Matterport photographers that manage their clients' expectations, will have happy, on-going client relationships.
"While the Matterport platform is an amazing, magical visual storytelling solution, there are some challenges," says We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod. "Here's how we manage our clients' expectations."
- Stitching Not Perfect – the camera takes six images around that need to be stitched together. The stitching is great, but not perfect: especially in tight spaces.
- Indoor Only Photography – the Matterport platform is designed for indoor use. While it is possible to shoot outdoors under certain conditions, allow for more time for the shoot and the potential not to be able to successfully shoot outdoors.
- Allow 1.5 Hours Per 1,000 Square Foot – While we often complete Matterport shoots in less than 45 minutes per hour, we also figure-in time for challenges (glass, mirrors, lighting, people moving inside/outside of space, client still staging space).
- No People – the Matterport platform is designed for spaces without people. While it is possible to photograph people under ideal conditions – and we push the limits on this – it's not the norm.
- Color Matching is Not Perfect – colors are not as vidid as a pro-shot Architectural Digest home photograph.
- FloorMe™ with Matterport interactive floor plans – the floor plans are accurate enough to renovate spaces to present to clients for approval and then contractors to quote on projects. Dimensions and square footage based on 3D infrared scan. All contractors must verify dimensions and area on the field.
- Lighting Inside and Outside – While the camera shoots HDR photography, it's not at the level of Architecture Digest home (lighting great both inside and outside). For best results we avoid direct sunlight into windows – may add time to the photo shoot to wait for the light to be correct – we typically begin the photo shoot on the opposite side that the sun is facing.
- No Photoshop – since we can not 'Photoshop' the Matterport photography, the space needs to be exactly as the client wants it (such as remove and/or emptying trash cans.).
- Camera Selfies – While we do our best to avoid the camera showing up in mirrors, that's not always possible in tight spaces that have wall-to-wall mirrors. Plus, the camera will likely show up as a reflection in glass windows.
- Size Matters – Matterport supports up to 10,000 square feet (sf) with up to 200 scans. If you want a model to be more than 200 scans and/or larger than 10,000 sf, it will take longer to load in webGL and take longer to process. It's also possible that the model will fail to process. (We can always split the model – to under 200 scans / under 10,000 sf and resubmit the models and they will process successfully. We have successfully shot models with 300+ scans. (If we shoot a space larger than 10,000 sf and/or more than 200 scans, it may delay the deliverables by one or more days.)
- Public versus Private – Matterport is a public platform. 3D Showcase WalkAround tours set to private can not be (easily) shared. Models set to Public are discoverable via Google search (and likely in other ways in the future).
- Fluorescence Light – Matterport camera has challenges with fluorescence light (See color and ridges in the daylight office in the basement of this example)
- Viewing Device – while Matterport 3D Showcases look great on smartphone, tablets and desktops, these viewing devices need to be running webGL. Google Chrome and Apple iOS 8, for example, include webGL as a default setting. While webGL can easily be added as a default setting in Safari, it's likely Apple will add it as default in a future release of Safari (since Apple did this in iOS 8.)
- Bright Sun – for best results we shoot around bright sun entering windows. This may be by scheduling the photo shoot for early or late morning or taking a break (for the sun to move to complete the photo shoot). Typically, we begin the photo shoot in a room on the opposite side of the sun. In a commercial space with no-blinds on the windows, allow extra time for no direct sunlight.
- Hosting by (Big) Enterprise Clients – The Matterport 3D Showcase clients need to be hosted in the Matterport Cloud. Matterport makes money by charging Matterport Pro 3D Camera photographers for processing and hosting. It does not allow the models to be hosted by clients: only the use of iFrame embed code. (We've asked Matterport multiple times on behalf of multiple enterprise clients.)
- White Label Not Available – Matterport brands 3D Showcase models as YouTube brands videos. Think of it as a seal of approval. Even for (Big) Enterprise Clients, Matterport will not white label its solution. (We've asked Matterport multiple times on behalf of multiple enterprise clients.)
- Loading – a large model (200 scans) may take about 10 seconds to load on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. If load time is critical, divided the model (such as separate floors of a house).
- WalkAround and "Stand" – you can WalkAround and "stand" in a model anywhere the camera captured a 360º view.
- Measure – While it is possible to measure distances within a model within 3D Showcase Workshop, it takes some time to master this skill. Best to let us do this for you. If you need lots of measurements, let us create interactive floor plans for you.
- Still Photos – While still photos can be captured (without logos and navigation icons) within 3D Showcase Workshop (sorta like capturing a screen grab), the image quality is probably okay for a listing under $350,000, best to engage a pro for still photography. For listings that you need to shoot your own still images, Atlanta Agent Magazine published this by our Chief Photographer: The Short List: Dan Smigrod's 21 Tips for Creating Great MLS Photos Using Your Smartphone.
- Learning Curve – while it is easy to use the arrow keys on your keyboard to WalkAround – and the "dollhouse" and "floor plan" icons in the bottom left of the 3D Showcase, it does take a bit more learning to learn some additional ways to WalkAround and resize full-screen.
Other items to manage your clients' expectations about the Matterport solution? Contact Us or comment.