Matterport 3D and VR Solutions to Help Grow Georgia Film/TV Business

The following commentary is by Atlanta-based We Get Around Founder, CEO and Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod. We Get Around creates WalkAround 3D and Virtual Reality (VR) tours – powered by Matterport. 

Steve Case of Revolution Gets Matterport VR Demo by We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod-Photo byAtlanta Journal-Constitution Photojournalist Hyosub Shin

Steve Case of Revolution Gets Matterport VR Demo by We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod-Photo byAtlanta Journal-Constitution Photojournalist Hyosub Shin

Dan is also the Founder of the Matterport User Group Forum; and the Founder of the Referral Network of Matterport Pro 3D Camera Photographers and Real Estate Agents. The Referral Network has 500+ members among the United States, Canada and 30 other countries.

At the SuperNova South conference in Atlanta 5-9, 2015, Dan will be on the 10:30 am Monday panel: Opportunities in VR, AR and Immersive Technologies for Content Creators, Brands and Marketers.

The Moderator is Georgia Digital Entertainment Project Manager Asante Bradford.

by Dan Smigrod (@DanSmigrod)

In addition to providing film/television audiences with an immersive and engaging bonus content experience, innovation in Virtual Reality (VR) and Three-Dimensional (3D) photography will help Georgia increase film/TV productions by:

✓ re-imaging location scouting
✓ enabling pre-visualization of locations by out-of-state directors
✓ by enabling production designers to use 3D data

Re-Imagining Location Scouting

Location scouting in Georgia begins with photos and ends with time-consuming, travel ($$$) by out-of-town production executives to decide if a location will work for their project. 

WalkAround™ 3D Tour powered by Matterport: TCM Set at Turner Studios | Best viewed on an iPad or on a computer using Chrome Browser. To get started, click on the blue 3D Showcase bar (takes about 10 seconds to load); to 'walk around', use the arrow keys on your keyboard; check-out the dollhouse and floor plan views (lower left icons); click to fly-in and walk around | WalkAround 3D Tour by We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod

Now imagine New York and Los Angeles based production executives "teleporting in" to be "present" in the potential Georgialocations via VR.

In addition to photos, now imagine that Georgia production ready locations adds 3D and VR viewing experiences to its library of locations to help productions save time and money scouting locations.

For example, SONY Pictures Television location shoot of its POWERS episode at Atlanta Tech Village was a result of these We Get Around WalkAround™ 3D Tour – powered by Matterport – in the LocationsHub locations scouting database.

Enabling Pre-Visualization of Locations by Out-of-State Directors

Many television series episodic directors live in New York and Los Angeles.

Video: POWERS Actress Logan Browning ("Zora") gives Atlanta Tech Village "shout-out" about filming at the Village. Logan loved her Village experience so much, she returned for a tour and to meet Village members. Video courtesy of Friendly Human (an Atlanta Tech Village member company.)

So, when these out-of-state directors show up to direct their episode, they need to quickly become familiar with their visual storytelling assets to help decide where the actors stand; where the lighting goes and where they want the cameras.

Now imagine – while in Los Angeles or New York – directors (and their production team) 'teleport in' to 'Walk Around' the Georgia production location to pre-visualize how they want to shoot their episode. This saves time; which saves money for the production.

Enabling Production Designers to Use 3D Data

When a film or television series goes on location, temporary walls and signage often need to be added. Today, a production may do two or three tech scouting trips to a location. Imagine two dozen production executives and crew show up to measure-measure-measure and take tons of still photos for anticipating lights; cameras; walls; and placement of actors.

Now imagine how these tech scouting trips could be reduced by the 3D photographer simply providing a 3D model of the space that has all the (accurate enough) measurements within the visual data.

Now, each department can take measurements, take photos and modify the space to present their plans to production executives.  

For example, with the We Get Around FloorMe Extreme™ 3D modeling solution using our proprietary process, we convert the the Object File (.OBJ) captured by the Matterport Pro 3D Camera to a SketchUp (.SKP) file that a set designer can import to any 3D modeling software. Once everyone agrees on a production plan, then just one tech scouting trip will be necessary for precise accurate measurements.


Film and television productions will save time, money and produce a better experience and by re-imagining location scouting; pre-visualization of locations; and how production designers use 3D data for modeling.

As one senior production executive shared with me on a tech scout for a major television series in Atlanta, "I am old school. I like showing up and taking a ton of still photos and making measurements, BUT I can see that this is how the next generation of production executives will create film and television. It's amazing!"

Augmented Reality

And, one more thing. Augmented Reality (AR) – the overlaying of 3D and VR models – with real-time data is the next wave to add more value to the 'teleport in' experience. Matterport has already announced its (coming soon) Showcase 2.0 that will enable annotation of 3D and VR models with audio, video, schematic floor plans, shopping cart and links.

Now image how the 3D and VR models – created for Georgia film/television location scouting and production can be annotated with audio from the Director; video clips from the production; tagging merchandise to tap-to-buy and links for additional content.

Many of us have experienced the birth of the web, social media, mobile and tablets. All have gone mainstream.

Beyond Georgia, the 3D, VR and AR tsunami that is coming, is powered by deep pocket tech giants such as Google, Samsung, Microsoft and Apple.

While 3D, VR and AR may still be bleeding edge technologies, content creators, brands and marketers that embrace the future – now – will be ready. Beloved brands that fail to embrace change may join the ranks of Tower Records, Borders, Circuit City, Polaroid and Blockbuster

imploding only happens to a few companies? Eight-nine percent of Fortune 500 firms in 1955 either no longer existed in 2014 or were no longer on the Fortune 500 list in 2014, according to the American Enterprise Institute.

For We Get Around, we can't wait for the future to arrive and we're ready now to help grow film/television production beyond its annual $6+ billion economic impact in Georgia.


Dan Smigrod

Founder, CEO & Chief Photographer, 3527 Knollhaven Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30319-1908, USA