Kuula offers a set of simple image editing and retouching tools. They are designed for quick improvements of image color and sharpness.
You will find those tools as part of the editor that you can access for each post. The tools are visible in the panel on the right side after you click on the edit button in the top right part of the screen on desktop computers and in the lower toolbar on mobile.
The functions shown on the image above are explained below:
Filters & filter intensity (1,2)
A set of filters that provide basic image color manipulation.
- None doesn't change the image at all.
- XProcess creates an effect reminiscent of classic film cameras.
- Cooler tones down the color temperature.
- Greyscale decreases saturation or turns the image black & white.
- Vintage gives your image an "old style" feel.
- Bloom increases saturation and color temperature.
For all those effects, you can set intensity level. 0 intensity means the image appears without any effects (same as if the None option was selected). 100 means maximum effect is applied.
HDR Tone Mapping (3)
HDR Tone Mapping is a very popular effect in real estate photography. There's a good reason for this. What this effect does is to lighten up the shadowed areas and darken the highlighted areas. This way, the image gets more visual detail and more lively, warmer colors. At the same time the image can become more flat, lacking depth.
Same as with filter intensity, you can use the slider to adjust how much HDR to apply until you are satisfied with the effect.
This feature will come handy for those who use lower resolution 360 cameras such as Insta360 ONE X/R, Ricoh Theta V/S/SC or GoPRO Max.
With the relatively low resolution, the images can appear "soft", especially when you zoom in or look at them on a large screen. This setting will allow you to improve the sharpness of the image, sometimes quite dramatically!
Tip: if you feel that 100% HDR or sharpness is still not enough, you can click on the % number on the right side of the slider and enter the value manually. The value for those settings can go up to 200.
Things to know before you shoot
Even the best retouching tools will not be if the original image is of poor quality. While the resolution of your camera and the quality of the lenses play a huge role, there are also a few simple things to keep in mind when shooting with a 360 camera:
- Avoid high contrast try to shoot in rooms and spaces that many sources of lighting. For example, avoid shooting in a dark room with a window, through which comes an intense sun light.
- Use HDR mode most 360 cameras have a built-in HDR mode and it's recommended to use it every time to capture more detail.
- Keep ISO low higher ISO settings contribute to a lot of grain in the image. Keep the ISO setting at 100 or 200.
All of the settings mentionned above, along with some additional ones like Zoom and Pitch, can be applied to all posts in a tour at once. This function is called Batch Editing and is a great time saver! To learn more about it, please refer to this tutorial.
Need more editing features?
We understand that the above functions will not cover all your image editing needs. Retouching and editing photography is a very big and complex topic. Specialized image editing software offers a huge amount of features. Here's a brief list of the most popular programs:
- Adobe Lightroom
This is probably the most popular photo editor in the world. It offers a lot of easy to use functions designed for quick photo edits and adjustments.
- Adobe Photoshop
The venerable photo editing software is packed with features. It is more complicated than Lightroom, but includes a lot of functions for retouching, color correction, graphic design and even 3d editing.
- Affinity Photo
A great alternative to Lightroom & Photoshop, Affinity offers all the classic retouching tools and more. It distinguishes itself by a set of features designed specifically for 360 spherical photos.
This software is designed from the ground to work with HDR images, which are very popular in real estate.