A great benefit of developing a product in a modern 3D CAD platform is product visualization. Before a single prototype has been fabricated, we can output realistic images and high quality animations to communicate the concept. These assets can be used in marketing, research, business development, and anywhere else a product picture might show up. For product that already exist, 3D rendered images are an alternative to product photography and can generate interactive 3D spins of a product.
Animations can be used to communicate a concept, but they can also be used to show technicians how to assemble products or show customers how to make repairs on their own.
Photo-Realistic Rendered Images
Sometimes I hesitate to use the term “photo-realistic” – most images do not attempt to trick someone into thinking its an actual photograph. This phrase refers to how the images are generated. They are “photo-realistic” because the behavior of light is simulated to create realistic reflections and shadows in the images.
Imagine this process as very similar to studio photography. But in addition to setting up the proper lighting, we also have to apply materials to the models so that they not only have the right color, but reflect light correctly. Do we have a glossy, mirror like surface? Or dulled satin finish? A brushed metal finish? With the right materials and good lighting, fantastic images can be created.
Using 3D CAD data, we can create complex animations to demonstrate how things work or how they go together. We can create fly-by camera animations to show 3D models from a brand new perspective. We can often work with the existing CAD data you’ve already developed or start from scratch. Virtual motors can simulate motion. Lights can turn on and off. Objects can be made transparent or change colors. And the list goes on.
A common animation we do is a simple 360 spin that can be looped indefinitely. Combined with a set of rendered images, this can form a great basis for an informational video or presentation on a new product concept.
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