Guided Tour Best Practices

A "Guided Tour" is an automatic progression through the 2D Snapshots in your Highlight Reel - on the user end, watching a Guided Tour is as easy as hitting the "Play" icon. Users can create and share Guided Tours using the Matterport Showcase Editor - this article will focus more on the best methods and practices that go into creating a dynamic, thorough Guided Tour.

Before you begin 

What makes a great Guided Tour? 


The property  Wide open areas (like living rooms, dining rooms) make for a far more enjoyable experience. Narrow, cramped hallways or confined rooms can detract from the viewing experience.
The capture scans

Snapshots can only come from scan positions (the placement of the camera when scanning). Keep in mind, if you're unhappy with your initial scans you can always return to the property and take more.

Learn more about Scanning Best Practices and how to Scan a Space.

The Snapshot choices 

It's important to consider: 

  1. Where you take a Snapshot. 
  2. What angle the Snapshot is taken from. 
  3. The ordering of the Snapshot in the Highlight Reel. 

Learn more about Best practices for creating Guided Tours. 


Best Practices 

Explore the Space 

Before creating your Tour, spend some time getting to know the 3D space by taking the following actions:

a. Explore the Space in Inside View

  • Take a virtual walkthrough the 3D space yourself - this will give you specific ideas about which rooms have visually compelling aspects, and give you a general idea of how users will be able to navigate through the space. You can also use the Measurement tool to get an idea of how large or small aspects of the environment are.

Screen_Shot_2019-06-14_at_12.32.05_PM.pngbExplore the Space in Dollhouse View

  • The Dollhouse View will give you a better understanding of the space as a whole. This view will also show you the potential "confines" of the Space - you'll be able to locate and identify narrow hallways and rooms, and see how spaces on different levels compare with the property as a whole.


c. Explore the Space in Floorplan View

  • The Floorplan View is the easiest way to plot your Tour path conceptually. In the Floorplan view, you can see all of the Highlight Reel points dotted throughout the property, and get an overall general sense of the vastness of the space. Additionally, we recommend printing the Floorplan out and drawing the desired path directly on the map before beginning (more on this later!).


Choose Your Highlights Carefully  

Keep in mind: not every room in your scan has to be a part of your Guided Tour. Instead, focus on the main rooms of your property - this will give visitors an overall taste of what the space is like. Remember, visitors can stop the Tour at any time and do some exploring on their own.

Keep the Tour Short 

A first-time user's instinct is to make the Guided Tour as thorough as possible - unfortunately, doing this often means creating a tour that is simply too long to hold the attention span of the visitor. We highly recommend keeping your tour length between 30 and 90 seconds - our most successful Tours are typically one minute long (and have about ten highlight images).

Navigate Around Furniture 

A major goal in creating a successful Guided Tour is to create unobstructed paths between your Snapshots. Furniture can act as a major obstruction - if there is a large couch or table between one point and another, the tour will "ghost" through them. This can look odd to users, so make sure to plan your Tour around these points.

Screen_Shot_2019-06-14_at_1.35.45_PM.pngAvoid setting movement points in front of or behind furniture (like the table and chairs in the image). If you do, the camera will "ghost" through them to reach the next point, which is visually awkward. 

Avoid Sharp Turns and Hooks 

Every space, no matter how big, will have rooms on the outer-most parameter of the property - hitting the corner of one of these rooms means the camera will have to dramatically spin or hook around to continue moving. This is disorienting, particularly if the sharp turn occurs in a small room or hallway. If you must include a narrow room or hallway, try to plot the points through the room in a way that creates a circular path (rather than an angled path).

Keep Transitions Short (and Uniform) 

Do not create transitions that span the length of the entire property - instead, create a path with short and uniform transition times appended to each scan point.

A simple maxim to adhere to is this: try to place every Snapshot within line of sight to the previous snapshot, or in adjacent rooms. 

Refine Your Snapshots 

Try taking Snapshots at different scan positions, and at different angles. Part of the joy of using Matterport is that you can experiment indefinitely until you find the exact shot and placement you're looking for.  

Fine Tune Your Panning 

In every frame of a Guided Tour, you will undoubtedly notice that the camera will consistently utilize a subtle pan (either from left to right, or right to left). The direction of this pan is dependent on the placement of the next position in the Tour - the camera will always pan in the general direction of the next Highlight. 

If utilized with this in mind, the pan can add a level of immersion and continuity between each of your Highlights that appears seamless. 

You can turn off panning entirely - when you're embedding the 3D Showcase, add the &kb=0 URL parameter.

Change Transition Types and Pan Direction 

Our latest build of edit mode within Showcase gives you the ability to take more granular control of your guided tours and highlight reels - learn to change transition types leading to each snapshot in your reel, and how to set the camera to pan from left to right, or right to left during your tours. 


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