3DVista Review!

Hi! I decided to continue my search for what program is best for my needs to share my 360° media. Today I’m focusing on the 3DVista application!

I used the Ricoh Theta SC Hatsune Miku to capture my photos/videos as usual. I am interested in trying out different 360° programs in order to find what fits my needs best; something quick, efficient, and optimized for social media.

Initial Thoughts

The 3DVista website is impressive in that it utilizes some great 360 images right off the bat! The team has put together a few pieces of software that are available with your free trial. For this review, I focused on specifically the 3DVista Virtual Tour creator, as I did not need to stitch together images into panoramas.

This tool is one of the more expensive options I’ve looked at! The application itself is 499 Euros, not including access to their servers or the photo stitcher.

The download for the 3DVista trial was a little long for me. Longer than any of the other downloads I’ve done for 360 so far. One cool thing immediately off the bat is that the trial for 3DVista is much longer than normal 360 software – it’s a month long! I was excited about that. Upon opening the application, you are given some preset tour skins after beginning your tour creation. I decided to make a “mini” tour, which only had one style and type available.

Once you are in the application, you are able to batch upload images to an album, add panoramas, or use the 3dVista Stitcher to create panoramas out of images. I went with the batch upload, which was fairly quick. I then realized that wasn’t the right move and started over doing panorama uploads, which allow for multiple types of panorama (and take multiple files at once). I like that you are able to control the panning speed and smoothness, which seems to a key feature in these higher end applications. There was a lot of customization for the playback bar as wekk, which I liked.

The 3DVista tool is fairly straightforward, but offers a lot of options that help to make the software seem personalizable and easy to use.

One thing that was kind of annoying is how long the upload time to a preview takes. To view your preview, you must use a piece of downloadable software from 3DVista (3DVista Tour Viewer, see a theme?) as well, meaning you have a lot of things open at once. I put some music over my tour and created a fun color scheme that is more reminiscent of me and less reminiscent of “Free Trial Color Options” which is awesome!

Because of the way 3DVista is setup, I can’t host the tour I created anywhere, so I’ve converted it into a 360 video (which is taking even longer to stitch together than the original download) and̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶a̶t̶t̶a̶c̶h̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶i̶t̶’̶s̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶e̶ the 3DVista program created a minute long silent slideshow of my 360 images so I will not be attaching it because it’s terrible. In summary, here are my pros and cons for the 3DVista Virtual Tour creator (process, really, since it’s not just one application):

Pros Cons
Quick uploads Offensive watermarking in free trial version
Highly customizable Can’t upload to their server unless you pay, can’t upload to Google Street View unless you pay
Longer free trial than most 360 software (1 month long) Geared towards individuals who are creating virtual tours for profit, not suitable for hobbyists
Very much a “drag and drop” process, does a lot of work for you

Concluding Thoughts

I liked 3DVista basically up until the end. This is mostly because things seemed really great until I was unable to publish the tour I created in a way that I saw fit. I wasn’t happy with the way my tour turned out because of this, and wouldn’t be able to suggest this software to hobbyists looking for 360 software. It seems like 3DVista once paid for would be a shoe in, though at a high price point.

Until next time!

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As an update t your review, I want to report that I was not able to login to 3DVista Cloud (for which I paid an annual fee) in order to upload a 360 tour I created for a client. When I contacted their support, the answer was that I should disable my firewall and anti-virus. This is something I’m unwilling to do; i.e., put my computer at risk of malware from their network or other sources. They had no other answer or solution and I asked for my money back.

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Hi, thanks for the post.

After seeing your problem, I wanted to look into possible problems with the service. I contacted the company and I heard from one of the people there that the service works for most customers. I believe they refunded your money for this particular problem, right?

As far as I can tell, 3DVista Cloud looks like a legitimate service that is still very much in business with responsive support. They responded to my email very quickly.

Craig:

3DVista is a very capable software application - I’ve been a user of the software for about two years.

Their technical support responsiveness has varied in my experience - they respond to an email within the same business day about 50% of the time. The problem is that, for technical issues, they automatically assume that their software works perfectly and the user is stupid. More significantly, they won’t consider evidence to the contrary (i.e., that there may be a flaw in the software).and refuse to consider a more complicated situation to assist in troubleshooting. I didn’t want to go into all that in the review because it gets too difficult to explain.

Chris

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Thanks for sharing your real-world experiences.

I tried the free hosting and thought it was great so two days ago I purchased a year’s worth of 4gb. Only problem is my tours take up way more space on the paid version than they did for the same amount of panos I used during the trial. I asked customer support how this could be and was told “it is what it is, purchase additional space or try reducing the quality”. Based upon the space I used during the trial I should have been able to host roughly 15 tours. It’s only covering two. Did I just pay $300.00 to host 2 tours? Seems like a bait n’ switch. I asked for a refund and haven’t heard back yet. Anyone else experience this?

Hi, I consolidated the 3DVista problem with the existing 3DVista Review to make information on 3DVista easier to find.

Guess checking “Don’t resize” does not automatically remove the quality parameters. You actually have to increase the quality to 100%. Learned this after purchasing the space. At any rate their version of 75% is different from the rest of the universe’s. With the quality setting at 75% my tour is only 150mb. With the quality at 100% the tour is somehow 1050mb. In the trial the default setting is 75%. If they’re going to do that, they need to be realistic in how much extra space is going to be consumed by adding 25% more quality. They should also be a little more clear and keep the size and quality features separate so that someone else doesn’t make the same mistake. I still think it’s a bait n’ switch scam and they should refund my next 360 days. Great program, btw. Don’t hesitate to buy it if you can create your own ftp site. Truly is remarkable on it’s own. Support may leave a little to be desired.

Did you ask them directly for a refund and they refused?

I let them know it was unacceptable and asked for a refund. They replied stating “it is what it is, you cannot say it’s unacceptable”. My 2nd email I let them know if they can’t fix the problem I expect a refund. They replied, “there is no problem, if you just did what I said and reduced the size everyone would be happy”. I asked why the size is increased by 600% when I only increased the quality by 25%. Seems incredibly deceptive. Awaiting reply. It would be more prudent of them if they explained what’s happening with the size within the program. Say, starting with 100%, and then informing the client they can reduce the quality for more space if they want. Also maybe include a reason why 25% more quality increases the size by 600%. For the record I’m not happy with the results when reducing the quality. It’s fine for the PC and phone but with the oculus the reduction is obvious. I’ll ask again. Thank you, Craig

Thank you for taking the time to provide these real-world experiences which helps everyone navigate this new world of 360 images.

Maybe they can improve their support process in the future. Although this doesn’t help you, they might be overwhelmed.

Hope you can reach a satisfactory outcome.

If you have access to Photoshop, Lightroom, Affinity or any other photo editing software try loading a large dng or tif file and exporting to jpg at 100% quality and then at 75%. You’ll see that the file sizes are drastically different and they are in no way directly proportional.

For example, a tif file that starts at 152MB exports to jpg as follows:
100% - 13.23MB
75% - 612.19KB (over 21x smaller)

While I can’t speak to the level of customer service you received, there doesn’t seem to be any deception going on with the file sizes.

we did some JPG image quality tests and file size comparisons at the link below. this was to help developers assess what type of lossy compression to apply to z1 images.

RICOH THETA Image Quality Tests

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Thank you for the insight. I totally understand the exponential increase in size and it’s similarity to those programs. I use adobe and never would have known 75% was that much smaller. Still, I’d say 3dvista’s use of the programming paired with the hosting plan is akin to adobe charging more to export the higher quality jpgs. That is, after you’ve already paid them for a year’s worth of use. Maybe I should have played with the trial a bit more, or maybe their default quality setting could be 100 and I would have known how much space I actually needed. Or maybe they could just refund me for all the time that I won’t be using their server. Just to reiterate for anyone on the fence. The program is great, the service takes some warming up to, and the hosting is great if you can do math I suppose. I really should have dug in to the program before the trial hosting was over. I’ll concede it’s at least 75% my fault, if we’re using an adobe-type quality scale :wink: It should be noted I’m using a 150mp insta pro2 and simply reached out to the most active board for advice. I’m sure the theta’s file size will leave plenty of room for hosting. Feel free to delete my posts. Thank you for your help.

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First, thank you for taking the time to share your experience with everyone. I think that you’re giving a realistic assessment of the situation, which is valuable to everyone. In my opinion, the vendor should work with you to resolve the situation, including a refund if the service can’t meet your requirements as you had an honest misunderstanding of what the product could do. However, that’s my personal opinion about what’s fair.

The 3DVista service could be considered a big investment for many boutique photography studios, so I am sympathetic to the financial hit if you can’t use it to show your photos in the way that you want to. The last 18 months has been tough for many people and it is my hope that the vendor works with you to resolve the situation.