THE BENEFITS OF CGI OVER PHOTOGRAPHY
Photography is a wonderful thing. It captures life’s intimate moments, it documents history’s most dramatic events, it freezes memories with the press of a button. But in today’s evolving market, the limitations of photography are becoming more evident.
Advertisers need to promote their products before they launch. Audiences want to know what the latest sports coupe looks like racing on top of the Great Wall of China. In other words, we’re demanding more from our imagery than photography can provide.
PICTURING THE FUTURE
The global market is incredibly competitive, which means companies are racing to introduce their product first. One common problem with this: the introduction of the product will often take place before the product has been created! Trailers are released before a movie has completed filming. Commercials for a new computer are run before the model has been produced. Homes are marketed before construction has even begun. That’s where CGI comes into play.
With teams of talented artists and the right software, rendering companies can create lifelike, photo-real imagery of just about anything, regardless if it has been created yet or not. This happens to be our specialty. On a daily basis, the nation’s largest homebuilders and many others ask us to create imagery of their products before they’re even created. This allows potential homebuyers to envision what they are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into or online shoppers to get a realistic look of a product before it arrives at their doorstep.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Even if the product already exists, that doesn’t necessarily mean photography is the most efficient option. For example, Doug’s Homebuilders wants to take photographs of newly-constructed homes and place them on their website. Doug will first have to typically hire an advertising agency to find a professional photographer and schedule the shoot. For the exterior shots, everything has to fall in place at the right time for the photographer. They’ll have to set up the camera in the proper location – often in the neighbor’s yard. They must wait until there are no passing vehicles and all pedestrians must be cleared from the shoot. It has to be the perfect time of day in order to get the right lighting from the sun. If there’s clouds or rain? Forget it. They’ll have to come back the next day (even though they’ll still be paid for today’s attempt.)
For the interior shots, in order to make the homes appealing, they must be staged. That means walls must be painted, floors polished and an entire household worth of furniture will have to be purchased or rented. An interior designer will likely be hired to decide where the furniture is placed. Movers will be brought in to do the heavy lifting. After a few days of shooting, the house must be stripped and cleaned, the furniture loaded up and transported to a storage facility…until the next staging.
Doug could have gone an alternative route and saved considerable time and effort. He could have hired a CGI company, like us. Within a couple days our artists would have produced the same accurate, photo-real imagery for a fraction of the cost.
“THE BEST THING ABOUT A PICTURE IS THAT IT NEVER CHANGES, EVEN WHEN THE PEOPLE IN IT DO.” –ANDY WARHOL
WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, MR. WARHOL, WE BEG TO DIFFER.
One of the biggest benefits of CGI is that anything can be changed at any time. Using Doug’s Homebuilders example, instead of posting a traditional photograph of the living room to the website, Doug could provide homebuyers with an interactive experience allowing his audience to customize a space by changing out the flooring, furniture, wall colors, and more. Even the angle of the room can be changed with a few clicks. The options are endless; scenes can be repurposed to an exponential degree. There would be no need to reshoot that living room over and over again. This applies to any industry, and is especially useful for products offered in multiple colors or variations, such as clothing, electronics and appliances.
Photographs are reminders of the past. Ironically, photographs are becoming a thing of the past. CGI offers all the benefits of photography and more. Products that do not yet exist can be promoted with confidence. The cost and hassle of professional photography crews can now be easily avoided. A single image of a product can be modified to showcase every color and variation available. The old saying goes, “Take a picture, it’ll last longer.” But in today’s competitive market, who wants that?