Bringing 360º Photography Full Circle in Less Time

Bringing 360º Photography Full Circle in Less Time

If you’re selling a diamond ring, you wouldn’t expect a major purchase to happen without the most detailed information and high-quality photography, right? With eCommerce, photography and videos have to tell the entire story of your product because there’s no salesperson to answer questions nor is there the freedom of the customer to feel and explore the product entirely. While that may seem like a challenge at first, there are several solutions, including 360-degree photography that work to overcome such constraints.

In this article, we will explore how you can maximize the value of digital twins with the creation of 360-degree photography. We’ll also see the benefits that come along with this novel method of content creation, which can save you time, money, and boost sales.

What is 360-Degree Photography?

We recently shared everything you need to know about packshot photography, and like packshot photography, 360-degree photography is another way to display your product in its best light, at every angle. Like the name implies, 360-degree photography is a type of photography that captures a product all around in a full-circle (hence the term 360).

With 360-degree photography, online shoppers can view the object all around, including its front, back, and sides, so that they can make the most informed decision, even from behind the screen. This is beneficial to have for every kind of product, especially when it’s something that a customer will want to wear like a jacket or shoes. It becomes a must-have in certain industries with high value products like jewelry, art, and furniture, to name a few.

How Do You Create 360-Degree Spin?

Traditional 360-degree photography involves a lengthy and detailed process that comes along with a hefty price tag. For starters, a professional camera, turntable, lens, lighting, a tripod, and editing software are required.

Here’s how the process tends to go:

  • You’ll start by booking a studio or staging one yourself
  • Set up a turntable with the object on its center (and then repeat for every item)
  • Set up a white backdrop behind the turntable
  • Set up box-style lighting
  • Shoot 360 product images
    a. Use a measuring tape around your turntable to mark each time you take a photo at the desired degrees. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of time and patience.
    b. You’ll have to adjust the aperture, ISO, shutter speed, focal point, and white balance as you move through each turn. Again, this ends up being a costly photoshoot for a professional photographer or a timely one for an in-house photographer.
  • After all the photo shoot is done, you’ll take your images to 360 editing software to piece it together to create a product-view video

When you were imagining this process, you likely were thinking about a small tangible product, such as a watch or shoe. Now, imagine if you need to shoot a large sofa or refrigerator. That’s going to take a lot of extra manpower and of course, a bigger turntable and studio to accommodate. Multiply this entire process by the number of SKUs you have in your inventory, and you can quickly see how gargantuan a 360-degree photography project will become.

The Solution Exists: Meet Digital Twins

At Hexa, digital twins are at the heart of everything that gets created. If you’re new here and learning more about the vast opportunities that exist with 3D content, we’ll start off by saying welcome! Here’s the main takeaway of what you need to know: a digital twin is a virtual model (digital representation) of a real-world physical object.

At Hexa, we can create digital twins with just a single image input, or even a design file (that’s right, you can gain access to professional photos and even 360º videos before an item has to be manufactured to visualize it before investing time and money. You also gain proof of concept and gauge demand before creation ever begins).

Once you have a digital twin created, you can use it for multiple use cases, such as to create 360-degree photography, packshots, model shots, augmented reality experiences, virtual-try on, marketing collateral, and more. Essentially, once we have a 3D model, it can be used to create a render, or 2D image for any purpose. Hint: At Hexa, we are your content partner, beginning with the creation of digital twins through to the management and distribution of them to maximize your bottom line and optimize your customer experience!).

On the topic of 360-degree photography, let’s explore some of the many advantages that come along with using digital twins for this purpose:

Lower Costs
Cost is something that’s impossible to ignore when budgeting for your photoshoots and marketing materials to sell your SKUs. Whether you hire a professional photographer or use your in-house team, you’ll be paying for their time and the opportunity cost (in terms of your in-house photographer). Additionally, you’ll have to rent a studio, buy or rent a turntable (possibly many depending on the size of your items), and wait for the editing to be completed before you can use the assets. With digital twins, you can create 360-degree photography nearly instantaneously without any of your own team being involved. This not only frees up your team’s time to focus on high-level strategy and creative tasks, but it also ends up saving your business both time and money. With access to our CMS, simply upload a single image and receive the output of 360º video content.

Decreased Return Rates
People love interactivity and videos while online shopping. It provides them with a more in-depth look at an object that they may long to touch or see in person. However, the convenience of online shopping is enough to make decisions from the comfort of their homes instead. With 360-degree product photography and its end video result, customers can buy with greater confidence as they can see every detail and angle of a product. That means less likelihood of returns once they have the item in hand. Again, this contributes to lower carbon emissions because less items have to get shipped back to the warehouse, store, or distribution center.

Enhanced Sustainability
Sustainability goals may be overlooked when it comes to product marketing and product photography. This is because it’s not something you’ll typically consider a drain on the environment. But, when you really think about everything involved in setting up a professional photoshoot, you can see how big of a carbon footprint gets left behind. For starters, everyone and everything (all the inventory to be shot) must be transported to the studio. This may take place with several truckloads or plane rides. Once you make it into the studio, the lighting stays on for hours, and sometimes, days, to get every shot. That’s a lot of wasted emissions that add up quickly.

360-Degree Photography: At Scale and for the Masses

With the aid of digital twins, the lengthy process of setting up 360-degree photoshoots and spending days and weeks waiting for the end result are over. Now, you can gain nearly instantaneous deliverables powered by artificial intelligence and a human touch.

No matter the size of your products or the amount of angles you wish to shoot them from, you don’t have to move any item even an inch. With as little as a single image (or even design file) as an input, your product can be transformed into a video and rotated at every angle–at scale and for mass distribution on any platform or outlet. Surpass your sustainability goals, save time and money, and provide for a greater online shopping experience for your customers with no extra effort on your end.

Ready to turn your 360-degree photography process 180º and streamline everything? Hexa is here to make it happen!

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