Product 3D Rendering vs Photography

3D Visualization of a Comfy Sofa

To compare these two means of getting marketing imagery, we have to know the details of the processes behind each of them. The easiest way to do this is by analyzing both solutions against criteria that are important for manufacturers and marketers.  

1. Time

A 3D Render of a Wabi Sabi Interior

Those who use product photography usually organize photoshoots by themselves. They hire photographers, rent studios with sets or outdoor locations. The sets often have to be restyled or constructed from scratch to fit the concepts. In addition, it’s necessary to arrange for the making of product prototypes and their transportation to the set and back. The stress of it! Not to mention the amount of time it takes to get heavy products to the destination point. One traffic jam on the road can jeopardize the deadlines set for every step of the production.

With furniture rendered, things are much simpler. One just needs to fill out the brief, check the intermediate results, and get a marketing-ready image — like the one above. Everything is made digitally, including the scene construction, the product building, even the light setting, and picking decor. Moreover, it’s possible to arrange for producing multiple 3D models and renders at the same time, which accelerates the production project. With photography, that would require way too much effort and money investment.

2. Cost

A 3D Render for a Moroccan Style Interior

Organizing a photoshoot includes paying a photographer’s fee, renting a studio, constructing the set, producing prototypes, and transporting them. The more complex a photo shooting concept is, the higher budget it requires.

With CGI, manufacturers only pay for the working hours 3D artists spent on their projects. Some 3D studios even include free corrections in the cost. CGIFurniture, in particular, offers 3 rounds of corrections free of charge, with their total work volume not exceeding 60% of the project. And when there’s a need to reduce the cost, we suggest the following ways of getting product renders on budget.

3. Flexibility

A 3D Render of a Living Room

Photos can be tweaked — color corrected, enhanced using filters and visual effects. But when there’s a change in product design or concept after the photo shooting, the only way to get imagery is to restart the whole process.

In contrast, CGI allows for tweaking and adjusting the imagery at any stage. A marketer or retailer can ask for updates when the renderings are being developed, and after the final result is delivered. The product design was altered? Then, the 3D artist can update the 3D model. Designers want a different wall color or decor in the scene? That can be arranged, too.

4. Creativity

A 3D Render of Leather Sofas

Photo shootings are subject to budget constraints, which leads to sacrifices on creativity. For ideas with luxurious interior sets or exotic outdoor locations are hard to execute without a humongous budget.   

Meanwhile, CGI is a life savior for the advertising team. Any location, any decor, any lighting can be recreated in a product rendering. And that in photoreal quality, any resolution, and with no transportations at all.

As you can see, product 3D rendering has 4 main advantages over photography. First of all, it allows for quicker execution since there’s no need to build and style a set for a photoshoot. Then, we have the cost. In the case of 3D visualization, it’s much lower because you only pay for the work of 3D artists. Unlike with photography, there are no studio renting fees, no photographer’s fees, no prototyping, propping, or logistics expenses involved. Next, 3D rendering provides greater editing flexibility. For instance, it’s not only possible to apply color filters and add visual effects to the CG images. It’s also possible to change 3D models of products directly in the 3D scene if need be. And, finally, working with CGI leaves more room for creativity, as the only constraint here is one’s imagination.


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