The process of product rendering and 3D visualization explained

Instead of having to use expensive and time-consuming product shoots to showcase new products, many companies now use product rendering and 3D visualization. In this article, we take you through the basics of product visualization and product design rendering.

What is product rendering?

You will probably have seen numerous product renders without even realizing it. Photorealistic 3D rendering is used for a wide variety of purposes, from product development to advertising and marketing.
But what is product rendering exactly? Product rendering is the process of creating a digital 2D or 3D image or immersive experience. To create a rendered image, a designer will take a 3D model that has been created using computer-aided design software and use it to develop a realistic, highly detailed 2D or 3D image.
Product renders can be incredibly lifelike, sometimes indistinguishable from an actual photograph of a real physical object. Unlike a photograph, however, product rendering often depicts objects that do not actually exist in the physical world.

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Professional designers require the very best 3D rendering software in order to create photorealistic images. 3DEXITE Product Communicator is a powerful photorealistic 3D product rendering software package that allows you to create high-quality product shots quickly and easily.

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What are the different types and visualization of product rendering?

There two main types of photorealistic product rendering techniques are white space visualizations and contextual visualizations. 3D visualizations can also be created using illustrative rendering techniques or interactive rendering techniques.

White space visualizations

White space visualizations show a product on a clear white background. The purpose of white space visualizations is to showcase the design of a product without any background details drawing the viewer’s attention away. White space visualizations are often used during product development.

Contextual visualizations

On the other hand, contextual visualizations are used to show how a product or object will sit in relation to a real-world setting. An architect may use contextual visualizations to showcase how a proposed building will look or a product designer may use contextual visualization to show how a piece of furniture might look in an office space.

Illustrative rendering

Unlike photorealistic 3D rendering, illustrative rendering is not designed to be realistic. It uses abstraction or fantastical techniques to create depictions of objects. Illustrative rendering is often seen in marketing or advertising campaigns.

Interactive rendering

Interactive rendering is known as IPR or live rendering. It is a process where specialized software will autonomically update the lighting and features of the 3D render in real-time. It is often used in the V-ray product rendering process.

What are the benefits of product rendering?

Product rendering is faster and less expensive than photoshoots

Imagine that you have created a new type of tennis shoe and want to show your creation to manufacturers. You will first need to build a prototype of the shoe. Then, you will need to hire a professional photographer who has an assistant and a dedicated photo studio with lighting and backdrops. The photographer will have to set the tennis shoes up, adjust the lights, photograph the shoes from a variety of angles, and then have the photographs processed, and developed. This entire process can take a great deal of time and be prohibitively expensive.
Product rendering, with its key features, enables you to visualize your products in a photorealistic way without the extra cost of a photoshoot and without having to build a physical prototype. It dramatically cuts down on the cost and the time involved in developing a product.

Effectively and efficiently showcase products

Product rendering is an ideal way to attract and convince investors to invest in a project. You can quickly create the visualization of a product with different colors, textures, and materials without the need to physically produce it. You’ll be able to amaze the final client with stunning, tailor-made visuals that you have obtained faster and for a much lower cost than you could with traditional methods.

Market a product before it is manufactured

With photorealistic product rendering, you can:

  • Launch a marketing campaign before the manufacturing process has been completed.
  • Conduct customer testing to find out which model is the preferred choice of your target market.

Easily create various views of a product

Product visualization allows you to create amazing visuals;

  • You can have a 360° interactive view of products to increase customer engagement and buyer confidence.
  • You can also show technical illustrations of a product to convey information about how it functions.
  • Or have an exploded view of the product, which lets you display the features that make up the product while maintaining overall aesthetics.

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What is the process of product rendering?

The process of creating a 3D render begins with an intensive concept development stage. Once a solid concept has been determined and draft sketches have been made, then a detailed 3D model is created using specialized CAD rendering software.
A designer will then further enhance the 3D model by adding lighting and texturing. Powerful rendering software is then used to convert the 3D model into a 2D photorealistic product rendering or an immersive visualization. Lastly, there is a post-processing where further work is done to add more details, finer textures, and more complicated lighting. The 3D render may need to have a background added as a contextual visualization or be placed in white space.


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The 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud gives you access to a various set of applications that allow you to design, simulate, inform and collaborate on a project.

How long does the product rendering process last?

The length of the product rendering process depends on the complexity of the render and the power of the software that is being used. A relatively simple render using cloud rendering software can be done in minutes or even sometimes in mere seconds.
A more complicated photorealistic image with a contextual background or interactive elements will require more complex and resource-intensive digital lighting and rendering work. These types of renders can take several days to complete.

Product rendering - Conclusion & Perspectives

Product rendering is a form of 3D visualization used to produce photorealistic 2D images or immersive visualization of 3D rendered models. These images can be incredibly detailed and are used for product development purposes, marketing, and advertising purposes.
Photorealistic 3D product rendering replaces the need to have lengthy and expensive photoshoots or for manufacturers to produce physical prototypes or proposed products or machinery. Customers or investors do not need to be in the same physical place as a building or object as they can easily view a digital image or be taken on a virtual tour. A 3D render can be rotated and viewed at any angle, can be placed in a realistic background, viewed in white space, or can have interactive features added to it.
Product rendering dramatically cuts down on the overall costs involved in product development, makes it easier and simpler for companies to showcase their products, and gives architects and interior designers the ability to display constructions and room layouts without the need for display homes or showrooms.

Why choose Dassault Systèmes for your product rendering needs?

Create 3D renders easily with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform

Just a short time ago creating a photorealistic 3D product rendering required you to have expensive on-premises software and sophisticated stand-alone computer systems. With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Dassault Systèmes gives you access to a range of powerful CAD design roles that can be accessed using any type of device, at any time, anywhere on the planet. All you need is a device with a suitable browser and a reliable internet connection.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform uses cutting-edge cloud-based technology to provide you with an integrated digital environment where you can communicate and collaborate with colleagues, store and share files and access some of our top rendering design solutions. You can connect your entire ecosystem via the platform and inspire your teams to create and innovate like never before.

Benefit from over 40 years of CAD experience

For more than four decades Dassault Systèmes has been leading the way in product life management, computer-aided design, and digital mockup solutions.
A prime example of our commitment to developing pioneering design solutions is 3DEXITE Product Communicator. This tool allows you to create interactive 3D product experiences and render photorealistic 3D product visualizations.
Combined with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, 3DEXITE Product Communicator delivers a highly integrated, on-cloud solution suitable for enterprises of any size and projects of any scale.

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