HomePlan NZ uses innovative 3D scanning technology to create a digital copy and virtualize your residential, commercial and heritage buildings and spaces.  This page provides further information on the technology we use to do this, for geeks and building professionals.

What is Building 3D Virtualization?

Building 3D Virtualization is creating a usable and accessible 3D digital copy of your home, property, premises or workplace.  Methods of virtualizing a building or property include:

HomePlan NZ staff
  • 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD):  Using specialist architectural software to capture the design of a building.  This can be further enhanced with artistic renders to give a realistic representation of how the property will look once it’s built.  HomePlan does not offer CAD as a service.
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM): This takes the CAD model as the basis for connecting and consolidating data that enables more efficient planning, designing, construction, and then ongoing facilities management.  HomePlan does not offer BIM as a service.
  • Point Cloud Data Capture: A collection of data points captured onsite that together provide an accurate representation of where everything is physically located.  The point cloud is loaded into 3D CAD software as the basis of, or overlaid onto existing design for comparison.  HomePlan performs point cloud data capture.
  • 3D Virtual Walkthrough: Performing a 3D photographic survey onsite and then associating the images together to create a virtual, digital copy from which all visible attributes and measurements can be determined (photogrammetry).  HomePlan specializes in doing this!

The Matterport Platform

HomePlan NZ is a Matterport Service Partner.  Matterport are the world’s leading provider of 3D virtual tour and photogrammetry technology, used across a range of market sectors including real estate, retail and hospitality, insurance, construction and asset/facilities management.

The Matterport cloud-based platform hosts all 3D virtual tours/walkthroughs safely and securely, utilising Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Our enterprise-level partnering agreement with Matterport give us the highest level of insight for the platform, including support for larger commercial 3D virtual walkthroughs which are not supported for non-enterprise Matterport partners.

We use Matterport’s Pro2 3D Camera, which  captures 132 megapixel (equirectangular) imagery then registers the data using GPS and 3D infrared light sensing.  This is processed to create the walkthrough, a 99% accurate point cloud (.XYZ) file and optional 2D Concept Floor Plans (.PDF).

The photographic quality is impressive – 3D walkthroughs are in 4K, and images able to be exported at up to 8092 x 4552 pixels – printed that’s just over A2 @ 300 DPI.

Due to the Pro2’s infrared technology it is primarily an interior scanning device.  We have addressed this by also using the Leica BLK360, making HomePlan NZ one of the few providers able to produce full interior AND exterior 3D virtual walkthroughs!

You can access your 3D virtual walkthrough on any modern device or PC.  HomePlan NZ will email you a URL link that will open in any internet browser, no specialist software is required.

The URL destination is not indexed and will not appear in any internet search results, similar to “Unlisted” You Tube videos.  It can only be discovered by the sharing of the URL link we provide, or by embedding it in another web site that is searchable.

There is no ability to download a local copy of the 3D virtual walkthrough.  You can however receive exported point cloud files, 2D Concept Floor Plans and 2D or 3D high resolution images extracted from the walkthrough.

You have three choices to manage access:

  1. Public – OK for you to share:  You have the URL link and decide how to share it, and to whom.  Perfect for homes, investment and non-sensitive commercial properties.
  2. Public – OK for you and HomePlan NZ to share:  Allows us to also promote it on our social media, web and partner sites.  Useful to increase exposure when marketing your property or business.
  3. Private:  Access is granted user-by-user within a secure collaborators portal.  Collaborators also gain the ability to take measurements, export their own image snapshots and add data tags.  Intended for government entities, insurers, valuers and large-scale enterprises.

Our 3D virtual walkthroughs can be integrated into social media posts, Trade Me listings and Google Street View.

  • Share the provided URL link on Facebook or LinkedIn and it will allow users to preview, access and re-share the 3D virtual walkthrough.
  • Trade Me, Real Estate and Homes property listing sites can all link to a 3D Tour.  The 3D walkthrough will open when the user clicks on the 3D Tour button on the listing.
  • We can submit the walkthrough to integrate into Google Street View (small charge applies).

You can embed your 3D virtual walkthrough on a web site.  This is perfect when using the walkthrough to market a venue, as The Thistle Inn have done.

We can provide you with some simple HTML code for your web site administrator to add your 3D virtual walkthrough to your web page via an iframe.  There are advanced options to manage the default behavior of the walkthrough, if you need any help please contact us.

Leica Point Cloud Data Capture

In addition to point clouds produced off the Matterport platform, HomePlan NZ also utilizes the latest technology from Leica Geosystems to capture dense and accurate laser point cloud data.

We use the Leica BLK360 laser scanner, which produces highly accurate (99.9%) laser point cloud scans (.RCS) and good quality photographic imagery.

Laser or Infrared Point Cloud?

Point clouds from our BLK360 scanner (.RCS) are 99.9% accurate but take a long time to capture and process, with even small projects starting at $2,500+.  This is why laser point cloud surveys are traditionally used on commercial projects.

By comparison, point clouds produced off the Matterport platform (.XYZ) are less dense, are 99% accurate, and are produced as part of the 3D virtual walkthrough creation process.  An export of these point cloud files costs just +$250 over the cost of the 3D virtual walkthrough.

This low price point makes the use of point clouds in residential renovation projects a reality.  Architects can utilize the 3D virtual walkthrough to avoid multiple site visits, then load the .XYZ file into their 3D CAD software and quickly determine the layout of a building interior.  The design can be drawn over top of the point cloud, then refined using accurate site measurements of the key dimensions (i.e. from a laser measuring device).

So if you need the accuracy and can afford it – go for a laser point cloud capture.  If you want fast and cheap efficiency  in the design process – get a point cloud capture as an extension of the HomePlan 3D virtual walkthrough service for just +$250.  If it’s a building exterior – it has to be laser.  If it’s interior – it can be either.

Our Data Policy

Your privacy is important to us.  The following is our standard data ownership policy, which applies unless contracted otherwise for commercial and government customers.

HomePlan NZ Ltd is the sole owner of the 3D walkthrough and all associated data created while providing the service, including but not limited to any copyright or other intellectual property in these.  The Customer may access and use the 3D walkthrough online for the duration of the Hosting Period, including sharing access to other parties as it sees fit.  The Customer may also retain, use and distribute any of the following during or after the Hosting Period:

  • exported Architectural files, 2D Floor Plans and images provided to the Customer by HomePlan NZ; and
  • screenshots and other still images exported from or taken of the 3D walkthrough by the Customer.

HomePlan NZ may make the scan data and/or 3D walkthrough available to other parties, if:

  • the Customer has indicated on the Booking Form or in a separate written approval that the data may be shared; or
  • at any time after the expiry of the Hosting Period, where doing so does not encroach on the privacy of the Customer (e.g. after the Property has a new owner).