3D rendering and visualization technologies have advanced to the point where applications are now becoming mainstream. A primary use that has been implemented with great success is that of product design.
A particular niche within product design that has significantly benefited from rendering and visualization techniques is that of 3D furniture rendering. Many facets of the entire product lifecycle – from initial design concepts through e-commerce to the end customer – have used the benefits provided by rendering to great success.
Let’s take a minute to discuss the scope of 3D furniture rendering and then move to a discussion of the benefits afforded by the technology along with reviewing some practical examples.
3D furniture rendering is simply a use of product rendering. At a macro level, product rendering can be defined as “...the automatic process of generating a photorealistic or non-photorealistic image from a 2D or 3D model by means of computer programs.”
The first step is to use one of the many commercially available software packages on the market that has 3D modeling services and create a product model that lives in 3D space. Commonly used programs include:
Once the model generation is complete, then it next goes through the rendering process. Here is where you can produce images that come to life! By using advanced parameters including (but not limited to) shading, shadow generation, reflection, texture mapping, diffraction, diffusion, and depth of field, realistic 2D images can be printed out, or the actual model can be rotated and visualized in 3D space on a high-definition computer monitor. Some of the rendering packages regularly used include:
Some of the modeling packages have rendering capabilities already integrated (such as SolidWorks); however, their feature sets may not be as robust as a standalone product. The capabilities may be more than adequate depending on what your needs are.
As with product rendering in general, the benefits of using a rendering strategy span almost all activities within the product development lifecycle, from concept through sales. Essentially, all benefits can be traced back to savings in two specific areas: time and cost.
Images that are created with traditional 2D technologies are quickly becoming a thing of the past. While it’s entirely possible to display design intent, the resulting images are relatively flat and lack the ability to really flesh out all the nuances of a particular design. The static nature of 2D images is a limiting factor as well. Viewing an object from one viewpoint isn’t necessarily enough to convey the complete message.
By using 3D rendering for your furniture designs, you will be able to open a new world of possibilities. Since a 3D rendering is generated from the complete geometry of a product, the viewpoints that can be created from rotating in 3D space is practically unlimited. Having the ability to gain additional understanding of what a design truly encompasses is the true path to customer comprehension.
Marketing costs can be one of the most cost-intensive portions of a project’s overall budget. Traditional advertising usually includes expensive photo sessions by a highly compensated professional photographer with a niche for product placement within the advertising space.
The basic issue here is the lack of flexibility. No matter how much time is spent on the session, there is no feasible way to determine (and generate) images for all of the product viewpoints that may be the most attractive for ultimate product presentation within a set of advertising copy. Another factor to consider with traditional photography is the fact that once the session is complete, all you have to work with is the material from the session.
Sure, images can be run through editing software, but it’s impossible to do much more than alter basic parameters of the base image. You are stuck with a particular set of viewpoints, and in order to get more variety, you will have to incur the costs of an entirely new photo session.
Moving to an advertising strategy that uses 3D furniture rendering, however, will open up practically infinite possibilities. Since the realism that can be achieved with today’s rendering advancements is so advanced, it’s entirely possible to move away from photo-based strategies altogether. Viewpoints and perspectives can be determined with a few rolls and clicks of a mouse instead of an extensive photo campaign.
Time and cost savings for your advertising budget can really add up fast. You would be remiss not to take the time to see how your bottom line will be improved.
This may be more of a niche benefit, but the cost and time savings that can be realized from 3D furniture rendering can most certainly be read across to the manufacturing sector as well. It’s not limited just to the end customer or advertising uses.
One of the strongest advantages for using 3D furniture modeling is the ability to see what a sofa or table will look like – with extreme accuracy and visual acuity – without investing any time or resources toward building a physical prototype.
As a part of this, design changes can be implemented quickly and easily, certainly in a more efficient fashion than having to build a whole separate, unique physical piece. Fabric patterns, types, and colors can be modified on the fly. Revision control is a benefit as well in those cases where your new ideas do not work out as you thought they would.
Back to our discussion on the benefits of using 3D furniture rendering to reduce your advertising budget, imagine the possibilities that can be related to an online shopping space. A well-designed online store has quality images and descriptions for each individual item. Having to rely on getting traditional photographic images of every single product inflates both costs for the infrastructure to the time needed to get all of those images compiled. The time and cost savings by using 3D rendering designers for your furniture products are real.
Enhancement of the overall customer experience on your site can be realized as well. We live in a world where mass customization is the norm. People want to get things in the configurations and colors that are best for their needs. The use of rendering technology will easily let your end customer pick their options and see immediate results. Many times, this includes fully detailed 3D furniture models that can be rotated and viewed from any vantage point in addition to being able to see how the product will look with a range of colors.
They say that seeing is believing, and being able to visually comprehend what you’re about to purchase – physically sight unseen – is a huge benefit. Companies that embrace this technology will most certainly have a competitive advantage over those that are behind in the race.
Without a doubt, one of the best examples of how 3D furniture rendering was successfully implemented as a business strategy is IKEA – one of the largest and most well-known furniture suppliers in the market.
As far back as 2006, IKEA started using 3D furniture renderings in their marketing materials – both in their catalog and also on their website. Fast forward to even 2015, and at least 75 percent of the images they used are renderings. It’s probably a fair statement to say that the percentage is much higher than that going into 2019.
IKEA takes its use of rendering to the next level. Not only does their website consist almost entirely of rendered images, but they also have DIY design utilities built-in where you can take those images and place them against a 3D rendered landscape (for outdoors) or a completely rendered room background (indoors).
Up to now, we have been discussing 3D furniture rendering where the rendered image itself is the focal point. Rendered furniture models can also be used in a support function as well. Consider an architect that is reviewing a building design with a client. Just showing a few empty rooms would be pretty boring. Similar to the concept that IKEA uses with designing a room, entire interior (or exterior) designs can be realized without once ever taking a trip to the furniture store.
Substantial time and cost savings can be realized by using 3D furniture rendering. Whether you possess all of the software packages and skills needed, or if you’re just looking for a DIY answer to designing a room for your own home, Cad Crowd is your resource for a global team of qualified designers that can bring your 3D furniture rendering needs to life. Contact us for a free quote today!
Cad Crowd is a leader in the CAD design, 3D modeling, and 3D rendering world. We provide custom service for all sorts of projects on demand, thanks to our network of pre-vetted and qualified freelancers. Regardless of what type of work you need to have done, trust us to help you figure it out. Contact us for a free quote to get started today.