CG Renders for Furniture:

5 Tips for Making Texture Photos for the Rendering Brief

CG renders for furniture have become a great replacement for traditional product photography. With modern 3D technologies, you don’t need to make a furniture prototype, rent a studio, and hire a photographer to get product pictures. To get photorealistic furniture renders, it’s enough to just send 3D studios a brief with references on style and materials.  

The importance of good texture references can’t be overstated. Without them, 3D artists won’t be able to recreate the exact textures and materials. As a result, CG renders for furniture won’t look photorealistic whatsoever. Therefore, when manufacturers and marketers prepare a brief with textures, they have to take images properly. So how should you do it?

As a 3D rendering studio, we have a lot of experience in working with textures and materials for furniture renders. So, if you want to take high-quality photos for a rendering brief, use our 5 professional tips below.

#1. Take Two Shots of the Sample

A Woman Selecting Furniture Materials for a CG Rendering Brief

We recommend sending two types of texture photos to a CG studio a front and corner view. The frontal image conveys the color of the material and its patterns without distortion of the perspective. Therefore, CG artists can use it as the basis for the texture map and make it look photorealistic later.

In turn, a corner or ¾ view helps artists to better understand the capacities of the material its gloss, relief depth, reflectivity and other important parameters that can be seen only from a corner view. As a result, CG artists can set up the precise characteristics of the fabric so the final renders of the furniture piece will convey the product with exact detailing and jaw-dropping realism as product photos. 

Having two views is extremely important for recreating complex furniture materials such as some types of stone, silk and especially leather and weaving. For example, every leather material is different depending on its nature and processing. Therefore, the more accurate photos 3D artists have, the better they will be able to recreate its complex surface in CG renders for furniture pieces.

#2. Mind the Lighting 

Different Furniture Textures Shot for CG Product Render

When a marketer takes pictures of materials for furniture renders, they have to set up the correct lighting. First and foremost, a photo shouldn’t be too light. Too much lighting causes flares and glares on the surface, which makes the whole pic look flat and unrealistic. 

Dark images, on the other hand, make the structure indistinguishable the relief disappears and the color of the material doesn’t match actual samples. Thus, CG artists simply can’t use such a photo for furniture renders.

One of the right lighting options is to shoot furniture samples in soft natural light without direct sunbeams. For this, take pictures in the morning or on a cloudy day, using a white backdrop. This will help to distribute the light all over the surface in a very delicate way without causing overlighting. 

Another effective way is to rent professional lighting equipment to take photos. Using it, you can easily adjust the lighting sources to convey the exact colors and relief of the sample. The resulting photos provide top-quality texturing and will work perfectly for furniture CG renders.

#3. Avoid Shadows 

Hands Holding a Furniture Wooden Texture Samples

While fixing the lighting settings, you should carefully monitor if there are any shadows on the material. Most often, there’s a shadow from the person who is taking the picture and overlapping the light source. Of course, if there’s even a small shadow on the pic, CG artists simply couldn’t use it as a texture map for CG renders for furniture.

To avoid shadows, manufacturers or marketers should remove all extra objects that cast shadows on the sample and not overlap the main object with their body or hand. Another great option is to use a tripod. This way, you can take a pic without blocking a light source and it will look equally lit without any shadows.

#4. Get Rid Of Distracting Elements

Various Furniture Samples for a CG Rendering Brief

Make sure that there are no other objects in the frame that overspan the material – it should be visible entirely. The most common mistake is to take a photo exposing fingers holding the sample. To avoid this, you can place it vertically and use a tripod when shooting. In such cases, the texture will be properly arranged and cleared from any distracting elements in the frame.

In addition, it’s vital for pictures to convey the true color of the material without influences from objects nearby. If there is a bright item next to the sample, it can distort the original color of the material. Let’s say you take photos of white fabric while wearing red clothes. Then, most likely, the white texture will get a red tint because you’re standing close to it. No need to mention that such a picture won’t work for CG renders for furniture and you have to reshoot it because no graphic editor can fix it.

#5. Zoom Carefully

Material Samples for Photoreal CGI

If you need good furniture renders, don’t over zoom the sample while taking pictures. Naturally, a marketer wants to shoot the furniture material in detail with maximum clarity and therefore tries to take pictures as closely as possible. Unfortunately, it makes the structure and relief look blurry and distorted. Therefore, this pic is simply useless for furniture CG renders.

It’s best to shoot the furniture material at a short distance. When you use a photo camera of high quality, the resolution of the picture also remains high, but the distance keeps the texture clear and non-distorted. 

As a result, this texture pic can become a great foundation for both 3D modeling and rendering of the product. Send this image to a CG studio, and 3D artists themselves will choose the fragment perfect for texturing a furniture 3D model and making CG renders.

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While collecting material references for CG furniture renders, it’s important to keep an eye on the lights and shadows, avoid unnecessary objects in the frame and over zooming of the sample. If well-executed, texture references will allow 3D artists to create photoreal CG furniture renders in a fast and convenient way. 

Need photorealistic CG renders for furniture? Choose our digital furniture rendering services and we’ll make top-quality 3D models with custom textures for your product!

Max Kharchenko

Senior Account Manager

An ultimate problem-solver and skilled negotiator, Max provides first-class advice to clients. He is an extrovert, a dog person, and a sheer pleasure to talk to. In his spare time, Max enjoys playing basketball and watching Netflix.

Computer-generated rendering is digital imagery that showcases furniture pieces with photorealistic quality. To make CG renders, 3D artists recreate the item in 3D, apply all textures and set up light and camera views.

Mapping is a process of applying the texture on a 3D model. First, CG artists select a texture map which is a flat 2D photo of a texture sample. Then, they set up the capacities of the material – its gloss, reflectivity, transparency and so on. Usually, they also apply a bumping map that showcases the relief of the surface. This way even complex materials look 100% realistic.

They need at least two shots – a frontal and a ¾ view. A frontal one conveys patterns and colors of the sample without distortion and could be used as a texture map. As for a corner view, it’s highly informative for CG artists – seeing it, they can understand the capacities of the material to recreate it with photorealism.

If you shoot with professional photo equipment, use several light sources to make the texture look smooth without gloss and glares. If you take a picture at the office or at the showroom, make sure there’s enough light  – nor too dark, nor too bright. And of course, mind the shadows. Don’t overlap the sample with your shoulder or hands while taking pictures.