Tutorial- DIY 360 Product Photography with Shutter Stream 360 Software
Let’s face it, 360 product photography equipment can be expensive. Automated 360 photography turntables can save businesses a lot of time and money when shooting but it’s often hard for a small operation to justify to the initial upfront expense. For this reason alone, many online retailers shy away from 360 product photography.
Shutter Stream 360 Product Photography Software will allow users to compose, capture, edit and output a set of 24 images shot over a 360 rotation in less than 5 minutes when working with a manual photography turntable.
Shutter Stream 360 Product Photography Software has already proven to be a very valuable tool to many current customers who are shooting 360 product images with a manual turntable – increasing workflow efficiencies by about 800% vs. standard 360 photography workflows. Below is an introduction to Shutter Stream for 360 product photography. Included is the step by step workflow highlighting important software features that ensure users can create high quality 360 product photography.
What you Will Need
- Manual Photography Turntable – There are some pre-built manual turntables designed specifically for 360 product photography that start at ~$40 however, from our experiences, you can get away with spending less than $15 for an even better quality turntable. This lazy susan from Ikea will be perfect and has capability to hold up to 40 lbs. Here is a great video that shows how users can turn this into the perfect turntable for photography with some basic binder clips and white paper or white foam board (be sure to match the turntable surface material with the background material. We suggest using 24 – 1.75” binder clips evenly spaced out over the circumference of the turntable.
- Camera, Lighting & Tripod – Shutter Stream requires users to work with a compatible camera (include a long list of DSLR’s from Canon and Nikon). Lighting is an important consideration as users will want to ensure they light their product as evenly as possible. Here is a good, affordable 360 product photography lighting kit that will ensure users can achieve high quality results and eliminate time spent editing images to a pure white background.
- Users will be required to plug their compatible camera into their computer via USB. From here, users are able to control all cameras hardware function through mouse clicks. To see the entire 360 product photography video using Shutter Stream, please click here.
- Set up Camera, Lighting and Turntable – There is a couple different lighting techniques we typically use when shooting 360 product views to get pure white backgrounds directly out of the camera. If interested in a lighting set up diagram, please email me directly.
- Enable Live View – This will stream a real time preview of what the camera sees onto the monitor screen.
- Place Object in Center of Turntable – It is important to visually place the object as close to the center of the turntable as possible (when you first start working with a turntable we suggest measuring out then marking the center of the turntable with a pencil):
- Pre-Rotate Turntable – Users will want to manually turn the turntable and watch on the monitor screen to ensure object is spinning on axis, in the center of the turntable. By being able to watch on the monitor screen from the cameras perspective, it will be easier to tell if the object has been placed correctly. If the object seems to be spinning off-axis, adjust accordingly then re-rotate the turntable until object centered (positioning gets easier over time).
- Pre-Crop – Enable the Crop feature then click and drag over the object in the Live View Window using the mouse. This will allow users to define the area of the frame to be shot. After crop has been defined, pre-rotate the turntable to ensure the object doesn’t fall outside the crop markers. If it does, simply adjust the crop markers accordingly. By being able to define a crop before even capturing an image, users save a lot of time and effort that would be spent editing images after the fact (try cropping a set of 20+ images to the exact same ratio – you will see this proves to be a huge pain in the butt).
- Adjust Camera Settings: In this step, users will want to adjust their camera settings (aperture, shutter speed, white balance and sensitization) to ensure the camera is shooting at the correct exposure. Another great thing about the Live View feature is as changes are made to camera settings, exposure is simulated in real time – so users can see their exact result before even capturing a single image. If you have questions about how to optimize your camera settings for your lighting, please contact us as we are happy to help!
- Adjust and Set Focal Point: Users have the ability to manually adjust their focal point through mouse clicks. Simply put the program into Manual Focus Mode and click the focal point arrows (near or far) to set a focal point. Again, as changes are made to the focal point adjustment, users can see in the real time preview (even view up close at 1:1) to ensure the object is in focus. After the focal point adjustment has been made, this will be set so a consistent focal point is used from shot to shot:
- Capture Images: Images are captured either automatically (define number of frames and capture frequency (in seconds) or manully by clicking the Snap button in the software. Immediately after the image is captured it is uploaded to the program and replaces the Live View window to provide for instant feedback:
- Continue to shoot ‘XX’ number of images over a 360 rotation: The image capture workflow is now 1. Live View (Crop will be retained from shot to shoot – it is extremely important to have the exact same crop for every frame in the 360 set of images) 2. Rotate Turntable to next shooting angle 3. Snap
- Image Processing: After a set of images has been captured over a 360 complete 360 rotation, users will want to select all images using the select all button (see complete 360 Product Photography Software features here):
- Image Editing: Click the Edit button inside the software, this will allow users to make adjustments to increase image quality and adjust background color from grey to white:
- Image Resize and Output: Using the Batch Saving tool, users will rename the set of images, which will be automatically be named in sequential order (ex. Filename-01, Filename-02, Filename-03 etc…). Users can also chose to resize images to a specific pixel width or height and chose a specific output resolution.
- Create 360 Product View: Now that images have been exported from the Shutter Stream 360 Product Photography Software to a local or network folder, users will simply insert into the included 360 Product View Creator application then output a web-ready 360 product view that can be self hosted. 360 product views can also be sent directly to our Stream-360 server for hosting.