Matterport 3D Scanning Limitations

Like all technology, Matterport has it’s limitations. While it can achieve amazing result, there is nothing magical happening here and results and satisfaction of the final product are dependent on a great many deal of factors. We want our clients to be happy with our final product and in order to do so we need to ensure our clients are fully aware of what to expect from our services and the capabilities of the technology we use. This means understanding limitations as well. This page hopefully will address those limitations. This may elaborate on some of the things found in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Time is a factor. It takes approximately 45 minutes to one and a half hours to scan each 1,000 feet. It takes approximately one to one and a half minutes to scan for each scan location. It may take many more scans and therefore longer when scanning rooms with a lot of mirrors and windows. Sunlight is a time issue too. Sunlight affects both time and is affected by time on the job. In the finished model, we want it to look as though all the scans were taken all at once, in reality it may hours or perhaps days to capture all the scan locations so timing and speed are critical. With larger properties it may not be possible to go from one end of the property to the other and have the sunlight look the same or have sunlight at all. It may take an additional day complete the scans when the sun is in a similar position.

Windows and mirrors create challenges for us because they reflect light. Our scanners use infrared to determine distances from the camera to surrounding objects. When dealing with a room with windows and mirrors, it may be necessary to scan extra close so it is possible to align scans together properly. We once did a gym with floor to ceiling mirrors along one wall and large windows along the opposite walls and it required more than 40 scans from as little as 6 inches apart to traverse the room.

Speaking of mirrors, the camera seems to love to take selfies. No really, it does. Unfortunately the camera is not invisible and when in front of mirrors it captures itself. There is no way to edit something out of a scan.

The property will be captured and presented the way it was when it was scanned. We can not edit scans or models like we could with photoshop. We also cannot hide objects out of frame or behind the camera. We like to assume that if we can see the camera when scanning, it can see us and we like to assume this for anything within line of site from the camera during a scan. For real estate professionals and members of the hospitality industry his means the property needs to be clean, clutter free and if possible professionally staged, just as you would prefer to have it for guest or customer. Remember this experience can be preserved indefinitely and could be made viewable to anyone from anywhere at anytime.

Access. The model is captured by us and uploaded to Matterport’s cloud. To view the 3D Showcase you and your customers must have internet access, a browser on that supports WebGL. The majority of updated versions of mobile and desktop browsers support webGL. To test to see if you have WebGL, click here. We will our clients with a link to share the 3D Showcase and embed code to post the showcase into your website. We also will provide you with a minimum of 3 months hosting on our account. There is no way to provide you with the entire file and 3D Showcase Software to be hosted on your own server or playback on your own computer.

Maximum number of scans. The maximum number of scans per model is around 200. Beyond this, it get’s beyond Matterport’s tested limits. We have produced models with more than 200 and we have noticed some significant issues. First, it becomes increasingly difficult to capture additional scans, often causing the software to crash and requiring multiple scans of the same site. Second, it may or may not be processed upon upload. Third, it takes longer to load the 3D Showcase window and interactions with the viewer and models may function slowly or poorly.

Maximum square footage of a property. With 200 scans it might be possible to scan a 10,000 square foot property provided the scans could be spaced out from each other and the floor plan did not require a lot of scans to get through them. The number of rooms, windows, mirrors and details all determine how many scans a property should have to make a nice model and virtual walkthrough experience for your viewers. From our experience, 200 scans we feel safe in saying it would be sufficient for around 8,000 square feet of space and still be able to capture details of all the rooms and get past difficult things like windows and mirrors.

Breaking models into two parts. For models that exceed or push the limits of our technology, it may be necessary to break a model into two or more parts. Usually this is done so that it splits in an already occurring change in the continuity of the floor plan such as a new level, wing, or section of the property. We usually overlap features such as stairs to help viewers orientate themselves. Once a model has been split, it cannot be put back together again. A completed scan however, can be split and each part can be submitted for processing. to create a split model. The results, while perhaps not ideal, are still nonetheless impressive.

Small rooms unscalable areas. It may not be possible to get into every closet nook and cranny of a property. Doors need to be kept open for all scans taking place within sight of that door. If we are to scan inside we need enough room for the tripod and camera to fit, both into the doorway, and around the open door itself. Inaccessible may appear as black voids in the floor plan and doll house view of the finished model but do not affect the walk through view.

Floors. Sometimes when the captured space is processed the floors are not properly labeled. Usually this problem occurs with split level homes. We do not have a way to correct this at the moment but it should not interfere with viewing or interacting with the model.