- Virtual Reality & Simulation Software
- Bus Simulations
- 360° Video
- Web & Portal Software
- 360° Virtual Tour
- 360° Product Shot
- Studio & Productions
- 360° Mobile Mapping
- 3D Modeling & Architecture
- Museum Guide Pad
1. The set-up
You can buy a set-up out-of-the-box, such as Ortery Technologies, PhotoCapture 360 (my husband now wants the XL turntable that supports a motorbike!) or Vertis software, Bling It.
I used what was on-hand, I substituted a flat-headed tripod which supports around 50lbs and a sheet of white card.
The tripod head rotates and with the help of a measuring tape wrapped around the column, I was able to judge the increments. I placed this in front of a white backdrop. Try anything that rotates, like a Lazy Susan.
2. How many images per rotation?
I wanted to know how many images I’d needed to produce a decent 360. The Evans Gif was 7 frames long (or 7 photographs) 124kb in size and 310 x 291 resolution.
I tried 8, 15 and 30 images at 320 x 235 resolution.
Above is 8 images stitched together, with a 0.4 sec delay between each frame.
Above is 15 images with a 0.2 second delay. You can control the speed of rotation via the delay.
Viewing the three Gifs together on a webpage, is not a great indication of performance. Feel free to save them out - right click/save as - and test them individually in an email.
Don’t forget, Outlook 2007 only displays the first frame of an animated Gif.
3. File Size - ImageReady Vs. ProMotion
Customers have a low tolerance with loading times, if a file does not play instantly they move on. You need to balance visual appeal with performance.
The file size and quality of your animated Gif is determined by the software you use. ImageReady comes free with Photoshop and I discovered ProMotion, while researching Video Gifs last year.
I tested the two against each other using the 3 sequences above:
Best sofware to create Animated Gif
ProMotion Vs. Image Ready
|8 Frames - 84 KB||8 Frames - 114 KB|
|15 Frames - 138 KB||15 Frames - 209 KB|
|30 Frames - 293 KB||30 Frames - 417KB|
ProMotion creates a significantly smaller file, also a better quality image as it generates a custom palette. This is more apparent with Video Gifs, due to their higher color resolution and variations between each frame.
(BTW forget After Effects, file sizes are higher than ProMotion and image quality is low)
4. Placement: forward test
Evans placed their 360 animated Gif at the bottom of the email. Overstock.com also placed a Video Gif well below the fold (Thx to the RetailEmailBlog for this example). I assume this is to give the file time to load.
As the Gif is streaming it’s not necessary, the file starts playing before the full download. Forcing customers to scroll down to view an animated Gif reduces it’s impact. You also run the risk of customers missing it altogether.
By all means run your own tests, or forward yourself one of ours. Ideally try an a/b placement test, with the Gif at the top and bottom.
5. Sweet Spot?
After adding 360 images to Brownells.com, E-commerce manager Clayton Whipple, stated:
“(360) Product animation represents a sweet spot between pricier-to-produce videos, which have a place on the site when a product requires an in-depth demonstration, and still photos that don’t convey enough product information.”
Studies consistently show 360 images increase conversions and animated emails are commonplace. Combining the two could help your bottom line at little expense.