Absolutely. Okay. So hopefully I'm sharing the right screen, which, which, what are you guys seeing right now? Uh, we see PT, gooey. We see like a black screen lower right. Fold-up screen. Top left. Okay. Okay. Okay, cool. So what I'm going to do here now is I'm actually going to go in and load into PT, gooey. You know, Peter, this would be great for Peter to do stuff like this when he's out in the world, in these crazy temples and, um, yeah, absolutely.
You know, shooting this kind of stuff. You can really get some amazing stuff. In fact, actually there's someone who I can introduce you guys to that does exactly that kind of travel photography and does beautiful work guy by the name of Tony redhead. And he is phenomenal. I chat with a guy quite regularly and, uh, and he, he he's gone to like places in Russia.
Uh, he, he does a lot of, a lot of cruises with a company called Ponant or, or Ponant, I'm not sure it's a French cruise company. And he goes, he's been to the Antarctic and done 360 photography in the, in the Antarctic, all kinds of cool stuff. So that's great that, that those images and stack them almost.
Well, actually, yeah, because they were pre stacked in this case. Oh, gotcha. Okay. All right. What I'm showing you is the outcome, because the process of actually stacking these images, if I actually let me just show you, um, the whole process. So if I start a new project and I load images and I'll let me just go down and I'll show you the process of loading the images directly.
Uh, so current project, we're going to go back to this address and processed, and we would go to a pool, the pool area, 140 bucks for a personal license. So it's not, it's not, not super expensive, but get the probe. There's no reason not to get the pro version app too. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So here's these images.
How many shots have I got in here? Right. So we're going to grab all of these and I'm going to pop them in, into PT, gooey. So I'd step one. So now I'm going to try to assemble all these images and the first challenge with PT, gooey, when you're assembling all these images. You have to figure out that I'm actually got all the brackets in there too.
Now PT, gooey does the blending along with the stitching. So it will actually automatically recognize the lens you have. So it says, oh, you shot this with an eight millimeter fish shot. I know how to stitch those. And then once you can do is then go to, uh, I actually run a sort of a preset to the template to start with so that it actually lines things up a wee bit.
And then you click on the align images. And what it does is it actually goes through and processes the images and does the best job it can to line everything up. And there's your first alignment. So that's step one. And you'll notice that I can now with PT, gooey start look, looking at the image in this lower frame to see how about actually done a good job with the stitching.
Are there stitching errors? You know, if so, where are they in the way, you know, where your stitching errors are likely to be is by using, um, the, uh, this feature over here where you can actually see where those stitching lines actually. So it actually shows you where it's actually attempting to stitch things up.
So then you can go back down and say, okay, I know, know where to look to see if there's an error and you could even go down. And we were talking about the Nader where you're looking straight down, this is what a Nadir looks like. Okay. Now we can all tell everybody that we've seen. Marc's Nader. Exactly.
That's what it looks like. So in an image like this one, what I'm actually going to be doing when I actually do a true affinity photo is I'm actually going to be basically copying and pasting the floor, putting it back in and also Photoshopping out the shadow of the tripod. So basically make it so that I was invisible in the shot.
Wow. All right. So that's, that's the process of fixing up these images, but step one is always to make sure that your stitching is really, really good. And to make sure that you're balance of quality of, of, of, of color is good. One of the first things you check too is if you've got power over. Make sure that they got stitched properly.
Cause you'll see. I don't know if, if I actually were to zoom in here, I don't know if you can see that you see how there's a bit of a stitching air. Yeah. Little tiny stitching error. Okay. So I'd have to go back in and either try to research that or in Photoshop or affinity photo, go back and fix that up.
Right? So that's, that's part of the process of doing proper work with, with, with the stitching process. And here's how I actually do the, um, the, the, um, the blending. I actually am using tone mapping in this case, but I could actually use as opposed to tone mapping, I can actually use, um, either standard HDR or tone map, and I can even export these images as three separate layers.
So I've got the bright bracket, the dark bracket and the properly exposed bracket as three separate layers. If I need it to be able to bring them into Photoshop and redo them in that way, not a fan of doing that. It's more work for nothing for me. So I tend to just a lot, basically do all the stitching and advance, um, directly and the blending directly inside of, of, uh, of a PT, gooey.
And once that's done, I can then export that image. And I still keep this as a, um, as a, as a 16 bit TIF. So the size of the same age, by the way, I don't know if this is probably too small to see on your screen, but it's actually 12,288 by 61, 44 wide. So that works out to being a 75 mega pixel image. Wow.
So at a hundred DPI, that's 120 inch image. It's exactly. But remember it's physical. So it almost doesn't really matter to think about it that way, because what are you going to be looking at at any time inside of a 360 photo is only a section or a field of view of it at any time, which is why you want that many pixels you think about if I'm actually thinking that that's, if you're looking at 12,000 pixels, I imagine where we go down to a, uh, one of the, like a little Rico SEDA that's, uh, that's a, um, a six or eight megapixel camera.
Now put that in 360. How many pixels have you got in terms of like, it's, it's pretty, pretty bad, you know? So that's why it's important to remember that you're you're you, you've got to understand that the quality of misses where megapixels really starts to matter, you know, you really want to know people talk about, oh yeah, you just, you're buying a camera with more megapixels than you really need in the space of the 360.
It starts to make a difference. Okay. Uh, but once I've actually gotten to the point where I'm happy with the imagery, I can do an export. So I just click on the create Panorama and it'll actually create this Panorama and it will actually end up with the equity returns. Image with the big problem with the patch.
Right? We've got a, we'll have a big hole on the bottom. So that's when we switch into, um, I'm going to, where is my screen-share and we switch into affinity so that I can go back and start fixing up the image. So I'm now going to use affinity because of something specific. Yeah. I'll I'll I'll share that with you shortly here.
You'll see that. It's um, yeah, it's pretty cool. So if you could see affinity now, yes. Okay. So I'm going to drag that same image. I just shot. Oh, it is. It's actually, it's failed to fill up the stitch or it's still stitching. That's why, but that's the other thing, too, if you don't have a very powerful computer, you don't want to be doing this.
Like my rig. Yeah, I've got, I've got 32 gig of Ram. I'm running a, uh, I actually find out my video card is too small with. It's too slow. I want to get up to about an eight gig card on that. So the GTX 10 80 is sort of the ideal card for this. Could you run an external GPU? Yeah. You could do that externally.
Great idea. Um, but you still need a lot of Ram. You still need a lot of power. Right. And you're gonna remember that a fi like each one of these images, what like the, the a 360 once it's stitched is going to be a half a gig, right. As a 16 bit TIF. So it's a big image. Um, so once you've actually got that, you've got to start looking at, you know, really how much power have I got under the hood.
So that's one of the other areas of expense you have to keep in mind. So let me just grab one of these tips here. That's actually not, I'm going to grab it. No, I've actually got the pool. I've got one of the pool ones here, so we can stay on the same pro on the same shoot. I've just dragged that. And for those that haven't played with it, affinity photo is a sort of a Photoshop alternative, and it's quite powerful.
I mean, let's just say that you don't want to use it for Photoshop type work. It does. HDRs it does focus stacking. It does pan owes. Uh, and, and, and so it has a lot of utility, so it's, and it's like what 69 bucks or something it's incredibly inexpensive for what it does. The one thing I will just as a fair warning with all due respect to these guys, I like, I love the product, but be aware.
And I found out the hard way that the only software support the offer is emails. Right. I mean, it's for 69 bucks. That's probably where they feel they can save. And for me, it's a bit of a shame because there's times where you can't really explain yourself very well in an email when you have, when you're having a problem.
Um, and I, I actually ended up having to, thankfully, because of Frederick knowing these guys, he was able to help me lean in on them a little bit. The problem. Yeah. But it's, uh, you want to make sure that it's running properly before you just take, you know, everything's tickety-boo so to speak because otherwise it's going to be a real, a real problem for you sale right now.
Yeah. It's 25 bucks. 29 bucks. Oh geez. I just posted a link in there. I know. I know. Does that kind of money seriously buy it's it's it there's well, you know, there's, um, there's a lot of people who use this for all kinds of stuff and it's in many respects. Um, it's pretty well replaced Photoshop for a lot of the stuff I do.
The only time I tend not to use photo or use this is because it's for still images that I'm where I just know where everything is in Photoshop. Yeah. The stand in the, in the chat mentioned, he uses it for focus, docking. I used to use that's how I discovered it is. I used to use another application for focus stacking that was like 89 bucks.
And they had a yearly subscription and I'm like, well, I don't do enough of that. So I started looking for alternatives and I came across Definity and they're focused. Stacking is amazing. It's amazingly good. And then you have everything else on top of that. So exactly. So the way that you actually look at it, you'll notice again, this photo is an equity rectangular, so it's actually, it's a two by one ratio, which is how you actually see these images.
You'll notice at the very bottom of the image, if I zoom in there's the Nadir, but stretched out all the way across the bottom. Right. And that's one of the areas I'm going to have to go in and fix. So the way I do that as I go into layer and I go to a live project. Okay. And then I go into equity, rectangle to production.
When I have done, I just put that as a hot key is that fate, so I can go into it quickly, but I'm just showing you where it is in the manual. So you know how to find it. So again, layer live projection equity where can get a production. And as soon as I do that, now notice I can navigate in the 360. Nice.
Right. So if I want to go in and edit this over here, I can just go in and let's just go and use the, um, one of the tools. And I'm just going to go in, start patching this up, and this is something Photoshop. Doesn't do it, does it, but not anywhere as fast. So like I'm actually using the wrong tools. So let me just, uh, okay.
So I need to do new, the copy and paste. We use copy and paste. I'm going to do this quickly, obviously, because this was more conceptual, but now I can go in and start patching that up. Right? So once, once this is all done. And we've done a really good job with it. So now I have to finish doing this, this patch.
All right. Um, and it's, I'm happy with the final result. Let's just say that this is all done. Normally of course, I'd spend a lot more time making the look a lot more realistic than that. And by the way, doing these types of patches can get real tricky. Especially if you've got like a carpet with patterns in it, it gets really hard to match up.
So you really gotta make sure you zoom in deep on it. And you actually do a really good job. The other option, by the way, as opposed to doing a Nadir patch this way is that's a perfect place to put your clients. Oh, right over your little clone stamp. Yeah. Oh, that becomes branding value, you know, and I actually offer that's something you can offer as an additional fee, saves your time when you sell it to you, what would you like me to add that on there for you?
So you can get some extra branding for you. Give me an extra $5 per image. Yup. Boom. Each something next for five bucks and it actually took you less time. So my little sales pitch for you there or sales idea. So once you finished the equity rectangular view, you've removed the projection. So we'll go back into the standard projection view and see, now we fixed the Nader.
That's great. Cause if you tried to fix it there, then when it, when it wrapped into the projection, it would look weird, right. Because exactly. Oh, okay. Yeah, because you're working on a stretched image. Right, right. And so that, by going into the projection mode, it allows you to actually view it properly as if it was a flat image, far more like a flat image.
So even things like, for example, if you're doing a fix of, uh, let's say that I had an error in the pool, uh, you know, like along the pool wall where I had to straighten out where the stitch just didn't line up properly, for whatever reason, camera I bumped the camera while I was shooting. And I didn't have an extra set of three sixties that I didn't reshoot properly.
Well, then you'd want to be able to see it in a most live straight view, a standard equity rectangular field of view so that you can make sure the lines look up, look straight. So once that's done, then quite simply, um, it's time to export. So you can go file and export the image. I use F nine for that and all that.
At this point in time, that's when I go into JPEG and get a published image. So this will be here export. It will probably end up being somewhere in the area of roughly about anywhere between seven to 12, 13 megapixels as a, as an exported image. And that's basically how a 360 photo is processed. So when it's done, it's going to live in your library as a JPEG like that.
Exactly. And then that's what you use to publish onto a publishing platform. And, um, and from there really when you get into the world of publishing platforms, that's where, um, basically if you just take that 360 image and uploaded, like you would upload any image, the publishing platform will accept it and allow you to rotate through.
Um, but here's another thing to keep in mind. And this is a fair warning. I know what photographers are like, they go, oh, geez. Yeah. But I want to fix the, you know, the shadows and the highlights and all that kind of stuff. You don't want to be doing that the way you would normally would in a, in an image.
Because for example, if I were to go in and do shadows and highlights along the edge of the image, that's where the image wraps, right? If you notice where the, the, the pool sign is and the pool, the outside perimeter wall of the pool, that's actually the same thing on the left-hand side that matches up on the right-hand side.
So if I were to do, uh, any kind of edits that were, um, basically in a particular region, the only area that you want to make, any kind of changes is in the areas that don't touch that edge. Because if you do, you're going to see a stitch line. You're going to see a change in whatever editing you've done.
That w where the rapping point is of the image. Right? Okay. So that's a little trick of the trade that, uh, you know, I, I can tell someone. No, not used to doing three sixties. He got IRA, they just went, they put it back into Lightroom and processed it and they, they added a thing yet. They thought it was really cool.
Bad idea. You don't go putting vignettes on, on a 360. That's just not something you do. So, yeah. So that's, that's pretty well the process I use for creating the 360 images. So that's sort of the end-to-end process. And then of course publishing separately from that. Right. But publishing is just simply, you know, I mean, I say simply, but publishing is you uploading it to that service and then, and then you have a link, right?
Correct. Exactly. Yeah. So if we actually, um, so on your website, those aren't, are those, are those images hosted on your website by a plugin that runs them? Or is it a service that links to that there? Okay. So th the most, all of the images that I show there are 360 on my website are published using, um, or published to Google Street View and to publish to Google Street View.
First, you have to be a Google trusted photographer. And that's where the vast majority of my photography is actually isn't normally shown. And then from there I use I-frame technology. If you're familiar with the termite frame, I don't know if you're familiar with an I-frame, uh, where you can basically embed a website instead of a website.
And that's how I actually read, display those images. And, but you'll also probably notice that a lot of the work I do, I actually put a layer on top of the 360 photos from navigation. So it adds essentially augmented reality hotspots and all kinds of really cool stuff with it, just in the simplest form, somebody created all that.
Right. They've got their final image and they want to share it with a client. Yeah. So what's the simplest way for them to do. The simplest way for them to do that is to if it's, and we have to be careful because each platforms sharing methodology is different. So if you're in Google Street View and you've shot as, as a Google trusted photographer, you would go directly to Google maps and find, in fact, let me just let's, let's go and do a screen share and do it again because it's fun to do these things.
Yeah. I mean, the, the, the changes that the average person that are watching this any way, this is going to be a trusted, uh, Google trusted photographer. Well, actually I direct, you know, it's one of those things I do recommend people consider because, you know, as soon as you start doing this or this kind of work, um, you know, being Google trusted will actually give you some kudos.
You know, people will actually respect you more in terms of, you know, if you actually can say you're on that program, um, you may get booked a bit more, so it's not a bad thing to do. So I'm just going to screen share here, my regular screen. Um, and let's just open up a new tab and go to Google maps. So if you're on Google maps and let's just say, let's go back to that same car dealership.
So the, uh, uh, Worthington mini garage, right? So the way that you, so there's Worthington mini garage, you'll notice on the bottom left hand side, there's 360 views. So in the image, uh, folder, then I've got all the 360 photos that I've shot. Let's just grab this outside shot. Let's say I wanted to start the virtual tour here and say, Hey, customer, here's how you can share this with your clients.
You'll notice there's three little dots over here. You click on those three little dots next to the Wellington mini garage or the, the, the, the, the, the, the branding placard. And you clear it. Click on share or embed image from here. You got the URL to share it, or if you want to embed it, you can get the I-frame already created for you.
And that's how Google Street View simple sharing is done. Otherwise to be able to share it with your client, you literally have to create, if it's Pennell to BR you're creating an HTML package, you're actually publishing using their platform. If it's through Kula, you would be basically doing, um, a URL or I-frame from Kula.
It's walking through the same thing. You're actually having to go into that platforms, sharing tool and either sharing a link to the imagery or, uh, an I-frame that has the link in it so that they can be used on their website. Right. We have a question by Linda. She says, is this affinity photo, the software that you're showing this?
No, this will be w right now what I'm showing you is Google Street View. This is Google maps. If you're unreal, are we still sharing the same screen? Yeah. And you're able, you're able to do, to, to, to do that because you're, you're a Google trusted that's right. Yeah. That's right. So like, let me just give you an, uh, an example of, of, of I'm going to take.
So you can see some of the work I've done with on Kula, because I tend to shoot more like the real estate stuff that I do tends to end up on Kula. So here's an example of a winery that I've done on Kula, and this is how they show it. Nicola does one other cool thing is they can actually even add lens flares to it.
So I actually added a lens flare because the sun just happened to be at the top of the building. So it makes it look really slick. And this is coolest sharing system. So if I want to share this in Kula, you click on share and I can share very via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, they give you their link, uh, or you can even click on the I-frame content and you actually can specify how you actually publish it.
Okay. Nice. Nice. Yeah, Linda, the software before the Google Street View, that was affinity photo. So affinity photo was where he went in and he fixed the nodal point and, uh, in the 3d view so that he could go in and retouch the image before you output the final to JPEG. So that's correct. Yeah, it's it's, that's still in the editing stuff.
Whereas now what's on screen is the publishing stage that's finished and published. Yeah. Yeah. So it's a, it's a different, it's a bit of a different mindset in terms of what you actually look at when you're doing 360 photography. You have to think about it as photography, editing and publishing, as opposed to like, for like, for example, wedding photography, you know, you know, it's really printing, right.
That's sort of your, yeah, it's certainly a portion of that. I mean, we all, we all cross many disciplines, but I can see where, uh, somebody that, that has more photographic skill is going to be a better 360 creator because they're going to understand exposure and depth of field and, and lands and, and how to edit and how to clean things up.
And, um, exactly, absolutely. You know, and, um, you know, the other thing that's kind of cool with, for example, these with, uh, with Kula is if you want to see a little planet, they make it real easy to create one bang. There's a little. Nice. Okay. So, you know, and you can even change the field of view on your planet.
Oh, wow. Yeah. So, and one of, you know, and there's some of the, uh, software like Pentateuch VR allows you to start a virtual tour from a little pie view and then zooms down to being standard equity rectangular. And then you can walk in from there, with all your hotspots and links. So every one of these platforms has all heap of different features and functions.
So it it's, it's a, it's a very different form of photography, far more technical it's, but it's a lot of fun and it's, you know, it can be a pretty cool business if you decide to go to no, it's fantastic. I can see this definitely being an addition to anybody doing real estate. Um, and again, like, you know, I think you and I were talking about if we were talking on while it was being recorded, but, uh, we were talking about how, you know, you need to, you need to set yourself apart from everybody else and they, you know, there's not.
Not a lot, like the Marcet's not saturated with 360 photography. So, I mean, even if you did it, you offered it to your clients and you created that and you made an additional 12, $1,500 a month or a quarter or whatever on top of your normal stuff, you did. That's a huge boon because not a lot of people are doing that.
And I can see, I can see the benefits for this. We, one of the local facilities that I do a lot of weddings at, uh, Eagle Glen golf club, they had a, somebody come in and photograph it and do a whole 360 degree tour. And it's absolutely essential for brides doing research cause they can, they can cruise through the room.
And so what Eagle Glen did is they set the room up like a reception and that's so great and they can see that space and that's good. And you can offer that to anybody. So yeah, one of the things that I actually, I can show you, one of the, one of the more recent jobs I've done. Uh, which I think will give you a really good idea on exactly just that perspective.
This is, this is a sample that I actually use for my clients all the time. It's a separate website that I built that has a sample of a lot of my work. And this is where it's actually published with the overlay. And so, and this, what it does is it puts it into auto rotation right away. So I start off at that same car again, but you can imagine that if I go on to, uh, where's my clubs, function centers, the Crowne Plaza in Terrigal, this is a place that Peter will recognize.
He actually stays there. So when he, when he's in the area, which is cool, so he can have a look around, but here's a great facility that you can actually have a look around in and see what it would look like if you were actually going to be having a function in this, in this, uh, in this facility, bang, this is how big the room is.
You know, you can see how many tables you can see. Nice. Okay. And this was a, a relatively large project, you know, like when you're doing a shoot like of this magnitude, like this was to do this place. Cause I actually had to do eight different, um, meeting rooms. Um, and um, on top of that I was working alongside two other photographers doing still imagery at the same time.
So we're basically, you know, and of course, um, we're scrambling for space and I'm scrambling for them to get the hell out of my shot because I'm shooting 360. So it's a bit of a photographer. Yeah. As bloody guys. Hey, but it was two days work take the, this is an image capture in this case because of the amount of work that was involved.
I had to go back at different times. So when you're doing large commercial spaces like this, it's a different type of a, of a shoot. Then go going and doing a house where you can get in and out and do a 360 of a house. You should be able to shoot that once you're, you've got your chops, you should be able to do it.
And as little as half an hour, possibly as much as a button. Wow. Well, you know, I had a, I had a whole notepad full of questions. Um, they've all been answered. You've done. You've done fantastic. You've got the ball. Good to hear. Excellent. Awesome. Yeah, I'd be curious to hear also from the people that have attended know, what's like, what's their takeaway.
What's the thing that makes them go holy, geez. I'm excited. Or I'm scared or, you know, I don't know. I, I don't have anybody. Uh, anybody got anything that they want to ask Marc? There's everybody, everybody ready? They're hugging me. They're all getting. Yeah, absolutely. You know, but, uh, definitely if, if someone's looking for some basic training in this space, more than happy to, you know, give them, give them an idea of how to set up, you know, like there's a whole heap of different templating processes that it can help you with depending on the gear you choose.
Because that's where it's like, once you get that gear question out of the way, then go, okay, all right, now I know what you mean. Here's how you're going to want to set yourself up in terms of hardware, in terms of your computer, your software that you're gonna use. Um, and also even when it comes to how you're going to sell, how are you going to promote yourself?
Because that's a big, big part of it. Like, as you know, I'm a big fan of LinkedIn and that's where a lot of my work comes from is actually by being well networked in the community. I'm, you know, I'm on the board of directors for the tourism board. I, uh, I participate in, in, I'm also on the, um, I'm the Marceting manager for the Nora headlight house with lighthouse.
So we've been all showing photos of, um, so, you know, you've gotta be involved in community. You've got to really understand that you're, you're gonna be dealing with a lot of local businesses. So your relationship with them has to be really tight. Right? I'm going to go ahead and stop your screen share, um,
So, oh, uh, let's see. What have we got here? Uh, of course, Stan wants to know if he can do this in macro. Um, you can, I'll tell you what you can do as far as macro stuff, or really cool things that you can add in. And I didn't show this, but we're in, if you saw in those virtual tour samples, every once in a while, you'd see like a, like a, a, uh, either a button, a flashing button or, um, an information card.
Well, what you can do in 360 photos is add instill images as an overlay. So for example, let's say that you had done a virtual tour of let's say a gift shop or like a jewelry store. You could take macro photos of the jewelry and pop them on top of the virtual tour. So you can get a virtual tour of the store, but then show off the jewelry.
The next cool thing is, is if they actually have a shopping. Attached to their store. You can make a hot link out of that photo, back into their shopping cart. Talk about being coronavirus friendly, right? Yeah. Yeah. So if you were going to go from star, so let's say you had, you had no gear, maybe, maybe you had a camera.
This is kind of one understands the question, like how much to get started with the decent rig, but I'm kind of expanding on that a little bit. So, you know, you've got, you've got your software, right? So let's say all your software, there's a bunch of software. How much about a thousand bucks all up. Right.
By the time you get Pentateuch VR for publishing, cause you're going to need that to publish. Um, that's like 330 year old. So whatever that works out to, I mean, but again, I'm also talking in Australian dollars, by the way. So about a thousand Australian. So it's, we're like someone's half call it 600 and then, and then you've got, uh, well, four or 500 bucks for the N for a nodal plate.
And then you could have anywhere from four or 500 to a thousand plus for a tripod, uh, in your fish islands. Right, right, right. And then your lens. So, I mean, if you don't have a lot of that stuff that may be of a camera, you could, you could easily spend close to two grand, 1500 to $2,000 to be working right.
To be really, to create which, which really isn't, it isn't. Yeah, because if you go buy like a, like a new, 70 to 200 to eight, even like a Sigma is going to cost you that's it at Diener bucks. Exactly. And that's Sigma eight millimetre brand new, which is still available. Like, I mean, you know, check out the use, check out the use Marcets for these lenses.
The one thing you've got to be careful is to make sure that I'm not scratch. Cause you know, fish eyes as well as I do. There's so many from scratch. Right. Um, so, and I've even got a little tiny, I've got a little dimple screen. On on my fisheye now. And I have to be very careful because what it does is it causes a lot of lens flares.
I can't see it. It doesn't focus on it, but if the light hits it just right. Yeah. Yeah. So, so one of the tricks is to actually, if I think I'm going to get a lot of lens flares, I literally flipped the camera upside down and I shoot so that the, so that the, that the bottle it's a lever. Yeah. So it's just that it's a little less convenient from, from, uh, you know, operating the camera.
Um, but yeah, so getting that lens is a, is a good place to start in. Oh, this is just regular tripod, right? Just anything you can balance something stable. Right. I mean the more stable it is, the better. The other thing you'll probably notice that I actually don't have, I, I, the way I level the tripod is I actually just increase or decrease the length of the leg or bring them in to keep the, the, the tripod is as level as possible.
Um, that's one of the things that most people forget is that really. Starting off level is, is, is a skill in of itself because it's very easy to be off as you, cause as you're rotating on the axis, there's a bit of that you do actually lose a bit of your leveling anyway, too. Right? Right. So is anybody shooting 360 with a drone?
Yeah. Yeah. There's people who do I actually work on other people's images. They tend to ship them to me and then I stick to them for them outsource the hard work. Right? Yeah. Well, you know, because, well it's the drones, drone software will actually stitch it for you. You can buy apps. That'll actually do the stitching, but they generally tend to do a lot of stitching error and there's a lot of fails.
So bringing it, bringing it into PT, gooey, and being able to manually add that. One of the things I need to show you guys is when there's a lot more involved in PTQ than what I just showed you. There's because you actually haven't had stitching points. I'm sure that class. It is it actually, and that's where, if it became something where someone had really wanted to go deep on how to fix difficult images, I'd actually be referring people to John Warkentin’s pano bootcamp.
He's already got a full-on course, very well designed around that the guy is a master at this stuff. I've learned more from him than anybody else. Um, you know, so it's about understanding what, like who's got the greatest skillset for, for basic setup to get up and running, uh, to basically not get yourself into hot water.
I could definitely do all that, but, uh, you know, cause that's, that's, you know, try not to get yourself into trouble. That's number one, I've actually had, I've actually even had situations where you go to shoot a 360 and imagine where you forget to shoot all, all four frames around you. Shoot three, whoops.
Like what do you do then? It's like, Yeah. So now you're doing some really crazy Photoshopping. Like your hope what's actually in that missing area is something that's replaceable. Well, thank you, Marc. Uh, this has been amazing and we've got down a solid hour and a half, which is fantastic. Uh, I will be re this is recorded and I will be posting this, uh, super shortly once I get it all edited and everything.
So for those of you who maybe didn't catch everything as we glossed over, you can go back and you can watch it at your leisure. Um, if you want to connect with Marc, Marc, tell us, uh, your website. I know it's a work picks.com. We're picks.com and, um, and the best social media, obviously for me is LinkedIn.
So I'm very easy to find a LinkedIn, if you just type in my name as a search, you'd probably see me come up and LinkedIn. Uh, but my, I met, uh, linkedin.com forward slash Marc Charette. Um, you'll find me that just that way. And, uh, I met Marc and he is a regular figure on the twit pro community where myself and Peter Levin actually hangs out.
Peter actually went to Australia on vacation. Well, many places, but he went and hung out with Marc and Craig Stampfli from the community. So that's, that's how we met. So he's a regular feature there to showing his images. So, uh, thank you everybody for attending. I appreciate that everybody in the, in the waiting room and absorbing all of Marc's amazing knowledge and, uh, Marc, thank you.