Often referred to as 3D rendering, CGI or 3D graphics, 3D visualisation broadly describes the practice of using 3D software to develop high-quality digital images. Often it is spelt visualisation. This can take a technical form of visualizing data, such as measurements, to create a blueprint for an engineer to follow, or this could be a highly conceptual image to be used in promotional or marketing materials. In most cases, however, the designer will combine both accurate dimensions with style and flair in order to create a stunning rendition that works on both artistically and practically. Visualizations can be the end product in themselves, such as in graphic design, but more often than not they are part of a process, such as a prototype to show clients or investors before the physical work begins
While in the past such work was largely a combination of analogue photography and hand-drawn illustrations, owing to the staggering advances in technology and computer graphics engines (like Maya, 3DS Max or Blender) , visualisation is almost exclusively taken care of by skilled digital designers these days. Any company that has an interest in producing top-grade digital content, you’ve definitely got a visualizer on the payroll or contracted for this purpose. Professionals skilled in this field use their talents to bring to life concepts in full 3D form in a wide variety of fields from architectural design to stage production.
Benefits over traditional visualizations
3D visualization is recognized as an indispensable tool for business solutions in a wide variety of industries as it gives developers some very considerable benefits .
Expense: Rendering a visualization using photographs, as it was done back in the day, takes a lot of time and expense; physical prototypes of the product first need to be produced and the shoot requires an elaborate set, lighting rigging, models and so. If you’re in a situation where resources and funding are limited (as most businesses are) this could just be time and money you simply don’t have. A 3D designers, on the other hand, can produce of high-level digital visualizations of a prospective product which exceeds what can be achieved with photography for a fraction of the cost and time.
Few limitations: Simply put, skilled use of software can easily render an image which may be impossible or simply too expensive through conventional photography, which is especially useful in fields were extremely complex or groundbreaking designs are required, such as in architectural design. Look at the image below, for example:
Can you imagine making a photorealistic render like this using photography? its simply impossible. Yet with today’s graphics engines, visualizers can fully realise their imaginations. These high-level photorealistic renderings of designs, from food packaging to skyscrappers, can be inserted into digital environments, as above, to give the designers and clients an idea of how they will look in the real world and different elements, such as lighting and weather will affect them without having to mock up and expensive set.
Full control: The designer has full control of every aspect of the image, allowing adjustments to be easily made. This is beneficial on both an artistic and a practical level. Do you want to see how your design will look at different times of the day, such as sunset, noon or midnight? This can be easily done. Want to see it from different angles and elevations? it only takes a few clicks and you’ve got it. But beyond this, 3D visualizations are working prototypes that can be easily refined and added to as the development progresses, and feedback from clients, engineers or colleagues can be incorporated and tested without having to construct anything new.
Client satisfaction: 3D renders allow clients to explore the designs in full photorealistic 3D, seeing them from all angles and getting an appreciation of how the product will look in the real world. This could be as simple as a drinks can in a supermarket aisle or as complex as new piece of machinery in a factory assembly line.
Why does your business need a 3D Visualizer?
Let’s say your company is developing a new brand of mobile phone. Perhaps your technical team has given you the measurements and specifications, and you want to get a prototype up to see not only how the design looks in someone s hand but also how it will look in different materials and colours. Or maybe you have contracted by a client to renovate an old property, but before they commit to fully funding the project, they want to see accurate and photorealistic images of how the development will look once you have finished. They also want to see how it will look at different times of the day, and they have specified that the refurbishments should not clash with the other buildings on the block. In both cases, the traditional model of making physical prototypes showing all these different elements is simply not possible. However, a 3D visualization artist can quickly take your specifications and create high-quality renders of the design, easily showing these variables such as color, lighting and material and how the products will look in different environments. Furthermore, any adjustments necessary to the design can be made with a few clicks of the mouse. When you think about it like this, it is not hard to see why 3D visualization has come to be such a dominant force in so many industries.