As the multiple lockdowns and restrictions bit last year there was one service we provide that had more enquiries than anything else; 360 tours. Unsurprisingly the ability to go into a venue and explore without leaving your home was suddenly elevated from being a ‘nice to have’ to an essential requirement in certain cases.
One such case was the annual room ballot for students at one of Cambridge’s prestigious colleges. Traditionally a list of rooms would be published and the students would arrange a viewing with the current occupants; this was not possible during lockdown so an alternative solution had to be offered.
However, unlike a typical set of tours where you would choose a few representative rooms and show a list of all the similar choices, the rooms at this college were almost entirely unique with distinctive features in both the rooms and communal areas that had to be covered to get a real idea of each space. This meant the only approach was to shoot every room.
This presented some technical challenges and really made us look at our shoot and image processing workflows; after all on a normal shoot if there’s a level or stitch issue with some shots it can be fixed in post without much fuss, multiply that by hundreds though and you’re potentially adding days of post-production which has a significant impact on budgets and timescales.
We shot with a combination of 360 systems; our Insta360 Pro was perfect for its quick setup and one-shot capability in most situations, this was backed up by a full-frame DSLR on a pano head for shots that needed that extra bit of image clarity and dynamic range.
The first batch was around 300 panoramas and covered 194 rooms and communal spaces in total. This was all delivered to a tight production schedule with the initial room selection going live for the students to make their choices for the following year.
Tour Build & Deploy