360 degree photography is defined as a photography of virtual reality.
The most modern trend of product photography that breaks the static character of ecommerce images and replaces them with dynamic and realistic ones.
360 degree view is an interactive format of the image that offers users a 360° panoramic view of the object that they are focused on.
In essence, it is a combination of several photos combined in a short animation where the respective product rotates at a full turn. It is a great way to demonstrate the product from all angles, taking a minimum amount of time and offering sufficient details.
Undoubtedly, this has the potential to attract customers and increase their overall satisfaction.
In online stores and websites, the customer primarily looks at photos and videos to get acquainted with all the features and functionalities that interest him. Unfortunately, a large number of online merchants present their products incompletely. They rely on one of two images that do not emphasize the distinctive details and advantages.
While the 360 degree view presents the product extremely efficiently and in details.
It is not a coincidence that more and more companies and merchants operating in the online space are orienting to this style of product photography.
360-degree photography can be the perfect tool that interacts directly with every visitor who has come to an e-shop, website, or product page.
The 360° product photography allows panoramic rotations to be created on both extremely small objects, for example, of jewelry, and of very large objects such as furniture – beds, cabinets, etc.
Its application is comprehensive and oriented to a detailed illustration of any type of ecommerce products.
The essence of the 360° product photography
The 360° product photography is a series of images of an object that creates the impression of rotating movement of the respective object.
This type of product photography allows interactive animations to be displayed on webpages or applications.
Its key advantage is that it gives the user the freedom to control the rotation of the object.
The simpler and cheaper option displays the images in endless and cyclic GIF or video.
Types of 360° product photography
There are three main types of 360° product photography.
360° Single-row spins
360° Multi-row spins
360° Two-axis spins
The single-row spins are the most common and easiest to create subtype of 360° product photography.
It is a row of images that is sufficient to give a realistic impression about the object. A distinctive feature of the single-row spins is that they can move only to the left and to the right. They are usually composed of 36 frames, each made at 10°. Of course, any number of images can be used.
A presumably successful realization of the rotation is achieved with more frames.
In cases where fewer frames are used in the final image, some speeding up upon rotation can be felt.
Multi-row spins, also known as 3D, allow the object to rotate up and down, as well as to the left and right. They contain three or four rows of images, with 12 or 18 images per row. Each row is shot at a different angle of the camera.
This approach allows the product to be explored in details from several different angles. The main disadvantage is that it takes more time to implement.
It is preferred for visualization that highlights the upper part of a specific product.
Two-axis spins are the most realistic. They consist of a vertical column and a horizontal row allowing the user to rotate the product up, down and sideways. To see around and above it.
This technique creates the most attractive overall performance and delivers true experience to the users.
Typically, two-axis spins contain 36 images in the horizontal axis and 35 axis in the vertical axis.
Despite the effects it demonstrates, this technique is the least common because of the complexity of implementation and subsequent editing.
How 360° product photography is realized
It is of paramount importance for the product photography to make a choice between whether we should be the performers of the project or to hire a professional?
If you have decided to present your products with a 360° view, it’s the starting point that defines the direction you will take in the process of realization of your ideas.
It all depends on what is the main product to be shot and your budget. Are you able to find the necessary equipment, editing and processing software?
If you choose a professional photographer, 360° photos will be captured in a photo-studio. In addition to the main tools and attributes for product photography, such as controlled lighting, high quality photography equipment, a wide range of lenses, stands, and so on, there will be a suitable rotating platform to the equipment for 360° imaging. Typically, the photos are taken on a white background. If the product allows, lightbox can be used for better and even distribution of the light towards the object.
Rotating stands are the most essential element for the implementation of the 360° view.
They are available in several sizes. They can be both mechanical and automated.
The mechanical require manual positioning and manual rotation between each single frame. Designed for low budget use. The disadvantage is that the process of filming is slow and impractical.
The automatic rotating stands include software that integrates the camera and controls the direction of rotation. The working process of filming is automated. Some of the most advanced models provide a complete system including the necessary lighting and additional image editing software.
The specific implementation of the 360° filming is usually done by mounting the camera or phone on the stand. The product is positioned on the rotating platform. If the stand is automated, it is connected to the respective camera. The software controls the process while the platform rotates and the camera shoots. With a multi-row spins, many of the specialized studios use also robotic stands that replace the camera and the products are shot from above.
If performed at home, the 360-degree images are suitable for small objects such as jewelry, shoes, toys and accessories.
The equipment you will need is not very different from the standard equipment for product photography, except that it includes the mandatory rotating stand. Of course, as a separate style in the product photography, the 360° concept has its own specific settings.
The camera that you will use is required to have a manual mode. Stabilization of the lens, if any, should be turned off.
The stand is a must to avoid camera shake and for extra safety, you can use also a remote control. Lighting includes at least three sources – a main one and two additional. The use of photo tent would give better results.
Professional photographers advise the balance of white to be set to „tungsten“mode.
This is not a rule so you can experiment.
It is important that the end result is perfect.
Once all images have been captured, the process goes to the next level – editing. Usually, the color balance is adjusted to obtain the actual color of the product, reducing the contrast, eliminating defects, scratches and dust. If the color adjustment and color balance are not enough to get a clean, white background, the original background should be removed.
The final method for creation of a 360° product photography is completed by assembling the images and turning them into a single file. The combination is done with a specialized software for 3D CAD modeling.
With the development of 360° product photography and digital technologies, the market provides plenty of software and applications that support the realization of such images.
The completed file of the 360°product that is ready for upload can be in two versions:
- Continiously rotating object
- Or an animated version that allows the user to control the rotation movement.
The 360° view of images is a new dimension that will make the experience of your customers almost real.
Take advantage of the new technologies and be one of the leading online merchants.