How We Capture a Space

How We Capture a Space

When you see a photograph, it’s easy to imagine the scene around where it took place. The photographer stands behind the camera, focusing on the subject in front of them. But when the photograph is an entire 360-degree panorama, how does that even work? A photographer captures one angle per shot. In order to capture an entire space in 3D, we need all of the angles.

Our Process

1. Stage the Space

When we arrive at a location, we spend the first 10-15 minutes walking through the space. We turn on all of the lights available, and make sure there isn’t too much direct sunlight coming in through any of the windows. Because we need to capture the entire space in a single state, care is taken to make sure that there is a clear walking path through the area, and that no doors will have to be opened or closed. This could result in the 3D model not working properly. (Fun Fact: We’ve only ever had to fully remove a door once in all our scans!)

2. The First Scan

Starting at the lowest part of the space – usually the basement – we find a point that gives us as much of a view of how the space is connected as possible. If we can see down multiple hallways or into multiple rooms, we find that results in better overall alignment for the whole space.

3. Capture the Walking Path

We work our way up the property, capturing the essential ‘walking path’ – the key points that a person would walk through if they were physically there. We do this to create a sense of really being there and travelling through the rooms, rather than standing on furniture or in an awkward corner. This usually takes anywhere from 40 to 60 individual 360 scans with our trusty Matterport Pro2 camera.

4. Fill in the Blanks

Once we have the entire flow of the space captured, we can go back and capture anything that was hidden or obscured. This is generally the ‘fun’ part because it involves the most creative problem solving. You have to work with the Matterport app to make sure these extra scans capture the data you need. Getting around furniture, behind doors, and even into tubs and sinks can take a lot of practice before you know where to place the Matterport. Low angle shots and even high angle shots are added to really get all the photo data possible.

5. Extra 360 Scans

The last step is usually to photograph any spaces not connected to the main area being captured. For real estate shoots, this is usually the front and back yard, and maybe the garage if it’s not full of stuff (Fun Fact: It’s always filled with stuff!).

That’s it! We edit and deliver the final sharable links within 24–48 hours.

The entire process takes us 1-2 hours and always follows this basic formula. When there’s no furniture we can go even faster, but that makes for a less than dramatic final product. It can take longer if we need to move things as we go, or if there are people or pets present in the home when we are working. We never mind helping with some last-minute staging, and we always work with our clients and owners to ensure that their space will look as good as possible, even if they have never had a 3D scan before.