What Is 3D Rendering?

If you want to cut expenses and appeal to customers at the same time, you have found the right article. 3D rendering has advanced in leaps and bounds since the early years, and the results it can achieve are indistinguishable from the real thing. If you've heard of 3D rendering or computer-aided design before, but aren't sure what to make of it, this article is for you. Keep reading to learn what 3D rendering is and how it can benefit your business.

3D Rendering Explained

3D refers to a three-dimensional representation of an object. The 3D rendered image is a digital representation of an object. You have likely seen 3D renders before, they come in various forms:
- Computer-generated animation (CGI) in film
- Virtual 3D floorplans
- Interactive 3D product viewing pages
- Billboards and ads
- Video games

What Is Computer-Aided Design (CAD)?

Computer-aided design has existed since the 1960s, when it was developed independently in multiple manufacturing sectors, such as the automobile and aerospace industries. CAD refers to both the 2 and 3-dimensional modeling of materials and physical objects. The designs produced include blueprints, electrical circuits, product concepts, and simulations. CAD software is highly specialized and is used by architects and engineers, hobbyists, 3D artists, graphical artists.

What Is 3D Rendering?

3D rendering refers to the entire pipeline for producing a three-dimensional object used in business. 3D product renderings are photorealistic images: they show businesses how a product will look after manufacturing and customers how it will look upon delivery.

How 3D Rendering Works

The 3D rendering process is laborious and requires industrial-grade computing power to work. There are several steps between the concept and the finished 3D render, and the time and complexity of each depend wholly on the requirements of the project. Fundamentally, the steps involved are:
- The pre-production "concept" stage
- The process of designing the model(s) for a scene
- Applying realistic materials (e.g. wood) to a model
- Setting up simulated lighting to enhance the sense of realism
- Rendering the model in ultra-high detail to create a photorealistic snapshot
- Post-processing to refine and correct any details

3D Rendering for Business

Artists have used 3D renders for decades. From as early as the 1980s, interior designers and architects have experimented with 3D to streamline the prototyping phase of design.
The medium is now used by professionals across every sector to enhance and modernize their workflows. It is slowly phasing out photography as a cheaper, faster, and more reliable alternative.

3D Rendering vs. Photography

Looking at the end result, 3D visualization is conceptually similar to photography. The requirements of a product photoshoot are similar to those of a 3D render: scene, lighting, background, props, and camera angle are all relevant factors.

There's one essential difference between the two: a camera captures a moment in time as a 2D representation: scenes are framed, lit, and staged as the artist intended. However, a 3D model in a virtual space - while having similar requirements - has none of the limitations of a traditional photo shoot.

In 3D, ambient lighting and camera angles are not constraints, but choices. There's no need for a product to be at a scene, which is expensive for oversized wares. Lighting is simulated and can be tweaked at will, whereas professional photographers know to wait for the golden hour. 3D models can also be retroactively resized and changed in ways that photographs can't. The product doesn't even need to exist in the "real world" for a 3D render of it to exist. 3D rendering is frequently employed as a vital stage in a product's lifecycle.

Why 3D Rendering Is Cheaper Than Photography

The most appealing factor in 3D rendering is its lower cost. A 3D rendered product is more cost-effective than photography.

This is due to several factors:
- No physical products are needed
- No overheads for expensive equipment
- No added expense for environments
- No concerns about lighting
- No re-shoots are necessary for editing
- No re-shoots are necessary for minor tweaks

Product Showcasing With 3D Rendering

When 3D is used for product showcases, customers can inspect a product from multiple angles and against differing backdrops.

On top of costing less than a photoshoot, a 3D product configurator has the benefit of interactivity. Immersion is engaging for customers - and it's effective enough to push conversion rates upwards by up to 40%.

This is because the immersion offered by a configurable model appeals to a customer's playful side. This goes beyond the color of a product. With the appropriate design strategies, customers can strip and add components in the configurator as much as they want. For instance, an online bicycle retailer can offer customers options, such as mounted lights, interchangeable saddles, different suspensions, and optional mudguards.

The 3D customization is what heightens the conversion rate, but the underlying models used are the same every time. It simply isn't possible to have the low same cost when handled with photography.

Power Up Your Business With 3D Rendering

The world of 3D rendering is varied, expanding, and loaded with potential for use in everything from training videos to digital classrooms to business suites. It's engaging. It's immersive. When used the right way, it boosts conversions and fans the flames of a loyal customer base.

At Missoun, we have transferred over 20 years of manufacturing experience into our comprehensive cloud platform that helps manufacturers to improve productivity, reduce time-to-market and increase revenues. Our 3D product configurators increase customer conversion and streamline the sales pipeline.

Contact us today to book a free demo.