Scanning for 2D Snapshots While On-Site

2D Snapshots are a great way to get even more out of your Matterport 3D models. Because the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera can capture in 4K, the scans are great for your printed marketing materials such as booklets, direct mailings, and flyers.

This article provides quick tips for those who want high-quality 2D Snapshots from their Matterport 3D models. While these guidelines can’t replace the experience and creativity of a true photographer, they can bring you up to speed.

These are only general guidelines. Use your best judgment for each specific case.

Scan for 2D & 3D in One Pass 

One option is to scan for both 3D quality (the virtual tour) and 2D Snapshots (your printed materials) in one pass. This can reduce your time on site by keeping the same tripod height the entire time.

If you choose to go this route, then set your tripod to be 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. Then keep the tripod at the same height the entire you scan.

Scan for 3D First, then 2D Snapshots

For the best possible 3D virtual tour and 2D Snapshots, scan the property as you normally would for 3D quality first. Adjust the tripod to about 5 ft (1.5 m). When you mount the camera, the camera lenses will be at approximately eye level (5.5 ft or 1.7 m).

Learn our best practices to get the best possible 3D Space.
If you’re new to Matterport, read a 10 step walkthrough on how to scan your first model.

Then, after scanning for 3D quality, go back and scan again for 2D Snapshots.

Set the tripod to be 3.5 ft (1 m) tall. When you mount the camera, the camera lenses will be around 4 ft (1.2 m) off the ground. The lower height typically gives better quality photos.

Height Tips:

  1. If you don’t have measuring tape available, then use the countertops to estimate. Most countertops are 3 ft (0.9 m) tall, so set the camera to about 1 foot (30 cm) higher.
  2. For kitchens with high countertops, raise the camera so the lenses are roughly one inch above the height of the countertop.
  3. For rooms with low profile furniture, lower the camera even more than 4 ft (1.25 m).

To minimize the amount of distortion in your snapshot, always keep the camera approximately level while you are on-site capturing. Processing in the cloud will level it even more.

Timing: For a typical three bedroom family home, taking another pass for 2D Snapshots will add another 30 to 45 minutes of time on-site.

General Guidelines

Good positions for 2D photography are different than good positions for a virtual tour. These general tips apply to every part of the house you scan.

  • Place the camera in corners and in doorways so it can open up to the area of interest. This is so the camera can get more of the space in a narrow field of view.
  • Avoid direct sunlight on the camera so it doesn’t wash out the photos.
  • Be careful around mirrors. Place the tripod to avoid capturing your own reflection, the camera’s reflection, or other things you don’t want in the shot.
  • Preview the scan immediately after you capture for a quick quality assurance check.
  • For outdoor shots, the yard, house, and sky should each take about 1/3 of the image.
  • For indoor shots, the floor, wall, and ceiling should each take about 1/3 of the image.
  • Use a level tool to keep the camera as level as possible.
  • Always aim the camera at the main image so the subject is framed within one exposure (one camera rotation). This will give you the best 2D quality.


Front Exterior

curb-view-medium.jpgFront Corner or Curb View head-on-approach-medium.jpg Driveway or Approach
  1. Switch to 360° View mode (always recommended when shooting in direct sunlight outside). 
    • Try to place the camera in shade so bright light doesn't overexpose your images. 
  2. Position the camera at least 20 ft (6 m) away from the structure
    • Make sure the view is clear and unobstructed.
  3. Adjust the camera height so the center of the lenses point at the center of the house.


Living Room

living-room-seating-medium.jpgSitting Area (Wide View) living-room-wide-view-medium.jpgThree Walls with Seating
  1. Scan from at least two corners of the room, and all four if possible.
    • Imagine every seat has a person sitting in it. Capture as much of their face as possible.
  2. Capture three walls if possible, since this shows the depth of the space.
  3. Turn off the television, since it can be distracting.


Dining Room

dining-room-level-medium.jpgDining Table in Center dining-room-corner-medium.jpgCorner of Dining Table

The dining room table is a very important feature.

  1. Take one scan centered on the dining table, with three walls visible.
  2. Take scan from the corner of the table that gives the best composition.



kitchen-features-1-medium.jpgkitchen-features-2-medium.jpgAppliances & Features kitchen-wide-view-2-medium.jpgkitchen-features-2a-medium.png Eating Area, Wide View

Kitchens are common meeting places for the family and are key selling points in real estate. Take a little extra time in the kitchen and capture an extra scan or two.

  1. Show the perspective of both the resident and the guest (the cook and the diner).
  2. Capture shots with all the appliances (sink, stove, refrigerator, microwave, counter, etc) as well as the seating areas.
    • Imagine the camera is a guest, and then place the camera where a guest would likely stand.



bedroom-left-foot_-medium.jpgLeft Foot of Bed bedroom-right-foot-medium.jpg Right Foot of Bed

It’s important to show the relationship between the bed and the rest of the room.

Take two shots, one pointing at each corner of the bed.

  1. One of the shots should focus on the windows and the relationship to the exterior.
  2. One of the shots should focus on the closets and any indoor features.


Bathrooms & Closets

bathroom-medium.jpgBathroom Mirror & Counter closet-medium.jpg Closet Shelving

Bathrooms vary in size. A small half bathroom may only need one scan. A large master bathroom may need more.

  1. Make sure the camera doesn't appear in the mirror’s reflection when you take a snapshot.
  2. Mark the mirror feature in the Capture app.
  3. For closets, focus on the shelves and all the possible storage.


Backyard & Surroundings

from-back-door-medium.jpgFrom the Back Door looking-back-on-house-medium.jpg Looking Back at the House
eating-area-medium.jpgExtra Features fire-pit-medium.jpgExtra Features
  1. Switch to 360º View mode before you capture.
    • When possible, try to place the camera in shade so bright light doesn’t wash out the photos.
  2. Take one scan from the back door, looking out onto the yard.
  3. Take one scan from the end of the property, looking back onto the house.
  4. Take one extra scan for each notable features.
    • These include a pool, BBQ, basketball goal, fire pit, terrace/veranda, etc.
  5. For garages, sheds, and detached guest houses, take a single 360º View inside to briefly show what’s there.
    • You can 3D Scan a path to a guest house and then scan inside it, but be careful when scanning outside. Learn more.


Preview the Scan

After you take a scan, preview it in the Capture app. Look for undesirable things in the frame such as movement, people, and private information. 

  1. Tap the scan number in the minimap.
  2. Tap Preview Scan.first-scan-preview-button.png
  3. Tap and drag the screen to change your viewpoint.
  4. Look left, right, above, and behind you. You can also pinch to zoom.


This is only a preview and is not the final image quality. After you upload your model, additional processing is done in the cloud to improve image quality.


Next Steps

After you've scanned for both 3D quality and 2D Snapshots, upload your model to the cloud for processing.

Open Workshop and take some Snapshots. Be sure to follow our best practices for 2D Snapshots.

Next, download them to your computer and include in your own marketing materials. Learn more about the what resolution you can download Snapshots. For further questions, please consult your printing company.

Have more questions? Submit a request