Photography & CGI - A happy marriage?

We investigate the pro's and con's of new digital image creation, and whether traditional photography has had its day.

Image creation is no longer a simple case of what you shoot is what you get

Advances in image editing are changing our world, the increasing use of image manipulation and creative retouching along with 3D modelling and CGI, means just about anything is possible.

Introducing CGI

Computer-Generated Imagery dates back to the late 1960’s, and has developed rapidly from its origins as a Russian mathematical model, with CGI now being used in all areas of the visual arts.

Especially loved by film-makers for its ability to generate realistic looking visual effects, CGI is also being widely adopted by the advertising world to sell in ever more innovative ways.

In commercial terms, CGI does have some big wins and some sectors are using the technology widely.

For example the luxury automotive industry, where CGI modelling is cost effective compared to the raw material and development costs, and has reached a level of perfection as to be almost indistinguishable from photography.

In retail, by 2017 furniture giant IKEA were already using rendered images for 70% of their products, and that percentage is ever increasing.

For Prodoto, pure CGI has been a useful tool when it comes to room set work that is on a very large scale, such as the below image.

Combining The Elements

Mixing 'traditional' photography elements with CGI techniques is also something we do frequently, creating show stopping campaign images for our photography clients.

Read all the details of creating this Craghoppers Pember Jacket image over on our Case Studies page

Getting Creative with Craghoppers

Photography has far from had its day

Intricate or organic items, especially food, are on the whole easier to photograph than recreate in the virtual world.

If you have numerous products to be shot in the same way such as these mannequin images, and your sampling costs are relatively low, photography is quicker and generally cheaper than creating 3D models and rendering.

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Cameras have advanced hugely, but the photographic image will always be limited by physical science.

By using image manipulation and creative retouching, all those limits are blown away and the combination has the potential to lift images out of this world.

Used hand in hand, the two techniques can create visuals that are just not possible with a camera alone, but all importantly, without blowing the entire annual budget!

Making Your Choice

If you already have 3D modelling from your product development process this can significantly reduce the amount of time needed and therefore the cost, in generating a digital rendering of your product.

However, if you don’t have these building blocks to start from but you do have a physical product, we can model it for you. This enables us to manipulate and move your 'product' in any way you wish as part of the final result.

Alternatively, photography is a cost effective option which need not limit your imagination.

The full range of manipulation you can achieve with CGI modelling will not be possible, but by combining the photographic image with created environments and effects, applied by skilled graphic artists and creative retouchers, a wide range of possibilities are opened up for your Brand.

Creative product photography bottles

The process of creating hyper-realistic images to contribute to stills or animation is here to stay, and its growing.

If you have something that needs a truly inspiring presentation, combining photography with CGI or creative retouching could be the way forward!

Talk to the team at Prodoto to see what we can create for you.

For more examples of our creative work, click the link below

Let's do this together

You’re excited, we’re excited - let’s make this happen!

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