To many, CGI seems like a far off space age technology, reserved only for those with Hollywood budgets. Nowadays, though, that is not the case. CGI is much more attainable, with the software now more easily accessible. Knowledge and skills are improving, and now high-end CGI can be created for a smaller pot of money. It is an extremely powerful tool, now used in a huge percentage of TV and online advertising; IKEA now famously create almost all of their catalogue and website imagery in CGI. But how can CGI help you create the best product visualisation?
Let’s start with the big one – the cost.
Although a professional photo or film shoot can offer stunning end results, time in the studio can be very costly. Long days with large crews means big bucks, and the hire or use of high end equipment only adds to the bills. Often, pick ups are also required for shots that weren’t got the first time, or to re-set lighting and other factors.
With CGI the process is much more refined, and can all be tweaked much more easily, without having to book another expensive shoot. CGI assets can also be used time and time again for different campaigns and mediums, ensuring re-shoots won’t need to happen constantly throughout the year.
CGI also looks great.
We recently wrote an article on things you wouldn’t believe were CGI, and the list is extensive. CGI is now so good, that it really can appear to be just as good (or even better) than the real thing. Mobile phones appear glossy and unscathed by minute scratches, and cheeseburgers are perfectly round, juicy and well cooked. CGI can be tweaked in many ways to ensure the product looks as good as possible on screen.
It also allows it to move more freely, in ways which may not be possible with the physical object. Imagine all those ads where you see a product floating against a dreamy studio backdrop, not dictated by any laws of gravity. It looks unbelievable. It’s because it is.
And it’s much more flexible than other options.
Imagine you have your brilliant product ready to go, you get some amazing photos or videos of it, and then you decide you want to change the colour. Or, your original product is selling so well you decide to update it and need new marketing materials for the newer version. CGI allows maximum flexibility, as the model can always be tweaked and changed in accordance with the latest decisions. It’s also great if you have the same product in a number of different colours or even flavours – rather than shoot all these individually, you just change the colour or design on your model for each one.
Why not use your CGI product to get more in depth? Show the inner workings of your machine, cutaway inside to see the makeup of your clothing. CGI gets the audience in closer with your product, often making it feel more tangible than the actual product itself.
It can help with the design process.
Often, when you see a prototype brought to life in CGI, it can suddenly help you see it in a different light. CGI is an incredibly helpful tool in the design of a product as it gives a tangible proof of how it will look and work.
CGI is also a great way to pitch or even advertise and sell the product before the final manufacturing has taken place. This instantly puts you ahead of the game by being able to demonstrate what you have, before you even have it.
Of course there’s more to it than stills or even videos.
CGI is so adaptable that just by starting off with a still of your product, it opens doors to many other possibilities. This then can be adapted to animation, to be used on mobile, to be made interactive and even to become part of a 360 or VR experience. Once the model is there, there really are no limits as to what can be achieved.
This makes CGI more consistent than the products of several different photoshoots. These assets can be shared and passed around multiple campaigns, with the ability to tweak the original file in order for it to match.
What do I need top provide for my product visualisation?
- We can work with your existing Solidworks (or other CAD) files to create the model in our 3D software
- Material references also really help – what metal is used, what fabric? What texture does everything have? Any material can be replicated
- Any references of the style you want to portray – is it sleek ad clean like Apple, or cutting edge cool like Beats?