Posted on 08/08/2015

3D visualisation is becoming an increasingly practical and valuable application for many different industries. Visualisation is the process of using rendering technology to create photorealistic images, animations and content. The images created are representative of how the product will interact with physical environments such as lighting and materials in the real world. The belief that 3D visualisation, or computer-generated imagery (CGI), is only relevant in the film and video game industry is outdated, as the technology is now being used to benefit companies across architecture, design and manufacturing.

As the usage of visualisation software filters into more and more industries, it is important to look past the assumption that 3D visualisation can only benefit the movie industry, as the benefits for both businesses and customers are wide ranging.  

Businesses have moved to take advantage of these benefits. Not only do digitally rendered images make products look visually impressive, they allow customers to view products still under construction. For instance, using state of the art rendering software, a car manufacturer is able to create and display photorealistic images and animations of a car still in the manufacturing stage. This rendering software reduces the time involved in developing a product from design to the point-of-sale significantly.        

The advantages of visualisation

The advantages of using visualisation technology in the architecture, design and manufacturing sectors are numerous; not least that it saves both businesses and customers significant time and effort. With the development of sophisticated configuration packages, potential clients can interact with a digital representation of the product. Customers have the ability to change various aspects of the product, tailoring each feature to their individual requirements using custom real-time digital configuration applications. In addition to this, businesses can use visualisations to develop a deep understanding of how products will look and work; creating simulations to test different design options and review different iterations.

The images created through the rendering process show how the product will react to different physical environments, for instance lighting and materials. In the design stage the product can be tested to see how it interacts with different options; how the product reacts to lighting in the simulation is exactly how it would react in the real world. The physical accuracy available allows an architect to switch between different materials and lighting when creating a simulation of an external structure or interior draft, which closes the gap between design and reality. Designers can gain an understanding of the materials and how they interact with the product with real world accuracy. Both time and money can be saved as the physical accuracy helps businesses identify potential problems in the design stage.


Which industries can benefit from visualisation?

High quality visualisations are key in many industries. These visuals permit an architect to show a client photorealistic digital images and simulations of what a design will look like when completed, and allows an automotive manufacturer to amend and adapt myriad aspects of a digital car simulation during the design process.   

The barriers that used to be attributed to visualisation are reducing dramatically, making it an increasingly attractive option for many businesses. The costs involved have lowered and on top of this visualisations can increase profits due to the enhanced relationship and interaction between the product and the customer. The hardware needed to run visualisation software is easily accessible and more powerful technology means the software itself has improved.   

Using photographic digital quality visuals to enhance the attractiveness of a product at the point-of-sale is used to advertise products in sectors such as jewellery, apparel and wearable technology. The ability to make striking digital images of wearable designs allows for a more engaging customer experience, one that is likely to make a lasting impression.

Furthermore, configurators allow customers to easily interchange components, customising design choices instantly. When designing a ring, a customer can change the gem size, gem colour, type of metal and many more aspects quickly and easily. When designing a t-shirt the fabric, colour and more are all easily changeable, whilst the same ability to interact with different options allows a customer to customise a car, motorbike or an item of wearable technology to their individual preferences. 3D visualisation allows businesses to differentiate their products from others on the market and enhances the customer’s personalised shopping experience.         

Visualisation – here to stay

The benefits that come with using visualisations are being increasingly utilised by businesses in the architecture, design and manufacturing sectors. Numerous advantages such as the time and effort saved by both the business and customer, ease of modification in the design stage and the ability to see how products react with physically based materials means that visualisation offers practical benefits to businesses. Configurators and photorealistic images are now more accessible than ever before and with the barriers to visualisation reducing, more and more industries are moving to take advantage of the unique benefits that visualisations can bring.

An in-depth look at visualisation and the industries surrounding it
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