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How YOU can create a FREE virtual tour in just 4 EASY STEPS with Veer Experience

How you can create an easy and free virtual tour with Veer Experience
How you can create an easy and free virtual tour with Veer Experience

Yes you can create a virtual tour for free!  You don’t need a server and you don’t even need to install any software!  Here’s how to create free virtual tours with Veer Experience.

Background

Creating virtual tours usually requires paid software, or a subscription-based website for virtual tours.  As a result, they’ve been used primarily for business.  With Veer Experience, you’ll be able to create virtual tours for free, allowing you to use them for fun or education or nonprofit uses.

How to create a free virtual tour

Here’s how to create a free virtual tour.  (To be honest, it’s so easy that you can probably figure it out by yourself even without watching the video — so feel free to jump right in!)  If you don’t have a 360 camera yet, you can use these practice files (for personal use only).

Step 1: From your Veer account*, click on Upload and select Interactive Experience.
*Creating an account is free here.

Step 1: click on Upload and then Create Interactive Experience
Step 1: click on Upload and then Create Interactive Experience

Step 2: Click on the + sign to upload your first 360 photo or “Scene” in Veer parlance:

Step 2: click on the + sign to add your first 360 photo
Step 2: click on the + sign to add your first 360 photo

While the first photo is loading click on Add Scene on the upper left of the editing screen to add more 360 photos:

In the editing screen, add more scenes by clicking on this button
In the editing screen, add more scenes by clicking on this button

Step 3: add hotspots or information cards or sounds by selecting one of those buttons on the left side of the editing screen and placing them in the photo.

Hotspots allow the viewer to go to a different scene.  For each hotspot, specify the scene to which it is linked.

Sounds can be used for narration or ambient sound and can be set to autoplay as soon as the viewer sees the scene.

Information cards can be used to create a popup link or photo or text to provide additional information.

Step 4: When you’re done adding hotspots, sounds, and cards, click on Done.  On the following screen, give your tour a title and description.  You can also choose the thumbnail by clicking on the thumbnail box, and choosing the scene and view that you want.  Then click on Publish.

Step 4: add titles, description and thumbnail
Step 4: add titles, description and thumbnail

Now you can share your virtual tour by sending the URL to Facebook (Facebook will automatically generate a thumbnail) or email or text message, or clicking the share button and copying the iframe embed code for your website.

Here is the sample virtual tour I made in the tutorial:

Incidentally, the photos for this tour were shot with Panono (not Insta360 One).   There’s an easter egg in the tour: a 360 video of a waterslide (shot on the water-resistant Xiaomi Mi Sphere).

How to edit your virtual tour

If you want to add, delete, or change scenes, you can do that.  From your list of uploads on Veer, find the thumbnail for your virtual tour and click on the pencil on the upper right of the thumbnail.  On the next screen, click on Edit Scenes and hotspots.  This will bring you to the editing screen.

Click on Edit to edit your virtual tour
Click on Edit to edit your virtual tour

Advantages and disadvantages

As you saw from the demo, Veer’s virtual tour has common features for virtual tours such as hotspots, thumbnails to jump directly to any 360 photo, the option to change the heading / initial view, and the ability to be embedded on a website.

In addition, Veer added the ability to add sound clips for narration, as well as background music.  You can also create popups with external links, such as links to your store or an Amazon affiliate link (do you see the sales potential? I do!).  There’s also an option to create a slideshow where the 360 photo will automatically change after a duration that you specify.  With the option for background music, it’s almost like a 360 video.

Veer Experience isn’t perfect.  One of the limitations is the resolution.   It allowed me to upload 16K photos but it’s showing them at a lower resolution (I estimate 8K but I’ll find out).  There’s also no batch uploading, so you need to upload photos one by one.  Fortunately, photos can be uploaded concurrently (without having to wait for previous photos to finish uploading).  Another disadvantage is that the tour seems to take a while to load. Some users also report that on their smartphone browser, Veer virtual tours crash.

Nonetheless, the fact that it’s free is a big deal.  Besides making virtual tours available to anyone, it’s also a relief for 360 professionals, who don’t have to worry about paying for a virtual tour forever to maintain it for their client.

What’s the catch?

One question is whether Veer Experience is really free.  In the past, there have been companies that offered free virtual tours but then the beta period ended and they started charging as much as $40 per month.  I asked Veer staff repeatedly and they assured me again and again that the basic functions I showed in the video are “free forever.”  In the future, there will be advanced options as paid upgrades, and they’re hoping you’ll like Veer Experience enough that you’d pay for them, but you can stick with the free basic version if that’s all you need.

BTW, for full disclosure, Veer hired me to create the video tutorial and they’re tracking referrals in the links here.  To be fair, I did work hard to make it!  See if you can spot what time I was working on this tutorial. 🙂  And in case you’re wondering, no company paid me anything for our trip to Hawaii.  Thanks for using the links to support 360 Rumors so that I can do more tests and reviews for you.

About the author

Mic Ty

4 Comments

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  • Yep a nice tool, the biggest problem I’ve found is that the tours don’t play well on Android or iOS, slow and crash often. This doesn’t happen with the HTML5 tours built with dedicated software and hosted on your server.

    • Hi Nancy. no you need to convert (“stitch”) insp first to equirectangular format using insta360 app or insta360 studio destop software. Here is a tutorial around 8:40 of this video https://youtu.be/DN5YWVmrERE After it is in jpg format then you can upload to veer or other sites. Similarly insv videos also have to be converted before uploading to youtube or veer.

      Best regards,
      Mic