December 21st, 2006
Last week I was talking to Dawn Shaffer a real estate photographer and virtual tour provider in the Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR area. Dawn is the second PFRE reader I’ve talked to that is happily using Real Tour Vision. Earlier this year Sharon Nymann, a Realtor in the Key Largo area, reported that she was successfully using Real Tour Vision tours to do her own tours since Key Largo has no tour providers.
Both Dawn and Sharon reported that they chose Real Tour Vision after extensive evaluations of all the alternatives for creating virtual tours. To me it appears that the distinctive feature of Real Tour Vision is that it’s a turn-key application that supplies software, some hardware and hosting that allows you to create your own virtual tours with 360 images. Other tour providers like tourfactory.com and visualtour.com provide hosting but users have to do stitching of 360 images and figure out how to shoot 360 images. RTV appears to help you through the whole process with hardware (You can use your existing camera) stitching software, hosting and support. Shooting and stitching 360 images can be intimidating if you are learning from scratch.
I’ve never used RTV myself but RTV appears to have all the essential components of creating professional looking tours. The 360 images that you create are cylindrical (image is projected as on a cylinder) in stead of spherical (image projected on a sphere) but that is not a big issue. 99% of real estate 360 images are done in cylindrical mode because spherical images take special equipment to shoot and special stitching software to create. If you are considering getting started with RTV be sure to talk to Dawn (allaboutvirtualtours.com ) she has been using RTV for 2 years and can give you tips on how to add virtual tours to your services as a RE photographer.