When you hear the words “3D image and animation” the first things that come to mind, more often than not, are animated movies from famous studios and the videogame industry. However, it’s not as widely known that, as communication tools, they’re priceless – beyond value – and what even fewer people know, is the extent to which 3D visuals have permeated our daily lives through all kinds of different forms of media. Everything uses 3D now, why not you?
Now I know what you’re going to say;
“Yes, this is all well and good, but this can’t be applied in my field”,
“I don’t need fancy visuals, a photo of my product is more than enough” ,
A personal favourite; “I can use a video shoot to present my products and services, besides, using 3D must be horribly expensive!”
Not as much as you may think. In many cases, the use of 3D image and animation in your projects could provide you with cheaper production costs and save you a great deal of time. What’s more, using 3D animation lifts the traditional constraints of standard production methods and opens up all sorts of different solutions. You can not only present your ideas, projects and creations in their best light, but also introduce how they work, what they do and what goes on inside, without the limitations of reality (and a tight budget) restricting your vision.
In a standard production framework, it may even improve the quality of the final result, simply with the addition of a visual that works outside of the traditional 2D graphic design, as is commonplace in the industry. In specific instances, the use of modelling and the creation of 3D environments will overcome many standard video production issues such as delays, map-painting etc…
Take, for example, a furniture manufacturer who wants a photo shoot done to advertise some of their new pieces. They’re going to need to pay for a photographer, plus the use of a studio & equipment, transport for the pieces, one of the carpenters who knows how the products were made, then a more elaborate shoot will require the services of propmen, designers, a creative director, an advertising agency… Brought together, these professionals will end up costing a small fortune in both time and money.
In the same situation but with 3D image and animation, things are already far simpler; for a start, most manufacturers today use 3D design to create their products, and with the right know-how, these virtual drawings can be modified and imported into 3D software. From this point, once the textures and virtual lighting is complete, an ultra high-definition 3D rendering or even a photorealistic-quality image file is all possible with the services of a single 3D artist.
Your product comes in various colours or materials? No problem, it’s a simple matter to create new textures and re-calculate another rendering at minimal cost and effort to you. You would then be able to use the same picture of your product, in as wide a variety of styles and finishes as you offer. Pair this with a touch of web development and you can even offer your customers an interactive tool allowing them to select a product in the style of their choosing.
You’d like to present your pr oduct being used in a specific context? This “context” can be entirely generated in a 3D “scene”, which we can then use to create an immersive, virtual “showroom” experience. In Architecture for example, it’s now virtually unheard of for property developers to launch a project without 3D previews. The project’s success now hinges on 3D perspectives, virtual tours, VR and immersive imagery to name but a few of an exhaustive array of tools available to present the architectural project in its best possible light.
The applications are virtually limitless, and not only in the manufacturing sector. 3D allows you to simplify the presentation of complex technologies. Peel away parts of a working engine to see how it works inside, take a trip inside the human body. Visualize the chemical components of a solution or represent the size of the universe, simulate a natural phenomenon, stop it, reverse it, turn it over, blow it up to analyse it in minute detail. Go beyond what the lens allows, and all at a competitively priced cost.
The wide variety of production techniques currently available in 3D production allow the presentation of yet-unmanufactured concepts and ideas, see the invisible and clarify complex processes, recreate the ideal conditions in which your idea or piece of technology can reach it’s full potential, explain a vastly complicated phenomenon with a single image. You can use it to demonstrate scientific principles, for educational, advertising, even whimsical purposes. It can be totally immersive and in real-time! The only limit is what you can imagine!