How To Create 3D Product Images

8 Stages of the Process

Manufacturers and retailers know that outstanding product images are essential for promo and sales, but at the same time, they don’t want to spend plenty of money on photo sessions. Naturally, to get photos, you need to rent a studio with equipment, hire a photographer and stylists, pay for prototypes, decor and transport. Or, you can hire 3D experts who know how to create 3D product images of top-notch quality instead.

There are so many 3D studios on the market that provide CGI services but they all have a different price range. Therefore, before marketers pick one of them, they need to learn the main stages of creating a 3D lifestyle to realize what affects the price.

As a 3D rendering studio, we have some knowledge and experience of this matter to share. Here you go, our 8 step-by-step guide on how CG experts create stunning 3D product images.

#1. Create a 3D Model of a Product

Creating 3D Models of Products for 3D Images

Any product visualizations start with creating a 3D model of the object. Therefore, marketers must provide the 3D studio with all the visual materials for the project, such as photos, drawings, references, mood boards — any images that may help CG artists to recreate the product in 3D.

After the CG experts receive the brief, they proceed to build a 3D model in 3D software. Depending on the object, they choose the most convenient type of modeling. For example, CG artists can create a 3D product model using polygons or curved lines. But no matter how complex your model is, CG professionals will cope with any geometry.

#2. Apply Materials and Textures

A Screenshot from 3ds Max Explaining How to Create Materials for 3D Product Imagery

Experienced CG artists know how to create 3D product images with photorealistic materials and textures. They even have an extensive library of materials including both the most popular and rare ones. All they have to do to apply the texture is to select the sample they need from the base. Then, they manually adjust it so the surface looks smooth and seamless.

If marketers need custom textures for their furniture product images, no worries. CG experts can create any material from scratch using 2D graphic software and tailor it for the product. 

#3. Select a 3D Scene from a Library

CGIFURNITURE 3D Library with Roomsets Ready to Be Used for a Product Image

For starters, CG artists need to organize a 3D roomset to put the main product in there. To create a stylish 3D scene, they can go two ways — use ready-made 3D roomsets or create a new one from scratch.

A CG team can easily build any scene from the ground up. In this case, they start by choosing a certain style of interior design, then build and decorate the room, and add furniture and accessories one-by-one.

However, most often, CG artists use ready-to-go roomsets. For example, our studio has a 3D library with more than 6500 scenes in any style. So to create 3D product images using this library, our artists categorize all roomsets by style and color to pick the necessary ones. After they selected the 3D scene, they can personalize it for each client and their individual needs.

#4. Adjust the Scene to the Product

Created Product Imagery for a Kitchen Cabinet

Now, how to create 3D product images that look organic using ready-made backdrops? You can’t simply place the product in there and get an exclusive image out of it. Before CG artists put a 3D model of a product into a ready 3D scene, they always adjust the roomset. 

To personalize it, they can add or delete some of the objects, change their positions and colors, etc. With 3D, experts can tailor the roomset to perfectly match the main product and show it in all its glory. 

#5. Choose the Lighting Scheme

Product Image of a Bedroom Furniture with Evening Lighting

All right, now it’s time to regulate the lighting scheme. But how to create 3D product images with perfect light?

CG specialists start from the context and the task. Based on the desired mood, they choose the options they have to recreate it. If they are working on a large airy living room, artists might opt for bright natural daylight to add more energy and life to the product picture.

When they want to draw the viewer’s attention to certain areas and products, CG experts put some additional light sources in the particular zones of the room. And of course, they use a soft evening lighting scheme to enhance immersiveness and coziness of the room.

At the end of the day, 3D soft allows creating any type of lighting you can think of. Thus, marketers can even ask a CG team to take images of the same room in both evening and daylight if needed.

#6. Set Up the Cameras

A Screenshot Explaining How to Install Cameras to Create Product CG Images

After the 3D scene, textures and lights are all set up, CG artists proceed to the installation of 3D cameras in the roomset. However, there’s a certain take on how to create 3D product images with 3D cameras. 

Unlike traditional photography, such a camera can be placed literally anywhere – CG specialists can even remove a part of the wall if it interferes with a beautiful view. Thus, with 3D technology, the angle choice is not limited by anything but the artist’s imagination. As a result, CG specialists can take perfect product images with no sweat.

#7. Start the Rendering Process

A Product Lifestyle Image Created with 3D Soft

Once CG artists set up the 3D scene, calibrated lighting, and placed 3D cameras, they can render multiple cameras and get product images from different angles.

Of course, render settings and the number of cameras depend on the client’s purposes. For instance, if the question is how to create 3D product images for the whole print catalog, CG experts might need to take as many pictures as possible from one scene. Also, for print images, they always preset the highest resolution before starting to render and save the image in CMYK color mode.

#8.  Finish with Post-Production

Creating an Epic Product Image for a Couch

After rendering the scene in 3D software, CG artists always tend to edit product pictures in Adobe Photoshop. Surely, if CG experts know how to create 3D product images of a top-quality, 3D rendering comes out looking good already and doesn’t need much retouch and filters.

Therefore, professional CG artists simply add some touches here and there to perfect the image. For example, they can deepen or lighten up the shadows, do color correction, and adjust contrast and saturation. In other words, they always do small things that go unnoticed but boost the visual performance of the image.

Download CGIFURNITURE price guide and learn the costs of top-tier 3D visualization projects of different scales!

product rendering price

3D is a simple, convenient, and fast way to get photorealistic 3D product images for all purposes and of any resolution. However, if you are not just interested in how to create 3D product images but start collaborating with 3D studios, make sure you work with professionals. Truly experienced GG artists are focused and careful at any step of the creating process — from building a roomset to the final post-production. Choosing them, you won’t be disappointed with either their working approach or the resulting product images.

Guide to Creating Product CGI

Need to create photoreal images for your product? Contact us for 3D rendering services, and our CG specialists will make a top-notch 3D lifestyle in just one working day!

Irene Lewis

Content Writer

Irene is a content writer. She previously worked for interior and chess magazines. When not writing articles, Irene finds great pleasure in collecting Star Trek memorabilia, reading Medieval poetry and playing banjo.

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