This is the first time we saw a DIY 360 photography turntable that has a simple design and is not just automatic but also features a unique opening in the center. This surely opens a lot of possibilities with the bottom lighting that can really help with a shadow free 360 product photography. Patrick says the development is still in progress but we can clearly see how his concept can be very useful.
We’re looking forward to seeing how Patrick’s design will evolve. Of course, if you own a commercial studio or an e-commerce shop that needs to handle a large number of products, our new industry leading robotic Ortery PhotoBench series share a similar concept with built-in lighting and full computer controlled automation.
In this guest blog post our friend, an Australian product photographer Bary Daly, is sharing his 360 photography setup that they used to capture 360 product images of several scooters for one of their clients.
I shot 4 mobile scooters last year for a company here in Melbourne. I did it here in my small studio which would be a 6 m x 4 m. The scooters are very heavy so it took 2 people to get them in then lift them up on the turntable.
I have a very unsophisticated set up. I used 3 direct light heads with five (28watt fluorescent colour temperature 5000k-5500k) bulbs in each head. These lights plus reflectors on both sides of the scooter and at the back was all the light needed.
I used direct lights because flash lights make the rotation flicker as there is a slight difference in power output between each flash. To keep the perspective of the scooter right I positioned the camera as far back as possible with a 105mm lens. The aperture also needs to be at least f16 to give sharp definition to the scooter from back to front. I focused on the front then set to manual so it would not change as the scooter spins. At f16 the shutter needs to be dragged to get the best exposure I’m not sure exactly what it was but the camera needs to be on a tripod.
The top part of the turntable is marked 24 evenly around. I did this by putting masking tape around the top of the turntable then peeling it off measuring it and dividing it by 24. 24 images works well for large items smaller products need more images per rotation to make them look smooth.
Once the 24 images are complete a clipping paths is done for each image to knock out the background and fill it with white. I’ve also added a reflection on the tires to enhance the perception of depth.
This set up works well for most large items. The turntable is home made using 2 pieces of scrap woods with a 12 inch Lazy Susan bearing in between. It can take quite a bit of weight also. Live models also works well with this setup.
See the completed 360 product view here: http://www.see360degrees.com.au/scooter1-net.html
Bary Daly is a manager and a photographer at See 360 Degrees in Melbourne, Australia. His company offers a unique service based on the wealth of experience in product photography to truly make your products stand out. Visit their website for more information and check out their blog for more 360 photography samples and resources.
Like blogging? PhotoGear 360 is looking for guest bloggers who would like to share 360 product photography tips and tricks on this blog. Just send us an email to support at photogear360 dot com.
High quality professional 360 photography equipment isn’t exactly cheap, so if you are just starting or on a budget and have only a few products to shoot, it might be easier to start with something simple like our DIY 360 photography turntable. Not only we enjoyed building ours, we have been successfully using it in a few dozen of commercial projects.
Almost the same DIY solution is presented in this video below by ResaleRenegade. It’s a good video with clear instructions – definitely worth watching. This 360 turntable can be even converted into a motorized rotating platform! So consider building your own, export your 360 product images into WebRotate 360 Product Viewer and start generating more business!
Here’s an another interesting find – a gallery of studio images from the hemispherical 3D photo-shoot by Almont Green at the museum of African American History in Boston. Just click on the image above to see all of the awesome details at his improvised studio. You see, the hemispherical multi-row photography is a much trickier process than our standard 360 degree spins that you would usually see on the ecommerce websites. And shooting multi-row photography for a major museum is even more challenging since the items cannot be removed from the site and the setup has to be built right there at the museum. Not to mention the responsibility of having to move these items back and forth..
In this great example, Almont approached the problem by building his custom photo rig with multiple cameras attached to a curvy poll as well as a manual 360-degree turntable. The system captures what we think is 8 rows of 360 degree images (by the number of attached cameras) and each row seems to be composed of 36 images total, judging by the manual markings on the custom made turntable that you see in some of the photos.
So each individual camera is fixed at its precise angle that was calibrated using the center of the turntable and the hanging weight. Then all of the cameras are triggered (hopefully at once) to capture 8 rows of images for each step of the turntable. The rig looks very light and well-built and seems quite portable. I’m still wondering whether the continuous lights used hot halogen bulbs or the cool daylight ones as there’s a lot of them there and and it can make the work quite uncomfortable if it’s the hot bulbs. Also note how Almont arranged the two rows of lights on each stand where one row just shoots straight at the background and the other lights up the object – this is a really portable setup unlike what we used here for shooting on location with a bunch of soft boxes which is a pain!
All in all this is a masterful execution. The only thing we could recommend would be automating the manual rotation with one of our professional robotic 360 photography turntables as they can save a lot of time even with the nice assembly that Almont had in this setup.
We just came across the announcement about the new Squito 360 throwable camera – so here’s a few interesting bits about this innovative 360 photography device which you can just throw in the air and snap a complete 360 degree view, day or night!
Squito is a baseball-sized throwable 360 pano camera which has been already patented although it is still at it’s development stage. When will it be available for sale? Perhaps later this year and the price is set to be “affordable”- so let’s hope it will be so and we’ll be able to get one too!
This device is the creation of Steve Hollinger of Boston, MA, a developer of innovative brand name products and the founder of S. H. Pierce & Co. The idea is not new and Squito is not the world’s first 360 degree throwable camera as we have been already introduced to a cool panoramic ball camera back in 2011 (that one was designed by the team of graduates from the Technical University of Berlin and was capable of capturing a 360 image while thrown in the air and only at the highest point of the flight when it would remain almost still). Hollinger came up with a different image capturing mechanics and enabled the Squito to snap pictures throughout its entire flight with only 2 built-in cameras vs 36 used in the German concept. His technology is based on utilizing position and orientation sensors to capture and process images over the course of its airborne trajectory which is probably the substance of the granted patent and is indeed an innovative approach!
The Squito can stitch all captured images into a seamless 360 view as well as a smooth video. All the output media is transmitted wirelessly in real-time mode to a smartphone, computer or a tablet, which is kind of awesome. Hollinger is also determined to developing the world’s first throwable camera network where it will be possible to share data with various network devices including other network cameras, remote image database servers and cloud-based image processors. Sounds pretty cool and we’ll be looking forward to the updates on his progress.
It’s important to note that Squito isn’t just a toy-like device that can be used just for fun as it can also work as a professional tool for search-and-rescue, first responder and tactical operations. Take a look at the video to see the Squito in action.