How to Use a Ghost Mannequin for Fashion eCommerce
In this tutorial, learn how to photograph a cardigan sweater on a ghost mannequin using PhotoRobot’s Cube and control software.
Continuing our product photography tutorial series, today we demonstrate how to photograph a cardigan on a ghost mannequin. These special mannequins have removable pieces so you can photograph clothes as if an invisible model is wearing them.
Using a ghost mannequin, you can achieve a more true-to-life, 3D effect on cardigans and other fashion products. Also known as a “hollow man” effect, this technique requires the right equipment, some styling, and a few special tricks.
Thankfully, PhotoRobot makes it so that even amateur photographers can master the ghost mannequin effect in no time. Using the_Cube, a ghost mannequin, and PhotoRobot software, our setup simplifies and streamlines workflows.
Ready to see how for yourself? This product photography tutorial will guide you through the process. Learn how to photograph a cardigan on a ghost mannequin, including what cameras, lighting, and photography equipment to use.
At the very core of our setup is the_Cube, a robot that can quickly transform into a rotating mannequin. This fashion photography solution includes a system for quick mannequin exchange. The design enables us to streamline workflow and photograph a long line of fashion and apparel in a single session.
Meanwhile, our editing software dramatically reduces time for post production and time-to-web. Save and automate style guides, and deploy Chromakey for automatic pole removal, compositing photos, and achieving the ghost mannequin effect.
Other necessary equipment to create the ghost mannequin photography effect in the studio includes the following.
In the first step, we simply need to dress our ghost mannequin in the cardigan. Pull the sleeves over the arms, just as you would dressing yourself.
Don’t worry about buttoning up the opening at the front of the sweater yet. Instead, focus on styling the cardigan’s shoulders so that they are neat and even.
Next, we need to style the opening at the front of the garment. This is where draped cardigans often hang loosely and open off the mannequin.
To counter this, we suggest using double-sided tape to hold both sides of the cardigan in place. Use tape on both sides of the upper chest, and also near the hem at the bottom.
Both sides should be symmetrical, hanging parallel and with the sleeves level. Ensure the gap in the front has a nice even opening the entire way down.
Now, we need to style the sleeves according to the style of the garment. This helps shoppers to your online fashion store to better visualize themselves wearing the product.
Here, when bunching the sleeves up or rolling them down, ensure the wrists remain level on the mannequin.
With our mannequin dressed, we can photograph the front of the cardigan. All we need to do is move to the control station to start the sequence.
But what about the visible mannequin in the photo? Later, to fill the gap in the front of the cardigan, we take additional photos of the garment inside-out. We then use these photos to composite images for the ghost mannequin effect.
For this step, take the cardigan off the mannequin and rotate it so that its back is facing to the front. Now put the cardigan on again, inside-out, and photograph the area we need to fill in the gap at the front of the sweater.
Pay careful attention that you photograph the cardigan from the same distance you used in previous steps. If you zoom in or out more than in the first photoset, your composite photos won’t match.
Finally, we are ready to create our ghost mannequin effect on the cardigan. Here, Erik is able to do this by using his own editing software to composite the photos.
We remove the large gap where the mannequin is visible, layering it with photos of the inside of the cardigan. This provides a clear, proportional view of the tag and neck area, creating our “hollow person” effect.
Now, if you aren’t using your own editing software for this part, you might consider hiring out a retouching agency. In fact, PhotoRobot has several we’re in contact with, all who offer services at very reasonable prices.
In the end, whether you do it manually or hire an external editor, the results come out impressive for any garments.
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