• DIY 3D Product Photography

    If you are just starting with 360 product photography, we often recommend to play with something simple like this DIY turntable or a similar "lazy susan" platform. Heck even a cake stand would do as a proof of concept. We shot hundreds of products for our commercial clients using that DIY table in the link so it works! Or you can get one of the many automated display stands on eBay that we see some folks re-sell for x2 the price as "360 product photography" turntables elsewhere (ha, right!).

    The multi-row photography like the JVC example by Flipside Studios on our home page (click the 3D button there) is quite more involved though. The trick is to turn your camera around a product vertically in desired increments after completing each set (or row) of our usual 360-degree images.

    So we recently solicited a couple of studio images from Richard George (Richard K. George Photography) who tested our original idea of a DIY multi-row 3d setup with some success:

    Note the protractor at the end of the horizontal arm that holds the camera rig. The arm can spin inside the brackets producing the needed circular camera motion, and the fixed protractor is used to measure the angle increments.

    This could be a good starting point if you want to test the waters with the 3d product photography. And once you get a feel for it and may be get a bigger project to shoot, you may consider professional equipment which often costs many thousands of dollars for similar functionality (ping us for referrals).

    PS: our software has full support for the multi-row spherical and hemispherical photography with some advanced fine-grain control. To test the features, download our software here as well as this set of sample multi-row images (7 rows x 36 images) that were rendered in 3d modeling software and review these related posts:

    First v3.6 Beta Release. Now With Full 3D Product Views
    Download New v3.6 Beta Release (Build
    v3.6.2 Beta Released. Now with Incremental Zoom and More

  • New BigCommerce Integration Shipped

    Announcing the release of our revamped 360 product viewer integration for BigCommerce. This time it's geared specifically for the Stencil platform which is pretty much a new standard in the modern BigCommerce ecosystem (legacy Blueprint themes are still supported - more details).

    Learning from our past experience with the Blueprint themes and given the lack of a reasonable front-end integration option that BigCommerce (c'mon guys!) can offer today to plugin developers, we really tried hard to make it as simple as possible without sacrificing much of the viewer capabilities. And we're happy to report that for the first time ever we now have an integration module for the hosted platform that is comparable to our more mature modules for self-hosted solutions like WordPress & WooCommerce or Magento.

    If you're coming from Blueprint, here's what's new:
    • No changes to your templates or stylesheets are necessary (usually). The integration will do its magic.
    • No more mangling with the custom product fields which sometimes resulted in the odd viewer URLs getting stuck in the product description tabs. Just use the image description field (ALT) to enter the URL of your 360 product view configuration.
    • No need to upload any integration files to your BigCommerce's WebDAV folder as we now host them for you on our servers. You may still upload the actual published 360 product images to your WebDAV but we don't recommend this anymore as BigCommerce's WebDAV folder is not optimized for image hosting (doesn't send cache headers). So you may need a separate hosting account for the images (Amazon S3 with CloudFront is a good option).
    • New lightbox popup mode that allows placing a small clickable graphic anywhere on your product pages which activates a popup 360 product spin on click (comes with our new "Clean" popup theme).
    • Master configuration is now available in BigCommerce so you can use a single viewer configuration for all of your 360 product views (PRO feature).
    • API integration for unique enhancements using our extensive APIs (read more in our user guide under APIs or publish a test view by selecting the JavaScript API template on the Publish form in SpotEditor).
    • Google Analytics integration will give you a snapshot of all major interactions by your site visitors within the viewer (PRO feature).
    • It's fully responsive as now you can control how the 360 product viewer should change its height relative to the responsive viewer width as well as its minimum height to look good on small mobile screens.
    • Supports multi-row 3D product views that can spin both horizontally and vertically.
    • And a lot more that we packed into the core product viewer since the release of the Blueprint integration in 2013 (see version history).
    All our integration modules are free!

    To see an example and our guide to integrating WebRotate 360 Product Viewer with your Stencil themes, visit our new BigCommerce page by clicking this button:

    Learn more

  • Integration v2.5 for PrestaShop 1.7 Released

    Happy to announce that we have released a refresh of our integration for PrestaShop 1.7. This release includes the latest viewer core from the recent push of WebRotate 360 Product Viewer v3.6.2 (beta) and this means incremental zoom, new 3D product rotation mode and more.

    Overall, if you are our PrestaShop user upgrading to PrestaShop v1.7, this integration release represents 2 years worth of development that went into WebRotate 360 Product Viewer v3.6. And there has been a lot of development!

    As with all recent integration updates, we added a dedicated PrestaShop plugin page with the installation and configuration instructions, plugin download links, version history and demo. This is where you can expect to see future releases, fixes, new demos and more... The latest version of the plugin has been also submitted to the PrestaShop marketplace and we're hoping it will be available there soon.

    In addition to the update of the viewer core and the overall refresh of the plugin code, we added these new integraion options in the module dashboard in the PrestaShop admin:

    • Google Analytics integration
    • WebRotate API integration
    • Minimum viewer height management
    • New popup skin with vector graphics (Clean Light and Clean Dark).


  • v3.6.2 Beta Released. Now with Incremental Zoom and More

    What was supposed to be a maintenance release with minor fixes and improvements, v3.6.2 is gearing up to be a hefty update, featuring some major new functionality and important enhancements. Let's review some of the features that we think should convince many webrotate users to upgrade soon or just skip to the last paragraph to learn how to download the latest v3.6.2 build or review our full version history here.

    First things first.. new incremental zoom

    With v3.6.2 you can configure the number of steps or increments that it takes to magnify images to their original dimensions. Whether you configure your 360 or 3D product views to use the second set of high-resolution images for zooming (and full-screen) or you have a single image set for everything, the incremental zoom will work just fine and the same zoom toggle button in the viewer toolbar is used to control the increments if they are configured.

    As of v3.6.2 build 133, the zoom-out action is always a single step though as this seems to be most useful for an average end-user. But if you need to increment the "zoom-out" action as well, we have a new API to control the incremental zooming both ways. On top of this, you can supply a viewer coordinate (x,y) to specify the exact location to magnify at a given increment (the coordinate parameter is optional):

    api.images.zoom(zoomStep /* 0 to max step */, { x: xCoord, y: yCoord });

    Think about the possibilities this can bring... For example, the new API can be combined with the hotspots APIs or your custom page controls where you can spin the view to a desired product feature while magnifying the desired image location at the same time and followed by a popup call-out with feature details. We should do a good example on this!

    The overhaul of the zooming functionality allowed us to add a new option to change zooming speed as well. It has been always 300 milliseconds which is still a default, but you are in control now. The option can produce really smooth results which will largely depend on the number of configured increments and the image dimensions.

    To configure both the increments and zoom speed, go to Controls->More Options->Zoom and update the zoom settings accordingly:

    Selective zoom

    We made a couple of attempts to implement selective zoom in v3.0 of WebRotate 360 Product Viewer and it didn't work out. Now it's done and works really well on both desktop and mobile. Combined with the incremental zooming, you can now double-tap, pan, double-tap, pan, etc and it will zoom-in precisely to your "selected" area of interest. This will give your visitors an extra tool for product exploration and research.

    Selective zoom is enabled by default but if you have a good reason for making it optional, let us know.

    Rows on single index

    We have covered this feature in the recent blog post (New 3D Product Rotation Mode) so if you haven't seen it before, check it out. It's a great answer to our users who find the full spherical or hemispherical 360 product photography or 3D product rendering too time consuming or too slow for the end-user.

    In order to create such 3d spins, you will need to produce two rows of images. For example, you may photograph or render a horizontal row of 36 images (camera is stationary and the turntable makes a full 360-degree spin) and a vertical row of 20 images (camera moves vertically in a circular motion around the object). Then create two folders on your hard-drive and copy the horizontal images to one folder and the vertical ones to another.

    Start a new project in SpotEditor, pointing to the folder with the horizontal images on the New Project form. Once images are loaded, go to Images->Rows and click on the plus sign to start adding additional rows. Set the number of rows to 20, i.e it should be equal to the number of images in your vertical spin, and point to the folder with the vertical images as per the following screenshot and select Ok to create the extra rows:

    Check "Rows on single index" under Controls->More Options->Miscellaneous and then pick an image in your horizontal row that matches the starting point of the vertical spin and set it "as first" under Control->Rotation->On view load.

    Adjust X-axis and X-axis sensitivity under Controls->Rotation->Speed for best results (for example, try 3 and 5 for Y and X respectively):

    Now you can publish the project and it should work similar to this example.

    Flip Axis

    While sounds minor, this new function can be handy if your products are best viewed when they are presented in a single-row vertical 360-degree spin. In the previous releases a single-row spin could only be rotated via a horizontal drag (mouse or touch) which understandably looked odd when a product was actually turning vertically on the screen. This was especially noticeable on large touch-screen devices like what you can see here.

    Now you can check Flip Input Axis under Control->Rotation->Direction to request viewer to treat the vertical mouse & touch input as horizontal and vice versa, so if you swipe across the screen vertically, the product will follow you touch gesture.


    Free version is available for download in the following link under "additional resources" and all our users who have previously upgraded to v3.6.0 should be able to download this update on the About form in SpotEditor (or request directly).


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