MASHer Kate: How To Create An Interactive 3D Virtual Gallery & Shop

Read, learn, and save this for future. Because this is way fucking cooler than Tik Tok dance routines. 

Step 1: Take the chaos of a pandemic

Step 2: Innovate.

From lightbulb moment to lights out. Photographer, and MASHer, Kate told us how she created a 3D digital ‘show and sell’ gallery to connect people to her art. Calling on her love for improvisation and creative friends (including artists, a chef and a DJ…), she combined a clever idea with some serious hard work- and it paid off.

Life was on the rocks, but so were her transportive ocean-side prints. And the negronis.

Where did the idea for ON THE ROCKS come from?
I initially was going to host a real life exhibition at a cool new wine bar in Northcote, Oh, Loretta!
COVID-19 hit, lockdowns ensued and the event had to be cancelled. I created an online shop to sell the prints and survive lockdown.
I wanted to showcase my online shop in a fun and innovative way within the limitations of Melbourne’s harsh restrictions at the time (which prohibited human contact and leaving your home beyond a 5km radius). 
Creative friends, artists, a chef and DJ who lived nearby got involved and it snowballed.
A friend lent me his 360 degree camera, then Broadsheet (who I’ve worked closely with for 7+ years) was keen to run a news story to promote it. That made me get serious.
 
How did you know where to start? 
My general approach to most things is to make it up as you go. In a way, I was in my element here.
 
What equipment did you need?
A 360 degree camera (or apparently you can use your phone!), a tripod and a laptop.
I also photographed the event with my camera gear so I would have still imagery to share online and with media publications etc.
So for that, I used my Canon 5D mk iv and my profoto B10 light. 
 
– did you have to clear out your house?
Well, I was very lucky that a couple moved out of the sharehouse during the lockdown period so their bedroom became a spare room/creative studio.
It was therefore mostly empty to begin with!
 
How long did the whole process take?
All up, it took 4 weeks from the ‘lightbulb moment’ when I decided to create a 3D exhibition. 
Then I set a date for the launch night and another date a week before that to capture and create it all with the 360 degree camera, and then my regular camera for stills.
It weirded me out big time that all the excitement happened the Friday night before anyone saw it online. Like all the flowers and food were well and truly dead and demolished when the ‘event’ launched and everyone saw it for the first time.
 
Were there any unexpected hurdles?
Hah. Of course. Other than the 3 people I was living with, no-one could be in contact with each other, so rather than lett the other exhibitors come into the space and help set-up, it all pretty much had to be done by me. This was exhausting. I greatly underestimated how long it would take to build all the layers in the Matterport platform. It was quite ambitious to exhibit all 20 framed prints and tag each product etc. And then incorporate information, edit a music video and photography, create recipe cards and add breakout hyperlinks for the other businesses/creatives too.
 
Were you happy with how it turned out / would you do it again?
Positively thrilled. I’m so proud of how it all came together by some incredibly talented people. 
Would I do it again? Hah. For sure… if I got paid a lot of money to do it! Or, if it was in a completely new setting with totally different circumstances and a concept to play with. Sure. 
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