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Capturing images

After creating a Workspace in the PhotoRobot Controls App (further referred to as “CAPP”), the Capture interface grants user control over PhotoRobot hardware and cameras to automate image and video capture. 

Capture interface

The CAAP Capture interface consists of 4 main areas:

Image capture software user interface

  1. Item information
  2. Folders, frames and images
  3. Hardware configuration
  4. Sequence control

Item information

This section of the CAPP Capture interface provides basic information about the item.

Photoshoot item general information

  1. Capture status - Toggle item status to Captured, Edited, Recapture, or Fix Editing
  2. Comments - Click to access all item-level comments
  3. Next / Previous - Use to navigate between items according to selected item status filter

( * ) - Set Item Status Filter to limit results to quickly find and navigate projects.

Item list status filter for easy navigation

  • Filter results to display only items marked: Captured, Edited, Verified, Approved, or Rejected.

For example, if responsible for verifying images, limit results to “Edited” to locate & review only items that have already been post-processed. After review, set item status to “Verified” or to “Fix Editing” to approve or reject changes and notify team members. The item status will inform responsible parties when images are ready for publishing, or when more editing is necessary.

Folders, frames & images

All visual assets are organized into Folders, with folders divided to represent different types of outputs. The three types of folders are:  

  1. Spin (360 / 3D)
  2. Stills
  3. Video

Each Folder contains individual frames. A frame consists of information about the photographed angle (instructions for photographic processes), and one or two versions of the image:

  • Original - The original file as received by the camera
  • Edited - The image file which has been edited via PhotoRobot’s post-processing tools

Navigate the Folder interface as follows:

Item image folder interface

  • Select between folders (1)
  • Experiment with configurations by taking Test shots (2)
  • Open image storage on a local computer computer (3)
  • Clear photos for re-capturing (4)
  • Access folder menu* (5)

*The Folder menu includes:

Image folder menu options

  • Add / Delete / Edit folder
  • Copy / Move frames between folders
  • Delete frames - completely remove all frames together with all images and angle configurations
  • Send for retouch - mark item for external retouching
  • Activity - view the activity log of an item
  • Import images - upload your own images
  • Create 3D model - generate a 3D model from images contained in the folder (*Available only on MacOS)

Also, within each frame there are additional menu options:

Item folder individual frame options

  • Set label - Create labels for individual frames (e.g. “hero shot - front”, “3 / 4”, “back”, or GS1 image naming conventions)
  • Change angle - Adjust angle on an individual frame
  • Pause sequence here - Select to pause the photography sequence at this frame and wait for an operator to resume the shoot
  • Mark for retouch - Specify image for external, 3rd party retouching

Sequence control

To start a sequence, press the Play button (1) at the bottom of the screen:

Image capture sequence control interface

Interrupt a sequence at any time via the Emergency stop button (2). 

In a stills folder use the Take snapshot button (3) to capture a frame without defining it first. The snapshot will then be captured and included as a new frame in the stills folder.

Sequence options

Along the right hand-side panel of the CAPP interface, configure sequence options. Sequence options include:

Capture sequence menu options

  • Workspace configuration - Access workspaces or change between each
  • Normal vs Fast-shot toggle - Configure to pause turntable rotation before taking photos (Normal), or, for significantly quicker sequences, to take photos during non-stop rotation (Fast-shot)
  • Pause on frame - Toggle on to command turntable rotation to stop after each frame (useful when creating product animations)
  • Edit automatically - Configure to automate editing immediately after capture
  • Elevate automatically - Enable for automatic elevation to the center of a product before beginning a sequence (using item dimensions)

Spin

In a Spin folder, find options for 360-degree product photos.

360 spin folder interface options

Configure Frames (1) to select the number of frames to capture per rotation (e.g. 24, 36, etc). Use Add row (2) to specify capture of additional rows from a different swing angle (the vertical angle from which the camera points at the object).

Stills

To define which frames to capture in a stills folder, use Add frame in the top right-hand corner of the interface.

Still image folder add frame

Alternatively, press Take snapshot to simultaneously take a photo and create a new, corresponding frame. Connect a camera over WiFi to take photos by hand and automatically add new frames (close-ups, detail shots) to the stills folder.

Freemask background removal

Freemask background removal is a process in which two images are captured for each frame: 

  • Main image - a standard photo of the object
  • Mask image - a photo of the object lit from behind

Freemask main image
Freemask main image

Freemask background removal mask image
Freemask mask image

These two images are then composited to achieve a photo with the background effectively removed around the object:

Freemask transparent background product image
Resulting transparent background product photo

To enable Freemask, select the Mask checkbox on the right hand side panel:

Enable Freemask background removal

Hardware configuration

Robots

Depending on the robot (or combination of robots), there are up to 3 types of robotic movements:

Photorobot hardware configuration interface

  • Turn - Standard to the majority of PhotoRobot devices, Turn enables users to control turntable rotation around its center
  • Swing - Configure the vertical angle at which the camera targets an object (i.e. at 0° to remain level with the turntable, at 90° for a top-view overlooking the product)
  • Lift - Set camera elevation

Use Set Position status (1) to move the robot. Configure speed of the movement using Speed input (2). Use the Calibration button (3) to set the robot to its starting position. 

( ! ) - If configuring movement for the first time, always set the robot to its initial position via Calibration.

Cameras

Enable one or multiple cameras for a sequence via the Cameras interface:

Camera configuration interface

Click on the Live View icon (1) to enable focus point selection via clicking in a Live View picture. Exclude cameras from the sequence via the Exclude camera icon (2). Any excluded camera will not trigger during the sequence. Typically, this is useful when users have an extra camera connected over WiFi to take photos by hand alongside a predefined spin and stills.

Lights

CAPP supports both strobe lights (Broncolor or FOMEI), and any LED lights with DMX support. For instructions on how to install & configure lights in CAPP, see the PhotoRobot manual on setting up a workspace.

Lighting setup - configuration & control

In the CAPP Lights interface, assign individual lights a position via the Light position menu (1). Using the drop-down menu, select either a custom position, or one of the predefined positions. Predefined positions include:

  • Product left / Product right – Lights positioned to illuminate the product from the front
  • Background top / Background bottom - Lights to illuminate the background from behind for creating a white background

To define a custom position, select Custom position from Position list options.

Switch lights on or off via the Power button (2). This is useful for example for a freemask approach, in which it is necessary to switch off front lights to take the mask image.

Move the Light intensity slider (3) from left to right for darker or lighter illumination. Note: Some DMX-controlled lights also provide control over color temperature.

Scopes & presets

By default, hardware configuration is the same across all folders within an item. 

To customize a hardware setup (by folder or by row), use the Add scope button:

Add scopes to customize hardware

After customizing a configuration, load or save settings in the upper, right-hand corner via the drop-down menu for Presets:

Save image capture setting for future reuse

Click the file icon to save all image capture settings, and later load configurations to reuse across similar photoshoots.