The future of food photography is going to be three dimensional—at least that’s the plan of Swiss tech developers Dacuda. They recently announced their new app, 3DAround, which is designed specifically for food photography and will allow users to generate shareable 3D images of their meals using nothing but their phone’s ordinary cameras. It’s already generated a lot of interest online, so we talked with Benedikt Koeppel, one of the creators of 3DAround, about his new software, where it will fit in the wide world of online photo sharing and why he wanted to focus on food.
Why did you think food photos in particular could benefit from 3D-ification?
The food porn movement is incredibly vibrant. On Instagram, there are 130 million food photos. We wanted to focus on food photography because it’s something everyone knows and most food photos aren’t getting the experience across. If I send a picture to my friends, it doesn’t look as nice as what I see myself. Looking at it from different angles, you can share much more of the experience of having a delicious meal on my plate.
Any dish that makes a particularly good-looking picture?
Anything that is well-garnished or has depth to it. We’ve used risotto with a nice leafy garnish. We’ve also had a lot of success with all types of burgers. Pizza, on the other hand, doesn’t look that exciting.
When will the app actually launch in the store?
There should be a working beta out the week before Thanksgiving. We plan to have the full app—which will be free—out before Christmas so people can capture turkey and Christmas cookies and the delicious Christmas food in 3D.
How will the sharing aspect of 3DAround work? Are you creating your own network?
We’re working on an online viewer that will allow users to upload their own images. You’ll be able to share 3D images to our site that people will be able to look at on their phones or desktops. When you go to Pinterest, there will be a link to click on that will take you to the platform.
Will your viewer compete with Instagram or Pinterest?
It’s not to compete with Pinterest or Instagram, but it should nicely integrate. If someone shares an image to Pinterest, for example, you’ll get a 2D image and a link to our viewer so you can see it in 3D.
What will be the challenges for users?
It takes a little practice but it is actually incredibly easy to use. We partnered with a company that does iOS development and they took to our technology and made the app seamless. It will be very similar to taking a panorama with your iPhone. Making it that simple was important. Imagine you are sitting in a restaurant and you get your nice plate of food; you need to get a picture right on the first try or you’re going to keep everyone waiting.
Any tips for taking great 3D pictures?
Not having too-shaky hands is an advantage. But it’s really about having the phone pointed at your food in the same way you’d look at it. Don’t try to use any weird angles.
Get updates on 3DAround's release on their website and check out this GIF to get an idea of how you’ll be able to manipulate your own photos.