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  • Gerda Verbickaite

How can virtual photography benefit eCommerce businesses?

Product photoshoots can be quite expensive and time-consuming for various eCommerce businesses. Finding a photographer, renting the venue, and building the set only to be topped off with a hefty bill is a workday in itself. Not to mention having all the products and all the possible variations brought to be prepared and photographed.


This is where virtual photography, or 3D photorealistic rendering comes into play. The larger the item, or the higher configurability it has, the more sense it suddenly starts to make for creating a computer-generated image instead.

So in this blog, we'll go through all the pros and cons of virtual photography for your business:

  • How can I start using a virtual photographer / photorealistic rendering in practice?

  • Virtual studio means any location is always accessible

  • Spend less time, but get more out of it

  • Get more for your buck with virtual photography

  • Smaller chance for errors

  • When should you opt for traditional photography anyway?

Audionord’s Magnepan speaker photorealistic render in a lifestyle scene created by Sayduck modelers


How can I start using a virtual photographer / photorealistic rendering in practice?

To start with virtual photography, you would need to have your product 3D models. If you do, you can upload them on our platform, open the product and start snapping pictures.


On the other hand, it’s not a problem if you don’t have a 3D model yet. Nowadays, with 3D technology advancing rapidly, creating 3D models is not as expensive as it might have once been. The price per model can start as cheaply as a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the complexity of the model.


So, you have your 3D models ready, now there are two main ways how you can create photorealistic renders:

1. If you want a simple clean background, in which you can display your product alone from any angle it’s as simple as clicking the Render button and downloading the image.


2. Another option is to create a whole scene render, which could be a beautiful apartment, a beach in California, or any other place you would like us to create, and place a model in that environment. For this option our modeling team would be involved in generating the scene, making it a bit more manual, but still a very affordable and fast option.


Ikea Stockholm Whitespace render, done through the Sayduck platform, on the left and Tempur bed photorealistic render in a full lifestyle scene done by professional modelers on the right.

Pros

Cons

Traditional Photoshoot

  • Easier to visualize the product in a real environment

  • Familiar process

  • Can make sure the product works in the environment

  • If the photoshoot goes wrong, everything will need to be repeated

  • Expensive

  • Very time-consuming in location and talent scouting, shooting, and post-production

  • Need physical products and all their color/size variations available

  • Required renting a space, props for setup

Whitespace Rendering

  • Included in the Sayduck platform subscription

  • Instant photos from any angle

  • No need for a physical product

  • Possible to showcase every color and size


  • Requires a 3D model (prices begin at couple hundred dollars per model)

Lifestyle Scenes

  • The product can be in various locations and setups to reflect your brand and image

  • Realistic settings are often cheaper than traditional photoshoots

  • Relatively fast in comparison to traditional photoshoot


  • Requires a 3D model

  • More time-consuming than a Whitespace Rendering


Let’s dive a bit deeper into all these pros and cons of getting rid of expensive studio setups and replacing them with your personal virtual photographer.


Virtual studio means any location is always accessible

Depending on where you are located, the photoshoot locations available will highly vary, however, photorealistic renders make your photoshoot studio virtual and very accessible.


For certain products it might make sense to put them in locations that fit their purpose – a couch in a living room, garden furniture outdoors, but making all of these photoshoots would cost an arm and a leg.


While creating sets to match the product, you can also make sure the environment fits the brand as well as the lifestyle that the brand promotes.

Spend less time, but get more out of it

Anyone who has done product photoshoots knows, that one of the main bottlenecks is time:

  • Get the products (or the prototypes)

  • Create the concept

  • Location scouting

  • Photographer scouting

  • Product delivery to the location

  • Location setup

  • Waiting for the photos to come and hope it all works together.

This process can take weeks if not months and involve a lot of people, while the result is not always certain.


A photorealistic render, on the other hand, cuts through most of these steps and can be done within seconds for a Whitespace Render or a couple of days for a Lifestyle Scene. And unlike a photoshoot, if the time-consuming end result is not what you were looking for – it can always be changed.


Get more for your buck with virtual photography

Not only does traditional photography take a lot of time, but it also often can be too costly for small-mid-sized eCommerce businesses. On average, 3D models can be up to 6x times cheaper than results of traditional photography, and with guaranteed results.


It might sometimes sound counterintuitive, that photorealistic renders could be cheaper than taking a real photo, but if you have a larger product, especially with different colors and sizes or just a big catalog of products, which you want to display in locations that fit certain lifestyle, the cost can quickly rack up, with traditional photoshoots.


If you want a photo with a clean background and you already have your 3D models on our platform, you can within seconds create high-quality photos from any angle, color, or size, without added cost in our Virtual Photo Studio.

Creating your own Whitespace Photorealistic renders in our Photo Studio is as simple as clicking a button

Smaller chance for errors

While on a photoshoot, sometimes a human error happens, and unfortunately in some cases the only way to fix those mistakes is to redo the whole photoshoot. Other times, we might realize that the concept didn’t work, once it has already been realized.


When working with 3D models, it is much easier to change the environment, fix human mistakes and make sure everything looks as perfect as we wish it to be.


We can test locations, colors, light and everything else.


When should you opt for traditional photography anyway?

Sometimes even with all the reasons, traditional photography still might make more sense than photorealistic rendering.


Pretty much, if you have a 3D model, or would plan to take your product catalog to 3D and Augmented Reality – photorealistic renders are a way to go.


But if you have a huge catalog of products that rapidly change, and taking them to 3D and Augmented Reality won’t bring much benefit, then traditional photography would do the trick.

The benefits of photorealistic renders in a nutshell:

  1. Save time and money by simplifying your marketing process

  2. Maintain consistent brand/lifestyle throughout your photography

  3. Have endless supply of photos within seconds, for any marketing activities

  4. No limitations on your physical location

Do you need high quality realistic product visuals for your eCommerce website, social media, catalog? Contact us to showcase the best sides of your products online.


Contact us for 3D, Augmented Reality or Virtual-Try-On solutions for your company!