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3D/360° tour comparisons: Matterport, GeoCV, NodalView, Z-3D Home, (Cupix)8607

Home3D private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks to the support and encouragement of Dan Smigrod, I decided to compare these five processes on an Apples-to-Apples basis, by shooting one property 5 times. This post presents my first results. I'm going to be shooting more residences this way, because I'm curious to learn. I hope these experiments are helpful to you all.

First a couple disclaimers. My experience for three years has been Matterport. All the rest are either brand new to me or in the case of Zillow 3D Home, I'm about two months in. So I want everyone to know that with almost all these systems I'm learning and flaws which may exist in the shooting or modeling may reflect my own skill limits as much as the system. However, for all of you who, like me, are MSPs, this may be useful if you're considering adding other capabilities to your services in order to serve a broader range of clients, whether more up-scale or budget.

None of these spaces have extra features added such as Matterport's showcase tour. They are just plain vanilla walkthroughs at this point to put the emphasis on the basics of image quality and navigation.

Also, I have no results yet from the use of Cupix which I believe is my own fault. I'm in communication with the Cupix team and working to master how shooting for Cupix is different. If they are patient enough to educate me, I'll be adding this in the future. For now, here are the other four.



NodalView [Shot by Kevin Dole with @Home3D using a free We Get Around test account]

Zillow 3D Home -

Rather than my commenting now, study them yourselves. I'd like to learn from your observations, and I'll add mine later regarding the time each took, both shooting and editing.

This 2000 sq ft condo in Los Angeles was unfurnished, so it made shooting quite simple. However, it has a balcony which extends the full width of the apartment from living room to master bedroom, and which is VERY NARROW outside the dining room window. This was challenging as the cameras were less than 12 inches from the window which resulted in significant mapped image distortion in both Matterport and GeoCV dollhouse models. I want to point this out because I believe it's more an issue with the space itself than either of these systems, since they both struggled here. We all know that these cameras have issues at very close range, and recommend greater distance - I simply had no option.

Explore and compare. I look forward to your comments.

Post 1 IP   flag post
hometakes private msg quote post Address this user
Watch out Matterport. I’m paying $149 a month and own two matterport series 1 cameras for the two guys that work for me. I don’t think I’ve ever exceeded my 11 uploads a month for the $149 (I think it’s 11 you get, please correct me if I’m wrong).

If Geo is the same price or less (meaning I won’t have to spend more than $149 a month), then I’ll be eBaying the two black bricks. I think this is what a lot of us have been waiting for, someone with a lot more options and doesn’t want to control us as well as retain the copyright. Anton, if you ever consider an offer from Matterport, make sure it’s so much money that you can easily afford a 150 yacht as I think you’ll rule the 3D world. At $99 a month unlimited, I think 90% of MSP’s will jump ship, and rightly so.
Post 2 IP   flag post
Gerhard private msg quote post Address this user
About time , been waiting for this moment very patiently.
Post 3 IP   flag post
rzphotoman private msg quote post Address this user
@Home3D Great job putting this together. I'm becoming more and more impressed with GeoCV. The restrictions and cost of Matterport is becoming an issue and I am leaning to the GeoCV platform. I've signed up for their beta program and am anxious to give it a try. One question I have is the quality and or availability of still photos from GeoCV. Any thoughts on that?
Post 4 IP   flag post
izoneguy private msg quote post Address this user
I could see using GeoCV. I just emailed them for info. How much is this going to cost?
Does it use an iPad like Matterport??
Post 5 IP   flag post
izoneguy private msg quote post Address this user
How does Zillow 3D home work? Do you become a provider? Is this only for Real Estate agents?
Post 6 IP   flag post
Home3D private msg quote post Address this user
Kevin here. Let me answer a few of these as best I can. @rzphotoman - I haven't yet figured out how to export stills or panos from GeoCV. @AntonYakubenko - can you explain? Also Anton, have you published cost, answer for @izoneguy ? GeoCV does NOT require an iPad. It's a completely self-contained system which cleverly combines a Samsung phone with a Structure Sensor (made by Occipital - ) both mounted to GeoCV's computerized rotator / tilter base.

A MP camera has three lenses and three IR sensors mounted level, angled up and angled down. It simultaneously captures these three angles both photographically and as IR point cloud data, and rotates through six compass positions to capture 18 views it stitches into a sphere. GeoCV's Samsung/StructureSensor combo is tilted and rotated by the motorized based, capturing a similar set of photos and data, but with eight compass positions instead of MP's six. These 24 sets of photos/data are then stitched to sphericals right on the Samsung, displaying a growing minimap of the space as squential scans are aligned. Since it rotates like MP, you can just stand behind it. There's no iPad to carry around. Only downside here is that the Samsung phone screen is considerably smaller, so harder to see screen details and "markup" mirrors and windows. But I found it quite easy nonetheless. If a position prevents you from staying behind the camera, no problem, as there's a few seconds delay from the time you press the "capture" button until the first of the 24 shots is taken. I found it easy to use this pause to zip out of sight. The full shoot cycle (camera rotation) of Geo is slightly longer than MP, but there is no "Downloading" time since the Samsung already has the shots and data. So, in the end, shooting with Geo is just as fast as MP. Another potential upside to Geo's system is that, in principle, the camera (phone) can be upgraded without replacing the entire rig.

@izoneguy - Zillow's new app 3D Home (I wonder if they just liked my company name?) is available for anyone to use, today. Just download the iOS app "Zillow 3D Home" and go to town. It works with the Theta V and they are adding more 360° cameras. As several pointed out recently on the forum, there's nothing "3D" about it - the name should be "Zillow 360° Home". The app is in test market in 9 cities I believe, with nationwide roll-out expected this year. You put the Theta V on a pole-pod, stand it in the middle of each room, and snap a 360 from the app on your iPhone or iPad. Each shot is uniquely labeled as you take it, like "Kitchen". There's a preset list of room names, and the option to create others. When all the shots are collected, link the iOS device to Wifi and they automatically upload to Zillow's servers. When upload is done, you accept "Finish" and the servers crunch them into a tour. The amazing part is that Zillow has done an impressive job of engaging machine vision to recognize the connections between rooms. Consider a dining room and kitchen with a mere doorway between: this machine vision can recognize a small bit of counter and edge of a fridge through the doorway in the Dining shot and, in reverse, maybe a bit of a chair and dining table through the opposite doorway from the Kitchen shot - and CORRECTLY match the two scenes. I've found that about 75-80% of the connections are correct the first time, which means very little time needed in the editor to finish the walkthrough. Zillow's HDR is limited but passable. In the end, this is a very useful app for very quick, functional, walkthroughs. Just as Zillow Videos (launched with the idea Agents would do these themselves) have never become ubiquitous, I expect even fewer agents to devote the time for 3D Home which has more steps. But this is a solution which powerfully democratized 360 walkthroughs. What's also powerful about 3D Home is that, unlike Zillow Videos, it is NOT locked to Zillow. You can post a 3D Home on Realtor just like other URL-based assets. Zillow also intends to give listings using 3D Home a search boost, as they did for Zillow Videos.

Let me add that what Zillow 3D Home does, NodalView does MUCH BETTER. It's machine-HDR is among the best I've yet seen (though still not like skilled Photoshop) and NodalView has many additional features beyond 3D Home. It also uses machine vision to assemble 360s into a walkthrough. It uses your own smartphone, fitted with a fisheye lens and motorized rotator to capture/assemble a set of stills into sphericals. The rotation cycle is fast, but still lets you stay behind camera, so no need to dash to the next room. Image quality is superb, color very pleasing (better than Zillow).

IF (the unknown) Zillow gives a HUGE search bump to listings with 3D Home, they have some real leverage getting people to use their system. I'm inclined to think Zillow isn't smart enough to do this, and so 3D Home may languish on the sidelines like Zillow Video has. I'm torn, because on one side I'd love 3D Home to succeed in democratizing walkthroughs - good for the entire sector. But I'd hate to see it succeed so much that we have another VHS winning out over superior BETA tapes (yeah, I'm old enough to remember). If one format eventually "wins" it will be due to platform ubiquity, not quality, most likely. I hope it's a format with the most to offer, not just the cheapest/quickest. Time will tell.

Post 7 IP   flag post
izoneguy private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks for those answers. I did a demo with Zillow 3D Home. I used my iPhone in my house. You really need a rotating head tripod to do this. Plus it wants to upload right after you shoot it. I don't see how this would be practical trying to get WiFi access in every house you might shoot? Unless you can upload it later? The results were OK but I think using a Theta V would make more sense. But yes the VHS-Beta war seems to be raging in 3D again. Actually I am encouraged because it seems that Virtual Tours will finally be a must have for business & real estate as opposed to a nice to have. I started producing videos in the 80's when video was nice to have. Now it is almost a requirement if you have any web presence at all.
Post 8 IP   flag post
Home3D private msg quote post Address this user
I recommend using a 360° camera for Zillow 3D Home. Yes, you can upload all the panos later - works fine. Theta V works today, I'm not sure whether they've yet added other cameras yet, but it's coming.

Yes, I agree that all this innovation will ramp up wider adoption. I personally question whether VR will ever be widespread just because wearing a headset is socially isolating. You really want to sit next to someone, both of you wearing separate headsets? But walkthroughs on an iPad I think are engaging and seductive.
Post 9 IP   flag post
Shakoure private msg quote post Address this user
@Home3D ...Thanks. This is a great conversation starter on the two platforms. Was the MAtterport model shot with a Pro1 or Pro2? I ask because the GeoCV model has a much crisper image, while MP seems a bit hazy. Is there an explanation or is there a real quality-difference in the hardware and rendering between the two?
Post 10 IP   flag post
izoneguy private msg quote post Address this user
No not VR. I don't know anyone using headsets for anything (yet). I have seen VR used in museums and in Atlanta at the College Football Hall of Fame, even the VR demos at the NAB show in Vegas last April were lame. Most of the salespeople pitching 360 cameras had no idea how to sell because they did not understand the 360 market. I have done hundreds of conventional tours using the old pano head and fisheye lens. I was experimenting with the GoPro fusion but the 360 pics were not great. The video was OK but video 360 has limited applications.
Post 11 IP   flag post
Home3D private msg quote post Address this user
@Shakoure - very observant. Yes, the MP was shot on a Pro 1 camera, so that limits the still resolution. My clients all want separate, traditional stills via Lightroom and Photoshop so I still use the Pro 1.
Post 12 IP   flag post
Home3D private msg quote post Address this user
Some brief video clips.
- Kevin Dole

GeoCV camera while shooting -

GeoCV camera while editing -

NodalView system while shooting -

NodalView system viewing panos -
Post 13 IP   flag post
AntonYakubenko private msg quote post Address this user
Kevin, thank you so much for the review!

I'd like to mention that currently we shoot in SD resolution (6434 x 3217 per panorama) and 4x better HD resolution (12868 x 6434 per panorama) is coming soon.

Originally Posted by Home3D
@rzphotoman - I haven't yet figured out how to export stills or panos from GeoCV. @AntonYakubenko - can you explain?

We're working on this feature and it should be released relatively soon.

Originally Posted by Home3D
Also Anton, have you published cost, answer for @izoneguy ?

We'll be sending our pricing for the early adopters via email.
Post 14 IP   flag post
Matt19 private msg quote post Address this user
@AntonYakubenko Following. My annual renewal period is coming up soon. I didn't sign up for GeoCV Beta but I am very interested give all moves Matterport as taken in the past. Your pricing and quality matter to me and I am guessing to many others too.
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