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Tutorial: how to create a perfect 3D View with an iPhone in a studio setup

The expert team at Cappasity have run some tests comparing shooting an object with a Sony α7S II camera and iPhone X, and we’ve got some pretty good news for our customers: if you want to reduce the costs for photo studio setup, you can use an iPhone instead of the professional camera to create perfect 3D Views. It’s enough to simply set up lighting and adjust your smartphone camera settings for high quality to get outstanding 3D content for your online store. We’ve prepared a full set of detailed instructions on how to get a high-quality 3D View with an iPhone. Let’s dive right in.

We’ll show you how to set up your iPhone camera to create a perfect 3D View of a mid-sized white object on a white background. Watch the video to see the entire process:

  1. Before you start, ensure you have all the necessary equipment.
  • iPhone 7+ (we recommend using iPhone X and later models);
  • 2 studio lights on light stands with at least 120W for the object;
  • 2 studio lights on light stands with at least 120W for the background;
  • Black flags to highlight the contours of the object;
  • A semi-transparent plastic backdrop (it can be attached to light stands with tubes using crab clamps as shown above);
  • A turntable with continuous rotation and adjustable speed (the Cappasity team used an Opencloud 60cm remote control turntable).

2. To adjust camera settings, use manual mode. You’ll need a third-party app to manually control your iPhone camera. Our team used ProMovie to control the iPhone camera. Open the app. On the “Settings” tab, select Settings — Advanced. Then select “Use H.264 (Most Compatible)”.

3. When shooting with a wide-angle iPhone camera, use in-camera digital zoom, otherwise the image can be unnaturally distorted. For this shoot, our team used 1.4x Zoom.

4. Pick shutter speed no less than 1/50 sec to avoid smudging of the image.

5. Adjust ISO (camera’s sensitivity to light) so that the object is as light as possible but isn’t overexposed.

6. Adjust Focus to ensure that the object looks sharp.

7. Set White Balance using a Gray Card. You can buy it in any professional photo store. It’s also possible to adjust White Balance manually.

8. Record a video of 1.2 spins of the object and open the result in the Easy 3D Scan software.

9. Apply filters to improve your 3D View.

That’s it! Here’s the result of shooting an object with an iPhone X camera:

Please compare it with a 3D View created with a Sony α7S II camera:

As you can see, you can produce high-quality 3D content with an iPhone and standard studio equipment. If you set up your smartphone camera properly, your 3D Views will look much like the ones created with a professional camera. By following these simple tips, even small businesses on a budget can benefit from interactive 3D content for their online stores.

If you have any questions on how to create immersive content, feel free to reach out to us!

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to stay tuned.

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Bring an in-store browsing experience to online retail with Cappasity, the first complete 3D product imaging solution for your website, mobile app, VR and AR applications.

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