A Beginner’s Guide to 3D Product Imaging

Pictures don’t do the trick in marketing anymore because your regular customer is getting more finicky each year. Even the video lost its charm in the past decade. What your product needs is a 3D product imaging technique.

The improvement in the photography field made it easier for anyone to create pictures. Although you can film a video in high resolution or take an excellent photo on your smartphone, most companies will instead hire a professional photographer to create 3D product images for them.

Marketers use product imaging in an array of fields, particularly in those that have to showcase their product from each angle.

Creating a 3D Photo

The process of making 3D images starts with the camera setup and the right software. Today you can make a 3D image from one single photo with a bit more effort in the post-production. The traditional way, however, works better.

Those that prefer the conventional method of 3D photo imaging will have to take two different photos of a product, one from one angle and another from another one. It is done mainly to create a sense of depth.

Let’s presume the objects you’re going to shoot are static. (Most of them are, especially if you’re working with consumer goods). You’ll have to move the camera to the side for each individual shot. For a 3D capture, you’ll need a dual camera setup so that the two angles could appear simultaneously in one action shot. In the editing process, you’ll have to arrange the images in a way that the viewer’s left eye will focus on the left angle, while the right eye will focus on the right angle.

How to Display 3D Images

Every photographer’s favorite tool is Photoshop. It’s the easiest and the most convenient instrument for displaying 3D images. Photoshop can add red tint to the first picture and cyan tint to the other. Sadly, the effect only looks good on B&W photos and the viewer has to wear special glasses to see the effect.

3d glasses

In 3D imaging, there are numerous options to make appropriate 3D product representations. For example, many photographers will start making GIFs from images to show the object from different angles. Others will create a longer 3D video displaying every inch of the object.

Instead of filming a video from more angles, experienced videographers will create the sense of depth by moving the camera towards the object and then display its parts or present its function to show how it looks when you turn it on.

3D Photo Shoot

After you decide how to display the 3D images, you’ll have to choose the technique for the 3D photo shoot. Following are a few to consider.

  • Take an object that you can film from each side. If anything is blocking one side of the product, 3D won’t make sense.
  • Place the object in the middle of the frame. What’s the point of the 3D product imaging if the product is the last thing on your customer’s mind?
  • If you’re taking the GIF route, make sure to take more than one image. If you decided to go with video, consult an expert on 3D product videos.
  • Make detailed images and videos. If you have to display a product and show the customer how to use it, every detail counts.
  • Use the same lighting and effects on both images or during the whole video.
  • If you opt for 360 product photography, make sure to film from left to right. Read on to find out more about this technique.

Is there 3D Image Support on Social Media?

Recently, Facebook introduced a 3D photo imaging feature. In other words, when you scroll, drag them left or right, the image will “bend”, and you’ll see the product from various angles. These shots are made by dual camera phones which takes two images in a second to create depth maps. The user needs to move the smartphone around the object to make a 3D image.

Scrolling through Newsfeed will move the image naturally. In the 360 videos, however, users can “move” through the video. If your company has a Facebook presence, consider posting these types of images and videos. They are useful when it comes to catching users’ attention.

Standard and Non-Standard 3D Photo Equipment

Almost any camera can help you in the process of 3D product imaging. Nonetheless, you should aim at a bigger ISO range and a higher quality sensor for perfect shots in every type of lighting.

In case you’re a real amateur and want to make the image yourself, consider the phones with dual cameras mentioned above. Then you can make a 3D image worth using for marketing purposes. Moreover, you can purchase a stereo lens, which can split the image into two different angles.

Still, the essential piece of equipment for 3D product imaging is a tripod. The camera stays in one place on a tripod and lets you move it around the object without changing the height and ruining the image. It’s a vital component for creating 3D product images, lets you have a fixed framing and contributes to less editing in the end.

Do You Need 360 Product Photography?

360º or 360 product photography is great for products such as clothes, accessories or shoes, where you don’t have to explain how it works but rather show the object from all angles. One of the famous brands that use 360 product photography in their online shop is Asos. Following is an example of their 360 product photo, where you can see every angle of the item by dragging it left or right like you’re spinning it on the table.

asos 360 product photography

For certain products, this type of 3D imaging is the only way customers can experience the object without actually touching it. Making one such 360º view involves rotating the object on a turntable while the camera’s taking a bunch of photos. Naturally, you will have to fix it on a tripod.

After it’s done with taking photos, you’ll have to edit it to display it on a 360º viewer, or a specialized video player for these images. It’s essentially a slide show that a viewer’s in control of.

You can find 360 product photography in eCommerce. Some companies will add a video that accompanies the 360 views, so consider that as well when you’re doing 3D scanning for eCommerce.

About 3D Modeling

Most of your 3D imaging practices will include 3D modeling. It makes 3D object representations come alive in space, and you’ll probably need it in 3D product imaging.

To know more about what is 3D modeling, make sure to consult an expert.

Would You Consider 3D Product Imaging for Your Business?

3D product imaging can improve marketing campaigns in various industries. It is a unique way to get through to your customer base. If you think it could benefit your business, make sure to contact us at PinkSquare for a free consultation.