The Differences Between 3D Tours Explained

April 13, 2020

What are 3D Tours and what are the differences between them?

We get these types of questions often at TruPlace. The biggest difference among these products will be the way the user navigates or interacts with the picture on the screen. The next thing users will notice is the coloring within the photos – not all camera equipment is created equal. And if you look closely, you’ll notice that you can’t always see out the windows.

Different Camera, Different Results

Let’s start with our TruFusion 3D Tours. These virtual tours are created using DSLR technology, which is a single lens reflex that allows the most amount of light into the camera. This digital camera allows the mirror inside to “flip” out of the way, allowing the most flexibility in manual settings. The quality is always going to be better when a camera can “capture” the most amount of “data” from a scene as possible. The term reflex comes from the mirroring of the image up into the viewfinder.
Point-and-shoot cameras as they have been referred to, are at a disadvantage because the person taking the picture has no idea what they are actually capturing at the time the photo is taken. There is also a lag between when the button is pushed to take the photo and when the data enters the camera. Also, the physical size of the sensor in these cameras is smaller than it is in the DSLR, which negatively impacts the quality of the image – as seen in the graininess or blur on corners.
Recently, products have hit the market to leverage DIY 3D tours utilizing the point-and-shoot cameras, or DSLR cameras set on “auto” mode. Neither of which can replace the quality of a professional using manual mode. The foundation of a crisp, clear tour starts with the camera, which is why this is a critical question to ask when choosing which tour is right for you.

The Third Dimension

Jumping into the third dimension means that the camera is recording measurements and video. This ability is what allows the user to “pinch and zoom” into the photo. There is also a 360-degree capability that “spins” the camera around the room without the user having to press anything, they can just sit back and watch. Bringing these two capabilities together using a high-quality camera is what we call TruFusion 3D Tours. Merging the 360-degree view with the additional dimensions is what provides the feeling of “it’s like you’re there,” because you can move forward, backward, sideways, and look up and down – as well as zoom in on the details, seeing everything as clearly as if you were there.

Navigating inside a TruFusion 3D is unlike other tours because there is always one photo displayed on the screen. From there, the user has two options: either scroll through the photo slider at the bottom of the screen to move to another room, or click on the white circular arrows inside the photo on the scree – this emulates the experience “walking through a room.” The difference between “walking through a room” and being “teleported” through a room amounts to seeing or not seeing what you pass along the way. You just can’t open the front door and walk out.
The term “fusion” is not unique to TruPlace, but we call it TruFusion because we have a proprietary system for creating and processing the photographs/videos into one beautiful end result that looks great regardless of whether we shoot on a cloudy or sunny day. It’s the same process we apply to our still photos as well and it allows us to provide views out the windows while you’re “standing” inside the property.

Floor Plans + 3D

While our TruFusion 3D Tours are our most immersive property experience, we also offer a Floor Plan Tour that focuses more on the layout of the property. Again, there is always one photo on the screen, but in this product there is an interactive floor plan in the upper right corner that shows you which level you are looking at in the photos. There are red dots on the floor plan indicating a photo is available for that area, and by clicking on that red dot, you can see that area of that level.

For clients who love both our floor plan tours and TruFusion 3D, we created a “hybrid” version of both products. Within the floor plan tour product, you can add “3D spins” that provide the 360-degree views around the room. You can still “pinch and zoom” to see more details about the backsplash, oven, or light switches. Again, you just can’t open the front door and walk out. The word “interactive” also gets used on both the floor plan tour and the 3D tour. Technically they are both interactive, meaning the user can control how things are displayed and what to look at next.

Which One Should I Use?

Choosing the right tour will have a lot to do with the type of property you’re selling or renting and how the end user is going to interact with the product. If they are using a desktop computer and are not computer savvy, the floor plan tour might be enough. If they are using their iPhone and are a digital native looking at a single family, four-bedroom home, the TruFusion 3D will be easy to use and come across clear as day.

Contact our Client Services department for additional support on these products.