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4 Variables to Optimize 360 Product Animations for eCommerce

A frequently asked question at Ortery Technologies is commonly for those clients that are in eCommerce and use 360 product animations, «How many photos should I take to create a good 360 product animation?» We answer by saying, «The goal is to create a 360 product animation that rotates smoothly and downloads fast.» To do so, four variables need to be considered and balanced:

1. Animation Size
For eCommerce we suggest keeping 360 product animations around 500 pixels tall or wide. This size provides enough detail without dramatically affecting download speeds.

2. Number of Pictures per 360 Product Animation
Although PhotoCapture 360 can take up to 360 images per rotation, most of our eCommerce customers take between 16 and 24 pictures per rotation. That is enough to make the animation smooth. 36 or 40 frames are even smoother, but you may need to decrease the animation size to achieve an optimal download time.

3. Animation Type
At Ortery Technologies, our PhotoCapture 360 series software offers several animation styles under three major output formats: Flash, HTML5 and Animated GIF. Overall HTML5 offers a flexible framework for distributing product animations online. Flash animations are simple to embed in a website or send via email because the animation is kept in one self-contained file. GIF animations are based on relatively old technology. They do not perform as well regarding download speed or image quality. Product animations created in HTML5 and Flash offer interactive controls such as:

a. Auto Play at a specific speed plus click and drag mouse control

b. Spin Once then click and drag mouse control

c. Stationary with click and drag mouse control

d. Standard Viewer Controls – Play, pause, fast forward, rewind, etc.
Furthermore, if the amount of images and image size are the same, each type listed above will approximately take the same time to download, however Spin Once and Stationary will appear to be smoother because of Rotation Speed.

4. Rotation Speed
The faster the images swap from one frame to the next, the smoother the animation will appear. When using Auto Play or Standard viewer, Rotation Speed is fixed. If the object rotates too fast, the viewer will get dizzy, however click and drag movement of the object swaps images based on mouse speed and user control.


By adjusting the variables involved, 360 product animations can be optimized for eCommerce. For example, using a PhotoCapture 360 series turntable to create a flash product animation containing 20 frames, at 500 pixels wide or tall should result in a file size between 400 and 600Kb and it will completely download in a couple seconds. HTML5 product animations will download just as fast.