Animated GIFs in E-Commerce

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This cool Kickstarter campaign is a great example of how animated GIF can be an excellent tool for showcasing your products online. Click on this image below to see several animated GIFs of new Peak Design’s backpacks and bags.

As you can see, this simple presentation allows website visitors to get a quick idea of how this innovative backpack functions and better understand its design details.

There’re many uses for animated GIFs in e-commerce as you can also share them on your Facebook timeline or Twitter or even embed in your email campaigns. It’s been getting widely popular lately, and this is the reason we have an animated GIF exporter in our desktop publishing software (SpotEditor). It gives you all the tools needed to create high quality animated GIFs with additional features such as watermarking, batch crop & resize, image filters, levels, etc. It’s available in the free version of our software that you can download here.

And by the way, you still have a chance to reserve one of these cool bags with a Kickstarter discount (it’s open until September 9th, 2016)!

 

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Interesting Spinning Rig at High Museum of Art in Atlanta

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This short video below by C.M. Williams provides a sneak-peak into the creative process of photographing museum’s artifacts that probably are too precious (or too heavy!) to be mounted on a moving platform. The massive rig appears to be custom made and apparently was assembled on the spot around the statue.

This is an interesting and unusual setup where a camera and a background rotate around an object in unison vs a spinning turntable that we see elsewhere.

Now this is a rig! 360 photography

A video posted by ɔ˙ʍ˙ Williams (@shooter_cm) on

DIY 360 Product Photography Timlapse by Dan Morgner

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Dan Morgner’s video sums up the challenges of 360 product photography in one neat timelapse! From assembling a lighting setup for pure white background to spinning the turntable, the process takes some effort.

And even though we prefer continuous lighting here and we love to automate the spinning whenever possible, the basics of quality 360 product photography remain the same and this DIY video is a good overview.

Fully Automated DIY Turntable for 360 Product Photography by Adam Pereszlenyi

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We have seen our share of cool DIY 360 product photography turntables, but this recent tutorial is a rare find!

Adam Pereszlenyi from Hungary shared tons of info and supporting materials for his DIY solution: from step-by-step guide on how to build the hardware and automation via Arduino Nano to free software and designs for 3D printing of some of the parts required for his assembly.

To control the camera and turntable rotation Adam developed a piece of software that requires Linux OS and which can be downloaded on his website for free (although donations are welcome!). The camera support that his Linux solution provides is impressive – more than one thousand cameras (list of supported cameras).

This motorized turntable for 360 product photography can be an answer for those folks who like to build DIY solutions and don’t want to shell out for professional equipment such as Ortery PhotoCapture 360 that we sell here.

We thank Adam for putting together such a neatly organized tutorial!

How We Produced 360 Product Photography for Glock

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In this post we will talk briefly about a project we did for Glock USA a couple of years ago when we were chosen to produce 360 product photography of pretty much all of Glock’s handguns.. This was an interesting and unusual assignment to say the least!

For one thing, there was no question about photographing guns in our own small studio. We had to find a couple of better options in downtown Los Angeles and Anaheim where we could meet with Glock’s team flying all the way from Georgia and feel safe about photographing a small arsenal of firearms (Glock had to arrange with authorities for this first, of course).

Another challenge was to find a good way to photograph pistols of various sizes and weights in 360 degrees in a consistent manner and very quickly such that we could finish everything in 2-3 days.

On location - 360 product photo setup for Glock

On location – 360 product photography setup for Glock

So the first task was to build a test setup to make sure everything would work on location which we did about a month in advance. And since we didn’t have access to the guns, we asked Glock to send us just a few magazines that would represent the majority of the items we were about to photograph. That was good enough to devise a simple approach:

Each magazine had a sturdy plastic base plate at the bottom that also had tiny rails for the actual magazine to slide in and out (you can almost see the rails in this image below). This base plate was stiff enough for us to drill in two holes and then mount it via small bolts onto an aluminum sheet that served as the base for all guns.

Magazine base plate

Magazine base plate

This aluminum sheet was then itself attached to the turntable. We used the aluminum sheet such that we could easily drill wholes in it and then cut threads as well to firmly screw in the bolts which were coming out of the magazine plates. This was essential as some guns were small and others were quite long so the center of balance of the 360-degree rotation was different for various guns and extra holes had to be made quickly on site. We then wrapped the aluminum sheet with white tape to make sure there’s no glare and it could be easily removed during post production.

Plate assembly for balanced product rotation

Plate assembly for balanced product rotation

This worked very well as all we had to do for the majority of pistols was to slide in a new (empty!) magazine into the plastic magazine plate that was already screwed in to the aluminum sheet (and attached to the turntable) and then slide in the gun itself onto the magazine. That is until we had to change the magazine plate for a different model.

On location 2 - 360 product photo setup for Glock

On location 2 – 360 product photography setup for Glock

The only small issue that remained was that these guns were quite heavy so there was a tilt on the barrel end and some smaller guns had an angled grip bottom which we compensated using a combination of washers going through the bolts between the magazine plate and the aluminum sheet as you can see better in these images:

Angle compensation with washers 1

Angle compensation with washers 1

Angle compensation with washers 2

Angle compensation with washers 2

Everything had to be automated to make sure we finish the project on time so we used small Ortery PhotoCapture 360 as it was tough enough for all the items we photographed. The rest was pretty straightforward!