One of the major reasons why many companies use CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) instead of traditional commercial photography in a studio is because of the ability to build a room set without expensive or breakable props and actual products or product prototypes. With CGI, everything inside a room set can be built from scratch―even if the prop or product doesn’t exist. The room set will never break, and it can be revisited again and again for new product shots or future projects. This isn’t possible when building a real room set in a studio.
However, failing to make the most out of pre-production can create many problems when building a CGI room set. While simple change-outs aren’t usually a problem, such as making that vase purple instead of yellow, the pre-production stage of building a CGI room set is incredibly important to the success of the project as a whole. Ideally, CGI room sets only need to be built once. Having to spend extra time rendering or revising elements of a room set during or after the build affects the entire project in terms of timeline, budget and quality. Here’s why pre-production is important when working with CGI room sets.
It can take a long time to render a CGI room set. It’s not something that is typically done in an hour or two, as sometimes it can take up to a week or longer. If a client decides to swap out a chandelier (or something similar) in the final hour, it’s not considered a simple change-out. Lighting is a huge component of photo-real CGI work. Swapping out an item that affects the lighting means re-rendering the entire image to accommodate potential lighting changes. This takes time, and unless you’ve padded your timeline extensively, re-rendering again (and again) will most likely affect the ability to meet deadlines and stay on track.
Stay Within Budget
If your timeline is affected, it’s likely your budget will be, as well. Clients are typically provided with budget and timeline estimates based on the scope of the CGI work and historical data. If your project requires work that falls outside of that initial scope, it’s going to require a higher budget, too.
For flexible budgets, this won’t be as much of an issue. If your budget is set in stone, however, it’s a good idea to come to the studio prepared with style boards and a firm idea of what you want the final image to look like. First-timers and those who have no idea what the final image should look like will have to budget for consulting work to help you come up with the big idea.
Improve Image Quality
When the pre-production stage of a CGI project goes smoothly, CGI artists are able to spend more time perfecting the quality of the final CGI product image. Same goes for digital retouchers: If 90 percent of the allotted project hours is spent rendering and re-rendering a CGI room set in pre-production or addressing client revisions, the retouchers won’t have as much time to make the final image impeccable. It’s incredibly important to get the pre-production details hammered out before any CGI work begins, so everybody is on the same page and you can receive high-quality product imagery.
Work with a CGI Production Company
CGI isn’t as easy as snapping your fingers and poof! There’s a beautiful room! Virtual environments take real work, but unlike the “real world,” every little change can affect the final image in a potentially big way.
Have any questions or need help building a CGI room set? TRG Multimedia is a CGI production company that helps organizations achieve photorealism through technology through our CGI services. We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish, and give you all the tools, resources and information you need to make great style decisions for your CGI project. Contact us today to see how we can help with your CGI room sets.