So you're about to shoot some awesome 360 degree photos of your product, and you're eager to get them online and blow your customers away. But getting your products spinning and looking as great online as they do in real life can seem tricky if you aren't sure what to do with your image files.
Before shooting and uploading your 360 degree product photos, you might have two questions:
- How many frames should I shoot for the rotation to have a smooth spin and fast loading speed?
- What should the image size be for my photos?
In this tutorial I’m going to help you choose the optimal number of frames and the best image dimensions to get the most out of your 360 degree view. Let’s get started!
How to choose the optimal number of frames
Imajize allows you to upload anywhere from 4 to 360 frames. That’s a big range! So how in the heck are you supposed to decide where to draw the line between spin smoothness and loading speed? Here’s a quick guide.
Fewer frames are best for...
Lots of products
If you’re shooting over 100 products per month, shooting and editing less frames will save time.
Price driven products
If you’re shooting a product where sales depend more on the price than on the visual flair of the product, it makes sense to shoot a lower number of frames. For example, a pair of inexpensive shoes doesn’t need to spin like a diamond ring. A lower number of frames will give your customers exactly what they need to have a clear understanding of what they’re about to buy, and the loading speed will be blazing fast!
Mr. Rotato here was shot with 10 frames. As you can see, he doesn't need to spin like a diamond ring.
More frames are best for...
Say you’re only doing 360 product photography of 10 products a month for Baxter Moerman's family-owned jewelry business. The owners are perfectionists that want to make sure every gem sines with reflections that elegantly fade in and out as it rotates. The 360 view has to look real. Shooting more frames (say, 120 for example) is no big deal because you are only shooting a few products each month. Why not spend just a few extra minutes to add in those extra frames and keep your customers happy?
Quality driven products
When customers are spinning your products online with a 360 viewer, the more frames you include, the closer it will look to real life. There are certain details you just can’t see with fewer frames. For example, if a customer is looking to buy a diamond ring for a lucky bride-to-be, you want to have as many frames as possible to ensure that the sparkling highlights are displayed as realistically as they’d look in real life.
This ring by Baxter Moerman was shot with 120 frames, and that amount does a great job at showing the product with flair and a higher degree of realism. Even 72 frames would be enough.
Frame count really depends on the needs of your product. However, the “sweet spot” for most people is 36 frames; It’s has that nice smooth rotation, and creating 36 hi-res photos won't take very much time.
And one more thing! Whatever number you choose, try to have it be a multiple of the number four (ex: 20, 28, 36, etc). Doing this will give you precise angles of the front, back, left, and right sides of your product. If you shoot 10 frames, for example, you’ll get the perfect shot of the front and back, but will be missing the exact 90 degree shot of the left and right sides.
So far so good? Okay, next let’s dive into image dimensions!
How to choose image dimensions
Image dimension is another variable to consider when working with your images, but we make it ultra simple. In this case, bigger is better. If possible, try your best to size your images so either the height or width is around 2,560 pixels. Imajize can handle images up to 5,120 pixels, but in most cases this is overkill. If you're in the ballpark of 2,560 pixels, you're in great shape.
Let's take a look at how Imajize handles your images after you upload them.
Simply upload an image with a width or height of around 2,560 pixels. Imajize will process your image and save it in multiple resolutions. This allows Imajize's 360 degree product viewer to look sharp and load fast on any size screen, worldwide.
“But what if I don’t need to show my products at that high of a resolution?” I hear you ask.
Ultimately, your image dimension choice depends on your individual needs, but here’s why we recommend going as large as you can (without crashing your computer).
Screen resolutions are always increasing. In a few months or years down the road, you don’t want to have to re-upload all of your images at a larger size to keep up with higher resolution screens. Uploading larger images now will help you avoid this unnecessary headache in the future!
I dove into the Google Analytics data for Imajize's 360 degree viewer and found that 97% of people viewing products through the Imajize viewer are viewing it with screens smaller than 2,000 pixels wide. This means if you’re uploading images at the suggested 2,560 pixels width or height, then your products will look incredibly sharp on the vast majority of screens.
The cool thing about Imajize's 360 degree viewer is its ability to adapt to any screen size. It actually detects a visitor's screen size and picks out the perfect image resolution. Because Imajize automatically creates many different resolutions of your image behind the scenes, its able to pick out the perfect-sized resolution every single time.
So, in a nutshell, larger images guarantee image sharpness without compromising loading speed at all. So go ahead. Go big.
What about the aspect ratio?
Aspect ratio is your image’s height to width ratio, and you may be wondering if there's a specific one you need to follow. The good news is Imajize adapts to your image's aspect ratio, so you can upload any ratio that looks good on your website!
Many people choose to crop their images into a square (1:1 aspect ratio) if they’re shooting products that come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. My recommendation would be to crop your images at a variety of aspect ratios and see what looks best on your website.
If you’re still unsure, contact your webmaster, or contact our customer support team. They'll be happy to take a look at your site and give you a professional recommendation.
You’re now ready to start uploading your 360 degree images and share them with the world! The most important thing is to experiment until you find what works best for you.
We love hearing from you, so feel free to post a link to your site in the comments area below! I'll be happy to give you my personal opinion.