Panoramas are a great way to visualise spaces. We are used to doing that with our eyes when we enter a space, so it is great when we can explore the space in the same way.
There are two methods I want to discuss.
- BIM can easily generate Panoramas, once the model has been built, and these can be simple geometry of existing spaces to a proposed scheme. In fact, within Revit you can also do walkthroughs, but as this is a streamed video you only get to look at where the camera is pointing.
- Photographic room capture 360/180. With these you can identify elements in the space such as light fittings and socket outlets etc as well as a general condition of the spaces at a point in time. They can be a record of condition, be used for post earthquake inspections and for insurance claims. They are especially useful in small spaces where standard photographs are not very effective. The modern camera can also take videos which you can also rotate through.
The challenge with Panoramas is file size and resolution. The more refined the data, the bigger the file and the slower it is to generate in a browser.
In Revit you can put a camera anywhere in your model, I usually set it off the floor at eye height (1700mm) and put the camera in the middle of the room. This then creates a View. You can then select that view and either render it in Revit (which uses your resources and slows your work down), or push it up to the cloud where it can be rendered and send you an email when its completed (usually about 10 minutes). As long as the resolution is not too high, it does not cost you any Autodesk credits to create. You can also do stereo panoramas which you can view on your smartphone with google cardboard to get a 3D effect.
These are good for planning for new work, they give a good single point view of the space and they are easy to create once you have the model. The level of finish can be excessive for presentation panoramas.
One useful use for these in FM is if you have BIM with services, you can switch off the ceilings to be able to show where service components such as Fan Coil Units etc are located within a room. Although, you could use the 3D PDFs for that too.