CHAPTER

06

Product Animation Services Overview

Here we have gathered the answers to questions about 3D animation services we often get from our clients. You will find all the information in a clear and concise form so that you can learn everything in a matter of 10 minutes top. The answers link to articles where you can find more information on the topic.

Sounds interesting? Then read up and find out everything a manufacturer and marketer needs to know about CG videos.

What is product animation?

Product animation is a computer-generated video that shows a product in motion and aims to inform, educate and entertain prospective buyers. To achieve these goals, 3D artists create video scenarios with compelling camera paths, add special effects, music, sounds, and advantageous lighting. As a result, the product animation services give highly accurate representations of products and bring them to life in compelling environments.

The function of a 3D animated video depends on its type. It may present a brand-new product before it’s launched, for instance, a phone. Moreover, it may show how a product can be used, how to assemble it, or how its mechanism works.

The difference between a product animation and a product video is that the former does not involve video shooting. The product is recreated digitally into a photorealistic 3D model, which is then used in the 3D animation.

The environment is built digitally too. This way, product animation services give a lot of creative freedom. It can conjure up any location, any time of the day, season, and weather. So basically, CGI knows no physical limits.

This freedom extends to the video scenario, too. Everything is possible with 3D animation! Heavy products can gracefully spin in the air, revealing their beautiful features or showing off materials. Sophisticated pieces can explode in slow motion, showing every single detail, all of which then come back together to become one single object again.

Get to know more about product 3D animation and boost your conversion rate with the speed of light.

 

What techniques and effects do manufacturers and retailers use for 3D product animations?

CG video serves to offer a large palette of artistic means brands can use to highlight their products. For an exhaustive list or a consultation tailored to your needs consider booking a Demo with a CGIFurniture representative. They will answer all your questions and suggest the best option for your business. As an inspiration, here are the most popular effects and instruments that can elevate a product animation:

  • Light transitions. They add to the atmosphere of the scene, filling it with life and movement. The shift can happen between any types of lighting or even all of them.
  • Product uses and configurations. This is a great solution for demonstrating the ease of use and multiple functions of modular furniture.
  • Assembly process. It helps people see that they are able to assemble the product, which makes them more willing to buy. After the purchase, the CG video serves as a guide and this way enhances brand loyalty.
  • Modes of work of a product and how to adjust the latter to a user’s comfort.
  • Special features of a product shown in movement.
  • Modes of work and transformation process of smart furniture.
  • Demonstration of the item in various scenes, for instance, monochrome and a lifestyle one.
  • Demonstration of the product at different angles in a setting or settings that highlight its design.

The 3D animation above showcases examples of these visual effects taken from real CG videos by CGIFurniture.

What are the types of product animation videos?

There is a CG video service type for every marketing need. The most widely used ones are assembly, demo or feature, how-to, detail or close-up, story, and installation of 3D animations. Let’s find out more about them and see some creative examples.

#1. CG Assembly Animation

This CG video shows how to assemble a product in real-time. It’s a helpful instruction for buyers and an excellent post-purchase tool for brands. A surefire way to increase services satisfaction! No text or still image can be as effective as an animation in helping a person assemble, for instance, a piece of furniture. The video makes a tedious process a piece of cake.

#2. Demo 3D Animation

This one makes a real asset for pre-launch campaigns and market testing. Demo animation highlights the best features of the product to show it in the most compelling light. Hence the second name — feature CG video.

Manufacturers and retailers often use demo 3D videos for products that are difficult to showcase in real life. Because the latter are too heavy, or so sophisticated as to require a lot of technology to be reconstructed.

The renderings and photos are helpful in his case, but some products just have to be shown in motion. Like this shower below. Isn’t it a technology marvel? The animation just lets the product speak, and leaves the viewer speechless. Better still, there is no need to invest in manufacturing and assembling the actual product. CG artists create images and bring them to life using software, and the results will be impressive. Look at this elegant 3D product video below. It is 100% digital, can you believe it?

#3. How-to Product Videos

This type of 3D animation services shows prospects how to use the product and helps them explore it online. Brands usually opt for how-to animations when the product comes in different colors, materials, design variations, has different modes of working, and various types of usage. Modular and smart furniture are perfect examples of such products.

#4. Detail or Closeup Animations

This is the go-to video type for a product that is high-quality or has some groundbreaking features. Detail animation focuses on an object’s materials, textures, fixtures, and other small things that make its product usage experience a pleasure and privilege.

#5. Story Animated Video

The type of video that leverages storytelling to add emotional appeal to the advertisement. Story product animation shows the product while telling how it was created, how the designer came up with the idea, and why these particular kinds of wood are shipped from overseas to make those unique beautifully-colored finishes. A great selling tool!

#6. Installation CG Video

Installation 3D animations are super helpful to buyers after the purchase. And even more so before it. Who doesn’t feel stressed out when buying sophisticated equipment, having no idea how to install it? Manuals are good, but videos are much better. They show everything in movement, in great detail, step-by-step, and make the process look easy.

#7. Promo 3D Video

Promo 3D animation is a digital video type that promotes the product without asking the viewer to buy. Any of the types above can be used as a promo: a feature 3D animation, a how-to, story, or installation. If a CG video makes the product look good, or shows how it solves the problems of the audience — that’s a promo. Its function is to sell subtly, without looking like a sales pitch.

You can find out more in this article about all these types of 3D animation services .

What is the best product animation software?

The software market offers a wide variety of tools, so the choice depends on the specific pipeline of a product animation studio. Every program and plugin gives an ocean of creative opportunities. The CGI quality really comes down to expertise and experience of a 3D artist.

In other words, a CGI specialist can get breathtaking CG videos with whichever product animation software piece they know best. The most popular choices are Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D, Blender, Unity, Houdini, KeyShot, and LightWave. More information about each of those options you can find in our article dedicated to the best product animation software for professionals.

What are the steps in the product animation pipeline?

The Process of 3D Product Animation Project

The product 3D animation process is much easier than video shooting. It comes down to 5 following steps:

  1. Filling out and sending a brief. A clear and detailed scope of work allows 3d artists to start work earlier and work faster, without asking additional questions. Usually, a 3D product animation brief includes a product feature list, script or storyboard, video references, output resolution, and the project deadline.
  2. Product 3D model creation and approval. As a rule, the 3D animation artists send the client a clay 3D model for checking the shape and detailing accuracy.
  3. Animation preview checking. The 3D artists send the client the Grab Viewport animation for approving the scene and camera paths.
  4. Materials and textures. The client looks at a series of low-resolution renderings to see if the product’s textures, materials are accurate and if the light is both realistic and advantageous.
  5. Rendering, post-production and delivery of the final product animation. The visual marketing asset is ready for checking and approval!

You can learn more about every step in our article about the 3D product animation stages.

What happens at the post-production stage?

Post-production stands a little bit apart in the CG animation process. It happens after the rendering of the CG video is over and can be carried out by a 3D artist, VFX artist or a Post-producer.

The role of post-production in 3D animation services delivery is hard to overestimate. Basically, it takes the output from great to outstanding through the following processes:

  • artifacts cleanup;
  • adding objects like people, animals, plants, decor etc;
  • adding special effects, for instance, explosion, fire, fog or rain;
  • color correcting to fine-tune the colors, brightness, saturation;
  • introducing after effects that elevate the realism of the 3D animation. These may be sun flare, focus change, bokeh, color aberrations, motion blur and many more.

Post-production is an art in itself. Curious to find out more about each step and see the examples? Then check out this article.

What does a product animation studio do?

CG animation studios create marketing, technical, industrial computer-generated videos. Within CG animation projects, such studios also produce photorealistic and/or precision-crafted 3D models, build the scenes for them and even do still 3D renderings as an addition.

Specialization-wise, 3D animation studios may work with certain types of videos and products only. For instance, CGIFurniture studio creates marketing CG videos for various interior design-related products, but 70% of our projects are for furniture companies. Similarly, there are studios specialized in machinery, complex technology, consumer products, fashion apparel, accessories, etc.

To create high-quality animated videos, a product animation agency employs an array of specialists: 3D modelers, 3d visualizers, 3D animation artists, VFX Artists, project managers, client managers, video script writers, and more.

What is the best product animation studio?

There are many types of 3D animation studios, each having a separate list of market niche leaders. To dress such a list, we would have to decide first on the following:

  • What does the word “best” mean in this case? Having the highest turnover, the widest media presence, the best customer service, highest output quality, most impressive portfolio on the site, or something else?
  • How to measure a company’s performance on these criteria and who could do that?

To answer the first question, “best” means providing the output and the service that fits a specific client’s criteria. And that the only person who could understand which product animation company fits their needs best is the client themselves.

That doesn’t mean, however, that every marketer and manufacturer needs to perform long tedious searches for months. We have something that allows evaluating what the product animation market offers in a matter of 30 minutes and eliminates all the guesswork from the process.

It’s an overview of the product animation services market. It contains the comparison of prices, execution speed, free corrections, and many more for 1025 CGI studios from 8 countries. You can download the research here.

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