The Complete Guide on How to Make a 3D Real Estate House Tour

3d house tour

How difficult is it to create a 3D walkthrough of a home yourself? Does it take a professional, or can you learn to do this yourself quickly? The skills are not complex, so you might be able to figure it out. If you find it hard to make a good video, you can change your mind and hire someone.

You do not need 3D animation skills to create a virtual tour. Don’t worry if you have no 3D graphics experience – the software is easy to use. If you can use a video camera and make a decent video, you can create a virtual house tour.

You might even be able to do it even if you have hardly ever used a video camera before. It is easier if you have some practice with a camera, but you may be able to make a good video the first time you try. Using a software program to finish up and edit the tour is even easier.

Some people will find it easier to make a good video than others. Sometimes, a person might be disappointed by the quality of what they create if they do it themselves.

Don’t publish a bad virtual tour that will scare customers away. Only publish whatever you create if it looks fairly professional.

Any skills related to film and video are relevant here. You need to understand editing, equipment, lighting, and shot composition. Since making a virtual tour is not difficult, you might be able to just pick up a camera and do it.

Not every camera will work for creating a 3D virtual tour. You need a panoramic camera that will work for this kind of video. This does not mean you will need to buy anything expensive – you can buy a kit for only $100 that lets you shoot a 3D virtual tour with a smartphone camera.

Video Walkthroughs VS Real 3D Tours

Sometimes, you can look at a video walkthrough of a house online. This is similar to a youtube video of a house’s interior and does not let the customer move the camera around. A real 3D tour lets you move the camera. Both can work, but 3D tours are better.

With a 3D tour, the viewer can move the camera around and see how the house looks from different angles. This gives them something closer to the experience of seeing the house on foot than a video walkthrough can provide. While it is a bit harder to create these 3D, 360-degree walkthroughs, you do not need fancy skills or complicated equipment.

The Basics of Shooting a 3D Tour

First, you will use a 3D camera to record every room in your house. Then, you will put the recordings together on an easy-to-use 3D video program to create a final product.

You have to make sure you capture enough information when you take recordings of each room. Make sure you record every object in your room so that everything is visible in your tour. Viewers will not like it if there are parts of some rooms they cannot see as you did not record them.

Cameras and Lenses

It is easiest to shoot your virtual tour if you use a 360-degree camera. These 360-degree cameras take panoramic pictures that capture everything in front of, behind, and to the sides of the camera.

If you are looking for something higher-end, you can go with the Garmin VIRB 360. This is a proper panoramic video camera that creates very high-resolution images.

You can capture incredible 5.7K footage and edit it with software designed specifically for the camera. The camera has plenty of extra bells and whistles, including a GPS, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. Its only disadvantage is its relatively high price.

A cheaper 3D panoramic camera is the HumanEyes Vuze XR. This is significantly cheaper and can capture footage in the same 5760*2880 resolution. However, the editing software is not as good as for the VIRB 360.

The cheapest choice is to use 3D lenses you can attach to smartphones. Smartphones usually have the power to take a panoramic image without you having to install anything else.

I do not recommend trying to take any panoramic footage without a tripod. Even if you are trying to save money and using a smartphone camera, a tripod is necessary.

Have a Plan and Shoot Every Room Properly

You should plan everything out in advance if you want your 3D tour to turn out great. If you shoot it without planning it out first, you might not like the final product and have to start all over. Plan everything out and do everything one step at a time.

You should shoot everything from the center of the room. That way, your camera can capture as much of the room as possible. You might find the center of each room and mark that spot with tape before you get your camera out.

Sometimes, the center obviously won’t be the best spot. Find a different spot where you can pick up as much information as possible. Every room matters. Don’t neglect to shoot a storage room or a small bathroom, someone who wants to see your house wants to see everything.

Make sure every room looks as good as possible before you shoot it. Clean and de-clutter the whole house first. Move things around so that nothing blocks the camera’s view. Lighting matter a lot – turn on all of the lights, and move an extra lamp into the room if it is still too dark.

Keep Your Tripod Level

You need to keep your camera level when you turn it around to capture the whole room. You cannot let the camera wobble up and down. It isn’t possible to create a good 3D model if the camera wobbles. Your virtual tour needs even and not distorted lines and angles.

Use a tripod, even if you aren’t spending much on equipment. Even if your 3D camera is only a smartphone camera plus an added gadget, you still need a tripod. Most tripods use a simple bubble-level, no different from the level a carpenter uses. Make sure the bubble stays in the middle to keep it level.

Test Before You Shoot

Your first few tries might be practice rather than part of your finished tour. Start with a single room, and complete the whole process, including viewing it on the computer in 3D.

Notice what could be improved – do you need to move things around, add an extra lamp, or shoot from a different spot? You might get the hang of it fast; it doesn’t always take a lot of practice.

Shoot Your Property and Edit it With Software

Closeup on modern DSLR camera in hand of modern female interior photographer at home.

Make a list of every room you plan to shoot and go through it. This won’t take very long – it certainly isn’t a multi-day job, far from it. If you aren’t completely sure that a shot is good, take a second one. Ideally, you won’t have to return to any rooms and shoot again.

Upload your shots from your digital camera to your computer. Open your editing program, briefly figure out how to use it (this is the easy part – shooting it was the closest thing to a hard part), and put everything together.

As long as your software program has enough imagery to work with, it can create excellent 3D tours. Other people will be able to look at each room of your house from the angles they want.

You might do some light editing of your rooms to make them look better and fix problems, but this is not always necessary and does not require complex skills. You can apply simple filters to your tour to make some of the rooms look brighter or, in some other way, better. Don’t overdo it with filters.

You might also add extras to your virtual tour. You don’t have to do anything fancy or complicated. Simply adding some text, music (you can easily find public domain music), or links can make your video look a lot better.

What is Parallax?

While using the software is easy, using the camera is relatively hard. It is hit or miss whether or not you can create a good virtual tour the first time you try. Your odds are better if you have any photography experience. Using the right camera makes it a lot easier for someone with no experience to do.

Panoramic photography is commonly used. Nearly all smartphones from the last few years have a panoramic feature. Turn the panoramic photography mode on, rotate the camera around while keeping it level, and you will have a 360-degree photograph.

Back in the days of film, you needed expensive panoramic cameras to do this. Today, you can create a virtual tour with only smartphone cameras and attachments. However, you still need to know a few tricks to get good-looking panoramic images.

One problem that people taking panoramic images run into is parallax. Parallax is a form of distortion where the position/angle of two objects changes depending on the angle you look at them.

Parallax is not always a problem and affects what you see with your eyes, and not only artificial images. It is part of how vision works. If you drive along a road, the faraway objects seem to move slower than the nearby objects do. You can also see a house from different angles as you drive past it. This is parallax as well.

Parallax is only a problem if it distorts your images. It can make it harder to shoot a good virtual tour because the objects may look distorted even after you convert everything to 3D.

Parallax leads to parallax error which can make very blurry and unusable images. What you see when you are looking through the camera lens is not always the same as what the camera will record. Things that you wanted to capture may also be cropped out of the video.

You can avoid parallax error by using the right camera. If what you see is the same as whhe camera will pick up, you won’t have to worry about this problem. You can also re-shoot the image after adjusting the camera’s angle. The better and more beginner-friendly your camera is, the less likely you are to run into this problem.

Don’t Be Afraid to Hire Someone if You are Having Trouble

Not everyone has tons of time, and you might get fed up if your virtual tour doesn’t look good right from the start. Instead of making a second attempt at it, you could hire someone to make a virtual tour for you.

Upload and Publish Your Tour

You will not usually need to pay for or set up any web hosting to publish your tour. Instead, the software you buy will take care of all of that for you. They will offer you cloud storage and make it easy for you to upload the video to the cloud.

You will then have a link to the video and can embed the video on your website. You can then direct traffic to your website to help sell the house. You won’t always need your own website – you can add your information and images to a site that helps people sell real estate.

Buying Google Ads can be a good idea. These ads don’t cost a fortune and can get your property sold. Facebook is another good place to advertise. Use ads to attract viewers and use the virtual tour and information about the property to sell the house.

The Best Software for Creating Virtual Tours

Not every program for creating virtual tours is the same. Since you might not have any experience, you need a program that is easy to use. You might also need specific features that not every program has. Some options offer web hosting for your 3D tours or are much cheaper than others.

Asteroom, Livetour, Kuula, and 3Dvista are all good choices. Kuula is mabye the best choice – it is powerful enough to create a good virtual tour, cheap ($12 per month), and easy to use. The customer service is also responsive if you have any questions.

You might consider a more expensive choice, such as 3DVista Virtual Tour Pro, which costs $559. 3DVista is a powerful program with a long list of features. However, even though you can keep the program for life with no additional fees, it is still expensive. You probably don’t need the best available program. Go with one that is cheaper and easier to use.

If you are using a smartphone with an attachment and a motorized stand, Asteroom might be the best. You might also use Livetour as a free option if you only want to create a very few tours. For most people, Kuula is the best – the cost is minimal, and it is easy to use.

You can Make a Virtual Tour Yourself

Popularized by the pandemic, virtual tours are here to stay. A potential customer can get a good look at a property without ever visiting it. They may not even need to see it in person.

If you think you could do a good job yourself, you might want to try it. The camera skills and computer skills you need are light enough that many people can do it themselves, even without related experience.

Even if you are showing your property to customers in person, you should offer online showings, as well. Some people may not want to book an appointment to see a property in person and prefer virtual tours. It is easier to sell a house if virtual tours are an option.

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