Hello Everyone! This is Bill Klaes of Klaes Image Productions in Seymour, Indiana. We specialize in video production and commercial photography. Here's my short report on one of the projects I have been recently involved with.

I needed to shoot a Toyota Forklift to be a WebRotate 360 presentations. The large fork truck required a 50’ camera-to-truck distance to be shot with a standard lens. Before the truck was driven in, a weighted C-stand was put in the center of the room and a 50’ rope was attached. Using a piece of chalk on the other end, a 100’ diameter circle was drawn on the floor. A long piece of 1” flexible PVC pipe was taped on the chalk line. A piece of tape was placed at each shot location.

You'll have to do your own math to determine the chord length, based on the diameter and number of shots you want to make the 360 product view. There are on-line calculators to get through the high school geometry problem. But, if you want 36 shots, there will be 36 equally spaced pieces of tape at 10-degree angles, each piece of tape secures the PVC circular track and indicates when to make each exposure.

Note the grooved wheels sitting on the blue pipe. They are hard rubber, 4" diameter, 1.5" wide, with a groove for 1" pipe.

Two grooved wheels were purchased off Amazon and replaced 2 wheels on my tripod spreader. The 2 grooved wheels go on the circular track. The third tripod wheel goes inside the track. Each time the lead wheel hits a tape mark, a shot is taken. Keep pushing and rolling and clicking for 36 shots.

The Nikon was tethered to a laptop on a cart, which traveled around the truck with the tripod, giving a preview of each shot.

Even on the smooth concrete floor, the alignment of the 36 shots would be unacceptable for smooth rotation in WebRotate 360 Product Viewer.

You may get a better view of the alignment rod with the ball in the first image of the post.

So again, a low-tech alignment solution. A 2 ft. rod was pushed into a bright yellow tennis ball. Using a cardellini clamp and c-stand knuckle, the rod was attached to the fork truck’s overhead guard at the physical center (front to back, side to side). The rod is long enough to elevate the ball to make it visible in all 36 shots.

In Photoshop, the 36 files were loaded into layers. Using gridlines, the tennis ball on each layer was aligned to a common point. The image was rotated if the rod was not straight up and down. The rods on each shot were also aligned on top of each other.

The truck had to be cut out in Photoshop, so a roll of seamless white paper was hung between 2 light stands on wheels. It traveled behind the truck to facilitate cutting out. It also helped cut the clamps under the tennis ball away from the overhead guard.

All layers have been aligned via Photoshop guides using the rod with the ball, which was then removed along with the background.

The resulting 360 spin is remarkably smooth, and my Toyota guy is very pleased!

Update [Jun 13, 2022]: While I can't share a final 360 product spin for the exact truck in the images, here's a low-resolution preview of another forklift from the same project that was photographed and processed using the same workflow:

Quick low-res 360 view from one of the shoots using the same setup.

By the way, before getting onto the real project I did a few tests, starting with this simulated run using a toy forklift which helped securing this project with Toyota, consisting of 70 forklift trucks:

PS: every minute detail couldn't be covered in my short report but I'm happy to answer any individual questions!