3D Product Photography for E-Commerce
Looking for the most effective equipment for 360 spin photography? Accelerate your visual content production with this guide on 3D product photography solutions, including devices and software for control and automation. Discover motorized turntables for products of any size. Learn about companion accessories and equipment, and find the best cameras and lighting setups to make your 360 spin photography even more effective and scalable.
Automated photography solutions and equipment for 360 product photography not only cut operational costs but also help to streamline workflow in the studio. Cutting-edge technology like motorized turntables, robotic camera arms, rotary devices and software for control and automation transform areas even with limited space into professional workstations for 360-degree product photography.
No matter if it’s a product as small as a diamond engagement ring or as large as an automobile, PhotoRobot’s line of robots lead the industry in 360 spin photography solutions. With easy-to-master equipment and automation software for valuable savings in time and money, these systems can rotate products for spin photography, control cameras, trigger studio lights, and even automatically process images and publish final results to the web in minutes.
All you need is the right PhotoRobot system for the job, the lighting setup, a high-end camera, and a computer for the workstation. Thankfully, PhotoRobot supports most lighting setups, cameras and computers, so you might already have everything you need for the task at hand. If you don’t already have an operational in-house studio, however, this guide should serve as an overview of all the equipment you need to produce 360 spin photography easily and effectively.
The in-house studio for 360 spin photography requires a few essential components to perform at maximum efficiency. These revolve around the photography equipment as well as the software for control and automation to streamline photoshoots and workflow.
360 spin photos are especially effective at triggering conversions and boosting overall sales and revenue. You simply can’t achieve the same realism or effect as you can with high-quality 360-degree spins without customers shopping in-store. This is why more and more brands, webshops and vendors are looking to 360 spin photography for online retail, e-commerce and marketplaces like Amazon.
What equipment you need for 3D / 360 product imagery will depend on the type of products you're shooting. For small to medium size objects, oftentimes a motorized turntable like the Centerless Table is perfect. For medium size and heavier objects like furniture, there are larger versions of turntables like the Turning Platform, and there is even the Carousel for cars and heavy machinery. There are also systems for fashion photography of live models on a Virtual Catwalk, or devices like the Cube for rotating mannequins or suspending products in air to snap 360 spins of apparel, clothing and more.
Motorized turntables are especially effective at capturing 360-degrees of a product, from top to bottom, all in short time. If you aren’t familiar with motorized turntables, think of them as something like a Lazy Susan, only their design is for rotating products rather than food and drink around the table.
These computer-assisted rotary devices rotate objects 360 degrees on a transparent glass plate to capture photos from select angles. The plate enables photography of the product from underneath through the glass, making products appear to float in thin air. In this way, motorized turntables are particularly effective at capturing everything from traditional still shots to 360° spins, as well as for scanning products to construct 3D models for AR / VR experiences.
There are also a number of different models, companion accessories and equipment to consider when setting up for spin photography with a motorized turntable. The turntable must be sturdy enough to support a smooth rotation of the product, while also taking up only enough space to allow for free movement of the photographer around the scene. Then, there are accessories and equipment like robotic camera arms, rotating mannequins, and suspension devices to provide even more space and versatility for your 360 spin photography.
Other equipment and companion accessories worth consideration for 360 spin photography include PhotoRobot’s Cube, the Robotic Arm, and the MultiCam. The Cube’s design makes it a particularly popular solution in the industry for product photography of apparel and fashion, as well as objects that need to be suspended in air like bags, chandeliers and light fittings.
As for the Robotic Arm, this device builds on the concept of the traditional camera arm, and it combines well with many motorized turntables like PhotoRobot’s Case. The Robotic Arm allows for precision in camera control as well as movement, and comes standard with two arm sizes to capture objects of any size.
There is also the MultiCam, PhotoRobot’s multi-camera system designed to simultaneously capture 3D and multi-row images. Capable of snapping hundreds of photos in an instant, this device also pairs well with motorized turntables and has been developed for effective multi-room shooting of large volumes of products. Better yet, all of these robots and companion devices come standard with software for synchronous control and automation in the studio.
The next component to setting up for spin photography is professional lighting. With PhotoRobot, this is accomplished by a combination of strobe lighting and LED panel lights. These offer the perfect lighting from all angles for 360 spin photography.
Strobe lighting is extremely bright and with high output that creates a deep depth of field. This also ensures sharp focus on products and makes them appear to freeze in motion. The intensity of the strobes enables the use of higher aperture to reach this deeper depth of field, and it also plays a vital role in shooting larger products. Smaller objects, like mobile phones for example, often don’t require the strobes but rather are easily captured with LED lighting.
PhotoRobot’s systems support the majority of cameras, although Canon cameras integrate best with the control and automation software and provide the most versatility. While a high-quality consumer camera is more than suitable for capturing spin photography, a professional-grade camera is always preferable if wanting to use spinset imagery later on in print formats.
The main goal is having a camera capable of reaching a deep depth of zoom and an overall quality of photos for realistic and immersive 3D product content. For this purpose, consider a standard zoom lens to cover a wider range of product sizes.
Regarding the computer, the main concern is that you have a high-end processor and enough RAM for the job. With all of the images that go into creating, processing and storing 360 spin photography, you need a top-of-the-line machine. After all, why invest in state-of-the-art automation equipment and software if only to waste all the time you should be saving while you wait for extended loading times and deal with untimely crashes?
With PhotoRobot, however, this becomes less of a concern, especially if using the cloud-based software. The local version of the software, even with a powerful computer, only allows for sequential workflow: shooting first and then post-processing. If using the cloud-based version, local processes are much less demanding on the computer, as all imagery is uploaded to the cloud and processed from there.
This means that immediately after shooting a product, the operator can move to shooting the next in line while the software handles all processing in the cloud. By splitting the workload between the local computer and the cloud system, productivity is effectively doubled. As for PhotoRobot’s control suite and automation software, it is available and responsive on any modern web browser. Use PhotoRobot software on MAC or Windows, and utilize the web-based UI on iOS, Android or Windows Mobile.
Finally, what makes PhotoRobot an industry leader and what clients value most is all the features available in the control suite and automation software. Users can control machine movements (including all robots, cameras and lighting), save and work with settings, manage the capturing process and image post processing, and even automate publishing directly to the web. All these features support complete automation in the studio and have become the standard across PhotoRobot devices.
PhotoRobot’s flexible tools for 360 product photography have been designed to meet any product photography needs, no matter the product. Whether it’s traditional still shots, 360-degree spins, or 3D models for AR / VR experiences, PhotoRobot has the machines and the software to automate all of the studio processes that go into creating remarkable product content.
To learn more about our solutions and if they would be right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today and schedule a free consultation with one of our technical experts.