How to Take Multiple Product Photos at One Time sells used video games for retro systems like NES, SNES, PS2, etc and games for newer consoles too. Some of the items are 30+ years old and each one has a slightly different condition. Many of our customers are game collectors and they really care about the condition. The best way to show the condition is with high quality photos.

For many years we've been taking photos of every game and showing them on our website, but that only shows the front side of an item. Many customers want to know what the back side looks like or the top label.

Taking three photos instead of one would triple the time needed to take photos.

How could we give customers more photos, but not increase the time to take them?

We developed a multi camera light box and wrote a program to take multiple high resolution photos at the same time.

We're sharing how we built the light box and we've open sourced the multi photo software so you can do it too.

How We Built the Multi Camera Light Box

View inside 3 camera photo light box with no item

The light box we built only cost $10 for LED lights and $15 for the plexiglass, everything else was free and lying around the warehouse.

It works very well for smaller items like video games, but the same concept works with larger items too with a larger light box or camera mounts and no light box.

  1. Paint the inside of a box white - This bounces light off the walls to eliminate shadows
  2. Buy a sheet of anti-glare plexiglass - This is really expensive at framing stores, but I found it cheap on eBay
  3. Cut a thin strip out of the cardboard half way up both sides
  4. Insert plexiglass into holes you just made
  5. Tape USB light strips on sides of plexiglass - We used double sided tape and two lights pointing up and two pointing down.
  6. Buy high resolution webcams - You want webcams that can take 1980x1020 resolution video
  7. Place webcams in the light box where you want them - Use can use your computer's camera preview tool to line-up the cameras correctly
  8. Take lots of photos

Underside of photo light box with game on plexiglass

Multi camera photo station hooked up to computer running multi-photo program

Basics of the Multi Photo Software

After installing the software, you just double click the program and it takes one photo from each camera you have setup.

You can customize the software to use however many cameras you want. The only limit on the number of cameras is the number of USB ports you have. A 7 port USB hub or two will fix that problem.

You can read the full documentation for the photo tool on Github.

Example Photos Taken with Multi-Photo Tool

Below are some photos taken with the light box and software. The source images are 1980 x 1020 resolution but they only uploaded here at 1600px.

Front of a video game cartridge

Back of game cartridge. Taken through plexiglass

Top label view of SNES cartridge. We need to adjust this camera to be closer.

It works for other items besides games too.

Top of measuring tape

Bottom of measuring tape

Side view of tape measure

If you have any questions about building your own light box let us know in the comments below. If you come up with clever ways to improve the setup, please share them as well.

No comments: