How to start with a product rendering: reference data

Kristian, March 10, 2021


High-quality reference data speeds up the project start and helps the 3D artist to create an accurate 3D product rendering. For the 3D model and also for texturing, precise references are necessary to create detailed photorealistic materials.

What kind of data is needed for a product rendering?

The most important information relates to the dimensions of the object to be visualized. Photos, videos, product samples or original 3D data with material specifications can help as a reference for the 3D rendering.

Existing 3D data

For existing 3D construction data, such as from AutoCAD, Inventor or Solidworks, the existing 3D files can be converted accordingly in order to create photorealistic product renderings. Material specifications are also required, for example type of material, color, transparency and reflectivity.

Creating reference photos yourself

The reference photos for a product rendering can also be created directly by the customer. For this, it should be noted that the images must have a high resolution and include views from the top, bottom, side, front, back, perspective, as well as interesting details. The images should be taken in daylight and shade respectively, i.e. not in an underground car park or in the blazing sun. A wide-angle lens should not be used if possible, but preferably a 50mm or even better 100mm lens. Zooming in a bit also helps to avoid (wide-angle) distortions and to get a real representation of the proportions of the product to be visualized.

Logos and artwork for a 3D product rendering

Vectorized artwork such as logos or labels can be transferred directly into the 3D product rendering in vector format, either as AI, EPS, PDF or SVG. The same applies to Indesign files, e.g. for packaging. These can also be used directly as textures and if the original packaging is to be printed with a gold foil, this can also be reproduced according to the Indesign data in the 3D setup of the product rendering.