13/04/2016No Comments

3 great ways to make your CGI budget go further

3 great ways to make your CGI budget go further

Over the past few years we've noticed that there's been a culture shift; people and businesses are becoming more and more concious of their CGI budgets. I can understand and empathise with those folk, we're a business and we're certainly not ones for overspending! But what we do believe in is value for money, and making your budget work hard to give you the best possible work!

So how do you make your budget for further? We've put together 3 great tips for reducing project costs, and ways to give you even more without it costing the earth!

1. Release 3D models for your clients to download.

Designers, architects and even hobbyists are becoming more and more dependant on using 3D packages in their workflow, and as such need content for their projects.

When we at Ard Digital create CGI images of your products, we create 3D model files. These files are representations of your products, made to the correct real-world measurements.


CGI sink & tap.

If we make these digital versions of your products available to download, designers could use the 3D files and show your products in their designs. This is incredibly useful, as designers will be able to see how your products will fit in their designs, giving them confidence in eventually buying your product.

2. Create alternative content from existing work.

As with point 1, when we create the CGI visualisations, we create digital assets. These digital assets can be used to create other content, at perhaps a fraction of the initial cost. Perhaps additional views within a digital room set could add great value to your marketing work, with only a small additional cost to produce?

Maybe we could look to create some alternative content? If we already have an interior set built for a CGI image, then why not create an immersive 360 degree virtual reality tour, allowing people to virtually stand in the room, and look around? Or maybe we could 3D print a house model by re-using the 3D models created for an architectural visualisation?

We successfully did just this for the guys at Made By Cooper for the Milkhouse toy. Initially they commissioned us to create the Milkhouse 3D model to manfacture the toy, but soon realised they could used the 3D model to create realistic renders of the toy, and also create a turn-table 360 animation!


Milkhouse 360 renders.

Creating more content could be great for your marketing and product, and thinking out side of the box could mean that we create some exciting, new, fresh content, that perhaps your competitors haven't discovered yet!


3. Re-use digital assets.

Digital assets, such as 3D models, or virtual materials are great. We can re-use these assets to create something new. Items such as windows, doors, street furniture are all often re-used as a way to keep budgets under control.

But how could re-using digital assets make your budget go further? For kitchen manufactures, we have re-used digital room sets to create new images for different products, and without comparing the 2 images side by side, it's unlikely you would even know the two images came from 1 original set. We have re-used appliances, surface finishes and other items to save time and money on a 2nd digital room set.

Digital kitchen room set.

Re-positioning the camera, re-styling a set and changing colours the walls can make an existing set appear new. This technique works incredibly well in keeping costs down, and works brilliantly if planned in advance, as we want to make sure all your images don't look the same! If used right we can re-use a digital room sets and other assets to create many sets and shots.


So that's our 3 great ways to make your CGI budget go further! If you'd like to know more about the work we do, and how we could work with your budget to give you the best content, then please get in touch!

12/05/2014No Comments

Apline Lodge CGI Breakdown – From 3D polygons to print

In this blog post, I'm going to give a very brief overview and breakdown of how an image goes from 3D polygons to an image ready for print.


Image: From polygons to print

Recently I completed the Alpine Lodge CGIs. This project is typical of the way I construct a CGI room set, and as the images were really nice to work on, I thought I would explain and break them down to show various stages.

When working in the 3D software, in this case 3D Studio Max, previews are used to visualise the scene. Typically wire frame views, and simple shaded views will be used when constructing the 3D elements. This gives quick feedback to anyone involved in the project, as the composition and arrangement is quite clear to see. It does look untidy, and there is no lighting, but this kind of view is instant, unlike a final image, which can take several hours to compute and render.


Image: 3D software wire frame preview

When constructing room sets, or even architectural projects, generally only what is going to be seen in the final image will be create. This is purely to save time. Objects behind the virtual camera are discarded, unless seen in reflections, and building or rooms float in an empty virtual world.


Image: Digital room set

After the set is constructed, lighting effects, material properties, and other detail are added. Now the images are starting to look like the final image. The image below shows how the 3D software produces the image. It isn't a one click solution, and time spent lighting and fine-tuning can be just as long, if not longer, than constructing the room set. The aim with this rendered image is to have a nicely balanced image, ready for post-production.


Image: 3D render

The image produced from the 3D software wasn't quite right, the image was too dark, parts of the image were the wrong colour, and the background needed to be adjusted. Some artists will try to achieve the final image solely inside the 3D software, but I find this very counter intuitive, as simple adjustments can be made in software such as Photoshop. When working in the 3D software, I want the image to have enough depth, colour range and contrast to make changes in post-production quick and easy.


Image: Final image ready to print

I also use a process of layers, adjustments and fine-tuning to control the image to control the finish, colour and look of the final images, perhaps I'll go into more detail on another blog post in the future, keep watching!





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