If you are interested in shooting 360 with your in-house or preferred photography team, we can guide you on the necessary equipment and best practices for capture and workflow.
To note, NuORDER recommends 24 to 36 frames per 360°
How much space do I need?
To begin, you will need to think about space. Make sure that you have enough space for all of your equipment, lighting, and people! Below are some specifications to go by.
Recommend 10ft width by 25ft depth by 9ft height
Accessories/Smaller Goods Setup:
Recommend 5ft width x 12ft depth by 5ft height
This can also be set up to shoot on a tabletop
Your set will sit within the measurements above. Skimping on space can cause lens distortion and strange fisheye-looking images - don’t do it!
What equipment do I need?
For equipment, your in-house studio, or preferred photographer, may already have the majority. If needed, we have listed a complete list of items below.
If you are investing in equipment for the first time, it will not be cheap. To minimize costs, you can look to rent the bulk of what is listed below and only purchase specialty items like the automated turntable.
1x Automated turntable
|Recommendations: Ortery, Iconasys, Seabass, Hensel, PackshotCreator|
1x DSLR Camera
1x Camera Lens
Recommendations: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM
3x Strobe Monolights
|Recommendations: Profoto D1 1000 Air, Elincrom ELC Pro HD 1000, Paul C Buff AlienBees B1600
3x Light Diffusers
Recommendation: Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter
- 1x tripod and geared tripod head
- This is necessary for consistent framing and steady shots
- Geared head allows for slight adjustments and straightening of camera
- Needs to be sturdy to support camera and lens
- Recommendation: Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod with 410 Junior Geared Head
- Background paper
- Use a 9ft arctic white colourama/seamless background paper for ready-to-wear shoots
- Use 4.5ft arctic white colourama/seamless background paper for accessories and smaller items
- Recommendation: If transitioning between ready-to-wear and accessories in the same shoot, use 9ft paper to avoid needing to reset.
- 1x background support kit
- An adjustable background support kit with an A-clamp will hold your background paper in place
- Recommendation: Impact 12’ Background Support System
- Turntables often come with proprietary software to assist with capture and workflow
- Recommendation: CaptureOne, Lightroom or Photoshop can be used for capture and post-processing workflow
- Cabling will connect everything together so all elements are talking to each other
- Turntable, lights and camera will all require specific cabling and some will come with your equipment
- A laptop or computer is necessary to capture to and run your software
- To note: some turntables may be compatible with Mac OR PC, be aware of this when purchasing a turntable if you already have a laptop/computer
- Recommended Additional Tools/Equipment
- Used to extend the platform of your turntable for model/mannequin/product to sit on
- Gives a nice smooth, seamless platform that blends well with background
- Acrylic turntable topper:
- Recommendation: 90cm white matte acrylic disc with 5mm hole in center
- You will center the disc to your platform and use masking tape below to secure in place
- Lateral arm/cross bar + additional light stand:
- Used to support accessories from above
- Fishing line would hang from the arm to the bag/shoe/etc. To support handles/straps as it rotates
- A fourth stand can also help for framing ready to wear when placed on the turntable to ensure your camera is centered and straight on your subject
- USB multi port hub
- Purchase a powered USB hub if needed
- Gives you more USB space for Macs with USB-C ports
- Used to secure your background paper to the background support
- Power strip/extension cords:
- Always helpful to have to run around your set and if outlets are in difficult place for all equipment to reach
- Additional flash tubes and modeling bulbs:
- Always good to have on hand in case a light blows
- Props kit containing:
- Strong paper masking tape
- Gaffer tape
- Cleaning wipes (for wiping disc/turntable as needed)
- Box cutter/knife
- Fishing line (thin to blow out of shots but strong)
- White tac
- Lint roller
How do I set up the equipment?
- Set up background (helpful to have 2 people for this)
- Build background support to size of paper
- Slide paper onto support and raise to full extension for ready-to-wear or half extension for a smaller accessory set.
- One person steadily drops paper to prevent from paper unrolling rapidly, one person pulls it out to the front of set.
- You need enough paper for a gentle, even sweep/curve at the back of set.
- Clamp paper to support when this is achieved and tape front and side edges to prevent curling/slipping.
- Set up light stands and lights
- Open light stands wide enough for a supportive base and mount lights with diffusers
- 2 lights/stands will go towards the sweep of your paper, approx. 3-4ft from the back and evenly angled towards the mid-to-center of background. These two lights are to evenly light the background, not the subject.
- 1 light/stand will go at the front of set pointing on the subject, above the tripod
- Safely run cables and plug into electrical source
- Place turntable
- Place your turntable in the center of the paper, towards the front
- Center and secure a turntable topper if using one
- Safely run cables and plug into electrical source and computer
- Set up tripod and camera
- Open legs wide enough for a supportive base and raise to approx. shoulder height and mount camera to tripod
- Tripod to be front and center approx. 8.5ft from your turntable under the front light
- Camera settings are:
Shutter Speed: 1/125
- Lens should be as level as possible pointing at center of model (have someone stand on turntable for this for easy centering or use fourth stand
- Center and straighten as needed
- Plug teather into camera and computer
- Set up transmitters to lights and camera or hard sync front light to camera and slave remainder.
- Power up computer and launch software
- Meter your lights
- Use a light meter set for flash with the correct ISO and shutter speed settings listed above
- Evenly adjust 2 back lights (strength or angle/height) until readings on background measure f16 when lights flash
- Adjust front light (strength or angle/height) until model/product readings measure f11.3 (or 11.0 for whites) when lights flash
How do I set up the software?
- This will fully depend on the type of software (and turntable) you are using
- Strongly suggest reading all the software documentation that comes with the turntable and using their support channels to get it set up correctly for you
- If further help is needed with this, NuORDER can attempt to assist
- Start shooting! Just go for it.
- Set up, plug in and see what happens
- It will take a few tests to get used to the process and to get the desired output.
- You’ll get used to the nuisances of the equipment and software by continuously using it.
So what are some tips and tricks to shooting 360?
- NuORDER recommends 24 to 36 frames per 360
- Some product doesn’t lend itself well to shooting 360 and is worth considering if 360 adds value over product shots (i.e. socks, gloves, pouches, some jewelry, etc.)
- Product that is self-supported on the turntable will be simple to shoot, product that needs support (fishing line, weights, etc.) will be harder to shoot/keep centered
- Practice and patience is key
- Retouching may be required to remove props but can be expensive
- Styling tricks like pinning/clipping are not possible as they will be visible when the model rotates
- Framing may need to be adjusted if models are different heights or shooting with different heel heights
- Framing to a consistent baseline will help keep imagery consistent within showroom
- Set up desk for photographer and computer close to camera to make necessary adjustments easy
- With product shots, it is helpful to frame and shoot from largest to smallest
- It is helpful to shoot all white product together so you don’t have to continually adjust lights
- A lot of the above equipment will be useful if shooting other imagery in-house (flat lays, interiors of bags, soles of shoes, lookbooks, editorial, etc.)
- If product is white or reflective, move front light slightly off center to minimise hotspots
- If experimenting with different background colours, it can be helpful to add paper to the turntable to create seamless blends from turntable to background
- Always check your images after each capture. If there is an issue (blink, drop, etc.) it’s best to spot it and reshoot straight away
- Always backup your imagery
What if I want to shoot 360 video instead of 360 photography?
- This is also a viable content option but you need to ensure your camera can capture video
- You’ll also need constant video lighting instead of strobe lights
- Video will require post-production to edit footage
- Unlike 360 photography, video does not have interactivity capabilities so you won’t be able to zoom into product details in the video or click-to-drag to rotate the product within the virtual showroom
What if I need help?
Please contact Courtney Chapman, NuORDER’s Creative Services Manager, for assistance or further information at firstname.lastname@example.org