Scanning Outside & Paths to Guest Houses


The Matterport Pro and Pro2 3D Camera are designed for scanning inside. We strongly recommend switching to 360º Views when scanning outside or using a BLK360. You can use a 360 camera, but  you may need to reduce distance to maintain good alignment. If scans misalign, delete and try again. 

A 360º View gives the same panorama imagery as a 3D scan, but it's not aligned to other scans. This means you can't click the circle on the ground to move to a new scan position. Also, 360º Views do not contribute to the Dollhouse or Floorplan View.

Sometimes you might want to have aligned outside scans. For example, a path to a detached garage, shed, guest house, or "mother-in-law" unit. You may even want to scan a playground or park. For example:

Scanning outside in 3D Scan mode is possible but not supported. This is because the camera uses infrared light to capture 3D data. Even on a cloudy day, infrared light from the sun can lead to alignment issues and poor Dollhouse and Floorplan Views.

If you really want to 3D scan outdoors, try the following tips. 


Scan inside first, scan outside last 

Scan your indoor environment first, then duplicate the model and scan outside. Plan your time appropriately - try to scan during dusk or dawn if possible. 

Scanning outdoors raises the chance of a misalignment, which can stack up and affect the navigation of the entire model, so it's important to scan outdoors last.

If using a 360 camera, you should also follow this rule of inside first, outside last. 

Scan during civil twilight 

"Civil twilight" is defined as 30 minutes before sunrise, and 30 minutes after sunset - when the sun is below the horizon but you can still see outside clearly. 

Shorten your scan distances 

Scan in shorter intervals (five feet apart, for example) so there is more overlap - this will make alignment more clear and defined. 

Use objects to assist alignment 

Add objects to your scene (like lawn chairs) - the Matterport Capture app can use this to align the image. Do not move the objects from scan to scan. Leave them in place throughout the entire process. 

Lower the tripod 

Though we usually recommend shooting at eye-level, lowering the camera to about three feet will help the camera align with the ground. If you do lower your tripod, make sure to keep that consistent height locked in for your entire tour - height transitions mid-scan lead to an unnatural user experience.  

Use the Trim tool 

This won't improve alignment per se, but it will help you create better looking Dollhouse Views - learn more about how the trim tool works.

Outdoor examples 

  1. Scanned in partial shade (completely unusable)

  2. Scanned in shade with sunlight (completely unusable)

  3. Scanned at dusk (useable)

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