Photosimile: the world’s first “office photography machine”
By Alan Brandon
January 23, 2010
Imagine if you could take professional-looking photos and create 3D product animations as easily as using the office copier. Ortery’s Photosimile 5000 system aims to bring that capability to the office by enabling even non-photographers to create high-quality images just by pressing a few buttons. The Photosimile 5000 is a PC-controlled desktop photography studio that integrates a light box, a DSLR camera, automated camera positioning, and specialized workflow software to simplify and automate business photography.
High-quality images are a powerful part of a company’s web presence and marketing collateral. Ortery's desktop studios are designed to make it easy to create professional-looking product photos for use on web sites, in print, and in email for daily business communications. Crisp, well lit images are essential for ecommerce websites, and the Photosimile 5000 adds the ability to produce 3D, 360-degree product animations as well.
The camera and light box connect to a PC using USB. The Photosimile 5000 software controls the studio, camera location, turntable movement, camera settings, picture taking, and post processing. Simply place an item inside the light box then compose your image using the preview, zoom, and crop commands in the software. With one click, the picture automatically downloads to the PC.
Often the difference between professional photography and amateur work is the lighting. The Photosimile 5000 starts by providing consistent, even lighting for shadow-free images and accurate color. The system uses four daylight bulbs providing 6500K illumination. The Photosimile 5000 also includes a Canon DSLR mounted on a mechanical track. You control the position, tilt, and zoom from the PC. The subject of your photo sits on an Ortery turntable, which the company also offers separately. For 360-degree imaging, the camera position is controlled automatically. The Photosimile can accommodate objects up to roughly 22in. (56cm) on each side. For 3D images the maximum size is somewhat smaller.
The Photosimile 5000 synchronizes the position of the turntable and camera to photograph objects from multiple angles in one or more planes. The combination of the turntable and the mechanical track allow the Photosimile 5000 to shoot up to 72 pictures per 360-degree rotation, at nine unique angles from 0 to 90 degrees. The resulting images can be automatically stitched together to create 360-degree product animations. These 3D views can be saved as GIF or Flash files, or exported to Ortery’s Real3D format. Real3D allows you to compose 3D Silverlight animations with mouse control and zoom capabilities. Ortery says the software can combine images to create 360-degree spherical or hemispherical or animations.
The Photosimile 5000 software controls every aspect of the studio including the camera settings, the camera positioning, turntable movement, picture taking, and image post-processing. The software displays a real-time live preview while you compose your picture with the preview, zoom, and crop controls. The software also provides a complete workflow for annotating, masking, and batch processing files including naming, resizing, watermarking, and saving.
Although the system was unveiled in 2008, Ortery recently announced that the Photosimile 5000 is now shipping. Ortery doesn't list pricing, but at least one dealer on the Internet lists the Photosimile at around US$17000.
For more information and some cool 3D samples, visit Ortery technologies at ortery.com.