Introduction to Virtual Photography
The most popular type of product photography has white backgrounds, often referred to as silhouette shots, AKA “silos.” The Threekit Platform is regularly used to create these shots en masse.
When creating silos there are a couple of choices. They can be created either one at a time or in bulk. Most clients create them one at a time while doing tests to ensure the product is setup correctly, ensuring the lighting is great and the angle is flattering. Once that is confirmed, the silos are created in bulk across large swaths of the product line and available options.
Many of our users leverage our ability to create silhouettes en masse in order to present their customers with virtual photography-based visual configurators. These visual configurators allow for their customers to experiment with product options while seeing an updated product view that reflects their chosen options. For products with complex options, having a constantly updating accurate visual representation boosts customer confidence in your products and suitability to their needs, thus increasing sales and reducing returns.
The creation of visual configurations proceeds similarly to the silhouettes. The main difference is that for a configurable product, it must have options available and they must have discrete values. You then create images of the products and all option combinations. This again creates an image set. You can review the image set for correctness and then make it live for the chosen product. In this case though you do not show a single image but rather the Threekit Player presents the image set and its configuration options. As the user explores the options by changing its configuration, the image automatically updates.
We offer advanced virtual photography based visual configuration through the use of layered image sets as well. This is mostly used when a configuration is incredibly complex and rendering out individual images for each possible configuration is not tractable. When presented with these requirements, your art team can group together options and aspects of the 3D assets into layers. These layers then are rendered independently at lower complexity than the whole set of options. Our player will automatically pull multiple layers together and combine them on the client side in order to achieve a result which appears to be a single image but is much more efficient to create.
The second most popular style of product photography besides silhouettes is lifestyle shots. Lifestyle shots incorporate your product into a real-world context. For clothing this would likely be having a model wear your clothing in the context of doing an appropriate activity. If it is furniture, it would be an appropriately setup room, such a bedroom to showcase a dresser, or a living room to showcase a sofa. Lifestyle shots often incorporate more than a single product into a shot in order to encourage customers to purchase additional complimentary products.
The process of creating lifestyle shots is more involved than silhouettes because of the need to create an appropriate context. It is quite likely that you can not use one of our existing “stages” and instead the 3D art team (we can help you here if necessary) will have to create these for you. These stages can optionally have configuration properties on them, such as setting the wall color or the flooring. After this step, the rest of the process is identical to the silhouette process.