Photos are everywhere. Photos do many things. Many things that cannot be done by other content. Photos are taken with a purpose and to be published on different platforms. The art of photography has evolved over time. Photos are no longer just art. Industrial and advertising photography are completely commercial and serve businesses.
For many of us, advertising means advertising photos. The growth of digital businesses and the migration of businesses to websites, applications, and Instagram has brought industrial photography and its most important subcategory, Product Photography, into the center of attention. Of course, the life of product photography is much longer than the life of digitization and new technologies.
Digitization and the introduction of new and powerful technologies and software have served photography to a great extent. This means that both cameras have become more professional and powerful, as well as photo editing software. But these developments have also introduced a serious competitor to product photography: 3D Rendering.
Now that there are two options for having photos of products; between product photography and 3D rendering, which should businesses choose? Which one is better? These two questions have been answered in this content. Of course, what is 3D rendering, what are its differences with product photography, and most importantly, why businesses and store site owners should choose between the two have also been discussed in detail?
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3D Renders vs. Product photography
Why is this choice important? Why should a store site choose what photos to post on the site? Because photos are everything. Because the user sees all the photos but does not read all the contents. Because photos are more attractive to the user. Because according to statistics, in the opinion of 63% of users, high-quality photos are more important than product introduction.
It’s not just store websites that need to pay attention to product photos and their excellent quality. Companies and owners of famous brands also need high-quality and attractive photos of their products to introduce their products and websites and brochures. These photos are definitely used in advertising campaigns. Product photos are published both online and in print.
Product photography does not have a very complicated definition. The product is placed in a specific and designed background, it is photographed, and the photo is edited so that the product looks clearer and more attractive and is in the center of the photo and attention. It is possible to get help from other people or objects in arranging the photography scene.
What is the competitor of product photography? This is no longer a very simple definition.
What is 3d rendering?
3D rendering is a new technology that allows digital artists to create photo-realistic computer-generated visuals. In simple terms, the image is built from scratch within a computer program to mimic the actual real-life product.
So, there is no news of camera, light, staging and photographer. By rendering, the image of reality is recreated in the computer. With this method, any change in reality is possible. The designer has the possibility to highlight that part of the product that he wants. In a slightly more complicated language, in this technology, which is done with rendering engines, 3D images are converted to 2D.
That is, first a 3D model of the product is made in a certain scene or space, then by rendering any changes the designer wants (background, scene, light, general space and even the shape of the product itself) are made on the 3D model. In the last step, a rendering or a 2D photo is created! Rendering is done with different techniques and different software. But in all of them reality is manipulated. Rendering has many uses. From the film industry, animation and advertising to architecture and interior design.
What points should be considered to choose between 3D rendering and product photography?
Now the importance of the question is clearer. Should we take a photo of the product or create the product photo as we want with rendering? Which one is better? First, I will answer the second question:
Depending on what you are hoping to achieve with the end visual image, either, or both combined could be your best bet.
What is your product? Do you want images for the site or advertising billboards? How much budget do you have? In fact, what is your purpose for wanting to have a picture of the product? Considering the answers to these questions and other considerations, one can choose between product photography or 3D rendering or a combination of both.
In the following, I will try to suggest some points that will help you to make a decision about this. Be careful that a set of factors must be considered, including the following factors:
Product type and display of its function
Does your product have a special function that requires a human factor in the image to show it? That is, if the product photography is not in a completely real space with real people, the audience/viewer will not communicate with your image and product. For example, what do you think might be the result of using something other than a real picture of a mother and baby to advertise My Baby diapers? What 3D rendering can really replace the image below?
The size of the project and its budget
Product photo or 3D rendering is part of what project? A big campaign to introduce new products of a very big brand? Or the number of photos for a store website? What is the budget for each image? Don’t think that product photography is cheap. No! By the way, it can be very expensive. In product photography, the cost of the photographer, the necessary equipment for photography, the models (the people in the photo) and the preparation of the scene for photography should be included. Also, product photography may be time-consuming (depending on how many photos are needed in several different scenes and layouts).
If the project is small and only a few simple photos are needed, 3D rendering is a better choice. But if the images to be produced are full of details or major changes must be made or there are many of them, rendering is not cheap either. Of course, if these images are to be used for advertising motion graphics or animations, designing a 3D model and rendering at a high cost is justified.
Background and photo space and necessary lighting
Has it been decided to shoot outdoors with natural light? This decision may affect both the cost and the time required to complete the work. The type of product (for example, if the product is hiking shoes or a camping tent) may justify this choice. However, it increases the complexity.
3D rendering does not have these problems. Because everything is done in a completely controlled and flexible environment. Even light can be adjusted in 3D design software and rendering programs. It is even possible to create a completely abstract space. That is, he placed the product with its real appearance in a completely unrealistic space and background.
Products with different colors and models
A product may be produced in several different colors. Or a product has several different genders. In this case, 3D rendering is a better choice. Because there is no need to take pictures of all the subcategories of a product. Changing the colors can be easily applied on the computer.
If a product is going to have changes in the future or a subcategory or related product will be added to it, 3D rendering is still a better choice. If the product is one that has different parts, rendering is a better choice to show those parts and how they fit together and even illustrate the idea of how the product works.