When it comes to doing 360 degree product photography for a circular glass object, there are a few things you should keep in mind. So we got in touch with a company called Aquatiser. They shipped us their glass water bottle so we could make a video tutorial on how to shoot it. Check out the video below if you want to see exactly how we photographed a 360º view of this neat product.
Hey guys, this is Michael with Imajize.com, and I am doing a video tutorial for you for a Kickstarter campaign, actually. There’s a company called Aquatiser and they make this really cool glass water bottle for holding fruits inside of your water bottle. So you can put water in there, the water mixes in with the fruits, and it has this little filter so that when you drink it, the chunks of fruit don’t get stuck. So it’s actually a pretty cool little idea.
So we’re going to do a 360 view of it. It’s glass, so we have to make sure that we do the lighting just right, and I’m going to go over the product photography lighting with you. I’m going to go over the 360 photography turntable that we shoot it with in case you’re curious about the different kinds of turntables there are. So I’ll show you this turntable. And that’s pretty much it!
First let’s check out the lighting setup we have. What we have here is a big soft box. A lot of people think that sometimes this is not a good idea because it might flood the edges of the product. But if you do it right and you don’t make it too bright, it’ll actually work just perfect. And you want to use a soft box like this when you shoot things on a 360 degree turntable that has a glossy, white, acrylic disk. Why? Well the main reason is because if you have a nice, bright soft box really close, it will blow out the foreground, which is this whole area right here, which is deceptively hard to completely blow out at 255 – 100 percent white. So, the trick is to get the soft box really nice and close. If you didn’t have this here and it was just the background and you just lit it against the background, the background wouldn’t – it’s too far away, it’s not bright enough to be able to reflect off of here and then you know go into the camera and completely blow out this whole area. So, what you got to do is you got to use a soft box. I know it’s crazy, but try it, it works really, really well for most products.
So that’s it for the lighting, at least for the background. For the foreground we have two Alien Bees lights, and you can see here that they have honey comb grids. We use forty degree honey comb grids. And they’re being aimed upwards on the inside of this paper tent we made from background paper and stands. We just had some extra background paper and some stands laying around. And this makes for one of the best lighting setups for a variety of products. Super cool, super handy, we really like it a lot. So, that’s it for the lighting.
For the actual turntable, we have here--I’m going to move this water bottle off of the table, there we go. And you can see here we have a lazy susan, and it has a bearing that’s glued to the bottom. We actually sell these 360 photography turntables on our website for I think 99 bucks. You can see here it has marks on the outside. If you look in there really nice and close you’ll actually see that each mark has an indentation, and it has 72 all the way around--well at least, this one does. It allows us to be able to decide exactly how many frames you want to shoot. So if you want to shoot 36 frames, you just do it on every other one. If you want to do 24 frames, which is what we’re going to do for this one, then you just do every third mark. And you can see here we actually marked every third mark. We actually marked it with a dry erase marker so it’s easy for us to be able to mark it like that. I’m going to put this back. And in case you’re wondering what kind of weight capacity it can hold: about fifty pounds. So, you wouldn’t want to do very much more than that.
We’re going to put the product in the center [of the 360 turntable]. We’re going to give it a little spin. It looks like it’s a little bit off, so I’ll get it to the point where it’s facing toward me and I’ll push it a little bit further in. I’ll just move it a little bit forward until it gets nice and centered, just like that. Cool. So, make sure the logo is facing forward, and I think we’re pretty much ready to start. What we’ll do is we’ll get a marker, which we have a little screwdriver right here, and I’m going to put it right sideways against the turntable. It’s just out of view of the camera, you won’t actually see it get shot. I’m going to grab the trigger for the camera, which is right here, and I’m going to turn the camera on. I recommend using a wired remote or a wireless remote. Don’t touch the camera actually on the shutter release button. Why? Because every time you press it, it’s going to move the camera a little bit, and if you do that for every shot, this thing, when you’re all done, when you spin it around, those camera movements are going to be able to be seen in the 360 view. So as you spin it it seems like this thing is going to have like a seizure. It’s going to be moving around, up and down, left and right really, really small amounts. Kind of like there’s an earthquake or something going on. You don’t want that, trust me. The best thing to do is use a wired remote.
So what we’ll do is we’ll take the first shot, and we’ll just count 24 around, all the way around for the 360 degree images. In the video we’ll speed this up so you won’t have to wait around for me to shoot every single frame at the normal speed.
...And that’s it! We have our 24 shots, they’re inside the camera now. If you’re doing this on a budget, it is super easy to just pop these 360 degree product images into Camera RAW, if you shot it in raw. We actually shot it in JPG, but I’ll show you a way to be able to do the editing in Camera RAW, even if you have JPG images. I know it sounds crazy but there’s actually a way to do that. We’ll be able to do the 360 product photo editing in there. We can do our cropping and stuff, and make it look really nice. If you have Light Room, use that, if you have Capture One, use that, if you have some other editing software that can edit a batch of 360 degree product images really fast, that’s perfect for what we’re going to be doing. We’re going to be editing 24 product images all at the same time, and they need to be edited consistently all the way from top to bottom. So that’s pretty much it. Alright so the next step, what we’re going to do, is we’re going to go and we’re going to start doing the editing. So, let’s go and give that a go.
Alright, so we’re on the computer now, and we’re going to edit the 360 degree images for the 360 view. So, I’m going to show you one of the best ways to do it. There’s a lot of ways to do it, but this is one of the good ones. I’m going to open up the images here. And basically, here’s the folder, and inside this folder we have three more folders, F, O, and SFW. O, we’ll call it original, that’s where all the original JPGs go. F is for finished, that’s where all the finished images go, like the PSD images. Then under “save for web,” that’s where the finished, saved, cropped, ready to upload images are going to be stored. Well, interestingly, since I figured out this really cool trick with Bridge, we won’t even need to save them as PSDs. In fact, we can actually just keep them saved as JPGs. I found this really cool way to edit and reedit the JPG without having to resample it. It’s actually pretty cool. So let’s go ahead and do that. To do that you have to select all the images, and you have to open them up in Bridge. So I’m going to just drag and drop these over to Bridge. Here we go. Cool. So we have Bridge here, and what we’re going to do now is we’re going to select all the images, and we’re going to right click it--here’s the trick. Right click it, and instead of selecting “Open,” which is going to normally open in Photoshop, I’m going to click “Open in Camera RAW...” We’re opening up JPGs in Camera RAW, which is kind of cool. It’s actually treating these as raw images. It actually saves all the changes you make in the metadata of the JPG files, so you’re not having to re-save the JPG and diminish the quality of it. Instead it saves it in the metadata, so you can edit it a million times and it’s not going to reduce the quality of the JPG. It is pretty cool.
So, this is it. I’m going to select all the 360 degree images, that way when I make one change to this it applies to all of them. We’re going to do a couple things. First, let’s crop this guy. In terms of aspect ratios, we’ll just keep it simple. We’re just going to crop it one to one, which is a square aspect ratio. I’m going to click and drag this until it looks like it’s about in the center. Might reduce it in size just a little tiny bit. Don’t worry about the size it actually crops it to; Imajize handles all that behind the scenes. Just upload the biggest resolution you can without stretching it, and it’ll turn out perfect, just the way it’s designed to be. You should be good there. You can see here when I make a change it applies it to all the thumbnails on the lefthand side, which is pretty neat. We’ve got the 360 degree image cropping down. The next thing we can do is we can start adjusting some of the different settings we’ve got over here. We can adjust the shadows and bring a little bit of life out of those pieces of fruit. Here we go, bring that up a little bit more. Perfect. Clarity gives it a little bit more pop, kind of makes it a little bit darker though, so we can go up here and adjust the exposure a little bit. If you want to give it a little bit more contrast we can actually bring the blacks down a little bit, give it a little bit of pop. There you go. It’s looking pretty good. Vibrance, maybe bring it up a little bit, make those berries look a little more vivid. I would say here it looks pretty good.
So from now I would actually just simply save this image, so all you really have to do is click “Done,” or, if you want to, you can actually save the images. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll click “Save Image” and what we’re going to do is we’re going to select the folder we want to save it to. And in this case we’ll go to our Desktop, click on the “save for web” folder I told you about earlier, and we’re just going to select it right there. It’s going to save all the images right under there. It’s going to crop it, it’s going to do all that stuff. Meanwhile it’s going to keep the other images completely in tact without the need to re-save it over and over again. That’s pretty cool. So you can see there in the bottom lefthand corner it’s going through the saving right now. We can actually click done and we can close Bridge. We’ll see here we have the images slowly but surely getting saved into this folder from Bridge kind of on autopilot so to say, so it’s pretty cool. You see here we have the original JPGs. Now if we open these up in Bridge again, it’ll remember all that metadata which is stored somewhere inside this JPG file, and it’ll be just like a PSD file, it’s really cool. You don’t have layers, sorry, but you have a lot of other things, which makes it pretty darn usable. So, yeah, there is it. Then from here we would just go into Imajize, and we would simply upload the images to whatever account we’re supposed to. We would just select the project, upload the images, and then copy and paste the hosted embed code into whatever website we want.
That’s pretty much it. Alright, cool, that pretty much covers it. If you guys have any questions feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be very happy to help. This is Michael, and thanks for watching!