5 Best Practices for the Optimal Capture of VideoWalk® - StructionSite

5 Best Practices for the Optimal Capture of VideoWalk®

January 8, 2020

Brianna Williams

If you’ve been using VideoWalk®, you know this 360 degree automated site capture tool is the easiest and most effective solution for comprehensive jobsite documentation around. With the push of a button on the StructionSite mobile app, you can walk a project and sync it to your drawing to then share the information across your team. 

How does it work? StructionSite uses computer vision to perform the 3D reconstruction of paths walked on a jobsite from the time-lapse video. Then, our computer vision and proprietary algorithms accurately map these paths to construction drawings. Finally, we leverage machine learning to maximize the quality and efficiency of the output that translates into easily accessible visual data to share with your team.

Ready to maximize the potential of VideoWalk on your own jobsite? Here are a few best practices for your video capture:

1. Upload the Correct Drawing

After creating your project in StructionSite, add the drawings that match the condition of what is being walked. For interior walks, the ideal drawing type to use is the architectural (a.k.a. interior) floor plan. This should include walls and major structural elements. For exterior walks, the best drawing to upload is the overall site plan, which should include existing conditions such as streets, sidewalks, or fencing and future scopes such as the building outline, landscaping and hardscapes.

Avoid using civil or grading drawings that only show the grading and excavation and not the building, structural drawings that only show the structural members, and MEP sheets that block the floor plan layout. 

2. Follow the Light
As with any camera, proper lighting is essential to accurately capture video. Natural light is optimal, but if you are recording inside a building without much natural light or later in the day, use additional light sources in the area of the walk and a light for the camera to avoid poor image quality. Check out our recommended hardware for lighting accessories.

Consistency in lighting is also important for the best capture of your VideoWalk. Because of the varying light conditions from inside to outside (especially on a sunny day), we recommend starting new walks when capturing areas with vastly different conditions.

Not sure which camera will best fit your site documentation requirements? Explore our 360 Degree Camera Buyer’s Guide to help with your choice.

3. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
While capturing your VideoWalk, maintain a slow, casual walking pace. Make sure to slow down and pivot when turning, and try not to increase speed suddenly. If you’re entering a small space, such as a closet, we recommend slowing to a near stop at the center, then slowly pivoting before you continue out of the room. 

For perspective, a slow walk pace should be around 2.8 miles per hour, which translates to 4.11 feet per second. At that rate, your walk would capture just shy of 250 feet per minute.

4. Plan Ahead
To avoid surprises along the way, plan your VideoWalk ahead of time. Note any hanging objects that could obscure the capture of your camera so you can avoid them. 

During your walk, keep the camera above your head to avoid blocking the lens, and try to keep the camera facing a consistent direction.

5. Shorter is Better
Shorter walks make for shorter turnaround times. Try segmenting your walk into several shorter captures instead of one long walk of your jobsite. Walks under 10 minutes will be processed within our current turnaround time.

BONUS TIP: Select Your Start and Stop Points When You VideoWalk
It’s time to VideoWalk! Make sure to start and stop your walk next to something that is visually present in the drawing AND in the real world. For example, start and stop near the obvious corner of a slab, doorway, steel post, etc. This will help with the accuracy of where the start/stop pins were dropped in the drawing and for correcting the path on the backend if needed.

By keeping these best practices in mind for your next VideoWalk, you’ll be able to capture the best quality videos for your site documentation.

Interested in learning more about using VideoWalk? Check out our support articles for maximizing your team’s jobsite documentation potential.