Transcript>WGAN-TV 67 Tips for Creating Matterport Digital Twins of Schools15012
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|104-WGAN-TV | Tips for Creating Matterport Digital Twins of Schools with Belfast, Ireland-based 3D Showcase (3DSC Ltd.) Sales Director Mark McBride (@3dshowcaseuk) | Thursday, May 27, 2021
Matterport digital twin by Belfast, Ireland-based 3D Showcase
Matterport digital twin by Belfast, Ireland-based 3D Showcase
Transcript: WGAN-TV 67 Tips for Creating Matterport Digital Twins of Schools
Transcript below ...
List of 67 Tips for Scanning Schools with a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera below too ...
This is a "must watch" WGAN-TV show (above) for Matterport Service Providers thinking about; quoting or actually doing Matterport digital twins of schools in particular and large spaces in general:
✓ WGAN-TV: Tips for Creating Matterport Digital Twins of Schools
Belfast, Ireland-based 3D Showcase (3DSC Ltd.) Sales Director Mark McBride (@3dshowcaseuk) did nearly 70 rock-solid tips based on doing Matterport scans of 70+ schools including 51 for ONE client: that's nearly one (1) tip per minute based on actual problems/challenges doing Matterport tours of schools.
What problems/challenge have you faced creating Matterport digital twins of 50+ schools? And, as a result, what tips can you offer Matterport Service Providers for creating Matterport digital twins of schools?
On WGAN-TV Live at 5 (5 pm EDT) that aired Thursday, 27 May 2021, I asked Belfast, Ireland-based 3D Showcase (3DSC Ltd.) Sales Director Mark McBride (@3dshowcaseuk) about:
✓ scanning outdoors (360 Views versus 3D Scans)
✓ MatterTags (adding, managing)
✓ people in the tours?
✓ privacy and the Matterport blur tool
✓ Matterport Highlight Reel
✓ public versus private schools
✓ limitations on time of day or weekend versus weekday
✓ Matterport Collaborator (for privacy blurring, MatterTags)
✓ tips to scan large, open spaces in a school (gym)
✓ tips to scan a school's auditorium
✓ what info, if any, do you share with the school regarding pre-scanning preparation?
✓ how do you know which rooms NOT to scan? Someone with you the entire time?
✓ how long are the scanning days? (Do you need batteries for the iPad? Other prep?)
✓ long days: what about your feet?
✓ meal breaks? Do you bring food and water with you?
✓ why do schools want Matterport digital twins
✓ how schools are using Matterport digital twins
Mark got started with creating Matterport digital twins in 2016.
In addition to creating Matterport digital twins of 50+ schools, Mark – and his team – have done Matterport 3D Tours for:
✓ estate agents (real estate agents)
✓ property developers
✓ construction industry
✓ insurance loss adjusters
✓ retail stores
✓ leisure industry
✓ spa resorts
✓ event spaces
✓ new builds
In addition to Matterport, 3D Showcase also offers ...
✓ HDR photography
✓ Drone video and images
✓ Single Property Websites
3D Showcase Links
✓ WGAN Forum: @3dshowcaseuk
✓ 3D Showcase Website
✓ 3D Showcase Facebook
✓ 3D Showcase Twitter
✓ 3D Showcase Instagram
✓ 3D Showcase LinkedIn
✓ Mark McBride, LinkedIn
What are your thoughts after watching this WGAN-TV show?
List of 67 Tips for Scanning Schools
1. Have a backup camera.
2. 360 aerial for large schools.
4. Create a school example (free) to promote on web.
4. Use Facebook and target other schools (headmasters, and principals).
5. Schools for autistic kids.
6. Include a video from other teachers talking about what happens in their classroom.
7. Deep links for helping communicate repairs, maintenance, or renovation.
8. VR Google experience.
9. Matterport MatterPack for "As-Builts" for renovation projects.
10. Publish school to Google Street View.
11. Create single property websites (WP3D models WordPress plugin) - all schools on one page.
12. Password protection of tours during approval process (privacy).
13. Add schools as Collaborators (with guests email account).
14. One guest collaborator email can be used simultaneously.
15. Enable schools to use blur tool (for pictures of children on walls).
16. Expect to scan schools on weekends and holidays (no people in tours).
17. Provide written prep instructions to the schools (like an Open House for students and parents).
18. Despite "school prep sheet" expect classrooms that will still need to be staged on scanning days by a school representative.
19. Scan during the day so that the outside window views are visible.
20. Have a representative of the school present during scanning.
21. Bring a ton of doorstops so the school representative can keep doors open for all rooms that should be scanned.
22. Have school representative be a few rooms ahead of the scanning doing the staging of any space that was not staged by teachers.
23. Ask school rep - once done with placing doorstops and staging - lock us into the building (so the rep does not end up in the Matterport scans).
24. Including in contract if the door is not open, we will not scan the space.
25. Anticipate that you may need to return to schools to scan some spaces (because they were under renovation or repainting at the time of scanning, or admin forgot to open the door).
26. In your contract, indicate how you will charge for a return visit for a partial re-scan of spaces.
27. Use Matterport MatterTags for video, text, teleportation, deep links to "walk" stairs/switch floors.
28. Include a welcome video at the "starting point" of the tour.
29. Have the school media labs teacher create digital content for MatterTags (YouTube videos, photos).
30. Offer videos of teachers and administrators as an Add On.
31. Have schools DIY MatterTags with video, text, "teleportation" links.
32. There are so many MatterTags in schools to include in a quote: plus, too hard to have teachers communicate which tags; where the tags go, and what content to add to the tours.
33. Some schools have multiple, standalone buildings. Connect them via MatterTags: not outdoor scans.
34. Create instructional YouTube videos (using screen record) for schools regarding how to sign into the Matterport Cloud account; how to access Matterport Workshop; access Matterport Workshop; how to create MatterTags with video, text, and deep links ( "U key" ) to link buildings.
35. Anticipate disabling Dollhouse View because of privacy. Matterport Blur Tool does not work in Dollhouse View. Viewers can still zoom in and see faces that should be private.
36. Use 360 Views for outdoors: not 360 Scans.
37. Use 360 Views when likely to experience scan alignment issues (such as basketball courts) and use Matterport Cortex to convert 360 Views to 360 Scans.
38. Change the password Collaborator accounts: after the school teachers have completed their tasks so that they cannot change the tour months or years from now unless you re-enable the representative to have access to the tours at a later date.
39. For large spaces, such as gyms, scan around the perimeter first.
40. Hide corridor scans so that the "walking" experience is improved.
41. The school has multiple spaces that are the same - six science labs, For example - the client may want to save money by only having you scan fewer rooms.
42. Some spaces may be scanned for Dollhouse View but the scans get disabled so that no one can walk into the space.
43. Use third-party solution - ThreeSixty.tours - for outdoor aerial view of the school campus. Then use deep links to "fly in" to a specific location within the tour.
We're checking out today. No thank you. Thank you. I'm going to pause it here. Okay. I'm back.
44. ThreeSixty.Tours. You can use either a 360 Panorama or 2D photo as the interactive hero image.
45. In your client agreement, specify that outdoors will be done with 360 Views not 3D scans.
46. At the beginning of the Highlight Reel, include the "money shots" the external 360 of Dollhouse View that viewers select the most important scenes to view. I'm not sure that makes sense, but I'll clean that up once I'm looking at it.
47. For auditoriums or theaters do every other row of seats and do every four seats period. Start by going around the walls to help reduce misalignment errors.
48. In a theater, consider scanning backstage for a backstage tour (which may also be helpful if the school rents out the space).
49. For school cafeterias (or other large, empty spaces like gyms) consider just shooting 360 Views since there's not much that is exciting about walking around a school's cafeteria.
50. For a long glass hallway where you may experience scan misalignment errors, consider shooting 360 Views and converting them to 3D scans using Matterport Cortex.
51. Bring a round, wooden disc for the tripod for soft gym mats that tend to tilt the camera while you are walking away from the camera.
52. Consider a dolly for the tripod for large open spaces, to quickly move the Matterport camera/tripod.
53. Scan as you go: not scanning all the hallways and coming back to scan the classrooms.
54. If you are scanning all day the battery in the Matterport Pro2 3D camera may not last. Have a spare camera.
55. For large spaces, you need the fastest iPad to avoid issues.
56. Carry a portable power brick to continuously charge the iPad.
57. Use a short cable to connect the power brick to the iPad to avoid getting the cable tangled with the tripod (pull the tripod over).
58. For large spaces, you may not get a lunch break. Bring snacks and water.
59. Have a big breakfast so that you are not hungry.
60. Take care of your feet (schools tend to have hard floors) with good walking shoes (The Walking Company inserts a custom arch based on a 3D model of your foot).
61. If you can take a lunch break, charge the Matterport Pro2 3D camera and iPad during lunch.
62. Suggest that your handler leave the building (keep the handler out of the scans).
63. Be mindful of where to begin the turn of the Matterport Pro2 3D camera to avoid the handler "showing up" in the scan.
64. Hide from the camera while scanning. Schools tend to have a lot of reflective surfaces. You don't want to end up in your scans.
65. Schools often have smart white screens instead of blackboards. Turn on the white screen projector. Usually a nice image projected and one less reflective surface for the camera to show up in.
66. Manage client's expectations when the campus tour needs two or three Matterport 3D models: not one because of challenges scanning outdoors to connect the models.
67. For collaborators, give your clients access with one of your email accounts so that Matterport doesn't solicit your clients to buy a Matterport camera or to use Matterport capture services.
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Transcript (video above)
- Hi all. I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. Today is Thursday, May 27th, 2021. And you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
We have an awesome show for you today. Tips for Creating Matterport Digital Twins of Schools; including Super-Large Spaces. And we have an awesome guest on our show today to talk about that. Hey, Mark McBride, how are you?
- Good, Dan, thank you. How are you?
- Awesome! Thanks for being on the show today. Mark is the Sales Director of 3D Showcase based in Belfast, Ireland. And Mark's company, 3D Showcase, recently scanned 50 plus schools. So what better subject matter expert to talk about the problems and challenges of doing Matterport digital twins -- doing Matterport 3D Showcases -- of schools than Mark McBride?
Mark, before we jump into the problems and challenges that kind of leads us to tips for Matterport Service Providers, when did your company first buy a Matterport Pro Camera and why?
- Our first camera was bought in February 2016 and it came about as my brother-in-law who is now the other Director in the business was a photographer for local estate agents and he was being asked more and more for virtual tours by all his different agents.
And he said that he didn't know a lot ... He was too busy to get involved. So we decided to set up a separate company. And he had sent me a link to a 360 camera. I have no idea which one it was but I did a bit of research and came across Matterport.
And at the time, they didn't ship them to the UK, so we got shipped to a friend in Washington who then forwarded it onto us. And, we got started pretty much straight away; which was great because he obviously had a lead. We had an in straight away where these estate agents; we just went about starting to promote it to them and getting a few houses, mostly houses at the start.
So, yeah, that's how we got started.
- Terrific. You started with houses. What kind of other categories is 3D Showcase providing Matterport tours and other services?
- I think I've covered pretty much every category that can be covered by dentists. Dentists always stick out in my mind but we do commercial properties. Big warehouses. We do those with both the Matterport and the [Leica] BLK360. We do commercial offices and more recently we've had quite a big surge in hotels, spas.
I've done, what'd you call them, lockups for like storage facilities, for self storage facilities. Obviously schools have been big in the last year for us because of the COVID lockdown. So it's sort of moved and flowed through in the years and we're still doing residential homes; which tend to be show homes or I think the column open houses over there, but yeah; for developers or big multi-million pine homes rather than the normal regular house.
I don't know what the market is like everywhere else but at the moment here, it's very hot and they're selling off market before they even come to market some of them because ... There's not a big demand right now for us in the residential market, so we've sort of diversified and we decided we do a lot more commercial at the moment.
- Terrific, and how many Matterport cameras do you have?
- We have three. We bought the original Matterport Pro1. And then we sold that and bought a Pro2, which is fantastic. And that's still working away. We then bought a second Pro2. We brought the Pro Lite2; which was just as a backup camera, but then we soon realized that -- which we didn't realize before we bought it, which was a bit of an error, was that the Matterport charged double for the processing fees of a Matterport Pro2 Lite.
So we then won this contract. So we bought a third Pro2 and Pro2 Lite we used as well. So we actually went on the road to do the 51 schools with three cameras; one as a backup in case we had any failures along the way. But we did use all three pretty much every day.
- Awesome! And before we jump into the schools, in addition to Matterport, what other services does 3D Showcase offer?
- Well, to the 3D Showcase clients we offer single page websites for large properties. We also include it in those single page websites, we would use aerial 360 tours which I'll show you. We enlarge school sites that come in very handy if you're trying to show the outdoor pitches or different buildings within a school. So that's pretty much what we do.
On the other side of the business -- we offer virtual furniture but we tend to stick to the still images. So we use the images actually off a Matterport and virtually furnish them for estate agents as well for show homes and developers.
- Okay, awesome. And again, today's topic, Tips for Creating Matterport Digital Twins of Schools, I think even before we kind of jump into problems and challenges that you experienced doing 50 plus schools, why do schools want Matterport digital twins and how do they use them?
- Yeah, there's several uses for them. One obvious use and that was open days, whenever they want to show kids and their parents who are interested in joining the school or around the school. Over the last two years with COVID, they haven't been allowed to allow the public into the school.
o we saw a gap in the market at that point, early on in the middle of April last year. So we created a tour of one of our kids' schools for free for the school, just so we could get a tour and then we give them that to use for free. And then we used that to promote it on the web via Facebook to other schools and headmasters and principals.
So they use it obviously for the open days. The 51 schools that we did were a group of schools which were for autistic kids. So these kids, sometimes it's a completely new environment, a school building. So they're using it to allow kids here who have decided or their parents have decided, "Okay, you're going to this school," they can then walk around the corridors.
They could familiarize themselves with the space. They can find their own classroom where they're going to be. And as you'll see in a couple of them, we've hooked up with a local media company who went after we've created so they go into the schools and interview the teachers from each classroom.
And then we embed a YouTube video into each classroom so they can walk into a classroom and flick on and see a video of their teacher introducing themselves, telling them what goes on in the classroom and so on.
And then, again, with this group of schools, they use it for, it's sort of more like a ... If they're based in the central location and they're managing more than one school, during meetings like these on Zoom or whatever, they can share, the children walk around and say, "Okay, this is it. This section of the school, "we're going to renovate this section," or, "This is what's going to happen here."
So you can always use it to refer back to. And on that subject, one of the schools has already started to use it for maintenance. So if they need work done on the school, they use the [Matterport] deep link on the keyboards. I showed them all how they could use the letter "U" on the keyboard so they can literally take a snapshot and send it to a contractor and say; it could be another thing from a light bulb being out to a toilet door being off or whatever.
They hit you, send it and say, "This is where you're going into school." So I thought that was quite a good use. And then again, obviously there's the VR goggles, which add the immersive effect for kids; especially if they want to feel like they're in the school.
- For that maintenance or renovation, have you found that you've been using a Matterport MatterPak to provide a data file so that a CAD model could be created?
- We haven't been asked for one for a school but we have for other buildings like houses and commercial properties that we've done but not for the schools yet, but they are aware that they can get them if they want.
And it's similar to Google Street View where they can publish the Street View. They all plan to do it, but we are just sort of waiting till they get the editing finished before we start to list them all for them.
- Okay, great. Are there any other use cases? Maybe they got; in this case where one client bought more than 50 plus Matterport tours -- Did they get the tour and then went, "Oh, we could also use this "for insurance documentation, for ..."
- Not with this group of schools, they haven't said anything, but I know that they were talking about it with ... It was with them, financing. So if they own the schools so that if they were going to say, go for a bank, if they were going to go for a loan to do work or to do this or whatever, they can literally -- What we did was we created a single page website using WP3D, which means that they can go to one page and all their schools are on one page and they can ...
- WP3D Models WordPress Plugin.
- A Swiss Army knife for Matterport tours for single property websites and a ton of other things.
- Yeah. So you can see on here. I'll take you to the page we created, which was ... created with WP3D Models and it has all  tours. These are a list of the schools. So that the company that we created for has a single point of access rather than them having to go through emails to find links for all our schools.
So they can literally take in -- these are all passwords at the moment for privacy if they added them but it just gives them a single point of access. And if they are going to get extra financing from a company or a bank or a financial institution, they can say, "Have a look. Here's all our schools. "Have a walk around, you can see what we do." So it's ...
- If you would take us to your website: 3DShowcase.co.uk on your 3D Showcase website, I believe there's a link to get to that page. You'd take us maybe under: SHOWCASE.
- Yeah, that's right.
- and then down to OUTCOME FIRST. So this way, anyone who's looking for those 50 plus schools, if you come to 3DShowcase.co.uk, you can get to that list. I think, Mark, you mentioned it's so new those tours have all been password protected. Why is that?
- So one of the big issues you will have ... One of the things that you come across with schools is that all schools are full of pictures of the children. And so there's a privacy issue. And a lot of parents have said or stipulated that they don't want their children's faces in any form of marketing or school marketing.
So if they're in school and they're getting a school photo taken or if there's someone in with a video camera, they make sure the kid isn't involved. Whereas when we're in, they have to check -- we have to make sure that their kid's pictures aren't in any of our tours. And obviously with the [Matterport] zoom [feature], it can be even the smallest picture can be viewed.
- Well, I just would have assumed you would have scanned the schools when there was no one there. Did you actually-
- Oh, no, no, no, that's what we did. We scanned the school, and it is always completely empty. It's more that in the classrooms, they'll have pictures of their children up on the wall and they'll have drawn pictures. Or there'll be pictures of them on school trips. Or there'll be pictures of them on the wall.
- Take us back to a tour. If you would please share your screen again. Take us -- so we can visualize what that is. So you did scan -- do your Matterport 3D Showcase tours when the schools were closed. But that said, on the classroom walls, for example.
- Yeah, so let me take you to one of these schools, let's see, let's go here 'cause I know that there's ... So this is a school that we did prior to the group of 50. We've probably done about 75 schools in total in the last eight months.
- That's awesome. What a great reason to go volunteer to do at least one school in your market at no charge so that you can have --
- Yeah. Here's a good example here on the walls. Okay. So we've got pictures of children. Okay, can you see that okay?
- Yes, so did you need to use the Matterport blur tool?
- This school was done before the blur tool existed. So what we had to do was in our school preparation notes, still on the schools was, we had to say to them, "We need you to take down any pictures of any children "that you don't want in our tour "because right now we cannot edit it after it's set."
So this was done, I think the blurs only went really live in the last three months. So this school, we have a sheet which we send out to our schools, which is a School Preparation Sheet at the top. So this one basically says, once we've captured, it cannot be manipulated like Photoshop.
Therefore, we ask you to prepare your school as if it's a real open night, but the bottom one here, any photographs of children not to be in the tour to be removed. So we sent that-
- Excuse me, for clarification, open night is like an open house.
- Yes, so in the UK most schools, normally around Christmas time, we'll invite any children and their parents who are thinking about joining this school to come and have a look around and on those evenings they normally are, they're opening evenings, they have the classrooms -- The art room will have all the artwork if the kids have done it.
The gymnasium will have all the gym equipment set up. There'll be stuff set up in every room to sell the school to the parents and their children. So what we do is ask the schools to pretend that it's their open night and set up the school before we arrive the way they would have on a normal open night pre-COVID.
So, for example, in here, you'll see that this gym is set up as if it's ready to go with all the different equipment. So they're showcasing everything that they've got within this room.
- Now, Mark, when you and your team are doing Matterport 3D Showcases like this, are the schools all staged the moment you walk in or is there a representative of the school with you at all times to make sure that what was supposed to have been staged ahead of time; was?
- A bit of both. With the individual schools that we did prior to the large contract, we say, "Look, I talked to them in detail on the phone "and also send them the PDF." And I say, "Okay, we know what we have to do it "when the school ..."
So that's going to be on a Saturday, especially in the winter, a Saturday or a Sunday. We could do evenings in the summer, but it tends to be Saturday or Sunday or during school closing times, which could be a half term break, our midterm as you call it, mid term break, Easter.
- I'm just imagining that you wanted to scan during the day so that you had the nice sunlight pouring in from outside and it probably showed better.
- Yeah, absolutely. So here's another example. This is all staged that you see here. So what I had to say to the head teacher is: what I need you to do is talk to the teachers who are responsible for every classroom, ask them before they leave on Friday after the kids have gone, tidy up their classroom, lay out all the desks, any work, any artwork, anything that will make the room more interesting because these classrooms can be pretty boring if there's not something for the viewer to look out, it's just rows and rows of tables and chairs in every single room except for what's on the walls, obviously.
So they stage them and then a representative of the school meets us that morning and they go ahead of us. And what we ask them to do, which is probably a question you were going to ask anyway, is how do we know where we're going and which rooms to go into and which rooms are not.
- Mark, how do you know where you're going, the rooms to go into next?
- Yeah, that was a big obstacle at the start because you don't want them following your line because you know everybody else has a Matterport that no matter what you tell them, they still walk into the show every time.
And so it's like, we'd literally just say, "Please leave us alone. "Just go to the front, have a coffee and leave, "if you want, lock us in so we hide." I've been locked in lots of schools on my own. But yeah, so we ask them to go ahead, we bring lots of doorstops and we ask them to have doorstops as well.
And we say, "Please, prop open every door "that you want us jacks, go in and scan. "If the door isn't open, we will not go in." And that was in our contract with the 51 schools. So if the door isn't open, we don't go in. And it works well because you can go ahead and yourself and you see where you're going because the doors are propped open.
- Now that said, did you end up going back to some schools to scan some rooms that the doors weren't propped open for you?
- Right now no, but we are going to have to revisit a few of the schools because there was construction work also going on. We did them all during the Easter holidays, just passed and a lot of the schools we went to were using the same time to renovate classrooms, to repaint.
So they closed the doors and kept them closed because there was building work going on. So we will have to go back and on this basis, but ...
- But not because somebody left the door closed by accident?
- No, and-
- And have you ever had a problem where the classroom was not staged when you got to the school?
- Oh yes, yes, quite a lot. Because of this, I keep referring back to this 51 because it's still fresh in my mind but it was such a challenge to fit them into 17 days between the two of us; there were some days we were scanning two, sometimes three schools, depending on the size of them and the location.
But yes, what happened the memo didn't get to the right person, I suppose, to prepare the schools. So what we did, which we did our best. And if the cleaners had all been in when the schools were closed over Easter but the cleaners hadn't maybe put the desks by time and maybe hadn't put the chairs in their backroom place, stuff was moved away. So we were literally going ahead ourselves and trying to make as good a set up as possible.
- So the tip I'm hearing here is manage expectations forward with your client, do your best to tell your client how important it is to communicate to their entire team, they may run into things like construction, how that might be handled, but still when you price your job, you got to anticipate that you're not going to be able to perhaps scan at your normal anticipated rate because you may be sitting there waiting for that school administrator or teacher to be staging the space just before you get to that classroom.
And they may not be ready yet for you.
- Run into that where you are literally waiting for them to finish the next room before you could go scan it?
- Yeah, well, we had it in the contract as well. And if the space wasn't ready, that we wouldn't be held responsible for the end product of the tour, but also if we had to revisit and it wasn't scannable on that day and revisit the space, then there would be a charge for that.
The difference with this project was, and most of your viewers will probably only ever be done one or maybe two schools in a day or a week. Whereas we have a schedule to stick to it and we needed to get them all done within a closed 17-day period. So we were in a position where we know we just have to get this done today.
So they were aware of that. So there are a few; in fact two that we will have to go back to, that we will have to go back to because they're not happy with them because they weren't ready but they will be charged again for us going back. So as long as you're quite clear in your contract that you're not responsible for the preparation, they are. Then that's the way it is.
- Yeah, but still anticipate that you may even in your quote say, "Here's our return fee for a re-shoot because it wasn't ready, there was construction, whatever the problem was; happy to come back. We just charge it for that." With the 50 plus, was that during a holiday period that you knew the schools were going to be empty and so that was your finite window?
- Yeah, that's exactly right.
- Could you do most schools in one day?
- Yes. There was one school that took us a whole day. Let me just show you if I can find it.
- And what is a whole day? Is that eight hours? 12 hours?
- Yeah, well, we would have started at nine and finished at five. So this is the UK mainland and all the little cameras are schools. So these are all the schools we scanned. So at the top, you've got Dundee and Edinburgh, and Scotland, and then right to the very bottom of England, we have Devin. So each one of these, we had this on a map, you can see there's a little spider on one there that we didn't get done; that was closed for construction.
And so we had to ... Strangely in England, the opening times of these schools -- or the closing times to the holidays -- were earlier. It started earlier than these ones down here. So we were able to start on sort of work our way down. We came from Belfast. We got the ferry over.
And we sort of zig-zagged our way around and then headed back up and picked up the ones that we didn't pick up there on the way back home. So yeah. And when these ones down here all the way down here, it's not a long way in terms of the USA or something, but it's a long way in terms of England.
We got other Matterport Service Providers to help us with these ones. There was another guy who did this one and then up here at the top.
- Now I'm confused. Mark, when I look at that map, I see Belfast, Ireland all the way over to the mainland of-
- Yeah, yeah. So we are an island set to the left of the UK. So this is Scotland. England. Wales over here. And then Ireland with Northern Ireland at the top. And I am there. Belfast.
- Yeah. So how did you end up doing these 51 tours for this client?
- Well. I think it was probably fine when we first got into schools. When we first started scanning schools, we did one of our children's schools for free just to get a school done; which they were delighted with. They made their own YouTube videos. The teachers did and embedded them so that we had some added content.
And then I did a promoted ad on Facebook which targeted headmasters, principals, IT teachers at schools all over the UK. So we basically did a targeted advert. And as well as that, we call ourselves 3D Showcase and it's quite a strong, easily remembered name with Matterport. All the first Matterports had 3D Showcase on them.
So we do get a lot of hits through Google and when people are looking for 3D Showcase. So we were contacted by the CEO of the Group of Schools which I didn't realize was a group of schools. I thought it was one school when I first quoted. And then they sent through a spreadsheet and said, "Can you give me a price to do 51 schools? "And by the way, I need them done by the end of next month."
- That's awesome. I think I've heard about three tips there. One, be strategic about either your name or the words that you use on your website. So you were very strategic having started with Matterport, I want to say 2016. Does that sound about right?
- Yeah, that's right, yeah.
- I know I got my camera, Matterport camera in 2014 so it's still pretty early on. The keyword you saw was 3D Showcase. And so one that was helping you a lot with Google searches as people were probably looking for 3D Showcase where they were located. Second, your targeted Facebook campaign. Third, you actually had a Matterport tour of a school that was tricked out, including the video. And that was a tour that you did at no charge of one of the kids in your family?
- So that's awesome. You mentioned the video and a tour. Could you take us to one of your schools where you can show us an example of a teacher introducing themselves in their classroom?
- Yeah, let's see. So this one, hopefully I can find them. They should be embedded in tags. So this one, there's tags everywhere.
- Yeah, my impression was when I "flew in" ... the first thing I saw almost was I couldn't resist, yeah. The principle welcomed
- Welcomed, yeah.
- Hopefully this loads, my Internet speed isn't as great as it should be.
- Yeah, oh, if it doesn't load, Would that still show .. I think ... for everything we do the WNGAN-TV Live at 5 with you today, plus a share screen plus trying to call up a tour, we can appreciate that we're affecting your ability to show off some of the digital assets, which-
- "Hello everyone, and welcome to Braidside Integrated Primary School. My name is Julie McAuley and I'm Principal of Braidside. You're very welcome to our virtual tour. Where I hope you will get a flavor of our school. Braidside is the only integrated primary school in Ballymena and as such at a steep in ethos of integration. ... "
- Yeah. I love that. You probably haven't looked at this tour in a while, but what struck me was when you open this Matterport tour, that was really the first MatterTag that you saw. It was likely that you were going to click on it.
And it was the welcome message from the Principal of the school, who, I guess, essentially, if it's a private school almost to some extent, it's the revenue generation of, I guess, you got to fill up your school with students that are paying to go to school. Is that how that works in Ireland?
- This particular school was an education authority school, but they are quite competitive in the ... The more numbers they have in, the more funding they get from the government. So they need to fill their positions every year.
So they do spend a lot of time and effort and money on their open days to attract new visitors. So these videos were made by a local media company whereas if we go to-
- So when I'm looking at that tour, I'm thinking, "Okay, COVID comes along and all of a sudden the schools are at a disadvantage of not having an open house where they can recruit students and parents to buy in to attend that school."
So money is a motivator. if you're a Matterport Service Provider, certainly talking to private schools about how to help either increase admissions or get cash sooner or whatever that revenue model is. I'm sorry, you wanted to show us something.
- No, no, no, I'm just ... This is again, it's the same idea, only this time the school made the YouTube videos that ... The last one you saw with Julie McAuley was made by a local media company which we had teamed up with to offer a package.
Whereas here, the IT teacher went around the school one day with her phone or whatever it was she used, created YouTube videos, and then uploaded them to the school YouTube channel. And this was one-
- "Hello, my name Mrs. Pamela McKenna and I am Principal here in Knockbreda Primary School."
- It can be done by professionals. It can be done by a teacher.
- I love that. I think many Matterport Service Providers do actually offer video. I hear that 3D Showcase is not presently offering video in-house, but you'll partner with another photography agency to provide that.
But certainly as a Matterport Service Provider that offers video, it's an opportunity to offer an add-on to say, "There's two ways we can do video. "Either you can have someone in your media lab go talk to the teachers or you can engage us. Here's how we charge for adding video."
- Mark, at some point you had mentioned the privacy of students, but we hadn't really talked about it for these 50 plus schools. Are you using the Matterport blur tool and Matterport Workshop or have you enabled your clients to blur?
- Okay. With the sheer number of them... and it was never included in the price that we would do the MatterTags or the blur. So what we did was we created -- and again, with the number of different schools, we couldn't create a collaborator login for every school because that would be 51 collaborators.
And so what we did was we created an Admin, we call it Admin, and School Editor, and we give them both access to all 51 schools. So we put every school into a folder or some schools maybe three, four scans because they had maybe three different buildings on the site.
So, we give them access. And then what's happening right now as we speak is that every school has been sent out the one login as a School Editor and they'd be given until the middle of June; the middle of June to go in and blur any faces out and also to add MatterTags.
The way I did that was I sat one night in front of the computer and I created tutorial videos using screen record. And I recorded myself adding MatterTags to one of the schools. How they add the table. How they add the main block of text. How they could add a link. Or they could add links to external PDFs and images.
And then I showed them how to use the Matterport blur tool as well and how to publish the changes. And then-
- If you were to do it over, would you offer as an add-on MatterTags and come up with some price for that or do you like the fact that the schools are doing the MatterTags themselves?
- No. I wouldn't change what I did because the thing about MatterTags is that only the schools themselves know what they want to highlight within a school. And for some of these schools were small 5,000 square feet, some of them were 30,000 square feet.
And for us to try and find the right spot to place that MatterTag for that information and for them to try and relay that information to us would be such a slow process. It really would be very hard to price. So it's much easier to give them access.
They like to be able to go in and tag what they want and highlight what they want. We are here to assist in that they can come to us. And say, for example, we find out this week that the Matterport blur tool is working on one spot. So if I'm standing on a scan point at the entrance to the door and there's a notice board ahead with a picture, they stand there.
If you move to another spot, it's still visible. So they're having to blur the picture from every spot around it. But then tonight actually I had disabled dollhouse view in two schools because even though there were blurring the pictures in the tour. If you go into dollhouse view and then zoom back into that classroom, you could still see the picture.
So we have now turned off dollhouse view on a few schools as well because they were very sensitive pictures. And no, I think I would advise against trying to [do/charge for] tags. Don't get me wrong, I do MatterTags for other clients; and show homes or office blocks where there's maybe 15, 20 MatterTags but when you've got that amount of schools and the amount of tags that they want to add, it's a minefield.
- Cool. I think what I also heard is that you empowered them to use the Matterport blur tool.
- So they're responsible, is there ... In addition to MatterTags and blur tool, are there other things that the teachers or administrators are doing themselves?
- Yeah. So the teachers have only received two videos. The teachers that had the principals of each school live received access to the tour to do blurring and MatterTags. Whereas the principal or the administrators ... and the marketing team for the schools ... who are marketing the schools, got access. They're changing details if I've got names wrong.
They're also adding in contact details. Because I didn't have exactly the right contact details. So they're putting in the contact details: the website addresses into the detailed section. A few of them, I did a quick video tonight because they wanted to remove some external 360s that we have done and that they didn't want included.
And rather than them coming back and forward to me, if they send them on video and it takes me four or five minutes to do, then it's much easier for them to do it. And what else is possible there?
- Privacy. So I think even though your 50 plus tours show up under your link on a single property website page, they're still private. In fact, maybe you could just take us through so we could see that we'll get to a screen that says, password.
- So public spaces ... So this is all the schools here. Yeah, so what-
- Again, we're at 3DShowcase.co.uk, and then we went to the tab: SHOWCASE and selected: OUTCOME FIRST which is this group of 50 plus schools that you recently completed.
So what I was interested in seeing is clicking through at least one of them where we get to the screen that says, Enter Password. And I believe that the school is actually responsible for taking it off: password required.
- Yeah. So this is the password screen. So what we did was we created the same password for all 50 schools and they provided me with that password. So they can provide the school with the password so they can see how the final turn looks.
But whenever the school has finished editing and adding their MatterTags and so on, then they can remove the password. Which means that [they can set the tour to public). So they can do that, not all the schools are going to get it done at the same time so they got control of that as well.
- Okay, and then I was confused about the email address or the login for My.Matterport.com for the schools. Did you create one login and then it moves from school-to-school-to-school and they each had ...
- No, we put all of the 51 schools into one folder called OUTCOME FIRST folder, there's 51 folders. And then each one of those folders, there is a school. So when you will log in as an Editor for the ... All the schools have the same login.
So there only is actually one login. And you can have as many logged in at the same time editing different materials at the same time with the one collaborator login.
- All right, so that's good to know. One collaborator account can be open simultaneously by multiple.
- So you didn't need to create 50 plus logins, just one login?
- Yeah, the one concern is ... The reason why these schools have been given until the middle of June, they've been given six weeks to go in, access to their tour, add their tags, and blur their faces.
And then at that point, the administrators are going to ask me to change the password and take back control of them just in case any of the teachers or any of the guys had access has a fallout with the school or they are disgruntled or leave the company; because in theory, they could go in there and delete all 51 tours because they have a collaborator login.
- Well, there should be a collaborator status that says you can't delete the tour ... It's been a while since I looked at the collaborator but I want to say that there's a level that wouldn't let them delete it. They could just edit the tour, I'm I wrong on that?
- Yeah, you might be right, you might be right. But it was more that they would have access to other schools as well. And they could just be silly, I suppose. Whereas if we just give them temporary access to do what they need to do, then-
- Okay, so that might be just for a Matterport Service Provider a decision to say, "Hey, we are going to provide one email address or one account or multiple." I personally going forward over time, rather than asking a client to create a collaborator account which is a somewhat cumbersome process, we just do it.
So we have Guest1@WeGetAroundNetwork.com and then we provide an ID to our collaborator, a login. And then when they're done, we just change the password, recycle it, use it with the next client.
- That's a great idea.
- And I think just between you and me, by having our email address and that our clients' email, then when Matterport sends in a marketing email about buying a camera or Matterport Capture Services or whatever else, the email's going to me. It's not going to my client.
- So you get 30 emails every month as well?
- Yeah. That's a whole another WGAN-TV Live at 5 show. So take us back, if you would, to one of the schools, show us the other kinds of MatterTags that you've done. I think we've seen two kinds of MatterTags. First is, I think of as the principal of the school, if that's the correct term in the UK.
- Yeah, this one's a very interesting one Dan because this is an Irish-speaking school.
- So I had to add tags but when I say Irish speaking, it's all Irish. So if you have a look, can you see the language there?
- I can't see your screen yet, if you could share your screen.
- Oh, sorry, sorry, let me go. Yeah, let's see, share. So this school is called Coláiste Feirste, which is Irish and all the tags are in the Irish language. So I had to learn how to use Google Translate to start with to get them the links right on ... And if I click on this link ...
- Well, Mark, you should have just called me. I've been watching "Outlander" on Netflix. I could have done this no problem.
- Yeah, so that link that I clicked on was actually a link to a separate building. So it said something like click here to visit sports land.
- So that's interesting. You had some campuses that had more than one building.
- Yeah, so again, go back to the ... This particular, this one is a ... There is one big building and then this pretty impressive sports complex for a school. I was very impressed it had a big large gym down here.
- Wow. I'm going back to school.
- Sign me up.
- It was pretty impressive. This room was a challenge because I only had a Matterport with me that day. We had-
- You probably would have preferred to use a Leica BLK360 on that particular --
- large space. Did you have challenges here where Matterport was confused about where to put the scans?
- Yeah, what I tend to do in situations like these is stick to the wall. Get myself around or the outside of the rooms. You'll find that there's not so many. It's when you go out into these open spaces where you start to lose your alignment. So I'm sticking quite closely to anything that I might be able to-
- So did you hide scans?
- Not in this one, but if I actually ... Let's have a ... I want to show you where ... In this room, you'll only see there will only be a few in the middle and that I am very lucky. In fact, I'd probably, if I go to the dollhouse today, you will see-
- I've tried doing a basketball court and I failed. I couldn't put the camera. I tried to-
- I use [Matterport] Cortex conversion.
- So I put the camera, say, for example here in the middle of the ... Let's go right to the very middle spot, so I-
- So you shot a 360 View-
- 360 View. Yeah, I shot a 360 View and I placed it on the mini-map and then I converted it.
- So let me see if I'm going to go slow on this. So Matterport Pro2 3D Camera creates two types of shots. One is a 360 View, the other is a 360 Scan.
We're typically in 360 Scan mode creating a 3D tour. But if I heard you correctly, in this particular case, on your iPad, set the shot to be a 3D View, then you manually placed the 3D View where it was supposed to be and then turn that 3D View into a three-dimensional image using Matterport Cortex.
- Yeah, that's correct.
- I'm I close?
- That's exactly right, yeah. So it comes in handy in big open spaces. This one was particularly easy because you've got lines on the ground so you know where you're placing your -- when you're in the Capture app you know where you're placing your 360-
- Let me clarify here, Mark, because I started to say I tried shooting a basketball court and I failed. No matter what I did in terms of moving the camera a few feet instead of many feet. Lower camera. Nothing.
So it sounds like that's already a problem that you've actually experienced yourself or similar. And rather than trying to even do Matterport scans of a space like this, where it's so confusing for a Matterport scan, you decided not even to do that. You just approached it as we described with 360 Views converted to 3D Scans.
- Yeah, absolutely. And I did that in a warehouse, an empty warehouse with nothing in it of 20,000 square feet and I used Cortex conversion for about 14 shots. And it came out fabulous.
- That's golden. That is such an unbelievable tip. You even knew you were going to have problems scanning that gymnasium that you had a workaround for that, that was really awesome.
- So I just wanted to show you another tip. This is a long corridor. There was a scan here, there was a scan here. There was a scan here, and there was probably between here and the tag where it was probably 15 scans. But if you see when I click the right, there's one click, two clicks, three. So I've deleted every other scan or if not every third scan.
So when you're in schools and you've got long corridors and there's nothing on the wall, especially when there's nothing on the walls, there's some of the new schools that I've done. Actually these are quite close together. I've literally hidden scans from one end of the corridor to the other. So when you click it, it's like going into hyper speed. It just whizzes you right down to the corridor.
- Did you shoot those all as Matterport 3D Scans?
- Yeah, they were all shot as 3D Scans. The reason I've hidden them is if I left them all there, we would be click, click, click to try and get along corridors. If you look at the dollhouse view of this, look at this corridor here. So they want me to get ... This was a huge school, but they'd had six geography classrooms, six history classrooms, six science classrooms. And they didn't see a point in me scanning six of everything because they were all pretty much the same. So what we did was, for example, there's one corridor up here in the top floor, I think it is. Yeah, so you can see how far I'm moving there. I'm moving four or five scans in the time just to get to the science lab.
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Once I'm in the science lab, I use all my scans. But when I go back right into the corridor to see if time and for the end user, whenever they're moving along, it's much quicker for them to move around the school when they're not clicking-
- Yeah, so the tip there is when you have a corridor like that, you need to shoot every five or 10 feet, whatever that is in meters.
- So the scans will actually connect but to make it really a walkable tour experience, you need to hide scans in Matterport Workshop. Did you empower your teachers and administrators, to hide scans too, or no, no, that's something you've done?
- We did as a request by them, but it was more because a couple of our schools, we did rooms; we were told to do rooms that they ultimately decided they didn't want in. So we've shown them how to hide scans to stop people walking into those rooms in the final tour. But when it comes to the corridors and so on, we did a lot of that ourselves.
- Is that where they keep the lunch money or something and they didn't want you to decide not to go in?
- Maybe, maybe but yeah, this was-
- I don't see any outdoor scans there.
- No, we didn't, well-
- Are there schools that you did outdoors?
- Okay, so this school here, I'll show you here. This is it from the outside and this is us using ThreeSixty.Tours software. And this is the sports building that we were in earlier with the big basketball court and this is the main school. Now, even though you see one, two, two, seven 3D tour links, there's only actually two 3D models. So we use deep links. So if you click on that one, it'll drop you into that part of the building.
- So again, the platform you're using here is ThreeSixty.Tours ... that's ThreeSixty.Tours
- I should get this right. I feel bad that I'm going to-
- It's ThreeSixty.Tours
- ThreeSixty.Tours. Thank you; which has been a Member of the We Get Around Network Forum Community forever. I'm just used to clicking on the button to go there. But if you could go back out, yeah, right there, hold that for a second. Because you actually did use a 360 photo here or 2D photo?
- So no, this is the 360 Panorama from a drone which was provided by the school. We asked them, could they get us a 360 panorama? We could have provided it. By the time they had a drone pilot as a parent who was able to shoot it for us and supply us with it.
And then because of the pitches; where it's a huge place we're so far away from the school, linking them didn't give the feel of the size of the place. So we decided to embed the 360s.
- Okay, awesome. So I just want to point out that with ThreeSixty.Tours, you can use either a 360 photo as that hero image or a 2D photo. So if you just have a 2D shot that will work too. So this is awesome because this really gives you an overview of how massive this campus is.
- Yeah, I used deep link as well-
- You call them pitches, I'd call them maybe a soccer field. You'd probably call it football or something, but-
- Now we've got Gaelic football here and then soccer over here, and then we've got basketball, outdoor basketball, and I think there's another Irish schema Cambodia, I think it's called.
- Okay, can you click on one of your deep links where it says 3D tour?
- Yeah, so these four deep links are all part of one tour and these three deep links are all part of another tour. If I click on this one, it'll load us into the, actually-
- So this is a really important tip because if you're not familiar with creating a deep link, it's rather easy! And it means you can go to a very specific spot within the Matterport tour. And so I think what 3D Showcase has done here is really awesome because you were able to use one tour, but have it look like that you have four different places that you can land within that tour. So you could take them to that exact spot where that 3D tour icon is pointing to.
- Yeah. I did leave these tags that you're seeing here are actually the names of the different things. I'm not sure why they're coming up on the screen but I wanted to show you something while I was in here. Oh yeah, it's the stairs. These stairwells in schools, obviously, there's lots of them and this is a stairwell here and here. What we do is we do one set of stairs to get us from floor one to floor two, or floor two to floor three.
But the end user doesn't want to spend -- in a house it's fine because there's one flight, maybe two flights of stairs. The end user doesn't want to spend their time walking up and down boring staircases. So what we do is, although it's in Irish, it says something to the effect of click here to go to the first floor.
- Exactly what I was going to say.
- Yeah. So teleport you to the first floor again, using deep links. So you're within the same tour. So it's almost instant, you're on the top floor.
- That's awesome. Maybe we can come out of that particular tour so we can clean up that screen. So when we were looking at the 360 View of the entire campus, I saw two kinds of icons. One that said 3D tour. What was the other one too?
- There were four external 360s. So we did 360s in the middle of the soccer pitch.
- Ah, could you take us to one of those? And did you shoot the 360s using your Matterport Pro2 3D Camera?
- Yes, I'll take you to a different one because of the-
- Okay, that's fine. So these were 360 Views. So when you shot outside, did you have any place where you needed, how do I say this? When you shot outside of schools, did you always do 360 Views rather than 3D Scans?
- So if you've got more than one building, we did try to link buildings together by walking the camera and arrange goes on. I'll show you in a few examples, but if you go to campus, for example, the 51 schools that we created tours for, there's  models for 51 schools there's 83 models actually.
This is another example, sorry, I'll just go back to this and I'll talk to you about this school... So this is where we've got the tours. This is our movie studio or film studio in Belfast. But if you click here it is the same as when you click it's ground 360s. So this is what, we took the 3D 360s using the Matterport. But similar to the schools, that we use external 360.
So in schools, they vary and it really depends on the weather. And it depends on the layout of the school. If you've got a walkway, a covered walkway, lots of school buildings are connected by covered walkways. Because we've got children constantly walking between buildings during the day.
So we find that Matterport can handle it pretty well. You can actually walk your camera and get alignment. It can be a trick sometimes, whereas if there's no covered walkway and the sun shining, unless you take the time to get the [Leica] BLK360 or if you've got facility of that, which we didn't because we needed to get them done so quickly, we ended up creating just individual models for each part of the school and then linking them with links.
- So anytime you needed an outdoor shot, you did a Matterport 360 View.
- That's correct.
- I may have misspoken earlier, but two kinds of content that can be shot either a 3D Scan or a 360 View, you were doing 360 Views outside rather than 3D Scans. So I'm going to say that the short tip is if you're an expert at shooting Matterport, there is a technique of how you can shoot outdoors to do Matterport tours.
But it can be tedious and it can be frightening if you really are not committed to shooting when the camera can't see the sun, which means at sunrise, sunset, and having buildings block the sun. So the short answer, you're taking on a project, it's probably way safer to quote it and way more predictable on your time if you're shooting Matterport 360 Views outside?
- Absolutely. Yeah, totally.
- When you're shooting 360s, it's much easier on time, especially and it can be highly frustrating whenever you maybe get four or five, six shots aligned in 3D mode and then you're halfway there and then it just stops getting alignment. And you've wasted a lot of time getting to that point rather than just moving on and sticking them with the 360s.
- Yeah, me personally, I can't overemphasize that on a project of this scale or scope, you must specify that outdoor shots are going to be done with a 360 View, not with a 3D Scan. Otherwise you're going to set yourself up for a fixed price agreement and pull out your hair because it's going to take hours and hours - or days - longer than you had figured because of problems or challenges that you'll run into.
Mark, I started to ask you about MatterTags where we were looking at, what kind of contents? So far, I think we've seen you use Matterport MatterTags for video, for text, for deep links take us to a different place in an existing or different tour. How else were you using Matterport MatterTags within schools?
- I'm trying to think what other ... Really just the standard for them to describe basic descriptions of what children did in this area or labeling classrooms. Because obviously you can label them using labels but they're not as easy as putting a tag at the entrance to a classroom that says, "Welcome, this is P1 classroom you are not entering." I really can't think of any others. The school, obviously the curriculum, what do we call it, that they provide?
- Curriculum, that sounds good.
- Yeah, prospectus is the word I'm looking for.
- Prospectus, so they would have a magazine or informational booklet that they tend to have in a PDF. So you can always add that as well. That's pretty much all I can say about-
- On tags, switching topics, I noticed the Matterport Highlight Reel within the school tour that you were showing us. Did you create the Matterport Highlight Reel or was that created by the teachers or administrators?
- We created the Highlight Reel and I create a Highlight Reel for every single tour I do. And I know that some people don't like it. I think it's very easy to do with Matterport. I think it's much more useful than it used to be because you can obviously choose which way it pans and how far it pans. And I think it's a great way for schools or any property to let people have a guided tour of it. I can do it very fast. It's much easier to do if you scanned it yourself.
On several occasions I had to scan the tour or I had to create the Highlight Reel in 20 schools that I actually had never been in because they were scanned by somebody else. So that can be difficult because you need to try and create a flow around the building. But what we have done is we've shown the schools how they can remove it by just clicking the bin.
And if there's certain rooms that they don't want included in the Highlight Reel and on one occasion that I got one of the teachers went in and tagged a room and said, "Please, can you add this room to the Highlight Reel?" And I went in and found the image and added it to the Highlight Reel.
And one thing I would say about schools is that ... When you're adding a Highlight Reel, obviously they all start to go along the bottom. And so they're all along the bottom of your screen but when you've added about 10 you'll know that they slide off the end along the screen. So you can only, when you're in a live tour, you can only see the first 8 maybe.
So what I did was we find the schools, outdoor space is very important to them. They want to show off their pitches. They want to show off their playgrounds. They want to show off their forest schools or whatever they want. But if you put them at the end, the viewer never finds them.
So what we tend to do is put the external 360s at the start of the Highlight Reel which means that they're always in view, okay? So whenever someone hits play, it's the first bit they see is the outside space. And then we tend to go up into dollhouse view and then drop into the school and go off on a guided tour from there.
- Yeah, really a great tip. So if you were doing a home for sale, you might do the tour in the order that you walk through the house. But a school is so big and so massive and you want to make sure that they actually see the outdoor space. So you've kind of, let's put it at the beginning.
So no matter when they start the tour they'll always be able to jump to outside and see the most important features first.
- Did you have any auditoriums in any of the schools?
- I was thinking about that.
- Not really because they were all sort of smaller schools. We had all sorts of ... There was a theater in that one I was showing you a second ago, but I lost it.
- Have you done a Matterport tour with a theater/auditorium?
- I have, I've done a huge, huge auditorium in Belfast called the Waterfront Hall. I did that very early on, and-
- Any tips to share, problems of what you have experienced in the auditorium and then how to solve that?
- Do you know what? I was really lucky in that auditorium and I can honestly say that it was early on. We had the camera six months maybe. There were times when the camera and I was looking at the iPad and I'm going, "Where am I on this map?" Because it's all such the same, but yet the Matterport was putting it in the right place. It's so repetitive.
I don't know whether it's the software updates or something that have happened over the last few years but I think it's more tricky now than it was a few years ago ... but I'm not sure what happened. But when it comes to the auditorium, without the auditorium in particular, I don't do every row of seats.
I do it every other row of seats and I don't do it yet, I sort of do every four seats. And I try again to start and go around the walls. And then when you're going along, keep going in rows and rows, you can't jump about or your camera won't know where it is.
- Did you scan backstage?
- No, I didn't.
- They didn't want it included.
- Interesting. I would suggest ask going forward because it's kind of interesting to be able to say and it's a backstage-
- Yes, it is.
- A backstage tour. I know in Atlanta I've done that. And that was one of the appeals of the auditorium. You just couldn't take thousands of people to go backstage, but you could within a Matterport tour. You can take them up top to the lighting platform and also into the back room with the spotlights and the people who were running the sound board.
So that became something interesting. I don't know if that applies to schools but it's probably at least worth asking the administrator, "If you have an auditorium, do you want backstage? Do you want the green rooms or dressing rooms?" I guess that might depend on whether they rent out the school to other companies or if they just need to make those spaces available to people that might be doing productions or something.
I always think about, is there money involved? Because every time there's money involved then that's a really good use for Matterport to get somebody to make a decision to spend money or spend more money. Were there other unusual spaces within schools? Was it a science room? Was it something about a particular kind of classroom that had challenges?
- What I did find, I'll share my screen, was that some of the schools, well, apart from being, this is a good example of why we put, in the bottom left, we put the outdoor ... So this was a huge old house where it's converted into a school. So the first three shots are all the outdoor spaces, just 360 shots, I'd say. Let's see if I can go into the tour.
So this, let me just get my bearings. It contains a large parts of schools. So if we have a look, I'm pretty sure it's here. Yeah, here. So this is the canteen in this door. So what we do instead of spending 20 minutes, this is a relatively small canteen but a lot of canteens could have two, 300 seats and people when they're in a final term don't really want to walk around the canteen.
nd there's nothing interesting about them really. So what we tend to do is just do a 360 shot in the middle and it saves us time, it saves the school money because our company charges for square feet. ... So we find that if there's any large space; even gyms, if there's a gymnasium room that's empty and there's nothing in it, unless they've specifically asked for it to be included, we just tend to do a 360 shot or a couple of 360 shots and then just add them to the door.
So it's keeping the school tours as interesting as possible ... But this is another good example and this was an alignment nightmare Dan along this corridor, just the way it was. It was glass. It was repetitive. But I managed to get alignment using that Cortex conversion. And then you'll see we whizzed along in here because I got rid of a lot of the spots.
But this gym they had laid out the equipment and they'd gone to some effort. So we decided to scan the whole room just because they ... This was one of the first times that I've actually been in a soft player with the cameras.
So in here, you have a huge soft play area within the school. I tried to go into the soft play area, but it became tricky to get the camera -- When it got to this point, I gave up, but it sort of gave people the idea. I didn't try to go up the stairs, then I ended up onto this, but I may have-
- Because the stairs weren't flat to put-
- Yeah, these things, yeah. I just didn't want to -- it’s a little soft there. I didn't want the camera got over, again-
- I look at that and I go, "Gee, I wonder," even if you knew that ahead of time, if you were to bring a plank with you, but it doesn't look like it would actually fit anywhere to bring your own flat piece of wood to put someplace.
- Yeah, yeah, it's just one of those ones where they wanted to let people know it was there. I sorta took it on as a challenge to try and get into it, but sort of failed.
- When I went to school, I never had anything that looked like that.
- That sounds like a great selling point in terms of engaging kids.
- Yeah, and there was another smaller one up at this which had sort of swings and stuff that-
- That's amazing.
- So I'm still looking for spaces in schools that are super-hard to scan for some reason. So you gave us the example in that soft play area where you couldn't continue to go up the stairs because the stairs were-
- Yeah, soft?
- Soft, silly, whatever.
- Yeah. This was a challenge because when you set the tripod on this floor, this was a very spongy floor. So when you put your foot down the whole tripod tipped over, so you had to sort of tipped over to get it to scan. The other-
- If you were going to scan that again, would you bring a square or circle plank that was-
- Yeah, yeah, something that would support the three legs of the tripod would sit on would definitely have been a help. Definitely yeah.
- Would you use a trolley at all on your hallways to scan?
- I haven't, I haven't. And I tried a trolley a few years ago and it just didn't work for me at all. I know there are some people out there who use them but a lot of the classrooms, you'll find these aren't good examples but the rows of seats are very close together. So you have to ... These are all because of COVID ... desks have been moved apart but sometimes it can be very tight down the middle of desks.
- Well, I was just thinking of your long hallways.
- Yeah, over the long hallway, sure, yeah. You could, well, you could use a dolly then you could use it, certainly, yeah.
- Did you do all the hallways at once and then come back or did you do the hallway and the classroom, the hallway, the classroom, the hallway, the classroom?
- I did hallway, classroom, hallway, classroom. And there was, I'm trying to think more whenever, if there were staircases, if that's what it was alignment, sometimes if you've got a really long building that's like, for example this one and you've got two floors, this one's a single story.
There's no upstairs in this, but if you've got two floors and you scan up the stairs to the top floor here and then you go all the way along to the other end and then you scan up, by the time you meet on the second floor, you tend to get a misalignment.
And so what I tend to do the corridors and go up and come across and try and get alignment early on before there's too much data. And then I'll go off into each classroom after that, if that makes sense. If any of you have scanned the huge building, you'll know what I mean.
You get the one end of it. And that you've got quite a big misalignment because the camera is slightly off for one of your shot slightly. Also I tend to do the long corridors up the stairs, along the corridor, and angle back to get to the other classrooms after that.
But that's only on really big ones. It just depends on the school size. But yeah, I think a few bits of advice for people that are scanning schools is make sure you've got a Matterport Pro2 or at least, or two Pro2-Lites because you're going to be there for more than four hours. You're going to be there well, for any size of school. Make sure you've got a really good iPad.
We have the latest iPad Pros. We both had iPad Pros. We both had Pro2 Cameras and we would flatten the battery on both of them. You can get a photo-
- The battery on the iPad or the battery on the camera?
- Both every day.
- So on the iPads, were you continuously charging with a portable battery pack in your pocket?
- We have them. And we use them. But it tends to be towards the end of the day. The new Pro2 - can't remember the model we have - but it's the latest iPad Pro has a very good battery and you probably get six and a half, seven hours. But if you're going to be on the eight, nine-hour shoot, you have to have a 10,000 mAh whatever it is, 10,000 mAh battery pack, which comes in handy as well.
- They're not expensive. So you just pop it in your pocket, you put the cord into the iPad and while you're shooting, you're charging.
- Yeah, you just have to be careful of that cord running from the battery pack, your iPad doesn't catch your tripod and pull it over which I've nearly done several times.
- Yes, in fact, it's one of the few times that I'd actually recommend a short cord so that you're not tempted to have a cord catch on something. On the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, help me out. What was your longest scan day, was nine to five, that would be eight hours.
- Eight hours. Well, we can only do eight hours Because the camera's going to ... You can only go as far as the camera and I have had shoot days where I've literally been seconds away from the camera turning off doing my last shot. And so yeah, pretty much real. We scanned the battery flat.
- It sounds like you didn't take any lunch break.
- Nope, nope, if you're going to end up in school like that and you've got a day to do it, you can't afford to really stop. I know it sounds crazy, but if you're up against time and the school's closed for the weekend, most caretakers or principals don't want to go on a Sunday.
So you've got a Saturday and if they'll be there at nine and they don't want to work too late and your camera will go more than eight hours. So you've got, well, one day you go prepare and you have a big breakfast before you go and take snacks, water, and look forward to a big dinner when you've finished.
- Interesting because I would have expected you to take a lunch break just so you could charge your camera for an hour, but you're not alone. There's somebody that's always with you, if I'm hearing you correctly?
- Yeah, yeah.
- And they may be stopping for lunch or something, but you got to keep going to get out of there as quickly as possible so that you're not tying them up an hour more than they ... Did you find it, it was a little bit of a challenge where your client that's on site is perhaps not so happy that their whole day is nine to five of ...
- Yeah, well, in most schools, we give them the option. Some schools pay their staff members to be there for the day, well, a lot of the time we would say, "Look, we're going to be here all day. There's no need for you to be here. "If you want, you can lock us in.
There's an emergency exit if we need to get out and just leave us, give us your number. We'll call you in half an hour before we finish," which suited us better because even if there's one person in a 30,000 square foot school, you can be guaranteed they're going to walk into the shop at least once. And in fact, at one point I had 10 teachers in the school and some children.
And I just tried to learn quite a long time ago as the camera turns clockwise, so if the right side, for example, point the camera to the left of the window and whenever it is first few turns, use camera behind it and you can see and if no one's walked into, you let the camera turn on right. But if you started to the right of the window, it's almost done a full turn.
And then it goes and hits the window with someone outside, you have to start the whole thing again. Or if it's a doorway, shoot the doorway first because then if someone walks past it when the camera's got it's back to it, then there's not a problem. So you're not having to redo the one shot over and over again.
- Been there. I feel your pain. And the technique to avoid having to restart the scan. Because you knew if they were going to be in your shot, that's where they were going to be. So you're going to kind of get that scan first then you're good. ...
Yeah, so I think what I'm hearing is anticipate that you're going to have somebody with you the entire day, but if you're lucky enough, you can kind of convince them to say, "Come, walk around, put the door stoppers in each of the doors that you want open for us to do the Matterport scan." Two, "This is the order that you're going to proceed. So please stage the space in the following pattern." Or, ideally, what you're hoping is that everybody read the instructions. They're on the same page.
They've laid out their rocket ships and all kinds of other props and whatever is appropriate in their classroom to make it perfect just as if it was an open house for parents and students. But knowing that that doesn't always happen is to have the person that's with you stage in a particular order.
And at that point, you should know, I know already to scan all the rooms that the doors are open and I know that the person's staged all the spaces ahead of me, therefore, if they're okay and everybody else's okay, let them go, give me a phone number, and everybody's happy.
- Yep, absolutely.
- Yeah, okay, that's cool. You mentioned on these long days, no meal breaks, it sounds like you did bring water with you and snacks maybe?
- Yeah, absolutely, yeah.
- Yeah, tend to be water and sort of nuts or something like that or something that can be eaten while you're scanning.
- Yeah, for the most part, are you walking around the camera or are you going around the corner?
- Schools, there are quite a lot of ... I don't like being in reflections and I try to avoid being in the shot at all. Schools have got ... Most classrooms are going to have a big screen. They are where the blackboard used to be is now a smart screen. So you're going to get a reflection in the windows and a lot of them have windows. So I tend to leave the room if I can and classrooms mostly aren't that big so you can get out of them.
But if you can't and as well as that, you've got desks and it's quite a lot of time you're doing that, stepping over corners of desks, avoiding the tripod. So a bit of both, but as long as you're not in the shot or in the reflections. Another tip would be to turn the smart screen on because there's a one button on. It comes up with a home screen and that reduces the reflection because it's totally black.
If your smart screen is black, you can see the reflection much better than if it's on and there's a bit of backlight coming from it. And so, yeah, there is a bit of a trick in avoiding the camera, I suppose.
- Okay, you mentioned some long days, you have any special shoe requirements or recommendations or tips?
- Yeah, well, I suppose everybody's different. I know my business partner, he bought a pair just basically for a pair of New Balance shoes. I have a pair of Nike Air high top baseball boots that I've had for, oh, wait, six years. And although they squeak a bit well in the corridors and stuff, they are the most comfortable shoes. And I had taken on by two or three different pairs of shoes.
In case one wasn't working. And I ended up wearing the same pair for 17 days. So yeah, definitely find the pair of shoes that you're most comfortable in, especially in schools where there are solid floors. It's not like a high school where you're on nice soft carpet. They tend to be tiled wooden solid floors.
- Yeah, in the United States, I personally would recommend The Walking Company shoes. When I got the shoe salesperson's pitch, "you'll feel like you're walking on pillows" and yes you do. And I can get done scanning for eight hours, 10 hours, 12 hours, and my feet are perfectly comfortable. And the interesting thing is; the reason is they make a three-dimensional model of your foot, they do a scan and then determine what kind of wedge is best for your foot.
So anyway, The Walking Company, probably in every mall in the United States. Mark, I know we've been talking about an hour and a half and every second you have a new tip, a new problem, a new challenge. I know I could probably ask you for hours here. It's probably 11:30 at night where you are near Belfast. We probably should wrap up.
But I should give you an open-ended question to say, "gee, what haven't we covered in terms of problems that came up and how you solved them?"
- I think we've covered most stuff. I think that, again, the outdoor spaces are a challenge for ... Schools won't include them, but don't try and bang your head against a brick wall trying to walk your camera outside. Just get several good 360 shots and tie them to it.
And if there's a building that's further away, unless you've got a BLK360 at hand, if there are separate buildings settled, the fact that you're going to need to do two separate scans for those buildings and then just link them together. And again, if you've got a covered walkway, you might have better luck, but it was very frustrating when schools wanted one tour of the whole place and that's not possible with the technology that we have in your hand. But yeah, we have covered everything.
Other than that, we've done... The marketing, I suppose, was the big thing at the start that really got us moving. And the target that I'd worked for on Facebook towards principals of schools.
- This has been awesome. I think if I tried to count how many tips, there must be at least 100. It's really quite remarkable how many different problems or challenges and how you and your team at 3D Showcase solved problems, challenges that offer tips that will make the Community be able to succeed faster. So thank you, thank you, thank you, Mark, for being on the show today.
- Very well, and thanks for having me.
- You bet. We've been visiting with Mark McBride. Mark is the Sales Director for 3D Showcase based in Belfast, Ireland. Their company website is 3DShowcase.co.uk Gee, I hope I spelled that right.
I'm a little slap-happy, 3DShowcase.co.uk You can find Mark in the We Get Around Network Forum: @3DShowcaseUK Mark, awesome show. How about a little bit of thumbs up here? We'll get a little thumbnail for WGAN-TV Live at 5. We've got to do it at the same time with a smile.
I can't see your thumbs. I can't see your thumbs. Good, we've got a thumbnail for our show. For Mark McBride in Belfast, Ireland, I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum and you've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
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