(Linked from the SitePoint Design Newsletter)
What does the phrase ‘hero shot’ mean to you?
For me, it will always be Luke Skywalker careening down a Death Star trench. Pew pew pew!
But I know that to most of you the ‘hero shot’ is the prominent poster image usually at the top of a layout. Of course, on a product site, this will most often be the product itself.
There’s an interesting sub-genre of graphics software dedicated entirely to preparing these images.
I’ve tested a few and thought we might skim across a few options.
RotaryView & Arqspin
They take care of the technology side, but generally require iframes and a monthly subscription - a dealbreaker for many.
Of course, these solutions assume you have the finished product in your possession. If you’re mocking up a virtual or proto product, you’ll need another approach.
ProductShotPro is a Photoshop-based set of interactive SmartObjects that make it very easy to map 2d book covers and labels onto 3d books, bottles and other objects.
This system works really well and is very reasonably priced. Single product templates are $29 – that’s all most of us will need – or you can get the whole set for $200.
If you do a lot of product shots, ProductShotPro is a worthwhile investment.
At SitePoint I’ve been producing book mockups PhotoShop actions from PSDCovers.com. These are a little more complicated to use, but they have a great range of template types – and they’re free to use.
Also note that you’ll encounter a bug if you’re using the latest version of Photoshop CS 2014. Happily, they’ve worked out a workaround until a permanent solution is made available.
It’s certainly worth testing PSDCovers actions before you spend on anything else.