Orthotech Labs was headed to Southern Association of Orthodontics Annual Conference in Asheville, NC and we were putting the finishing touches on a new color palette and home page. and putting together some tradeshow videos for the display.

We were missing something though image wise. We were still using regular photos- cell phone style point and shoot shots. Their appliance catalog wasn’t being run efficiently. We revamped the catalog and made individual listings for each product. We used Woocommerce, but then put it into catalog mode.

Instead of cell phone photos, I wanted to up the game a little. Way past DSLR. I wanted to put together rotatable 360 retainers.
Yes. Where do I begin. I researched for weeks. on the equipment I needed, tutorials, software, etc. I ordered a Macro lens from borrow lenses and experimented with lighting. I ordered a spinning 360 turntable that was heavy enough for me to stand on (for something unrelated) I wanted to ensure I was getting a heavy duty, well made, smooth moving one. I didn’t want any jitters in the video. If it can turn me, it must be good, so I went with it.

So everything comes in- I have the lens and my turntable and lighting gear, and I realize I was not ready at all. Lighting and shadows were terrible- I needed to get more paper to reflect and more lighting. I was doing video, not photography for this. I did take some stills, but in order to capture 360, I need 1280 and constant light. The other thing I didn’t anticipate was how to stand the retainers up invisibly in 360 degrees. 🙁 After trying everything, I settled on building little plastic feet from strips of overlay projector plastic. 2 strips were then superglued to each retainer and allowed to dry.

I let them dry overnight and the next day, I got started shooting. Finding the center was another challenge. So that it spins perfectly on an axis. The lighting I thought was going to be perfected in photoshop, but it could have been a lot better Here’s a shot straight out of the camera, i sped it up and cropped it a little. I love the detail the macro lens picked up.

I did that with 50 different retainers. I superglued my fingers to a few of them and the sticky residue didn’t look good with the macro lens. There are multiple different ways to work with this footage. You can use it in video footage, grab still frames, make gifs, and make some special shots for your website. So I picked up this plugin from codecanyon.

So exporting frames has to be done strategically. More frames is smoother, but will take too long to load, to few frames will make your scroll jittery, so it all depends. Once I got the hang of things I breezed through the products. Take a look at the link below.

You can click around and take a look at some of the other product images on the page. Most of the footage was definitely usable. Here are some other things we made:

Here’s the header for the website. Originally, it was Try a month. On us. But this one tested better. The retainer was spinning in ultra slow motion as well. Here’s a static-

In addition, we made a magazine ad and 3 different flyers for handouts. These were also registered with Layar, so users could use their phones to make a retainer pop up in front of them and spin it.

We didn’t just create static content. We had enough footage for social posts, demo videos, web content- We were set. Here’s a video that used those retainer shots.


[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8Ow3v0b_zI”]


So with the adoption of VR and AR, we need new alternatives to experience and interact with things. In researching why doctors decide to switch their laratories, we found out that the majority switched because of retainers that aren’t made well and end up not fitting correctly. By staff being able to turn each image, it brings a new level of interation and rapport to the doctor.

I also think it’s a great way to spend money. These are retainers, so there’s no 2018 lookbooks here (although that is a great idea.) That retainer is so 2000. These images may get updated, but I doubt they’ll ever be outdated. I will be sure to capture more behind the scenes footage the next time.

When we do this again, I’d be sure to add the following:

  • 3 high powered constant lights
  • circular cut white cardstock. I’d glue them down to the paper instead of the plastic disks.
  • Clear epoxy instead of superglue
  • Add 3D capture with an xbox ir thing or some type of tango device. 3D capturing the footage and being able to render anything you wanted would mean this would be the last time we ever do something like this. We’d have 3D modeled and textured retainers. We could change colors, graphics. Maybe even an online retainer builder.
  • Make sure the products are flawless. We underestimated the fine details good photography can sometimes pick up. The products need to be perfect, so handle with care. Padding and wrapping on everything.