Today, as part of “ESPER Customer Stories” series we talk to Scot Warner, the Head of Technical Research at SpinMe, specialists in 360-degree photo technology for online retailers and global brands.
Scot talks about the company’s journey from single camera setups to multi-camera solutions. And how the ESPER TriggerBox made this transition possible and helped improved productivity along the way.
Read on for our conversation with Scot:
Hi Scot, tell us about SpinMe?
At SpinMe, we provide leading brands with a world-class automated imaging solution. We specialise in technology for 360-degree photos for use in eCommerce and on the web in general.
We offer a variety of different modules so that companies can find their ideal workflow solution. In terms of features, the solution unites the 360-degree view of the product image, as well as the zoom effect on the image.
Our goal is to refine and improve image capture and workflow processes, providing the greatest visibility, control and flexibility to all creative teams. Amazon, Apple, Saint Laurent, and JD Sports are just some of the brands that we help to manage growing product volumes and the demand for better digital content.
You started out with single-camera set-ups but you’re now shooting multi-camera. What prompted the change?
The primary focus in eCommerce is speed and efficiency. We have had single camera swing arm setups for many years but there was a want to make this multi-camera setup faster.
The ESPER TriggerBoxes made our decision to move to a multi-camera setup possible, specifically the TriggerBoxes simultaneous shooting capability and programmable port delays to sync camera shutters.
I originally saw the ESPER LightCage several years back and was really drawn in by what you were doing. We were chatting to ESPER on a different tangent and then found out you were doing trigger boxes so we tried them out and never went back.
So, what were the problems you found then initially looking into multi-camera set-ups?
Camera syncing for sure. In the beginning, before we discovered the TriggerBox, we did have a more basic box which could shoot with a multi-camera setup. However, its functionality was limited to 5 cameras and it only had a basic trigger delay on the primary camera. This made syncing a very tough job and the process of setup very challenging.
With the TriggerBox, we currently shoot at 1/40th and I still think we could improve this. I know TriggerBoxes are capable of firing higher than this! But for our subject matter, which is generally static, and the speed of setup time, this is our happy medium.
With the TriggerBox, we currently shoot at 1/40th and I still think we could improve this. I know TriggerBoxes are capable of firing higher than this!
Also, if we didn’t have fixed bows which help get the camera alignment, at least 80% of the way there then the camera positioning can also be a pain.
Luckily, we have a live-view software and camera overlays in SpinMe which can also help us out on this front.
And now the TriggerBox is part of SpinMe’s multi-camera solution. What impact has it had on the business?
It provides us and our customers with a small compact solution to speed up our multi-camera shooting process. We currently have several clients using the multi-camera TriggerBoxes for various purposes.
Some are using the TriggerBoxes in a 360 multi-camera spins setup which consists generally of a 4 camera setup. Yet, a couple of clients use 6 cameras and others use the TriggerBox for 3D capture of texture shots at set angles, which again use 6 cameras.
Most significantly, we have improved productivity with the multi-camera setup. With a regular swing arm, we were talking about 2 minutes for a spin, the multi-camera solution is about 35 seconds inclusive of image download & replication, spin itself is about 15-20 seconds!
Most significantly, we have improved productivity with the multi-camera setup.
All clients that have had the solution fitted have been very happy with the results!
What next for the TriggerBox and SpinMe?
There has been a lot of interest in multi-camera setups with more deals in the pipeline and we’re also looking to venture towards 3D capture, which will no doubt add to this demand.