More than ten years ago, the Louvre Museum published virtual tour CD-ROMs. Today, thanks to a computer with an internet connection, from your home and without any particular computer knowledge, you can discover the most beautiful collections of paintings, sculptures, alone or with your family. The great museums and heritage sites offer virtual tours their beauty and disseminate culture to a very large audience in a fun way. What a dream to have access to the corners of the Louvre, the British museum or the Palace of Versailles with a single click, via their websites. A major site in human history, the Lascaux caves are accessible by virtual tour, what a feat and what comfort. Virtual tours are not only for to a public who love paintings and other works of art, but to the curious. It is even possible to visit the famous museums, but also the site of Volcanic in Auvergne.
Virtual tours combine several advantages. They allow the discovery of the heritage of humanity without the constraints of travel, but also at a lower cost. In the virtual tour, nothing curbs curiosity. Virtual tours allow the family to stimulate the curiosity of children and adults, but also to take great pleasure in front of the most beautiful works in the world. Come and go as you wish, skip stages, return as you wish to a work or part of a castle. They can of course be a multimedia medium of choice in schools for learning the history and history of art in a different way. The teacher’s speech with the same interface can be adapted to both primary and terminal audiences. It can be a wonderful tool before a real visit to prepare students and develop an educational path. On the way back, it allows you to deepen and come back to envy on the major pieces or the favorites.
The virtual tour is a trend, instigated by the real estate sector, which relies on panoramic shooting methods. This technique allows you to interactively visit museums, tourist sites, buildings and sometimes even entire cities, as with Google Street View. While we saw the flourishing of numerous interactive virtual tours on browsers, in the real estate and tourism sectors in particular, more and more companies are now offering to teleport themselves virtually to a place, using a virtual reality headset.
Do we visit a place that already exists or a place that has not yet been built? Do we want to offer a realistic or fictitious virtual tour? Will the visit be autonomous or guided? Do the environments need to be editable, so that the customer gets a personalized experience? Creating a virtual tour in 3D VR involves using computer software specific to animation cinema and video games. This will therefore not come from real shots, but from environments made in 3D.
As the point of view is not subject to the position of the cameras, the user will be much freer to move around. He will be able to move around in the environment in a natural way, thanks to the room scale functions of the VR headset used, but he will also be able to get closer and observe the different elements of the experience from every angle (where the 360 camera will only capture the visible side of the element in question).
As the experience is not frozen in time, but rather evolving, the number of interactions offered during the visit will be much greater. Upstream programming will allow the user to move certain elements, modify their aspects and sizes, or even trigger certain scenes to make the experience even more alive. 3D virtual reality will be more suitable for fictitious virtual tours. If, on the other hand, it is realism that is targeted, then it will be necessary to focus more on 360 video to create your virtual tour. By using 360 ° video for your virtual tour, you will be able to instantly move your visitors from one place to another on the globe, as it is a technology that relies on real shots of the environment.
If the visitor’s point of view will depend on the position of the camera during the capture of images, he will still be able to move from one point of view to another by selecting it with his gaze, his remote control or his controller (depending on the VR device used). Its influence on the environment will therefore remain minimal, but you can still give it the impression of interacting with the experience, by offering several alternative scenes whose triggering will depend on the actions of the user. Unlike the 360 photo, the 360 video will offer you the possibility of scripting your virtual tours. While you will certainly prefer to leave the visitor to explore alone when visiting an apartment or tourist destination, you should preferably integrate scenarios and characters into your content, as part of a company visit or an experiential marketing campaign.
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