Scanning with Matterport
Scanning with Matterport

Scanning with Matterport

Why Matterport?

The IP team uses Matterport, photogrametry-based scanning equipment, to produce services requested by our clients within the real estate market for a single-location or multiple locations:

  • Virtual Tours
  • Interior Photos
  • 360 Panoramas
  • Floor Plans

See Scan Technology Comparison to understand the differences between photogrametry vs laser/lider-based scanning.

The People

The Reality Capture Operators
  • Trained Matterport Operator who will require the necessary Equipment to lead the performance of the Scanning project.
  • Assistant Operator
Supporting Staff
BIM Specialist
  • Trained professional who will receive the
The Managing Director
The Client's Project Manager
The Building Property Manager

The Process

Matterport Services

Equipment Checklist

To scan a project using Matterport, several support pieces of hardware and software are required for (1) scan team member.

Equipment Checklist

Project Checklist

...And Best Practices

The Days Before the Scan

To scan a project using Matterport, several support pieces of hardware and software are required for (1) scan team member.

Plan your Scan Path Before Starting: Get to know your space before scanning by reviewing a floor plan or existing photos. Without planning, there may be a greater chance of underestimating the time it takes to scan, or you may miss an unknown room or area that you might not have noticed once you're on the site.
Notify Property Manager of Potentially Locked Doors: After reviewing a plan, let the Property Manager via email or a phone call that you'll require access to all rooms, including rooms that may be locked. With sufficient heads up, the Property Managers can ensure to have the keys to unlock the doors the day of the scan. Without access to locked rooms, the scan will be incomplete. This means that floor plans produced from your scan may be incomplete.
Check the Weather: Too much direct sun light will not allow the Camera to capture accurately. If it's raining, you'll not be able to scan outside areas. Check the weather to plan your scan around the sun and rain.
Confirm all Equipment is fully charged the day before: Don't show up to the site and realize the equipment isn't ready to use!
Confirm all Equipment is packed in their appropriate cases: Don't leave anything behind!

The Arrival to the Site

To scan a project using Matterport, several support pieces of hardware and software are required for (1) scan team member.

Introduce Yourself: Upon arrival to the building, notify the Property Manager or the Point of Contact who will be granting you access. Remember: They are allowing you to walk into private space. Be sure to give them your name, smile, be professional, courteous, and over-communicate.
Walk the Entire Site with the Property Manager Before Starting: You should always walk the entirety of the site you will be scanning. No exceptions. If you don't it is very likely that the Property Manager will not be physically present, and you will encounter locked doors. Make sure to avoid this by walking the site and checking for all locked doors. If doors are locked, the Property Manager can open them in the initial walkthrough with you.
Remove Garbage, Debris, or Out of Place Objects: While walking through the site with the Property Manager, be on the look out for objects or garbage that might impede the Scan Path. Ask the Property Manager to remove all garbage, debris, or out of place objects. Remember, the scanner will capture what is visible. So, it is important to have a nice clean Scan Path. Take the time to pick up small scraps or fix the orientation of a chair. Little details like this make your scan nice, organized, and professional.
Tell the Property Manager the Scan Plan: Once you've completed the initial walkthrough of the site, give the Property Manager a brief overview of the job you will perform. This includes telling them that the reasoning why you'll need access to locked rooms and an estimated amount of time you anticipate to complete the project. For safety and security reasons, always exchange phone numbers with the Property Manager. If you find yourself needing assistance, they should be your point of contact.
Open All Locked Doors Before Starting: Before starting, be sure to walk the entire space with the Building Property Manager before starting. It is very likely many rooms will be locked and will require the Building Property Manager (or in some cases the Building Engineer) to have keys to access. Be sure to get these rooms open before starting the scan. These rooms usually include but not limited to: closets, utility rooms, IT rooms, mechanical rooms, private offices, and more.
Turn On All Lights Before Starting: Before starting, be sure to turn on all of the lights. This is important to avoid capturing views with rooms that may have the lights turned off.
Give Your Scan a Project Name: Before starting, and within your Matterport Capture app, start a "New Project." Be sure to fill in all project location information including: Name and Address.

During the Scan

To scan a project using Matterport, several support pieces of hardware and software are required for (1) scan team member.

Create a New Level: Within the Matterport Capture app, be sure to accurately label which floor you are currently scanning. As you scan up or down stairs, be sure to create a new level and label which floor you are now on. We'd recommend creating a new level midway up the stairs.
Adjust Camera Height: Position Camera Lens at eye-level height by default, about 5'-6" high.
Distance Between Scans: Each scan should be no more than 8' between scan points. Within the Matterport Capture app, ensure your scan locations minimize the amount of invisible black spots on the screen.
Lay out Doorstops based on your Scan Path: The second Operator should layout doorstops, while the first Operator scans. These doorstops should be in keeping with the path of your overall scan.
Hide from the Camera: Once you begin scanning, make sure to allow yourself enough space or time to hide from the camera. There are two common ways to hide. First, is to walk around the camera as it spins (you'll need enough space to do this). The second, is to find a corner or object to hide completely behind. Be sure there are no mirrors around that might catch your reflection in the scan.
Scan in a Grid Pattern: Whenever possible, it is good practice to scan in a straight, symmetrical grid pattern. When looking at the scan on your Matterport Capture App, it shouldn't look like random dots all over the place. Remember, every scan location represents where a user will transition to in the virtual tour. If the scan locations are crooked or too far away, the user's experience will not be as smooth or seamless.
Scanning Rooms: Whenever the room is large enough, it is good practice to capture all four corners. If possible, adding one scan in the center as well. Larger rooms may require more scans.
Scanning Closets: Closets are usually filled with objects that might hinder the scanner to detect the depth of a room. Whenever possible, try to position the scanner in areas where it might detect the edges of a room so that the scan depicts the corners of the room.
Scanning Bathrooms: Be sure to scan the entirety of the bathrooms. This includes opening up bathroom stall doors to depict the toilets and fixtures. Use a doorstop to prop open the bathroom doors. Additionally, position the scanner so as to minimize exposure to the mirrors. This isn't always possible, but look for moments where the camera can be hidden without damaging the Scan Path.
Scanning Between Rooms: Be sure to scan directly underneath doorway to a room. This ensures that the user can click on a scan location to enter a room.
Always Scan the Elevator Foyer & Stairwells: These are always necessary to stitch a scan using common "core" points. Additionally, we'll need this visual information to convert these scans into floor plans. The elevators and stairwells are the glue to these plans!
Eliminate Blind Spots: In cluttered areas, you may require more scans to ensure that there are no blind spots (dark areas) within the point cloud shown on the Matterport Capture App. This may require you to scan around corners and objects to ensure you get complete information so that your scan can look clean and complete.
Mark Windows & Mirrors as You Go: As you move through a space, mark mirrors and windows on the mini-map as you go using the annotate tool in the Capture App. If you mark a window or mirror as soon as the camera sees it, it will recognize it as a solid surface and produce a cleaner scan with fewer areas to trim when you upload.
For Outside Scanning, Wait for the Shade: Check the weather! The Matterport lens does not capture imagery well with direct UV sunlight rays. This makes outside scanning difficult if it's a sunny day. Plan to wait for shade and scan at a time when the sunlight is less harsh, whether in morning or evening, or on a cloudy day. This is common when scanning terraces, entrances, and balconies.