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New Version of SpotEditor Beta v3 is Now Available

by WebRotate 360 March 05, 2012 23:57

Here's just a few screenshots of the new SpotEditor beta that also includes our latest 360 product viewer build (beta v3). You can download it here and then just run setup.exe under SpotEditor. Thank you to all our users who contributed their ideas and thoughts, and made this release possible.

SpotEditor has been pretty much rewritten from scratch to improve workflows, add support for the latest viewer features and be flexible enough to accommodate some cool new ideas we have in store for our next releases. Also, it's now almost ready for being fully operational on Mac OS via Mono framework (but this will not be available until after we finally release v3).

 

Just click on the images to see a full preview / gallery:


 

 

Download our 360 photo software here and give it a try! As always any feedback is welcomed.

 

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Download WebRotate 360 Product Viewer V3 Beta Bits. Full hot-spot support in HTML5 / JavaScript mode, Deep Zoom and More!

by WebRotate 360 November 19, 2011 02:37

 

Since many of you have requested, and while we are still ironing out some of your requested enhancements in SpotEditor v3, would like to share with you a release candidate of our new viewer module. What this means is that you can now try the cool features we have been working on in the last few months on your existing / test views and see if you like it and if it's worth the upgrade (we surely think so!). Below is a download link.. To apply to your test views just overwrite your imagerotator folder with the one included in this download, then add the following two lines to you pages before calling runImageRotator:

_imageRotator.settings.jsScriptOnly = true; (if you want to stop using Flash which is what this release is all about)
_imageRotator.settings.graphicsPath = "imagerotator/html/img/basic";

 

Download HERE

or

Checkout Demo

 
 
We also included our classic shoe sample that uses v3 that runs without Flash and which highlights the "deep zoom" and our new HTML-enabled hot-spots. Even though the new SpotEditor is not available for download yet (you can get it with the free download on our 360 product viewer page- released version 2.5.3), we hope that you can still try the "deep zoom" and new hot-spot styling via HTML/CSS using included xml sample as a reference. We're hoping to release SpotEditor v3 RC also within about week, so you may decide to wait until then if mingling with xml files manually is not your thing :)

 

NOTE: The download / demo links above have been updated on March 2nd, 2012 and now include latest SpotEditor tool, new features and fixes.

 

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Teaser of our new 360 viewing mode (v3.0) with hot-spots, deep zoom and more

by WebRotate 360 October 26, 2011 11:03

Finally can share with you a teaser of our new 360 viewing mode (no Flash). Super fast, works on your phone / tablet, with full hot-spot support, "deep zoom" using a second set of high-resolution 360 degree product photos (standard zoom is also supported), and a new hot-spot content that can be edited / presented as a standard HTML/CSS markup!

Demo / Download (updated on March 2d, 2012)

Please give it a try! If you don't heavily rely on the full-screen capability that we have in our Flash viewer, this new release should allow to completely abandon Flash ("full-screen" will be coming in HTML too) as it's now even more feature rich than the Flash mode. Also, since the images for the control buttons and hot-spot circles now sit in a separate folder as PNGs, you can change their look and feel to match you vision exactly!


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New WebRotate 360 Product Viewer Beta (3.0) Is Blazing Fast

by WebRotate 360 August 30, 2011 18:18

Some initial results from our test lab! In Flash mode, WebRotate 360 Product Viewer 3.0 Beta loads 3 times faster than our previous version - 2.5.3. The difference is quite dramatic, especially when you think of wait times when these 360 views are embedded on e-commerce websites, where this is a very sensitive subject. Check it out by clicking the links below:

 

2.5.3 (OLD)   - this link is no longer available 

3.0.0 (BETA)  - Updated Beta v3 (latest release on March 2d, 2012) 

 

Average loading speed for the test 360 degree product view on our end was ~13.9s with the old 2.5.3 viewer and just ~4.62s with the new beta!

Download this beta module (only Flash swf in this drop for now) using the link below and just replace imagerotator.swf under the imagerotator folder in your 360 packages. Any feedback would be awesome!

In the next few days we will post another beta with a new high resolution mode where high-rez images can be configured separately (same xml file) and are only loaded on demand on zoom. Stay tuned!



Download our latest 360 photo software here


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Announcing the release of WebRotate 360 Product Viewer 2.5.3

by WebRotate 360 August 19, 2011 11:29

So far the only place where we mentioned about our new 2.5.3 release was Facebook and Twitter. We love both of the social networks for the interactivity and quick feedback they provide but we shouldn't forget about our neat little blog...

Without further ado, we're announcing here the release of WebRotate 360 Product Viewer 2.5.3! This an important release for us as it provides an extensive ground work for launching cool new features in the upcoming v3.0 (more on this later).

I think the most important update in 2.5.3 is the release of the revamped SpotEditor utility. Now it's finally possible to edit pretty much any configuration setting available in our 360 degree product viewer using our simple user interface and then preview your 360 degree product view in your default browser or even publish it to your hard-drive with everything needed for a quick deployment on your website.

 

Couple of screenshots of the updated utility:

 

       WebRotate 360 product viewer software new release 2.5.3

 

        

 

        

 

I hope you will also find it handy that we supplied 5 integration samples with the free viewer package that show how easy it is to create 360 product views with dynamic or static hot-spots using either Flash or the new html5 360 viewer mode and integrate them in a variety of ways on your web pages.

Not to mention our new website that is dedicated to showcasing the types of samples that can be created with our free 360 degree product viewer - http://www.360-product-views.com/

 

Full list of updates in 2.5.3:

  • [+] Revamped SpotEditor tool; added support for all configuration settings as well as Preview / Publish function
  • [+] Added five new samples (Basic, Color, JS, Popup, Phone)
  • [+] Added support for loading image / hotspot assets from locations separate from xml config (for CDN, etc)
  • [+] Added API for in-place viewer reload using different xml configuration
  • [+] Added API setting (flybyJsMenuFix) to fix an issue where Flash may overlap dynamic JavaScript menus
  • [+] Added new type of hotspot indicator that pulsates constantly
  • [+] Added urlTarget (xml) setting to allow specifying URL open mode on click inside hotspot (_blank, _self)
  • [+] Added xml setting (bounce) for viewing when full set of 360 images is not available (e.g., 180-degree rotation)
  • [+] Added two xml settings for configuring color of progress animation
  • [+] Allowed hotspot popups to close on mouse click
  • [+] Removed dimming of product images when activating hotspot popups
  • [+] Enabled hotspot disable (xml) setting to also apply in JavaScript mode
  • [+] Enabled toolbarBackAlpha (xml) setting to also apply in JavaScript mode
  • [+] Enabled disableMouseControl (xml) setting to also apply in JavaScript mode
  • [+] Added support for checking viewer version via Firebug
  • [!] Fixed static hotspots to prevent browse action when no URL is assigned
  • [!] Fixed IE security issue specific to Free edition (presented itself as a jQuery access error in IE statusbar)
  • [!] Fixed issue in Webkit browsers where mouse cursor would sometimes change into selection mode on click
  • [!] Fixed issue in JavaScript mode where viewer was skipping on a single image during rotation via mouse dragging
  • [!] Fixed issue where JavaScript mode was not letting more than one static hotspot
  • [!] Updated End-User License Agreement (License.PDF)
  • [!] Launched our new website 360-product-views.com with a quick tour of the key product features

 

Download your free 360 product viewer HERE and join us on Twitter or Facebook for realtime news, updates, and a live dialog!


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Eliminate reflections in your 360 product photography projects

by WebRotate 360 July 03, 2011 19:16

Here's a quick tip on how to work around one of those issues that we often have to deal with when photographing reflective products, which is especially applicable to our 360 product photography.

If we take a cell phone or an iPad or a similar product with a reflective screen and place it on our turntable "as-is", and then try to shoot it straight such that our camera points straight towards the screen, we will notice immediately that our 360 photography turntable can be distinctively seen as a  white curvy reflection on the product screen. The table reflection will stay there on the screen on pretty much all 360 product shots where the screen is visible as light from our lighting will bounce of the turntable and will reflect straight to our camera via reflective surfaces on the product. This is pretty much impossible to avoid as we still need plenty of light around our product and any kind of a bounce or reflective card we would use to block the light may not let us to eliminate the reflection completely. Not to mention the time required to properly adjust the bounce card for 10-15 images, which is a daunting task on its own.

The answer to this problem is pretty straightforward - we just need to raise the product above our turntable just enough to hide the reflection for our chosen camera angle. It may require some additional work as mounting a product above the table will often require building a custom base that has to fit and hold the product in a desired configuration. We have been using solid wooden blocks that we would cut into different shapes and that worked great. With wood though you have to be sure to wrap it up in some sort of white tape or white paper to ensure that it doesn't produce a yellowish cast on your product images. Recently we started using Styrofoam and it works much better as it's easier to cut and we don't need to worry about the color cast as it's pretty much neutral light Grey. You can get various shapes and sizes of Styrofoam blocks in your local arts and crafts store or order online.

Of course if you have 360 product photography equipment that allows you to mount and rotate a product from the top, this is not an issue. From our experience though most of electronics with reflective surfaces and similar products have to be shot upright mounted on a turntable one way or another.

Here's a few images to better illustrate the problem and our solution:

The curvy glass frame is sitting right on the turntable and we can clearly see its reflection:

         360 product photography setup for reflective products

 

Let's now cut a Styrofoam stand with a narrow platform just enough to hold the thin glass frame:

        

 

Now the table reflection is gone on all 360 degree images:

        

 

        



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Computorized DIY Turntable For 360 Product Photography (Guest post)

by WebRotate 360 May 17, 2011 09:22

Not long ago we published a post on how to build a simple DIY turntable for 360 product photography  sing a couple of rounded plywood sheets and a Lazy Susan bearing. Many of our blog readers used the guide and actually built it for their own 360 photography projects! But our DIY turntable was missing an important feature - automation. You have to rotate it manually by aligning marks on the top and the bottom of the table for each 360 degree product photo. This can still be useful when you work on a single and complex product where you need to quickly asses your lighting setup and product positioning, but when you work on a bunch of uniform items the manual rotation becomes an issue.

Here is a guest post by TINYenormous on how to go one step further and build a fully automated table using off-the-shelf microcontroller board, stepper motor, and an EasyDriver stepper motor driver.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

I have wanted to build a rotary turntable for quite a while. With it I can shoot 360 degree product photos, I can set the camera up on it and shoot panoramas. I can use it with my timelapse setup to put motion into a long shot. I also have an idea about trying to use it to build a masterlock picker!

      

There is a stepper motor connected to a sparkfun easydriver via an arduino (not shown) The motor has something like 1.5 degrees per step and it is geared down heavily via the rubber belt, so it is very precise.

         

I used a table saw to cut this notch. Not something that I would recommend for the faint of heart.

         

Here is the easy driver on the breadboard.

        

This shot shows the bottom of the board. I used a “lazy susan” bearing from Home Depot to keep the turntable rolling smoothly. One thing I did wrong is that it was mounted several times while I was sanding or grinding and I definitely got a bit of grit in the bearings.

      
 

Here is a new thing I have been doing to make adjustable feet. It is a furniture nut pressed into the wood with a 1/4 x 20 bolt and wingnut poking out. It is cheap, adjustable, and keeps me from having to do any more woodworking.

       

With the easy driver the arduino code couldn’t be easier. I think I based it off of the “blink” example code. You need to enable two pins to set the stepping mode, a pin for direction, and a pin for step. It is that easy. I also have it connected to a converted pc power supply to give the motors 12v. I’m not sure how much I’ll use this, but it has been in my head for forever, so it’s good to let it out!

Please check out TINYenormous Blog to read about his other cool ideas and DIY projects that utilize microcontroller, programming, cameras, lasers, and all things technology!

Have you already captured 360 degree images of your products? To publish them on your website use our interactive 360 Degree Product Viewer. Windows and Mac software is also included to make creation of your 360 product views as simple as possible.

If you plan to work on 360 degree spins often and rather prefer to use a specialized commercial 360 product photography turntable with robotic control, check out our new 360 photography equipment store where we offer a variety of sturdy turntables built to simplify the process and save time.


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Your Choice of Tripod For 360 Product Photography

by WebRotate 360 April 10, 2011 21:56

Unlike regular still photography, 360 product photography requires extra consideration when it comes to picking a tripod and a tripod head. Yes, it has to be sturdy enough to support your camera and the lens, but there's a bit more to that when you photograph products rotating in 360 degrees. Let's start with a tripod..


   

An important thing about the tripod is that you don't have to move it much in the studio. Quite opposite, it's essential for the tripod to stay fixed precisely in the same spot while you are shooting a batch of products. Precisions is a key here as even a slight touch can alter you camera alignment with the center of the turntable pretty much ruining your photography and wasting a lot of time. So if your tripod is heavy and can sit firmly on the floor - it's a good thing with 360 product photography!

Another point to consider is how easy it is to change tripod's height without tilting the camera as often you would need to adjust the height of your camera to accommodate for products of different dimensions. Camera should be carefully aligned with the turntable to ensure that both are sitting on two parallel planes such that products don't wobble up and down on final images. So tilting the camera during height adjustment will require realigning it with the table which is also a pretty time consuming operation. The problem here is that most tripods on the market have telescoping legs that have just 2 or 3 fixed positions. Only these fixed positions can be used reliably to change the height of your tripod without altering camera's tilt. Your best bet here is having more telescopic leg sections in your tripod and have a taller center column (the one that you can slide up and down without adjusting the legs).

There are couple of quirks with the tripod head also. For one thing you don't need a ball head as there are only two types of head movement when aligning camera for 360 product photography - camera panning and tilting (tilting towards a product). That's why a 2-way pan / tilt head is the best. Secondly the panning handle should be as short as possible to allow for quick access to camera controls without risking to shift the camera which is quite possible when you use those hybrid photo/video tripod heads with longer panning handles.

Happy 360 Product Photography!


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Sample 360 Product View of iPhone 4 with PaySaber Credit Card Scanner

by WebRotate 360 March 21, 2011 15:47

Here's an interesting 360 product view (click on the image below) that we just finished among other 360 product photos for USA ePay here in Los Angeles. Even though it looks pretty simple and straightforward, there were couple of issues that had to be considered:

  • The phone is very reflective on the front and the back - we don't want to show our 360 product photography studio surroundings reflected on its surfaces.
  • iPhone would look better on a black background as it has this bright chrome-like enclosure on the sides but since we had to show it with the scanner, the black background wouldn't be a good option.
  • Our client wanted to show their iPhone app running - this is not something unusual, though this post-production step takes plenty of time.
  • The view is made of two parts - the phone itself and the black credit card scanner that light up differently on different angles and so exposure and the lights had to be tested carefully to show good details without blowing off the chrome enclosure or the screen while keeping the rest of the 360 product view well lit and consistent. This is relatively simple when shooting a still composition... not so much with 360 product photography. A reflector card was used pretty much on every shot to remove glare, etc.
  • The main subject here is the scanner - so we want to shoot the scene almost from the bottom up to bring viewer's attention to the scanner rather than the phone. This is a bit tricky since the lower camera angles show the reflection of our 360 product photography turntable right on the front panel of the phone, so we had to raise the product up on a very narrow platform to cut out the table reflections.
  • The end result is slightly dimmer overall than what we would want to see on our final 360 degree product spin, but given all of the above it's a pretty solid product presentation nevertheless.

 

[June 8th, 12 - this sample has been removed as part of our new website deployment. You can find our latest samples here]

 

PS: this is not the trickiest 360 product photography we have done by any means, though it definitely required some extra care and preparation. We will be releasing our updated website pretty soon and will try to incorporate some of the most interesting samples there as well. In the meantime check out a couple of our not-so-very-recent 360 product views on our new 360 Degree Product Viewer page (still under construction).

 

 

Cool New 3D Product Exploration Tool

by WebRotate 360 March 05, 2011 19:41

Have you seen our latest interactive showcase that we produced for Triton Showers in cooperation with our partner in UK? Check it out on on Triton's home page or using the links below. This was a cool project that brought several pieces of our 360 product viewer technology together and allowed us to showcase rich-media interactivity in couple of different ways. 15 components have been produced all together, featuring the same set of 360 product photography packaged in different sizes, colors, and using some of our add-on components including gallery module, color picker, and info panels. See it in action by clicking the links below!

 

 


Roomset viewer with our color-picker module that can be activate from the main 3D showcase:

         Interactive 3D product view configurator
 


Going forward all of our custom projects will be based of our commercial 3D product viewer that you can download here and use for free. Stay tuned!


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About this Blog

WebRotate 360 are specialists in interactive e-commerce solutions, web and software development for Internet retailers, product manufacturers, and marketing agencies.

We're a team of great individuals who bring our commitment, passion and skills to help you showcase your products online.


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