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A Guide to 3D Visualization

A Guide to 3D Visualization

Over the years, 3D visualization has evolved to such a degree that it has turned into one of the most cost-effective and efficient methods of producing digital content, giving buyers a real and immersive shopping experience. Instead of guessing whether a product would fit their lifestyle, shoppers can view and interact with the 3D product through augmented reality and have a “try before you buy” experience.

So, get ready to delve into the world of 3D visualization to discover its most common uses and the biggest advantages it has in eCommerce.

What is 3D Visualization?

The process of 3D visualization utilizes 3D software to create graphical animations, rendering designs, and more. One of the biggest advantages 3D visualization has against conventional photography is cost efficiency.

How exactly? Traditional photography includes hiring a photographer and shipping the products to a desired photoshoot location. The scene is set -up, the photographs are taken, and the photographer edits the images for additional fine-tuning. Though it might sound great, this process becomes costly and takes time, labor, and other resources to produce the final product.

Meanwhile, 3D Visuals are created in a more time and cost-efficient way. A graphic designer creates photorealistic 3D models based on the product photos, dimensions, and specifications.

The finished models can be rendered into a photorealistic lifestyle scene or a whitespace background.

These visuals are virtually indistinguishable from actual photographs. Furthermore, they can be enhanced further with very little extra time or cost. Fabric, color, or texture can be changed in an instant.

Since this method is so effective, various industries have started leveraging it, including architecture, engineering, manufacturing, automotive, games, films, fashion, and eCommerce.

What is 3D Architectural Visualization?

When architects design a structure, the best way to showcase the outcome is by showing exactly what it will look like once it’s done. That’s where 3D architectural visualization comes in. Architects create realistic and detailed 3D visuals using powerful computer software to highlight the interior and exterior attributes of the structure.

What makes it so effective, is that they can actually add real-life objects to the visuals to make it more attractive, including paintings, lighting, furniture, and carpets. This enables their clients to visualize exactly what the structure will look like according to their own styles and tastes.

Architectural visualizations in 3D differ from basic 3D designs in that they are a mix between technical skills and artistry. Clients can walk around and view the structure from all angles. Imagine planning a construction of your home and experiencing a real-life view of what it will look like even before the project starts!

Main 3D Visualization use cases

Once a 3D model is created, it can be used within multiple visual solutions. There are two main types of 3D models: High-poly and low-poly. High-poly 3D models can be transformed to a 360 viewer, or they can be rendered to a photorealistic scenes. Low-poly 3D models are used for real time applications, including a 3D viewer, view-in-room augmented reality, and QR codes. The most popular 3D visualization use cases in eCommerce are:

  1. View in room Augmented Reality

    This service is often used as a way to enhance in-store, interactive experiences for customers. Shoppers are able to visualize the products in their own space right from their mobile devices! What’s more, they can actually evaluate the specific elements of your product, like its design, dimensions, and style. This facilitates a quicker and more informed purchasing decision because they are virtually trying your product before buying it. This means they are less likely to return the product once they’ve bought it.

    App-free Augmented Reality
    Darren Shoulder Bag by Rebecca Minkoff
  2. 3D Viewer

    Have you ever wondered what an online product looks like from all angles? With a 3D viewer, you can use the integrated spin and zoom feature to view any angle of the product before purchasing.

    3D sofa model by CGTrader
  3. 360° HD Rotator

    This technique is also known as the “turntable”, where static product images are displayed in ultra HD, 360-degrees. This seamlessly integrates with any device and allows your customers to experience your product from any angle.

    360° HD Rotator by CGTrader
  4. Lifestyle Visualizations

    This process involves taking a 3D photorealistic visualization and modifying the product into completely different styles, scenes, and concepts. Lifestyle visualizations give you complete creative freedom to choose lighting, décor, angles, colors, textures, configurations, and more.

    CGI room scene
    Photo-realistic lifestyle scene visualization by CGTrader

3D Visualization Techniques

As you can imagine, there are tons of ways and techniques to create the unique graphics you’re looking for; it all depends on the purpose of the design. For example, a marketing visualization would look somewhat different to a concept visualization. Popular visualization techniques include:

  1. Photorealistic

    This technique is used to create imagery that has realistic materials, textures, patterns, lighting, and shadows. The goal of this technique is to make the visuals as indistinguishable from reality as possible.

  2. Minimalist

    These visualizations have a slightly lower degree of detail with the goal of presenting an object’s structural details. So, instead of showcasing material and textures, the viewers are less distracted and can focus more on the architecture itself.

  3. Futuristic

    This allows the viewer to experience some form of escapism through usual styles made to look hyper-real.

  4. Optimistic

    This is when a product or building is placed in an ideal setting to stimulate excitement in viewers. An example of this would be to place an architectural design into an ideal landscape that accentuates a welcoming atmosphere. This allows viewers to visualize themselves at that scene.

  5. Somber Atmosphere

    This technique is used to create the opposite of the optimistic style, meaning the entire atmosphere is less vibrant and gives off a more cool, minimalistic vibe. This type of visualization would be ideal for creative works such as film renders where darker tones and muted colors are used.

  6. Palimpsest

    Here, the visualization showcases an accumulation of styles, products, or buildings together, meaning a new design is created over another to feature the difference between the two. This technique is especially useful when projecting before-and-after images of existing structures.

Main Advantages 3D Product Visualization Bring for eCommerce

Today, 3D product visualization is quickly gaining popularity among online retailers, bringing the benefits to both sellers and buyers. What are the biggest advantages 3D product visualization brings for eCommerce?

  1. Reduces Pre-Purchase Anxiety

    Using 3D product visualization gives retailers the opportunity to showcase their products in context. This allows buyers to visualize and interact with the product to understand exactly how it works and what it will look like in their hands or in their home. The interactive product experience enables them to determine whether the product’s quality and functionalities match their expectations, while allowing them to make an informed purchasing decision.

    For example, say you’re selling a jewelry product. A 3D visualization will capture features that are otherwise difficult to portray. You can literally showcase the metal’s shine, the gem’s sparkle, the way the light reflects on it, and the way its unique design matches the buyer’s style.

  2. Increases Sales Conversion

    Retailers report that 3D visualization increases conversions. For example, fashion retailer Rebecca Minkoff has been using 3D visualization to showcase products since the fall of 2019. After running some tests, they discovered that visitors who interacted with a 3D product were:

    • 44% more likely to add the item to their cart,
    • more likely to place the order (27%),
    • Augmented Reality results in customers being 65% more likely to click on the shopping cart.
  3. Reduces Product Returns

    Product 3D visualization helps customers experience a life-like visual and interaction. This means they’re more likely to gain confidence in their purchasing decisions and, ultimately, reduce the chances of returning the product once purchased.

    It allows customers to experiment with a product’s variations before making the actual purchase. They can try various designs, styles, angles, and sizes best suited to their needs, which ultimately contributes to the “try-before-you-buy” experience. By simply using a 3D visualization, you’re likely to reduce return rates by up to five times!

  4. Enhances On-Site Customer Experiences

    Realistic visuals offer realistic experiences. Customers are much more likely to enjoy the online shopping experience if they can browse through 3D models and renders that make them feel as if they’re conveniently shopping at your store from their mobile devices; 3D models are so powerful that they can increase page-visiting times by 21% due to customer enjoyment. This inevitably creates a positive feeling about your brand and increases loyalty.

  5. It’s Cost-Effective

    As mentioned before, 3D visualizations are much more affordable than hiring a photographer, setting up the scene, going through every image, and selecting ones to edit and use. You can save a lot more time, money, and energy by using visuals that will encourage higher purchase rates anyway.

Start Your 3D Project in 3 Simple Steps!

  • Step 1: Choose the products to convert

    Whether it’s a product that receives the most enquiries, or one that has a complex texture which is difficult to describe.

  • Step 2: Take 3 to 5 pictures or a video from multiple angles…

    Don’t worry about hiring a professional; a simple snap with your smartphone is more than enough (or a few product links). Basic product dimensions will be needed as well.

  • Step 3: Choose the RIGHT supplier…

    Choose a supplier that can provide you with cost-effective, quality, on-scale services. If you need more than 100 SKUs converted, make sure they can deliver on time!

    It’s important to ensure the company you’re using offers a 3D model review system in which you can leave your feedback. Don’t settle for simply sending them an email and waiting until your nerves are shot to get a response, otherwise you’ll be investing far more time, energy, and nerve cells into the project—which is exactly what we don’t want!

    Ready to convert your product visuals to 3D? To start the 3D conversion process? Let’s talk! With over 15 years of experience in 3D modeling, we can offer not only quality, but also competitive prices, and a well-established QA workflow and digital asset management system.

Get in touch now ! Contact us