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RealViz VTour Review

There are times (albeit few and far between) when a new software package arrives on your desk that makes you sit back and smile. VTour by RealViz is one of those packages, simple to use with results that far out weigh the time spent producing them.

VTour is the latest in a series of software from RealViz aimed at the 3D Modelling/Panorama market to produce Virtual Tours. In essence it takes in 360x180 degree panoramas and allows the user to calibrate the scene in 3D.

A series of primitives can then be added to the scene allowing a model to be created and textured from the photograph. Once complete, the model is exported via a Shockwave viewer to allow free navigation or a movie with a pre-rendered flight path.

To illustrate this we have posted below, via YouTube, a 3D model of the Andy Warhol room in the Tate Modern. The scene, produced to show a quick example, took under 30 minutes to calibrate and model.

Indoor scenes are easy to calibrate whereas outdoor scenes are slightly more problematic. The RealViz website has a number of examples which are well worth viewing, especially the view of Oxford University. We have not however been able to replicate the quality of these models with our outdoor panoramas as the modelling seems to be suitable for certain types of scenes. We plan to add some more examples over the coming month as we get to grips with the tools.

So all well and good, until you get over the wow factor and then realise you cant export to any other 3D modelling package and can only work with a single panorama. We understand that VTour is not a high end modelling package, for that you need to go for Image Modeller, it just seems a shame that it has so much potential only to leave the modeller wanting more.

We recommend that you download their trial version and have a go yourself. Let us know how you get on and we will share your results. If Realviz can add some export options and the ability to model from multiple panoramas then VTour would become essential to anyone creating panoramas or virtual tours. At the moment its a one trick pony - but what a trick!

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