360 Panos Video & Still

360 Motion VR, MatterPort & Panoramas

Most of my work these days is geared towards 360 Motion VR and Spherical Panoramas for use in After Effects.


My VR work for Production Companies, Advertising Firms, Architects and Government Agencies over the last 15 years falls into two main categories.  The cylindrical panorama using longer lenses and the spherical panos using shorter ones for VR Tours.

Visit my Virtual Tour of the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC by clicking on the image of The President's Room

My 360 Motion VR Project 2017

What is Matterport VR?

I started working on a 2 year shoot at the Museum of the Bible being built in Washington DC in 2015.  Some construction Hyperlapse/Timelapse is below.


Matterport Cameras can capture fully immersive 3D models of physical  spaces at about 1000 sq ft an hour.  At the moment the max is a tour of 10K sq ft and it can only do interiors for the most part.  Direct outdoor sunlight causes problems.   Nevertheless the technology is just beginning and for Interiors of all kinds it does offer huge marketing potential.


I have worked with the camera and can attest to ease of use.  It is without a doubt another big VR technology but has a very narrow market from a video production perspective.

While timelapse/hyperlaspe and HD video are the main production solutions for the Museum, 360 VR video narratives are also in preproduction for the project completion next year.


I think everyone on the 360 VR & motion graphics planet has seen the Michelle Obama 360 video by Verge.  For me the Mettle scripts were a real Post eye opener.  Like many I have spent long hours with Autopano Video Pro and SkyBox AE plugins looking at the possibilities for narrative storytelling with motion VR.

Animation of Static Panoramas in AE

While GoPros and 8 bit capture has a place, 10 bit raw with a 12 stop plus dynamic range is really the solution for many interior applications.  At the moment the Sphericam Beast Camera System has the look and potential of a real solution for shooting indoors.


Motion Impossible's Mantis or a Freefly Tero could be used to mount the Beast so it could be driven around an indoor space.  Some of the smaller 8 bit  VR video cameras can now be attached to drones.  I own 2 of these for testing this Winter in Arizona.


My Virtual Tours Projects

If you want to tell a story about a Structure with a limited Production budget it is hard to beat the value of Spherical Panoramas stitched in PTGUI.


Creating a video narrative with still images is effective but using a image sphere in Post is much more immersive.  There is just more image real estate with a sphere.


Key frame animation of a sphere in Post is a great way to narrate with voice over using nice smooth pans.   Literally you can get the perfect pan in Post using this method.  Plus you have the advantage of using HDR to make sure the highlights and shadows appear as desired.  Here is an example.

For large buildings like Museums and Historic Properties, virtual tours are both inexpensive and easy to assemble.  The key to great imaging of VR Tours is adding High Dynamic Range assembly to the shoot.  It gives infinite possibilities to reinterpret the image in Post.


Many retouching tweaks to the still images can be achieved for the perfect visual experience.  Video embeds and still photos are easy to add to make the tours more interactive and fun.  I have used Photomatix and PTGUI for about 10 years now.


A few favorites from the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Museum shoot can be found at this site link at www.youvisit.com Youvisit has free hosting as well which is a bit hard to find these days.