How to make your own turntable for your 360° jewelry photography?
You have a DIY mind? A small collection of jewelry to photograph? Plenty of time? Here are the steps to make your homemade 360° turntable. You will have to carry out the whole manufacturing process manually. Just like your shots. Discover the equipment you need and how to proceed step by step with this tutorial.
1. The material and initial investment
Here are the different equipments you need to be able to make your 360° turntable:
- Ball Bearing Turntable (20 euros on Amazon)
- Measuring tape (about 5 euros on Amazon)
- Rigid white sheets of paper (about 10 euros on Amazon)
- A Canon EOS 800D camera with 18-135 mm kit (500 to 800 € on Amazon)
- Tripod (Manfrotto Compact Advanced Tripod Kit + 3D Ball head, black, 50 to 70 € on Amazon).
- Remote control shutter release (about 20/30 € on Amazon)
- Adhesive tape
You should therefore expect a budget going from 20 to 30 euros for the turntable and around 700 € for the photo equipment. It is also possible to use your smartphone.
2. Make your own 360° turntable
Now wrap the edge of the tray with the measuring tape using transparent adhesive tape. You will use it to position it at the exact angles when you take the picture.
3. Setting up your marker for 360° rotation
Also, attach a small stick vertically off the tray. It will serve as a marker for a complete 360° turn and to move your tray by hand, degree by degree.
4. Prepare your tray for shooting
Cut out a paper circle slightly larger than the diameter of your tray, draw a small mark in the centre which will be useful to position your jewelry.
5. Start your first 360° shot
With the camera kit + tripod + remote shutter release, you eliminate any vibration when shooting your jewelry. Divide the total diameter of the tape that you had placed by the number of shots you wish to make to create a 360° animation. For 24 photographs, ideal for a website, you will then have to manually place the tray at the angles you have just determined and trigger the camera using the remote control system. With a 90 cm diameter plate, you will have to divide this value by 24, which means 3.75 cm of space between each shot.
6. And after the 360° shot? The limits of a 100% manual system
This system for product photography quickly reaches its limits. You will need to download and use a 360° photo stitching software to create your animation in HTML5 format. To make a video, you will also have to assemble several dozen photographs with a software.
7. Alternative solutions for 360° jewelry photography
The precision and uniformity of the rotations are therefore much poorer compared to a 360 packshot system specifically for jewelry, which can be fully automated, including its ability to program shooting angles or customize 360-degree animations in HTML5 format.