Centering an Object when Shooting 360 Object Photography

How to Center an Object on a 360 Photography Turntable

We often get asked “How do I center our products when shooting 360 object photography?” Correctly positioning an object is absolutely critical to the final 360 output as if its off center, it will rotate around the center axis point and not look professional. These steps will help you ensure you can easily and efficiently position your product in the center of your turntable, prior to shooting your 360 Object Photography.

Step 1: Camera Positioning

We always encourage customers to first ensure their camera is set up shooting at the correct position. That is to be shooting at the dead center of the turntable and level. Users can ensure camera is shooting straight on to the center of the turntable by first measuring the turntable to find the center point and placing a small mark (ex. pencil mark) in the center of the turntable. Then use the viewing finder on your camera (enable grid lines in the live view – figure a) to line up the center point of the view finder with the center point of the photography turntable. Most cameras have the option for multiple grid line options, we typically suggest using a higher number of grid lines (figure b) as it will make object positioning (step 2) on the turntable easier. 

360 Product Photography: Centering an Object 01
figure a: Live View 1:1 Grid Lines
360 Product Photography: Centering an Object 02
figure b: Live View 4:4 Grid Lines

Step 2. Placing Object on 360 Turntable

Now that your camera is shooting correctly, to the center of the turntable, its time to place the object. Initial positioning will be done visually – that is getting a good understanding of where the center point of your object is (the axis), then placing it on overtop of the center point of the turntable that you had marked in step 1. The easiest way to do this is to look down vertically on your turntable while placing the object. In this step, users will also want to use the live view grid lines to ensure the object is positioned correctly left to right on the turntable (figure c).

360 Product Photography: Centering an Object 05
figure c: Positioning Object in Center of Turntable

Step 3. Rotate the Photography Turntable

In this next step, users will want to rotate the turntable 90-degrees, then re-position the object (only moving the object left and right) to ensure it again positioned in the center of the cameras live view grid. By re-positioning the object after a 90-degree turn (figure d), mathematically, the object should now be in the direct center of the turntable (figure e).

360 Product Photography: Centering an Object 07
figure e. Positioning object after rotating turntable 90-degrees

Step 4. Preview 360 Product Spin on Turntable

This step will be used to confirm the object has been positioned correctly on axis in the center of the turntable. Whether a continuous spin motorized turntable, manual turntable, shutter release turntable or computer controlled photography turntable, users will have the ability to continuously spin this. The user will want to watch their cameras live view, as the object rotates to confirm it is spinning on axis.

Step 5. Start the 360 Product Image Capture Process

Now that you have confirmed correct object positioning, you can proceed with your 360 object photography process!

To see this object highlighted in a video using an Iconasys Product Photography Turntable, please see:

Centering Items in 360 Product Photography

Shooting objects in the center of the turntable, so they rotate on axis is critical when shooting 360 product photography. Iconasys is a leading provider of 360 product photography software & turntables that will enable users of any skill level to create professional grade 360 product images.

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