360 degree image rotation on website - want to add this functionallity

Posted on 2014-12-16
Last Modified: 2015-04-18
We have a client who sells historic art (mini statues and other artefacts). They want to add to their website the ability to add 360 degree rotation of the objects they want to sell.

Their current website designers have said “in order for this to work, you would need to take 70 photographs of each item, on a turntable with a fixed camera”

But this seems excessive and the amount of data per image seems immense. I would have thought there would have been other ways of achieving this?

I think my client is prepared there is some work in preparing the image, but we are hoping it's some thing that can be achieved once the process is in place.

I think the capability might be out of the normal remit of the web designers so they are trying to put us off. By my client has seen the same thing on other websites in his field.

Can anyone provide any insights into how one would achieve this?

Thanks in advance.
Question by:IT Man200
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40503251
Their current website designers have said “in order for this to work, you would need to take 70 photographs of each item, on a turntable with a fixed camera”

But this seems excessive and the amount of data per image seems immense. I would have thought there would have been other ways of achieving this?

No.  Welcome to the Real World(tm) where doing things like 360-degree product shots involves a heck of a lot of resources.  Movies make it look easy.

To do this, you need a still photo of the product from every possible angle.  Software then stitches them together and provides the user interface to rotate the final result and display the particular angle you shot.
LVL 58

Assisted Solution

Gary earned 50 total points
ID: 40503255
70 is excessive, about 20 to 30 images should be enough, roughly 1 picture every 15-20 degrees
Unless you need a spherical view - top, bottom etc.

data per image seems immense
You end up with 1 image once it has been processed through a panorama program.

Author Comment

by:IT Man200
ID: 40511555
Thanks so far. I'll keep this open a few more days if that's OK in case anyone else has great insights but really useful already.
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LVL 38

Accepted Solution

BillDL earned 450 total points
ID: 40512538
Here's a few ways you can create an interactive 360 degree presentation for something like a figurine.

Use a digital camera in continuous shooting mode on a tripod (usually done with some form of "app") and rotate the subject smoothly and at a consistent speed on a turntable of some nature, then use an expensive application suite to render it.

You would be thinking about software like Adobe Scene to render the results
and/or apps like YouSpin:

The benefits of having the subject on a smoothly rotating turntable are that the camera is static and you don't have something that seems to jump around like the amateurish burger presentation on this page:
The lighting will be consistently from the same position so the shadows (if any) will be consistently in the same place.

To actually move the camera around a fixed subject 360 degrees taking photos or a video would require a rig of some kind.  Depending on the size of the statue, this wouldn't necessarily have to be complicated or expensive equipment.  A potter's wheel, cake stand, "lazy susan" spice rack with a hole through the centre, etc.  The downside of this method is that you would either have to use a depth of field deliberately to blur out the changing background behind the object, or have a fixed backdrop canvas or card that rotates at the same speed as the camera.

If I needed to do this myself rather than hiring a professional, I would be inclined to just make a rig to rotate the camera around the object, or rotate the object in front of a fixed camera, and take a video of it.  Placed on a video hosting site and then embedded into a web page with some notes about the object, most people would be able to view the video as long as it has the option to render as Flash or as a supported video type in an HTML5 capable browser.

It should be noted that my interest in Adobe Scene is only theoretical as I could never hope to afford it nor justify the expenditure.

Author Comment

by:IT Man200
ID: 40540304
Thanks all and BillDL2014. Very useful.

I've been looking more into this. Do you know if there is a way to have say a bit of an automated system that for example allows this to be easily created.

Therefore you just put your object into box. Press the start button, it starts the rotating and picture process. Processes all the data, and out pops your 360 degree image on a network share.

If this is not available to buy outright, is it something that someone with the right knowledge could setup a rig as such, so that in the future a lay person could just do this and press a button?

Author Closing Comment

by:IT Man200
ID: 40731661
Thanks all for the input. Due to the cost that project was going to end up costing it has been abandoned for the time being. But we did make some demos using the information from here so thank you.

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