Creating beautiful spins with seamless backgrounds like these is not hard once you understand the basic 360 degree photography equipment needed for a good setup and workflow:
1. Use a Motorized Turntable
Although “lazy susans” and other manually powered turntables are a good way to get started using Arqspin, you will want to invest in a quality motorized turntable to add to your 360 degree photography equipment. Any turntable will work that makes one full revolution in less than one minute.
2. Use a Tripod
It’s very important to keep your camera (or smartphone) perfectly still during capture. There are a number of good tripods on the market depending on the type of camera you have. We recommend searching B&H Photo for quality options.
For smartphones, we recommend the Joby GripTight Gorillapod.
3. Use a White (or Black) Background
The trick to making your spin seem to “float” on a seamless background is capturing the object in front of a white (or black) backdrop. You will also want to use a turntable of that same color (or place some type of cover on your turntable). Here is a relatively inexpensive setup that produces a clean white background:
Modahaus Tabletop Studio and two Ikea TERTIAL work lamps with 45W 5500K Daylight Bulbs. (Photo courtesy CosmicEars.)
We often use standard craft paper from the local arts supply store for backdrops. There are also a number of backdrops specifically designed for photography and “light tents” that produce nice seamless backgrounds:
4. Use Good Lighting
If you remember only one thing about lighting it should be this: illuminate your subject using at least one bright source located BEHIND the capture device. (This main light source is often called the “key light” or “main light.”) A big sunny window works quite well since it produces a large warm source. Using electrical light sources (LEDs are great!) gives you more control over the scene and can produce better results once you understand the principles of lighting your subject.
Here are a few excellent tutorials about lighting:
- Smick Product Photography Tutorial (YouTube video)
- Product photography lighting Alex Koloskov, Photigy
- Ken Rockwell’s Advice on Product Photography
And here are some photography lights we recommend (you want to be sure to operate the lights in ‘continuous’ mode, no flash!):
5. Perform Color Balancing
Just as important as the 360 degree photography equipment is the software itself, and setting a white point (and/or black point) is often necessary to make the background either completely white or black. This is simple in the Arqspin web editor. Touch a pixel in the spin that you want to use as a reference white (or black) point. That pixel along with any pixels brighter than that reference will become saturated white. You may consider reading this short tutorial on white balancing.
6. Additional Reading
Here are a few other articles that you might find useful: