Product visuals are the images and videos that show off a product. If your brand sells lamps, your product visual could be a lamp on a white background or a lamp sitting on a coffee table. The purpose of a product visual is to show how the product looks and functions. Good product visuals are crucial in selling a product.
For many years, product visuals were created using photography. A business would set up photoshoots with lighting and backgrounds to capture the product visual. Technology has since advanced, a new (and better) way of creating product visuals has emerged – product renders.
Modeled prod vis are photorealistic images created through computer software. Designers work with CAD-generated 3D models to create an environment for the product where lighting, textures, shadows, and reflections are applied. The product models are completely manipulable in terms of materials, colors, lighting, and animation. Many types of product visuals can be created from this process; product stills, 360-degree product views, animations showing how the product moves, and even augmented reality.
Planning a photoshoot is a ton of work from organizing the camera equipment needed, setting up the equipment, acquiring all the products you need, etc. You put in all this work, but the outcome still requires hours of editing to achieve a somewhat uniform look. 3D modeling requires 1 program and 1 product file to produce output that is flawless across all product visuals in terms of background, positioning, lighting, shadows, and reflections.
A modeled prod vis can do a lot more than a photo. Product photography is a static asset that can do only one thing, sit on a page. A modeled prod vis can be animated to twist and turn to show the entirety of a product, and it can also be animated to demonstrate how the product moves and functions in real life.
Product vis can be a whole lot more than the product on a white background. An entire environment can be built to support the product. If you want to showcase a lamp in a living room, you can create that entire scene: a couch, coffee table, wall decor, pillows, nicknacks, plants, etc, all using models, and you don’t have to spend any money on purchasing props for the shot.
Executing a photoshoot takes a lot of time in the first place, but it takes even more time when you’re trying to replicate lighting and positioning from prior shoots. And once again, you have to factor in hours of editing. If you would have used 3D modeling in the first place, for your new product you could have uploaded a new product file, put it in the curated environment, and rendered the model. And it would look identical to all the other product visuals. (modeled prod vis rocks)
Model prod vis can save costs in a few different ways – first of all, they can be created using free 3-D modeling software. Then you save on the costs that would otherwise be incurred through product photography shoots and you also save on the costs of creating all the prototypes needed for those shoots.
3D modeling allows you to bypass the “make all the prototypes” stage needed for photography reasons. With 3D modeling, the base file for the product is needed and from there, an endless amount of colors, textures, and materials can be added to reflect each of your product variations.
If you couldn’t tell our opinion on product photography by now, we’ll just come out and say it – product photography is subpar in comparison to prod vis. Product vis simply gives you way more creative freedom, which is a necessity in a visually dominant marketplace.