An Introduction.

Capturing a massive virtual tour can be daunting. Some specialize in large virtual tours. Others might only get one or two a year. Either way, being ready is vital. You need to plan and organize. In this blog we will discuss just that. From must have equipment to post production strategies. We’ll even go over setting expectations. Lastly, we’ll talk about how to roll one big job into the next.

But first, a note on pricing. It is important you charge the right amount for the tour. Or, you get what you pay for. In reality, virtual tours will bring the institution six and seven figures in added revenue. If an institution isn’t ready to make the proper investment, then they simply aren’t ready for this kind of marking. Seeing as this is the trending future, it’s important for photographers to remind clients, they do ultimately get what they pay for.

So, here are the first top TEN considerations you need to make when capturing a large virtual tour.


Time on site.

When capturing large virtual tours, Here’s a question that will come up sooner, rather than later.

“How long is this going to take?”

World Wide Massive Virtual Tour

World Wide Massive Virtual Tour

And it’s a good question. It’s tempting to try to make the offer more attractive by citing a lower number. Let’s do the math. Depending on shooting conditions, one can capture 1,500-2,000sq ft/hour when using Matterport. If you are structuring your tour with 360 panos in a software like 3Dvista, then the space you can cover largely depends on the look and feel of the desired product.

In the end this is an important consideration. A large virtual tour is generally considered anything over 100,000 sq ft. So 100,000 divided by, at best, 2,000 equals 50, or 50 hours. 50 hours can be done in a week. Five, ten hour days. But this takes generous considerations. Ideal shooting conditions- and no breaks.

From an operations standpoint, that is a large consideration. Unless the space can be closed, people will be on the tour. Especially with Matterport, where post production options are wildly expensive or not possible.

For fast capturing and a lot more customization, lean towards 360 virtual tours and not 3D. Momentum has captured spaces as large as 1.1 Million interior Square Feet in 47 hours using 360 cameras and drones. This was using a single person team.

If time on site is a deal breaker, then consider subcontracting to save the deal. It’s better to have help than to be stuck with a frustrated customer.

Shooting methods and options.

Capturing Massive Virtual Tours

Snag a massive virtual tour for your portfolio!

Large virtual tours take time, as mentioned. But this can be largely controlled by the SOP used for the job. The client needs will dictate a lot here. Construction progress might demand 3D. A university might be squarely focused on marketing. HDR is the way to go there.


There are several assets you can use for large virtual tours. Drone 360 panoramas can be a real winner. Not only do they help navigate, but it is an impressive and unique way to view all of a space. Drone can be helpful when connecting buildings either way. 360 video is another thought. Being able to show the atmosphere of a space as it is, is the closest thing we have to taking someone to a space. Adding a few features like this into a tour can make it the crown jewel of the marketing department.


Massive Virtual Tour Equipment.

There is a gauntlet of options. You can spend between $300 and $20,000. You’re going to get a lot of opinions on 360 cameras. The Ricoh Theta Z1 is a fantastic option. At only $1,100, it’s a great choice. And, the price point is where it is ideal (demanded) that you carry a spare while on site.

A big camera for a big job

Make sure you have the right gear!

Regarding 3D cameras, Matterport is its own. You can get used Pro2 for $2,000 on up. Just make sure you send it to for a tune up. We’re not endorsed, they’re literally the only operators in that space. And they have a UK location. In all transparency we have done business with them before, so at the very least I can say their service is great.


Virtual Tour Location Preparation.

Momentum 360 has a shoot prep guide. This helps set expectations. But for capturing large virtual tours, you are going to have added considerations. You need to think of some broader issues.

Getting a facility with hundreds of employees on the same page is hard. You need to strategize. Email blasts from HR leading up help. Also, posting signs in several spots. Letting people know they may need to clear the area, work from home, or suspend operations.

Scheduling goes a long way. Calculate how quickly you can work. Get the sizes of various spaces. Come up with a rough outline of what to expect. You can help keep things much more fluid.

Don’t forget other considerations. Making sure areas are tidy and clean. If places need to be staged, that is it done. Have groundskeeping or maintenance do spot fixes the day before. When capturing massive virtual tours, it’s a team effort. And not just you and the marketing department. Make sure to make yourself available for questions.

Point of contact orientation.

When capturing massive virtual tours, it’s important to have an orientation. Not with the entire facility, but with one or two key people with enough seniority to get things done in a reasonable manner. This can often best be done by shooting a prerecorded video, and distributing so people can watch when it works for them. Be available for emails and follow ups.

Learning about virtual tours

Learning about virtual tours

Often, a virtual/face to fact kick off meeting two to three weeks in advance is a good idea. You’ll want to go over exact details regarding execution. What can and cannot be fixed after the image has been captured. Now is a good time to review cancelation policies, and the added cost of needing to come back if an area needs to be recaptured for whatever reason.

With massive virtual tours, there will be errors. So it’s important to pass that off to your client to set expectations. We’re going to cover expectations more, next.


Setting expectations is important. There are so many moving pieces when making a massive virtual tour. You need to help your client understand the process. This can cover many areas. Like production, post production, and utilization.

Let the customer know that over hundreds or thousands of panos, there are going to be a few people on the tour- it is simply inevitable. When capturing a massive virtual tour, it’s a guarantee. Helping the customer understand this in advance will help. Also, reiterate murphy’s law. Anything that can go wrong, will. So it’s important to cover certain areas. What happens if the gear breaks down? Or there are storms? What about last minute work being done? And of people with the right keys not being where they need to be at the right time?

Massive virtual tours are a task all their own. It’s important you set the same distinction.


Massive Post Production Expectations.


Each editing style has its own timeline. Make sure you understand your workflow. Massive virtual tours take massive amounts of time to complete. Setting these expectations in advance with your client will go a long way in not only building trust, but making sure there is a good experience all around.

When it comes to utilization of massive virtual tours, here are some things to keep in mind. First, location. Get the virtual tour everywhere you can. From Google street view to your own home page. Don’t forget, QR codes can be a very easy way to distribute the tour on print or physical media.

Virtual Tour Execution.

It’s time. Appointment set, departments briefed. Your first massive virtual tour is before you. Let’s talk about the few steps before and the few steps that follow from this point. First off, you’re going to need proper sleep. Not just the night before, but try to get several good nights of sleep in a row, before your multi-day venture.

Don’t forget to check your gear. Put it through its paces, after updating firmware. Make sure you understand any new features (or bugs) before you get into the field. Massive virtual tours have little room for error. Make sure all maintenance has been completed, and all other auxiliary considerations are up to speed.

To keep timelines down, you might need to keep breaks down to a minimum. Make sure you have a strategy to generate or store power for use throughout the day. It’s also important, finally, to stay fueled and hydrated. It can be tempting to do things in a single shot. But making sure you get a chance to eat and drink water is very important.
Lastly, speak to your doctor. Some massive virtual tours can require tens or hundreds of hours on site. This is a massive physical undertaking for some. Make sure you have been cleared to engage in this level of physical activity. It seems simple, but 50 hours in, you’re going to wish you considered it.

Massive File Management.

It’s hard to over emphasize this. When shooting massive virtual tours, you need a file management plan. When the raw assets number in the thousands, you need to make sure you are staying on top of things. A really easy way to double your post production time is to not take this seriously.

File management comes in handy in two ways. First, it keeps you organized. Which is highly important when capturing a massive virtual tour. Secondly, it allows for spot quality control. You want to be able to catch onto things like file corruption way too early, so you can circle back with minimal interruption.



Don’t let massive virtual tours scare you. If you’re in the industry long enough, you’ll get a chance to quote one. Don’t forget, don’t undersell the industry. Remember that you are bringing massive value to the table for the customer. Charge accordingly. Massive virtual tours come with a massive price tag, and there is no breakdown for size. That is a backwards model. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your time on site. Consider all the various shooting methods and options available to you. Make sure you have the right equipment, and enough of it as back up if needed. Make sure the location has been prepped. All practical precautions have been taken.

Make sure the onsite contacts have been briefed. They are key to ensuring the overall success. Make sure expectations have been managed, and are crystal clear. Have a defined understanding of your execution. From first step to last. And lastly, a comprehensive file management plan.

In the end, massive virtual tours are exciting, profitable, and doable! So don’t be intimidated and remember, charge what it’s worth.