Transcript: WGAN-TV 25+ Tips for Scanning Large Spaces with Matterport Pro215100
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|106-WGAN-TV 25+ Tips for Scanning Large Spaces with a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera with Los Angeles-based Home3D.us Photographer Eric Dole (@Home3D).
Matterport Digital Twin by Los Angeles-based Home3D.us Photographer Eric Dole (@Home3D)
Transcript: WGAN-TV 25+ Tips for Scanning Large Spaces with a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera
Transcript below ...
Scanning large spaces with a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera can be easy if you know:
✓ what problems that you are likely to experience
✓ how to solve these problems
On Thursday, June 10, 2021 on WGAN-TV Live at 5, Los Angeles-based Home3D.us Photographer Eric Dole (@Home3D):
1. showed some large Matterport scans that he has done
-- Cintas laundry (above)
-- Best Buy
2. 25+ problems he experienced
3. how he solved these 25+ problems
✓ Transcript WGAN-TV Live at 5: 25+ Tips for Scanning Large Spaces with a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera
Eric uses a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera and Ricoh Theta Z1 360 Camera to shoot Matterport digital twins. Eric has created many large residential and commercial spaces; including a nearly 50,000 SQ FT retail store and homes with pools (that create their own set of challenges for Matterport dollhouse view).
Eric is the son of Kevin Dole (@Home3D) whom has also been my guest on WGAN-TV Live at 5 many times, including: WGAN-TV | Advanced Outdoor Matterport Scanning Techniques.
Plus, Eric and I will discuss what resources are available to help you with large Matterport scans and I will offer a bonus tip about a pricing strategy for charging for large Matterport digital twins.
What problems have you experienced scanning a large space and how did you solve that problem?
WGAN Forum Related Discussions
✓ WGAN Forum discussions tagged: Large
✓ WGAN-TV | Tips for Creating Matterport Digital Twins of Schools
✓ Transcript: WGAN-TV 21 Tips for Creating Matterport Tours of a RV Showroom
✓ WGAN-TV: How to Scan a Grocery Store
✓ Video: How to Scan Large Spaces with Matterport Pro2, Leica BLK360 & 360s
✓ Transcript: WGAN-TV - Advanced Outdoor Matterport Scanning Techniques
Transcript (video above)
- Hi, all! I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. Today is Thursday, June 10, 2021, and you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
We have an awesome show for you today: Nine Tips for Scanning Large Spaces "with a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera. And here to talk about that is Eric Dole, Photographer with Home3D.us, in the Los Angeles area. Eric, good to see you today.
- Good to see you too, Dan. Thank you for having me on.
- So happy to have you on the show as a subject matter expert on doing lots of scans with Matterport, and in particular, doing a lot of large scans. Eric, before we jump into what kind of problems have you experienced doing large spaces with Matterport, and how you solved those problems, tell us about Home3D.us
- So, Home3D is me and my dad. And we work together, scanning commercial spaces, residential spaces, and... Also-
- And the kind of services that you provide?
- Yeah, and we provide Matterport photography, drone photography as well, and video as well.
- Awesome. In addition to residential and commercial spaces, are there any other categories that Home3D.us does?
- Yes. More unique spaces. We've done a couple vineyards, and...
- I think you've done some large retail, big box locations.
- Yes, yes, of course.
- Yeah. And I want to say, it's probably that you've done so many spaces, it's actually hard to keep track of it, isn't it?
- Yeah, I was just trying to recount the spaces I was doing. It was pretty difficult, yeah.
- Yeah, and you know, and you mentioned your dad. Your dad, Kevin Dole, has been on WGAN-TV Live at 5 a number of times, so we're always happy to get the photographer that's actually doing the Matterport tours on the show.
Eric, how about showing us some examples of large spaces done with the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, and what kind of problems you encountered, and how you solved those problems?
- Sure. Excuse me. All right, I'll just get the first one up here.
- While Eric's setting up, I should mention, I've introduced the company as Home3D.us ... and that actually is the website too, www.Home3D.us
WGAN-TV Short Story #2210
- All right, and actually, before I get into the actual spaces, there are some things that I want to go into before, that actually can turn into problems if they're not addressed before you actually get to the site.
- Sounds great. I can see your screen. And, you know, wow. We see some crazy light on top of the Matterport camera there.
- Yes, so... Before, let me just get, sorry, let me just get up my notes here. Can you still see the screen?
- Yes, and I actually see a power brick underneath your iPad with a case, and I think already, these are two tips right off the bat. So, yeah, I think we're going to have way more than nine tips by the time we get done.
- All right. So, probably... I mean, this can also, this can be very easily overlooked, but before you go on any large space job, you want to have a full, fully-charged portable battery for the iPad, and as well as a regular wall charger, for when you take breaks; so you can charge the iPad up.
And you want to also make sure that the software is up to date on your iPad, as well as the capture app. And of course, you also want to make sure you have enough storage for the large space that you're about to scan.
And so, yeah, as you can see, what I have here in this picture is a portable battery, strapped onto the back of the iPad that we're using to scan this space.
- Okay, okay. Can you tell me which case that is that you're using? That's a M-I, trying to read it.
- Actually, I don't have all the information with me. My dad has all the information on the equipment we use.
- Okay, so maybe after the show, if you could shoot us an email, excuse me, I'm so sorry, so that at the, that when we post it in the We Get Around Network Forum, www.WGANForum.com ... we can list any gear or equipment that you use, that would be great.
So, I think what we can see here is, you have a power brick attached to your case that's cradling an iPad. And I could imagine if you're doing a super-large space with Matterport, your iPad's not going to last the entire day unless you have a power brick charging from the moment you begin scanning?
- Yeah, yeah. If you, depending, obviously, depending on how big the space is you're scanning, you, if it's large enough, you will most likely run out of battery.
And instead of having to stop; stop and wait for your iPad to charge, this is a much better solution, because you can clearly; you can keep working while it's charging.
WGAN-TV Short Story #2211
So, yeah, so that is the first thing. And it can be I think easily overlooked, but. And the second thing-
- You know, what I would say, Eric, is, it won't be overlooked the second time you do a large space, and your iPad is running out of juice. Because when that happens, you don't forget.
You might do it once, but you'll never do it again. So, this is a great setup, and it looks like the way you actually have the battery; the portable power brick wrapped with the iPad case, it looks like it's super-easy and portable to carry, and not misplace it, and probably not to get the cord tangled with the tripod.
- Exactly, yeah. And then also, another option you could do is, if you don't have a case that has somewhere where you could strap a battery, you can wear... You can always get a longer cord and then put the battery in your pocket.
Or if you have cargo pants, you could have even more batteries, if you're doing an even larger space. But yeah, that's just something to take note of. And the second thing is... This may be obvious, but I just want to go over it, because it's still very important to bring plenty of food and water.
Because if you want to get it done as fast as possible, you're not going to have time, really, to go out somewhere, eat ... get a drink or something, and then come back. So, especially water, you just want to stay hydrated.
- Do you have any special foods that you happen to bring? Are you snacking-out on sugar, or are you bringing healthy choices?
- Usually, we pack a lunch, and we bring it with us, and we just bring bottles of water. Yeah, anything healthy, like fruits, or Clif Bars, also. We live off of those, a lot of the time. Excuse me.
- Which is cool, because, again, I think if you're always shooting a small house, you may not be thinking about this; but if you're doing a large job, and you may need to go eight hours, or 10 hours, or perhaps even longer, you're going to get hungry, and don't count on your client feeding you, or don't count on someone else running out to go, fast food, to get... What you bring may be the only option.
- Exactly. And if energy drinks are something that helps you as well, that's always good. So, yeah, those are the main things too, those are the two things that can become problems if they're not addressed, before we even get started.
- Are we up to your light? Because I'm just, I'm loving looking at whatever it is that you've done there.
- [Eric] I'm sorry?
- [Dan] The picture of the light, the-
- Yes, the gear, I'm actually going to get to that in a later-
- Okay, while we're doing the tour, you'll probably point out a problem or a challenge, and we'll come back to that. Okay, that's cool.
- Now, I will share the first... Let's see here.
- So, while Eric's setting up, he has three or four different Matterport digital twins where he either experienced a problem and then he did a workaround, or he knew he would have a problem and did the workaround before he even had the problem show up.
WGAN-TV Short Story #2212
- So, this is a Cintas laundry factory that we did, last year, I believe, yeah. So, this was about 60,000 square feet. And we got here, we arrived at the site at about 5 AM, and didn't leave until 6 PM.
So, we were there for the entire day. The one issue that we had was, and probably the most common issue that you're going to come across doing large spaces is that the model, as you scan, is going to misalign at some point.
Just because there's so much information, and there's a lot of parts where the model was joining together, so at some point, it's inevitable, you're going to run into a misalignment.
So, right... Unfortunately, I don't have a screenshot of the Capture app for this model, but when we got to... I'll zoom in here. Around this section... Can you still see it?
- [Dan] Yes.
- Okay, perfect. So, as you can see, this is the... This is the space. It's very large.
- So, you had a problem with the alignment.
- Yes, it was right around here.
- How did you know there was a problem with alignment? Was it, help me understand what that meant.
- Yeah, sure, I'm just getting over to the spot. So, right when we got around here, we noticed that, as we were completing these scans, we had already done... So, yeah, we were right here. We had already completed over here, and we were joining this section, this back section with this wall.
And we noticed that... I can't remember exactly which direction it was misaligned in, because it was a while ago, but... They were, these two walls joined together about, they were probably about six feet off.
And so, what we had to do is, we had to delete, and go back, and mentally trace back first to where it started to go wrong.
- So, let me see if I understand, Eric. On your iPad, when you got to that point, you were this far, let's call it apart, where you would've expected to just connect like this.
- Exactly, yeah.
- Now, I've found, sometimes, when I've had that kind of problem, when it got processed, it's still aligned. Was this, you didn't want to take a chance that it was not aligning, and therefore you wanted-
- You are right in that most of the time, it can align, just because, you know, the algorithms, they're good at finding those errors. But whenever we're on an especially big job like this, we just don't take any chances, because it's always better to be safe, especially if it's far away.
- So, how did you solve the potential misalignment problem of being so far off on the iPad?
- So, what we did was we traced back mentally and tried to determine where the misalignment started to occur, because it always starts from one scan. And then, we had to delete basically all of these scans down this hallway.
- So, did you actually, when you looked at your iPad, and you were thinking about, did you actually see a scan that looked like it wasn't in numerical order of where you would have expected it to be?
- No. No, it's just, there's a lot of just... It's not so apparent. It's not super-apparent at first, which is why you have to also be paying attention while you're scanning, to see.
- So, it may be something you missed, because I could imagine doing 60,000 square feet, you were probably looking at your iPad to make sure that the scan point actually landed where you expected it to be, where you expected it to be.
- [Eric] Yes.
- But despite that, somehow there was a scan point that didn't actually land where it was supposed to be. You found it, and you deleted back to that point?
- When you're, so as you're scanning, it will show up... Excuse me, it will show up in the right place, or it will appear to be in the right place, but there's just a hairline misalignment on that first scan that you can't see.
When you make that scan. It only becomes later, or only later do you see the entire misalignment, because it keeps building off of that scan, and it gets exponentially bigger.
- So, do you recall how many scans that you deleted, and you then had to re-scan, and were you successful in having them align as expected?
- In this case, we probably had to delete about 30, 30 scans total, in this section. We had to delete a lot more on other parts of the building, but this is the most, this is the part that was the most misaligned.
So, we had to delete scans all the way back this hallway, we had to delete all the way back to, I believe it was right about here.
- And how did you determine where to, how far back to take it, to that 30th scan to delete?
- It's somewhat of a guessing game. It's like an educated guess, right?
- Fair enough. It's like, it's art, it's not science. So, you made your best guess. You deleted 30 scans. You shot; re-scanned the 30 scans, and voila, it worked.
- [Eric] Yes.
- That's cool, okay. Any other problems or challenges in this Cintas space?
- That was the most notable one. And the others are not, I'm also going to go into some of the same problems in the other models that I have here.
WGAN-TV Short Story #2213
- Okay, so, you want to call up your next one?
- Yeah, yeah.
- All right, and while Eric's doing that, if you stay tuned later in the program, I'm going to have four bonus tips for charging for large Matterport digital twins.
So, I have some thoughts, bonus tips on charging for large Matterport spaces. Incidentally, I notice when you call this up, I recognize that you're using WP3D Models WordPress Plugin to create your single property website.
Maybe even before you just click on that, if you could just scroll down a little bit, just to point out what else is on that page. So, you have text, the map, and... You've got still pictures. So, yeah, and then anything below that, maybe this contact info.
Okay, great. In this case, there wasn't a lead generation page, but I just wanted to point out for viewers that have not seen this before, this is WP3D Models, a WordPress plugin. It's kind of a Swiss Army Knife that mashes-up with Matterport tours.
And Eric, if you go ahead and click on that, and I think in that last tour, we noticed there was a logo, we see a logo in the bottom-left. That's part of what WP3D Models can do, is have a logo, in the bottom-left, always show up, or that top-left logo, as we're walking through the tour.
Okay, great. What about this space? What kind of space was this, what problems did you experience, how did you solve them?
- So, this is a sort of an office building that was completely vacant. And before you go onto any site, another thing you also want to find out before you go is how vacant the actual property is, because that will help you also determine pricing, as well as how long it'll take.
- Can you fly into that, just so we can see what one of those empty floors looks like?
- [Eric] Yes.
- So, I don't know how big this space is, let's just say 60,000 square feet. If I'm a new Matterport Service Provider and I have an opportunity to shoot four stories of empty space like this, should I be excited because it'll be super-easy, because I don't have to worry about going around furniture?
- Yes and no. It is a lot easier, because it does; it is a lot faster to scan compared to a space that has cubicles everywhere, because you have to go in between every single aisle to get to every wall of the building.
But, when doing large spaces like this, you have to be careful of... You need to be paying attention to make sure the scan is in the correct position, just because...
Over here, there's a lot of three-dimensional information. However, when you get over here, there's really nothing for the camera to grab onto, especially when you're going-
- So I think this is a very symmetric space. It's repetitive, the floor looks pretty much the same, the wall looks pretty much the same. Maybe there's that pipe, there's some columns. But when you have this kind of space, how often do you find that the scan ends up in the wrong place because the camera doesn't know where to put it?
- If you do it right, you're still going to... Maybe every 10 scans or so on average, I want to say.
- Where when you look at your iPad, the scan is not where you expect it, or where it should be.
- Yeah, or it may be a little off, but, and not by a lot, but too much to where if you kept going, it'll distort the rest of the model.
- That's really a note to a newbie. Just because it's an empty space like this, don't go, "Oh, this is going to be so simple."
- This is actually, when I look at this, I go, "Oh! Wow! Were you able to successfully scan this space? And if so, how did you do that?" ... knowing that there were so many, that the space looked so symmetric, and did not have any asymmetric stuff in it to let the camera know precisely where it was.
- So, you want to try to find any abnormalities in the walls or floors that can provide information for the camera to refer to. So, for instance, this pipe on the wall. Say, just for example, say if you started right here, right here, right?
This would be good, because instead of starting somewhere where there's nothing for the camera to grab onto and base the model off of, this is something... This pipe here, if you did scans around the pipe first, it can build off of the information that it has from this, if that makes sense.
- Yeah, and so when you did this, did you go around the perimeter and work your way into the center? Did you zigzag, to do this space? Did you have any pattern that you were implementing in order to succeed in creating this Matterport digital twin?
- A pattern, in this case, what we did was we sort of did a tree pattern. So, we started by scanning as much as we could reasonably around the physical objects that were here, and then we slowly branched out.
So, we did not go around the perimeter, because most of the time, if you do that, once you come back, it'll misalign. And especially if you're, if you go around the perimeter, for instance, these windows over here, it's very repetitive, and there's nothing else there.
So, if you just, if you start here and then go around the perimeter, it's inevitable that you're going to have a misalignment.
- So, did you eventually scan by the windows?
- Yes, although what we did is, like I was saying with the tree method, we scanned around here, 'cause there's a lot of objects here for the camera to pick up, and then we just get over here... And then we worked our way over here first, just because there's a big... There's a noticeable difference in the floor color, as well. And that's something that, to keep your eye out for, as well, is the-
- So, that was actually helpful, that you had the, that very straight edge, with a dark gray and a light gray, was actually probably helpful to you scanning this space.
- Yes, definitely.
- I'm looking at that, that light pouring in, I'm suspecting that that was likely a problem when you got-
- Yes, and that's also another problem that I'm going to go into, as well. So, yeah. So, I mean, we started over here, and then we worked our way over here. Also, because there's a curve, and it's not completely straight, and it was able to grab onto this pillar right here. And then we did maybe two scans in this corner.
And then ... ... And then, we worked our way around the middle section, the stairwell. And then after that, then, we started to branch from, from the middle outwards. And then by that point, you can start to work your way around the perimeter, because all of this information is already inputted.
And I guess now would actually be a good time to talk about the issue of sunlight, too. So... Sorry, excuse me.
- I'm sorry, I put myself on mute there. I see that the ceiling looks very different, and it was a relatively low ceiling, so that probably worked in your favor. It wasn't a gymnasium, where the ceiling was too high up, and the camera couldn't see it.
So, I imagine the camera could see that ceiling, and that might've helped you, too.
- A little bit, yeah. Not quite as much as... Just in our experience, a ceiling doesn't help quite as much as information on the walls and on the floor.
- But how did you manage-
- But that also does definitely help.
- How did you manage to succeed in scanning where that light was pouring in from the windows?
- Here... Let's see.
- Okay, so the sun didn't see the camera, so even the reflection didn't throw you for a loop. Did you end up having bad scans, and eventually, it got some?
- In this case, we just had a few black spots in the model. But if the sun was right over here, that would be a big issue.
And so, you really need to know which direction the property is facing when you arrive, because if you arrive in the morning, and there's a window facing east, you're going to get a lot of infrared interference there, and then you're not going to be able to scan.
- So, are you thinking about where the sun is as you're scanning?
- Yes, definitely. Especially if there's windows. If it's a warehouse with no windows, obviously, it doesn't matter.
- Okay, so if the sun rises east to west, so are you scanning on the opposite side of where the sun is, at-
- Yes, yeah. If you're going to be there the whole day... You start, if you're starting in the morning, and there's a wall of windows on the east side, you want to start on the west side. And then as the sun moves more toward high noon, then, you can work your way over to the other side to complete that.
- Okay. Could you go to the Dollhouse view where this is, where you can show the black piece? So, I think I just want to point out to our viewers that-
- When we were, I'm sorry, sorry to interrupt, but we were able to, we just waited. So, that's the other thing. Sometimes, you have no choice but just to wait it out until the sun is no longer hitting the spot that you're scanning. So, in this case, we were able to wait and fill it in.
- Ah, okay. So, you successfully scanned-
- [Eric] Yes, we did.
- When the sun was not quite coming through the area, but the floor was so shiny that the camera couldn't, the infrared couldn't read the space. So, had you not gone back to the model later to do a couple of other scans.
There would have been a black hole in your model, and that would have meant, if somebody flew into let's say the second floor, they might actually end up on the first floor, and go flying through that black hole.
- So, literally, you went back at some point during the day when the sun wasn't there, it wasn't shiny, you did some extra scans, and then I'm guessing you hid those scans in Matterport Workshop.
- Yes, yeah.
- So that you didn't have one very bright scan, walking to one very dark scan.
- Yeah, so we just used those scans just to fill in the, excuse me, just to fill in the model.
- Okay, and so the metaphor that you gave us was this tree. So, you kind of had this area where you could do a lot of scanning, and then you kind of branched off from that base of the tree. Is that what was happening?
- Yes. And that's actually also a good segue into this, which I will also, I'm going to, which I, excuse me, I will talk more about that method of scanning.
- Okay, cool.
- And so this is a Petco that we did in Porter Ranch, California. And, so, let's see. The front door. So, this is a case where it is not completely vacant. There were aisles, and they had to go around. Let's go over here.
- So, not completely vacant means you had people in the space while you were scanning?
- Yes, and that's also another thing I will talk about later on. I got, I arrived, ... I arrived early, at 5 AM. Yeah, it was about 5 AM.
- Store opens at 10? 9:30?
- I believe the store opened at 10 AM. Yes.
- 10 AM. So, you arrived at 5 AM, you got 5 hours before anyone other than the store manager is there.
- And when scanning large spaces, especially retail stores like this, there's, a lot of the time, you're not going to be able to have a whole day to yourself just to do this, because the store has to stay open.
So, you're going to have to ... they'll probably ask you to arrive really early, or you have to say you have to get there early so you can start and do as much of the high-traffic areas as you can before the people start flowing in.
- Any reason the manager didn't have you when the store closed, so you'd be there all overnight?
- I'm sorry?
- Let's say Petco closes at 9 PM. Any reason not to start at 10 PM or 11 PM so that you have the whole night to yourself?
- If you can work that out, that's also another possibility. In this case, everybody went home. There was nobody that was able to stay. So, we had to get there when the staff actually arrived.
- Okay, all right. So, you're there at 5 AM, knowing that ... you have people showing up at 10 AM. What do you do first and why?
- So... Obviously the first thing you do is the entranceway and the cashier. ... the checkout lines ... and just the entire front of the store, because that's going to have the most traffic of people running in and out.
And the restrooms, because you don't obviously want to be scanning with people in the restrooms. Yeah, so just any spot that is high-traffic. And you can also talk to the manager. I talked to the manager ... to find out also which sections are more popular.
I guess depending on where you are; dogs, cats may or may not be more popular than the other. So, the more popular departments, you want to do those first as well. And so-
- And that's a little bit of a challenge, because you can't take the Matterport camera and have a space that's not contiguous.
- So, that caused a little bit of a challenge for you, knowing that maybe you had to get to the puppies section, but you needed the bathrooms, and they were on the opposite side, but somehow you'd have to still scan.
So, did you do all the scans to get to places like you normally would, or did you actually come back and fill in where you thought you needed a better walking experience, but for the moment, you just needed to get from one side to the other?
- So, that's actually... This is sort of the tree method I was talking about earlier. So, let's see here, let me get a good view. So, yeah, after the front of the store, say, this area is more popular, but the restrooms are all the way over here.
Restrooms are easy, because they're right next to the front of the store. To get over here, I'm not going to start scanning the whole store until I get over there, until I get to that section.
I'm going to, what I'm doing... So, in this case, what I did was ... I went down these main aisles on the left, sorry, on the right and on the left, and then joined them in the middle, here. And depending on how far apart they are, you may have to join sections more frequently. There's just a lot of factors that...
- So, what other challenges did you have with this space? Well, people, you mentioned people, so maybe take us to a point where you had some people, and how you dealt with people and scanning.
- So, yes. With this one, the biggest challenge was getting it done in time, or getting the most important parts done in time. So, I went down these aisles, and then did that section on the right. And then, I would just come back here, and then finish going down the middle. And then from there, I would branch out to the left and the right.
And so, this creates a... There's more points where the camera can... There's a lot more information for the camera to refer to, instead of going around the perimeter. Because if you go around the perimeter, all you have is just that wall, and everything there. But if you get, when you go through in the middle, you have...
- Well, I'm imagining with this space that you didn't really have scan errors. The environment is so different in so many places, I presume that the scans all showed up in the correct spot.
- [Eric] Yeah.
- So, that was not a challenge doing this space. But you had you, at some point, you had people. So, is there a place to fly in and talk about people?
- Yes. So, once the people start coming in... Honestly, it's become sort of a game. And so, for instance, this, it didn't matter if it looked pretty, because they just needed the model.
- Ah, how even that's a tip, I think, Eric, is, if you know what the use case is-
- Exactly, yeah.
- So, in this case, whether there were people or not people, or the store was not perfectly staged, for whatever use case this was being used for, it didn't matter that you had people in your scan.
- Exactly, yeah.
- So, the only issues with people, I imagine, were the, did it cause, did you have any scan failures because there were people moving around in your space?
- No, but the reason is because-
- Hey, Eric, pause just one second. I just want to let you know, I'm in Atlanta, we're having a big storm. I can hear my surge protectors firing, so if we should get disconnected, just dial back in, and hopefully, we'll still have power-
- Okay, sounds good.
- And the internet has not dropped out. But, I can hear things happening. So, forgive me, I interrupted. You were talking about people in scans.
- Yes. So, if the people, if there's people around you but they're maybe about 20 feet away, maybe 15 feet, 15 to 20 feet away at least, you should be okay. Even if you can see them in the picture when you preview the picture, it should be fine.
There shouldn't be any interference with later scans. But say, if I'm scanning and there's a person 5 feet away from me, that's going to, it's going to pick that up as a solid object. And so... You just have to wait until that person leaves, or, you can ask them, you know, "Can you move over here?" It really depends on the situation.
- Did you have any issues where you needed to blur faces? Maybe this model was done before Matterport's blur tool existed?
- No, I haven't actually run into any situation like that yet.
- Other problems or challenges that you had in this space?
- This one, not... Actually, yes. Actually, now, looking at this, I remember. So, if you can see this scan, there's all these things here. And earlier in the day, I actually scanned this whole area.
- Now it's here, now it's not.
- And then you move, and they're not here. Basically, they moved all that equipment as I was scanning the rest of the building. And so I noticed this, and because this clearly shows the, you know, the actual walls and the construction a lot better, I went in, I deleted these scans, and then I redid it.
And the reason why I left this one is because as I move into here, as you scan, it will overwrite the information that it may have picked up at, oh, I guess there's two, on this one.
- So, okay. So, this is very subtle. Let me see if I understand. When you realized the environment changed, and it, maybe it changed for the better for the use case of this particular tour. And so, empty was good, even though you had already scanned it with all this stuff in it.
I think what I'm hearing is, you didn't delete the scans that you had already done until you completed the scan with the space empty. And then, you, did you delete or hide the scans?
- Actually, in this case, I deleted them first.
- Deleted them first. Why did you choose to do that?
- It would, so, if I didn't delete them, and I started scanning with the room empty, there may have been a possibility that it would not align, because all of this is, it looks like a completely different room, to the camera.
- Okay, so for somebody new, who may not realize that the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera is putting out I believe hundreds of thousands of dots every second of infrared and then reading the infrared back, ... it gets confused if the environment has changed dramatically, and then the scans don't know how to attach.
So ... you deleted the scans first. Did you have any problem scanning to connect the, let's say the store to this now empty space, because the environment actually changed at the entrance?
- No, and the reason is because, at the entrance, you have all of this, all the aisles, and all of this information that has stayed the same.
- So, did you just go where you normally would with your next scan, and it attached no problems?
- Yep. Yes, exactly.
- Okay. That's cool. So, the tip I would add, just in case, that you deleted the scans, you're now ready to move into the environment. It can see that the environment has changed, go back and do an overlay of a few scans that you've previously done in the store, and then continue forward.
If it's what happened to Eric, he had no issues, where he just went to the next logical place to put the camera, so that's great. But that might be a tip, just in case you experience a problem trying to go from an environment where it's obvious that something has changed from the previous scan.
Okay, cool. Anything else in this large scan?
- In this one, those were the main... Those were the main problems. So yeah, if, move onto the next one?
- That would be awesome.
- All right. And this is going to be sort of the same. This is similar to the last model, because it is a Best Buy. And so, it's another retail store with aisles, and a checkout area. Except people was even a bigger issue, because clearly, this is a bigger store, and we hadn't, so therefore, we had less time to complete as much as we could before people started coming in. And so, if-
- You remember what time you showed up?
- This one, we showed up at about, I believe it was 7:30 or 8 AM.
- And people started showing up at 9 AM? 10?
- About 10 AM. 10 AM. Something, something like that. So, yeah, you may have more or less time, depending on when the store opens and when the first employees arrive.
- So, how did you decide on this store, this large space, what to scan first?
- So, the same as the last one.
We scanned the checkout areas first. Checkout areas, and then we also talked to the manager about which areas usually have the most people usually, because in something like an electronics store, there's going to be, there's going to be more, noticeably more people in one section compared to others.
- All right, so you wanted to show this space. What problems did you experience … in this space that was different from the other spaces that you shared with us?
- This one... Something else actually was, and I can't really show this, but... Actually, yeah, not all the doors were unlocked when we got there, and that...
- So, at the entrance, where there may be, there's four places to enter, only two of them were open, or one of them was open, which meant you couldn't scan everything you needed to when you entered. Something like that?
- Yeah, I mean, we, because of the size, were able to scan the majority of the building. But then, where the electrical panels were, or some offices, we had to go back and ask them to, for those to be unlocked. And...
- Was there, other than the locking of those offices... I guess that's probably an interesting thing just to mention in terms of pricing, is, it's something to think about. Even if you walk the space, and you go, "Okay, this is what we're going to shoot"
- - in fact, did you do that ahead of time? Did you walk the space to know that you were going to be doing the offices? Or was that an aha moment, that they said, "Oh, we need you to scan the offices too"?
- No, we did walk the space. And....
- Okay. So, is there anything else in this particular space to show us, where there was a problem or a challenge that showed up?
- [persistent cough From cold)
- That's okay, I'm so thankful you're on the show. I know you've come off a cold or something, where you're, you're having challenges today, with the cough. I always have challenges with my cough.
So, I'm just thankful that you're on the show today and kind of plowing through some of those challenges. So, I appreciate it. What else do you want to show us in this Best Buy? Do you remember? If not, we'll go onto the next one.
Do you want to go onto the next one? I'll tell you what, I know today was a little bit challenging, because of some health issues. If you need the sign off, that's fine. I'll finish up on the show. What's your preference?
- I think I do for now.
- Yeah, okay. So, if you want to hang in, great, if not, that's okay. I'm going to go ahead and do four bonus tips, and also talk about some resources that are available. If you want to hang in for that, Eric, that's great. If not, not a problem.
So, if you're scanning large spaces, there are likely to be problems or challenges, and the We Get Around Network Forum has had a ton of posts about the topic of large spaces. So, if you go into the We Get Around Network Forum, www.WGANForum.com if you go to the tag: LARGE every time there's a discussion about a large space and a problem, or a challenge, or whatever that might be, then, it's been tagged.
So, that way, you can go see different problems or challenges. There's also an amazing search box in the We Get Around Network Forum. If you just type three or four words about the problem or challenge, it's likely that somebody has written on that problem or challenge before.
But, again, the keyword here: LARGE you'll find so much content about problems and challenges of scanning large spaces. Additionally, Matterport has an amazing resource. It's ... "Scanning Empty and Repetitive Spaces" where they've put together some great videos and some great Support pages, and you can find that in the We Get Around Network Forum.
Again, just go to www.WGANForum.com go to the tag - LARGE - or just type in the search box, "Empty Repetitive Spaces" and it'll actually pop up in the We Get Around Network Forum.
We didn't get a chance to talk with Eric about AprilTags, now known as Matterport Alignment Markers, but that is another opportunity for dealing with large spaces when you don't care, necessarily, about the environment of putting things up on the wall.
So, think about it as a, looks like a QR code, except they're special QR codes, and they're actually each unique and different, and you print them out from the Matterport website, there's no charge.
And you can put them on all the walls, and so when you have a symmetric space, you're able to turn it into an asymmetric space by putting these markers on the wall.
You can search the We Get Around Network Forum for AprilTags, or Markers, or again, go back to: LARGE But if you look for these either AprilTags or Matterport Alignment Markers, then, when you're doing a parking lot, maybe it just doesn't matter that you put some things up on the wall, that can help. Anyway, lots of resources in the We Get Around Network Forum.
And then I just wanted to finish up with some bonus tips for charging for Matterport digital twins. ... Four bonus tips. First, a day rate when the scope of the work can change, and you're just not sure exactly what's going to happen.
So, you might have, let's say, if you count, let's say a hotel, and you're going to shoot... You're going to shoot individual hotel rooms, you're going to shoot the pool, the lobby, the restaurant, and you really don't know whether the rooms are available, or if people have to check out, or check in.
So, there's all kinds of stuff going on that's kind of beyond your control. So, the easiest thing to do is to really use a day rate as a quote, and then just specify that your day is eight hours, or 10 hours, whatever it might be, and then how much you charge additional per half hour, per hour or half-day A day rate is really great when the scope of the work can change. ... The second tip is a fixed fee project.
So, if the scope of the work is fixed and you absolutely know what the scope of the work is, and it's not going to change, then it's probably much better to quote a specific project fee. Then, you don't have to worry about, "Oh, I'm quoting on square footage," and then what if it changes, or you don't have an agreement on the square footage?
So, if you get a chance to walk the space first, and you'll probably know over time, eventually, that, "Oh, that's a half day, that's a, "that's going to take me a full day," or it's going to be a full day because you can't do anything with your, with the quarter day that's left, or the half day that's left.
So, you might internally go, "Oh, well that's a seven full day project. "Okay, here's the math on what I charge "for a day times seven," and then just quote the project as a fixed number. The risk is, you might go over in terms of how long it took you, but from a client's perspective, they know exactly what it's going to cost, and if you get done early, good for you.
So, consider a fixed fee project. Much easier for your client. If you're doing a hotel, and you say, "Hey, it's going to take ... "based on what you've told me, "it sounds like it's going to take a day." So, it's easier to quote on a day, because if it turns out that the rooms aren't available when you think they're going to be there, or if you need to have me come back the next day, then you'll know that you'll need another half day to finish up the project.
So, second is a fixed project fee when the scope of the work is easy to define, and much easier for the client to understand. Just a number, not square footage, not number of days, but just, "This is what's going to be." Third is to be careful about charging less per square foot.
So, if you're, if you are used to quoting residential spaces by the square foot, and all of a sudden, you go, "Oh, wow this is going to be 10 times, "20 times what I normally do, I should give a discount," just keep in mind that it's often much harder scanning large spaces than it is a house.
So, if your rate is X, and you're tempted to do it for 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% less because you're doing this humongous space, know that it's probably going to be much harder than you ever thought possible to do the large space, because there are problems. There's just a litany of problems.
And certainly, don't shoot yourself in the foot. If you're doing a very large space, get the latest, fastest iPad with the most storage, so at least you take those two problems off the table. And then, four, my bonus tip here, bonus tip four, charge for Hosting, Maintenance and Support.
It's really easy to just say, "Oh, I'm just going to charge hosting," and then your client is thinking, "Oh, well, how much is that "that Matterport's charging? "You should charge me the same." No, no, no, no, no, no.
You provide value beyond just hosting the model. And if you have a model that's going to, a Matterport digital twin that's going to be up for some time and continue for some length of time, it's very likely the clients is going to have maintenance requests for you. "Oh, could you add some MatterTags? "Can you change this information? "Could you hide that scan? "Can you remove that scan?" There's so much that can happen that requires maintenance and support, so, charge for that. Don't be shy, and show it as a line item on your invoice.
Hosting, Maintenance and Support. And you might charge for the first year, and then each additional month, or each additional three months, or each additional year. And charge at the beginning of that time, don't worry about trying to chase after your clients. Lots of different programs for billing recurring revenue.
Get in the habit of charging Hosting, Maintenance and Support. So, that's the four tips. Thanks for tuning in today. Our guest was Eric Dole, a photographer for Home3D.us Eric is based in, or I should say Home3D.us is based in Los Angeles.
You can find their website, www.Home3D.us And it was a possibility that we might lose Eric today. He had just come off a cold, and it was a struggle, and we weren't sure whether he was going to do the show, not do the show, and, just a real trooper to say, "Well, you know, let's do it." But I think that that cold caught up with him, and you could hear it a little bit in his voice.
So, Eric, thank you for hanging in there. We really appreciate it. I think we got even more than nine tips, and he had shown us at the top of the show some gear. We'll ask Eric to send us a list of the gear, so that if there was something specific that you wanted to buy, we could make it easy with an Amazon link.
So, again, that's nine tips, probably more than nine tips, for scanning large spaces with the Matterport Pro 3D Camera. Our thanks to Los Angeles-based Home3D.us photographer Eric Dole. 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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