FAQ

Click a topic below to see frequently asked questions pertaining to that subject, or scroll down to view the entire FAQ.

  • our INDUSTRYA GENERAL OVERVIEW OF 360 PHOTOGRAPHY + INTERACTIVE PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY

  • OUR COMPANYWHO WE ARE, WHAT WE OFFER, AND THE CLIENTS WE SERVE

  • OUR SYSTEMS AND HARDWAREA DETAILED LOOK AT THE PRODUCTS WE OFFER

  • OUR SOFTWAREA COMPREHENSIVE BREAKDOWN OF OUR SOFTWARE

  • OUR SERVICESA BREAKDOWN OF OUT INTERACTIVE PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICE

  • HOW TO PURCHASECOMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT QUOTING AND PURCHASING OUR PRODUCTS

Have more questions? Contact us directly here.


OUR INDUSTRY


Interactive product imagery, also called interactive product photography, is the all-encompassing term for dynamic photography used in the eCommerce industry and includes 360° spins, multi-row, multi-stage, 3D photogrammetry, pack photography, and product video.


360 degree spins are a format of photography, made popular in the eCommerce industry as marketing tool to showcase products on storefronts in an interactive and engaging way. With a 360 spin, the end user is able to view, spin, and examine the details of a subject from multiple angles.

A 360 spin is comprised of a series of images of a subject that when rotated provide the illusion of a 3D interactive view of the subject that the user can control and rotate.

The typical spin contains 24-36 still photographs.


A Multi-Row, (sometimes called a 3D spin) is a series of 360 degree spinsets that have been photographed in an arcing view perpendicular to the direction of the spin. The photographed arc usually ranges from a 0°, straight-on view to a 90° overhead view. A typical multi-row spin contains 2-6 arc angles of spinsets.

The result is a more engaging, simulated 3D view of an object that can be spun left to right, as well as up and down to gain an even more dynamic view of the subject photographed.

Assuming your spinsets are being photographed at 36 frames per 360°, a 3 arc angle multi-row spin would then can 3 sets of 36 frames, or 108 total still frames to photograph one complete multi-row spin.


A relatively new technique, a Multi-Stage Spin is a form of interactive product photography that animates or highlights a specific feature of your subject. Think of it as a spin that has a stop-motion type of animation that’s occurring through the rotation.

For example: A Multi-stage spin of a toolbox may show the different compartments and drawers opening and closing as the product makes its rotation.

A multi-stage spin can be photographed from one angle, or you can compound the animation shooting a full spin of each stage of the animation and allowing the user to control the animation rather than the animation occurring on its own.


Photogrammetry is the process of turning a series of photographs of an object into a 3D model. The process requires a series of high-detail images of an object, photographed at various angles. The images are then fed into a photogrammetric processing software, such as AutoDesk ReCap, to generate a 3D mesh and texture of the photographed object. This object can then be embedded into an online viewer similar to that of a 360 spin or multi-row spin viewer, allowing users to interact with, and examine details of the object.

Applications of photogrammetry extend well beyond this simple viewer usage, however. Creative agencies have begun coupling this technology with AR, or augmented reality applications to simulate the object in a customer’s actual environment.

The possibilities of 3D photogrammetry are virtually untapped and show great promise in their use in the eCommerce and marketing spaces.


Pack photography is simply the traditional still images of product photography. Usually displaying the product from different angles, showcasing its different features, it's a common industry term for the set of still photographs used as assets for sales, marketing, and advertising of a given product.


A spinset is the series of photos taken in a single 360° or multi-row spin. The spinset can be uploaded to a spin host provider to generate a .spin file. This .spin file is the final asset that can be used and embedded on storefronts, websites, and social media.


You can capture as many, or as few photos as you’d like in a 360 degree spin. The industry standard is 24 photos per spin, but we recommend photographing 36 to achieve a smoother, more pleasing final 360° spin.


YES! One of the great benefits of shooting interactive product photography is the extra photography assets you get out of each final spin.

Because spins are built from a series of individual full-resolution photographs, those photos can be used for other marketing, sales, and advertising material.


Performance fluctuates depending on a wide number of variables including things like: the industry you’re in, the way the spins are being utilized on your website or storefront, how complex or feature-rich your products may be, the quality of your images, etc.

However industry research unanimously supports the claim that the use of dynamic product photography in lieu of, or supplemental to typical still-frame product photography, provides significant overall performance improvements in product sales through online stores.

In studies conducted by Adobe, MIT, Amazon, eBay, as well as dozens of eCommerce trade publications, it was found that individuals who added 360° spins and 3D multi-angle spins to their stores saw average time spent on their site increase by 32%, conversion rates increase up to 50%, and sell-through rates increase 10-25%.

They also saw return rates decrease on average by 25-50%, and support and call center costs drop up to 45%.


When a customer experiences 360° spin photography, or other forms of interactive product imagery, buyer confidence increases dramatically. This occurs for several reasons.

Showing every angle allows your customer to become better educated, and more informed of the product, its design, features, and overall quality.

The ability to inspect all sides of your product communicates transparency in what you have to offer. You’re not trying to hide anything, and you’re enabling your customers to form opinions themselves without having to “sell” them. This causes a greater trust in the product and your brand as a whole.

Finally, a visualization occurs, whereby allowing your customers to unconsciously picture themselves using the product, and imagining it fitting into their lifestyle— organically leading them to “bond” with the product and experience it in a way that’s just short of physically handling the product in a brick and mortar store.

A more-informed customer who trusts you, and has visualized your product is primed to make a more confident purchasing decision.


Simply upload your images to a spin host provider, such as SIRV. The spin host generates a .spin file as well as several ways to embed the link to your site. No additional plugins are needed.

Spins are also supported on all major eCommerce platforms including Shopify, Wix, WordPress, WooCommerce, Weebly, Magento, Prestashop, BigCommerce (with a plugin), Ebay, and Amazon.


.Spin files are web optimized and are lighting fast. In some cases, spin files can load 30-40% faster than web compressed jpeg files, and with a fast and reliable spin host provider like SIRV, you can expect a 0.001 second image request time with 0.15 seconds per generated image.


YES! The .spin filetype is a standard across all of the major eCommerce platforms including: Shopify, Wix, WordPress, WooCommerce, Weebly, Magento, Prestashop, BigCommerce (with a plugin), eBay, and Amazon.


The final format used on the web is a .spin file, which is built from a series full-res images that can be from a variety of popular still image formats (.jpeg, .png, .tif, .psd, .eps), video files (such as .mov, .mp4, .mpg, .avi) as well as RAW formats (.CR2, .RAW, .NEF).


Absolutely not. Our systems only make their life easier. While our systems can be nearly fully-automated, it is still highly recommended that they be operated by a photographer who has the knowledge and skills to handle product photography.

The system is a tool to expedite process and curb the headaches that come along with shooting 360 spins, and other interactive product photography. Our systems ultimately allow the photographer to worry less about the technical aspects, and focus more on the creative.


While our systems and software are designed to expedite the retouching process, it is still recommended that some form of background knockout be performed. In most cases, some level of retouching is also a good idea to make your products look as great as possible.


YES! The standard .spin file used for interactive product photography works beautifully on mobile devices across all popular browsers.


Absolutely. Studies have found that 360 degree spins, and other interactive product photography make an impression across all industries. The interactivity of this type of imagery provides both an engaging novelty, as well as a way to gather information by being able to see things like nutrition labels and product features listed on the packaging of your products.


Academic institutions, research foundations, museums and various sectors of the scientific community have found interactive photography such as 360 degree spins, multi-row spins, and photogrammetric objects, of great value in documenting, researching, preserving, and archiving a range of specimens, objects, and artifacts within their field.

The ability to host an ultra high resolution 3D, or simulated 3D object online allows individuals to share objects and artifacts with colleagues for research, cross-comparison, and cataloging without having to ship and potentially damage an irreplacable item.


Not at all. Shooting on white has become an industry standard in the eCommerce world for the simplistic, distraction-free portrayal of products. However, a spin can be performed against any color, and with either our suspension module, or with a special rigging of a bottomless glass table, a spin can occur against virtually any background.



OUR COMPANY


AutoCam360 serves a wide range of industries; the majority of which fall under the umbrella of eCommerce, or online retail, as well as product developers and manufacturers, retailers, online auctions, science and technology developers, video production companies, product photography studios, branding, advertising, and marketing agencies— all of which have seen positive results using AutoCam360 systems.

Out of respect for our customers, we do not disclose customer identities, unless otherwise given explicit permission to do so. Generally speaking, a wide range of clients operating at all ends of scope and scale have benefited from using AutoCam360 systems— from Fortune 100, and Fortune 500 companies, down to small “mom & pop” shops, and a variety of organizations in-between.


AutoCam360 systems have been designed with customizability in mind, and we pride ourselves in truly adapting our products to the needs of our customers.

To speak to us directly about your specific need, visit our contact page for ways to reach out to us.


There are several resources available on our website including this FAQ, our Systems page, our Software page which may help you decide what system may be right for your need. If you’re still unsure and wish to speak to someone directly, visit our contact page for ways to contact us.


For serious inquiries, or special circumstances, we do shoot product samples. If you’re interested in our systems and would like more information, visit our contact page and reach out to us.


We do! You can sign up at here.


Tours are a great way to see our systems in action and ask any questions you may have. You can set tours through the form on our contact page.


Our products are all designed, manufactured, assembled, and supported in the USA. Our headquarters is located in Plymouth, Indiana.


No! 360 degree spins are just the tip of the iceberg of what can be created on our systems. Depending on the system used, you can produce all types of interactive product photography, including 360 spins, multi-row spins, multi-stage animations, multi-angle pack photography, 3D photogrammetric scans, motion controlled video, stop-motion video, 360 video, and more.


There are fewer limitations than most expect. We typically look at variables such as product size, weight, fragility, difficulty of rigging, the type of product material (is it shiny/clear/reflective?), the level of retouching or complexity of background knockout, etc. All of these things can certainly slow down the process, but rarely is something not able to be photographed.

AutoCam360 systems can photograph very small products such as jewelry, as well as very large products such as furniture, bikes, and even people.



OUR SYSTEMS AND HARDWARE


There are 3 AutoCam360 systems:

1. The small, portable Mini TT system meant for photographing 360 spins of small-sized products.

2. The larger 36 TT system, a 36” turntable meant for photographing spins of medium to large size products weighing under 150 Lbs.

3. The robust, feature-rich Multi-Axis system designed for photographing all-sized products and all varieties of interactive product photography and motion control video. This system also allows for template-based shooting and is capable of nearly a full automation in photographing high volumes of products.


The Mini TT and 36 TT systems are designed for capturing 360 degree spin photography and spin video. Our flagship Multi-Axis system is capable of photographing all types of interactive product photography including 360° spins, multi-row spins, multi-stage spins, multi-angle pack photography, 3D photogrammetric scans, motion-controlled video, stop-motion video, 360 video, and more.

We have also seen our customers find quite a few additional creative applications for their systems outside of the main categories of interactive product photography.


Not at all. The systems and software are easy enough to be learned in an afternoon, and can be fully mastered in a few days.

When you purchase our Multi-Axis system, we travel to you to initially set up and calibrate your system, and then provide training for your staff to get you up and running quickly.

For all of our systems, we have a highly responsive, US-based support team who are also there to help.


With all of our systems, you’ll need to provide your own camera and computer. Depending on the system and options you choose, you may or may not need your own lights as well.

Additional general photography equipment such as stands, flags, photo paper, and modifiers are also recommended depending on your setup.


Because our products are fully customizable, there isn’t one set price for each system. This allows for you to get exactly what you need and avoid paying for more features than you need for your given situation.

For further information on systems, visit our contact page and submit an inquiry form.


The recommended weight limit depends on the system used. The current Multi-Axis and 36 TT systems are rated up to 150 Lbs. The Mini TT system supports up to 30 Lbs. Note: For a smooth operation, it is recommended running your turntable at slower speeds with heavier objects.

There is no minimum on object size for any of the AutoCam360 systems. Maximum object size depends on the system and how it is configured. We have seen large furniture, electric bikes, industrial equipment, and even people photographed on our systems.

Reach out through our contact page for a consultation on the weight and size of your products.


Yes! All of our systems are capable of shooting macro photography. With the Multi-Axis system, you can shoot beautifully smooth motion-controlled video thanks to the high precision, industrial-strength motors in our system.


The Multi-Axis system is by far the most automated system we offer. With its template-based shooting, users can build preset templates that record light setups, camera angles, focus and zoom movement, camera movement and turntable movement. Templates can be built, recalled, modified and re-arranged. All you have to do at that point is run the operation with a click of a button.

The 36 TT and Mini TT systems are both considered "partially automated". Turntable operation and photo capture are automated with the click of a button, but users are still required to manually set their lighting, compose the camera, and center the product before capturing their next spin.


An average 36 photo spin takes 1-2 minutes to complete. Depending on the size and weight of the product, the rigging of the product, and the shooting mode, under the proper circumstances it’s possible to shoot a spin in 15-20 seconds on our systems.

Average Multi-Axis and photogrammetric photos take 2-5 times longer to capture depending on how many arc rows are captured.


Output depends on many variables. If you’re shooting 360 degree spins on our Multi-Axis system and are using templates with pre-built moves and lighting schemes for your products, your efficiency increases greatly.

Under that circumstance, you could realistically shoot 100+ products per day. Some of our clients who have automated their workflow have reportedly been capturing 200-300 product spins per day.

If the type of products you’re shooting vary in size, weight, material, and/or rigging complexity, these things effect the speed of the process and most likely require lighting and rigging resets. In this scenario, you may only be able to shoot 10-15 products per day.


Yes! 360° video, motion control video, and general product video are a very popular feature for our customers that most other products on the market aren't able to do.

AutoCam360 systems use industrial-strength motors which are able to run beautifully with repeatable precision to get the perfect camera movement every time.


The Mini TT and 36 TT systems are able to shoot continuous spin video only, while our Multi-Axis system is capable of capturing true motion control video, as well as spin video.


Our Multi-Axis system can perform photogrammetric scans of objects by shooting a series of photographs at various angles. This image set can then be fed into a third party photogrammetric processing software, such as AutoDesk ReCap, to generate a 3D model.


When you purchase our Multi-Axis system, our training team travels to you and sets up, calibrates, and trains your team on the system.

For our 36 TT and Mini TT systems, setup is much simpler. Online training, manuals, and customer support are available to get you properly set up.


Yes! Our Mini TT and 36 TT systems are capable of capturing an animation over the course of a single spin, or capturing every step of the animation as its own spin, all from the same angle. With the Multi-Axis system, you are also able to do a multi-row version of an animated spin.


You can! The process is easier than you would think and is a unique and eye-catching way to garner attention on your website or eCommerce store.



OUR SOFTWARE


The software is simple and easy to use. After a few minutes, most are able to intuitively figure out the interface and workflow, and are able to navigate without much additional training.

The Multi-Axis is a bit more complex, with the addition of template-based shooting, but it is by no means difficult to use. The camera controls of our software function much like the popular tethering and capturing software available on the market.

Training and customer support are also available to our customers as well.


The Multi-Axis system requires the use of the MA Command software due to the requirements of the hardware.

For the 36 TT and Mini TT systems, it is not required, but highly recommended to use the TT Command software to maximize the features of the system.

If software is not used, the microcomputer Hand Control Unit that is provided with each system is capable of performing basic operations of the turntable hardware.


The camera can tether to either a Mac or PC computer and can be controlled through either our MA Command or TT Command software, depending on the system owned.

Within the software, users are able to control all basic camera functions and settings including ISO, aperture, shutter, white balance, file format (RAW and/or jpeg selection), as well as a series of advanced features including image adjustment, cropping, onion skinning, and file management and renaming of images being photographed.


We highly encourage users to submit features to our team. Because the entire design, manufacturing and support are all performed in-house, we are able to roll in your suggestions into our hardware and software. Many of the great features and add-on options currently available for our systems have come from user suggestions.

You can contact your sales representative directly to submit a feature request.


All of our software works on both Mac and PC.


Not at all. While SIRV is a preferred spin host provider, you are welcome to use whatever spin host provider is most convenient for you. We’ve tried to make our systems as agnostic as possible to allow you to more fully conform and maximize your workflow.


Yes! Directly from the MA Command and TT Command software, users can apply both IPTC and XMP metadata tags through our session manager tool within the software. Beyond the typical metadata, users are able to add an unlimited number of custom metadata fields to data such as weights and measure, SKU numbers, or product numbers directly to the photos themselves.


The license is renewed annually. Each license is registered to one seat per computer. Additional licenses can be purchased if necessary.

You may also use the software across multiple computers by revoking the license from one machine and manually moving it to another.


You cannot choose which version of the software you use. The TT Command software is designed specifically for operating the Mini TT and 36 TT systems, and MA Command software will only work on the Multi-Axis system.


We release updates frequently, and at regular intervals. You can expect full release versions of our software every 6-8 weeks.



OUR SERVICES


AutoCam360 does provide photography services, and are able to handle both small and large volumes of product photography. Visit the studio services section on our contact page to receive a quote.


The length of time depends on a number of variables (such as product challenges, type of interactive product imagery, rigging complexity, size, weight, volume, our current studio schedule, whether or not you’re handling the retouching and knockout, etc.).

Some products can be turned around in a day, others may take weeks.


Quotes for our services are on a case-by-case basis, and are built out of a series of variables (such as product challenges, type of interactive product imagery, rigging complexity, size, weight, volume, our current studio schedule, whether or not you’re handling the retouching and knockout, etc.). Our service fees are highly competitive with other studio services on the market.


We have a trusted partner that we work with directly who handles our high volume product photography services.


Image resolution is only limited by the camera used. Typically, most professional photography cameras average between 25-50MP in resolution. The images can then be either scaled down or cropped if a smaller final image is needed for delivery. If a certain image size is required, just specify this ahead of time.


Our studio is located in Plymouth, Indiana, where we design, manufacture and support all of our products and services. Our high volume studio photography partner is located in Florida.


Of course. Just share your guidelines and any specifics with us upfront so we can generate an accurate quote for you.



HOW TO PURCHASE


Visit our contact page to fill out an inquiry form on systems and studio services, or contact a sales team member directly with the listed phone number.


Our systems are built specifically to suit your needs, without any unnecessary frills added on that hike up the price. Because of this, an inquiry must first be submitted here. This inquiry will be reviewed by a sales team member, who will follow up with you to discuss your specific needs, answer questions, provide a quote, and work out delivery and training logistics.


To purchase an AutoCam360 system, you can submit an inquiry form here, or through our contact page. A sales team member will contact you shortly.