Cleveland Institute of Art: How to Photograph 3D Artwork


I’m going to show you
an inexpensive way to shoot 3D objects
for your portfolio. The supplies you will
need are a cardboard box, some white fabric, some white
board, scissors, a Sharpie, an X-ACTO knife, a ruler,
your camera, your objects, and clip clamps with
daylight-balanced bulbs. So the first thing we
need to do in order to build our light tent is
cut off the front of our box. You can use an X-ACTO
knife or a box cutter. The next step is to create a
one-to-two-inch frame on three sides of the box, which
will become our top sides. After we have the
frames measured out, we want to use the X-ACTO
knife or a box cutter to cut the frame out. Next you want take
the thin, white fabric and place it over the top
and the sides of the box, cutting off the
excess, but making sure to leave a little bit
going around each corner. Next we take our masking tape
and tape the fabric to the box. You can cut off the
rest of the access, or you can clip it over with
paperclips or binder clips. Next you want to take a
piece of the white board and place it inside the box,
making sure that there’s a curve at the bottom. I used a second sheet
of board to extend it throughout the whole
base of the box. I placed the clip lamps onto
chairs for easy mobility so that I can move them as close
to the light box as I could. Depending on the
object, you might have to switch between top
lighting and side lighting. Now we’re ready to
shoot our object. Most auto settings
on your camera will work perfectly fine. But we want to make sure
that the flash is off. For basic editing, such as
cropping or color balance, there are plenty
of free software and apps that you can download.

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