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360 Product Shots

When in the studio or at home, there are several tools and techniques that a photographer and videographer will need in order to produce a beautiful image. Today we are going to explore how to shoot for Leia's Lightfield Screen Technologies. Let’s start with the basics for a good 360 product shot.

Setting Up Background, Subject on the Turntable and Lights

-Round One!, is all about setting your space, your lights, the camera on a tripod, your subject in place, focusing, and getting ready to shoot. After choosing your product for the shoot, it is very important to think about where to place the product on the turntable. To have a successful 360 video or photo, the subject has to be perfectly centered on the table. This part is very important because we do not want the item to be floating around the frame. What we are looking for is a centered product with minimal frame hovering when the item is turning on the turntable. When the object is centered, all movement and distraction will be minimal in the frame and it will make the videos/images look great on our Lightfield screens.
Once the center of the turntable is found, the next steps will be the key for adding life and volume to the product. The first thing to keep in mind when it comes to shooting a video/image, is what type of lighting will be used. Lighting is one of the basics and hardest parts in this stage, lighting properly is important for creating a narrative that will be in relation to the object of the images/ videos. For example: consider the main light being a sidelight or front light and perhaps a spotlight may be needed for the background to assure contrast between the product and the background. These are a few important pointers prior to shooting inside a studio or at home.
Below, you can find a few examples of good and bad lighting along with a diagram as reference.
In this diagram, we have the main light in front of the subject, a fill light on the back right, and a spotlight on the background to make the subject stand out.
Above is a perfect example of good lighting. We placed a front sidelight to illuminate the subject in the frame, Another light was placed in the back of the jar to separate from the background, and a fill light to open the dark shadows
This is a perfect example of bad lighting. In this image the main light was just blasting light to the jar, there was no other light used in this image. The key is to control the light until you have sculpted a starting point in your image.
After placing the lights in the best possible way and everything else is looking good the next part is simple, setting up the camera on a tripod to create compositions and making the magic happen!

Choosing the Right Camera and Lenses for your Shoot.

-Round Two! any cameras and lenses available will be a good option for a video or still images. If you want to achieve a high quality raw file, a pro-level camera and prime lenses are recommended. The quality of the projects will jump tremendously, will give the flexibility to explore different approaches of the product and will add a nice touch to your projects when viewing through Leia's Lightfield screens! But remember, any camera and any lense are adequate. At the end of the day, depending on the concept, inner intuition will provide guidance to choose the correct lenses and cameras to achieve the desirable concept.
Here are some examples of different prime lenses that I would recommend:
50mm
This is one of my main lenses in the camera bag. The beauty of this lens is that it gives you a broad and nice soft background and at the same time an overall sharp image depending on the aperture you are in.
85mm:
The 85mm for me is the master of bokeh, creates a nice and soft background effect, perfect for portraits or to pull the object off the background. Also, it is great for overall sharpness throughout the image/video.
135mm:
The 135mm is the perfect lens to bring any subject close to the frame.
This lens can also be used for soft backgrounds or overall sharpness
Macro:
If you want to go more in-depth and play with your camera and composition. The macro lens will open new possibility especially for lightfield 3d screens

The camera on a Tripod

Working on Eye Level is one of the most common starting points of making images/videos. It allows the viewer to be on the same level as the product and gives an accurate perspective of the size of the object. One thing that I have noticed is that shooting at eye level offers a better perspective of the object rather than shooting from a different angle. That is why I recommend the Eye Level rule to be the starting point of any 360 video/image.
The next step is framing and composition at eye level. Once it is done, continue by recording your first footage of your product and experiment with your camera angles, you can rise and angle your tripod, but no more than a 65-degrees. If the camera is on the top view or above the 65-degree angle of the product, there is a possibility the images/videos might not achieve the 3D effect in Leia’s devices. The recommended limit by Leia is 65-degree angle composition. The idea is to have a focal point and depth of field to capture stunning 3D images and videos.

Focusing and Framing

Vantage point directs the eye to where and what we want to focus inside the frame, it speaks about the objects and brings out the details into play. That's why focusing correctly is very crucial for the 3D Lightfield screen. A good way to check your focus before shooting is checking your focus peak. Nowadays most digital cameras have this feature embedded, which is a great tool to use for finding and correcting the focus.
Below is a sample of how focus peaking would look like in a camera.
In this image, you can see that the focus peaking is highlighted red, meaning the biker is focused and sharp.
Framing is the soul of video and photography. While shooting, keep in mind framing and lighting can extend the possibility and creativity of your objects. That’s why there is a strong relationship between focusing correctly and framing accordingly both in video/photography.

The Right Exposure and ISO

Exposure could be challenging for video/photography. Proper exposure comes through experience and knowing exactly what to look for in a shot. If the terms aperture, shutter speed and ISO are familiar to you, then great, you are a step ahead! If you haven't heard any of these terms, then no worries, I will break it down for you! All you need to do before moving forward, is to keep in mind that at the end of the day these terms are all related.
Aperture
Aperture can be defined as the opening in a lens through which light passes to enter the camera. It is an easy concept to understand if you just think about how your eyes work. You can shrink or enlarge the size of the aperture to allow more or less light to reach your camera sensor. Envision the photo or video you want to take and decide which aperture setting would create the result you’re after. For example, if you want everything in sharp focus, choose a small aperture (bigger number). If you prefer to blur the background or a nice Bokeh, you can opt for a wider aperture opening (smaller number).
Shutter Speed
In photography shutter speed measures the time the shutter is open, which controls the amount of light that passes through the camera. Almost the same principle as Aperture but the difference is that Shutter speed is shown in fractions of a second. In other words the faster the shutter speed the less blur or blur motion and the faster the shutter speed the more sharp and less camera shake.
In video, shutter speed is the amount of time that each individual frame is exposed for. When recording is always in fractions of a second. The number used in setting the shutter speed refers to the denominator of that fraction
ISO
In the digital camera world, the term ISO refers to the sensor’s sensitivity to light.
The lower the number, the less sensitive the sensor is to light. The higher the ISO is the more digital noise (grain) will be shown in your footage or image. In order words, New cameras nowadays when it comes to noise reduction, the technology is becoming more and more progressive in controlling the amount of noise you will see in your image on a higher ISO. The higher end the camera bodies have the better noise quality you could get.
I want to end this chapter by saying that shooting a 360 image/video in a studio or at home, prior to setting up the aperture and shutter speed, is adjusting the ISO. You need to take into consideration what lens or lighting is being used and try to adjust the ISO no more than 800. In my opinion, 800 is a perfect cap number and will keep the noise at a level that it will not be visible in your footage or images. If 800 iso is not an option and a higher ISO is needed, no worries there are editing software like Photoshop or Premiere pro that will provide filters to smooth out the noise level in post-production.

Making 360 Product Photography

It is undebatable that some of us would love to take the chance and challenge ourselves when it comes to 360-degree product shoots. And that’s great! I am here to tell you how that is possible in the most simple way.What is 360 product photography? Well, it is a sequence of images of a product being photographed on a specialized 360 turntable rotating at single speed. The 360 photo turntable rotates and stops at specified degree intervals. At each interval, the software or the experienced photographer triggers the camera shutter to capture the image. Here at Leia we recommend shooting a minimum of 720 frames for a smoother transition. For example, we recommend triggering the shutter at a half degree per image, more specifically, as the turntable rotates 0.5 degree, it captures one image (360 degrees * 2 images/degree = 720 images). This process will allow the capture of 720 images total while the table has done a full 360 turn. When the images are ready to be displayed in video format, the transition will be much smoother between frames.

Choosing Resolution

Most Cameras today come with a 4k resolution for video recording with a minimum resolution of 1080. In both 4k and 1080 there is a difference when it comes to editing your video for showcasing a final product. Let's look at the important difference between 4K and 1080p.
4K is known as Ultra High Definition (UHD), and 1080P is simply labeled High Definition. As their names imply, 4K UHD has a considerably higher resolution than 1080P HD video. 4K resolution is exactly 3840 x 2160 pixels and 1080P consists of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
The 4K designation refers to the close to 4000 horizontal pixels. Traditionally, the resolution had been labeled according to vertical pixels and in the case of 1080P, 1080 vertical lines make up that high definition resolution. By comparison, 4K features 2160 pixels vertically; a considerable increase.
At an aspect ratio of 16:9, 4K contains almost four times the number of pixels on a screen compared with 1080P technology - more than eight million pixels for 4K and just two million pixels for 1080P. This massive difference brings about some important advantages for 4K when one compares it to the quality of a 1080P video.
All of this adds up to 4K becoming a technology that is no longer only in the hands of big production but can be in the hands of the everyday video shooter. Having access to this resolution while editing your videos is the pinnacle for a non-destructive editing workflow. The advantage of shooting 4k is having the ability to scale down and keep the quality of the end product. This is the reason that any professional would recommend shooting at this resolution. If 1080 is the resolution available on your camera equipment, keep in mind the extreme editing may decrease the quality of your product.

Converting Your Files with Leia’s Lightfield Studio App

Once done shooting the next step is simple, import the 360 loop videos to our Leia’s Lightfield Studio App or Desktop application. The leiafield studio app is designed to convert any videos into stunning 3D video for Leia’s screens. After finishing converting the files into 3d, any video editing software can edit or add filters to the 3D files conversion.
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