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3D Photoreal Visualization Of A Car On A Shore

Create a 3D Model of a Product: How Long Does It Take?

Now, 3D models are widely used by manufacturers to advertise and sell their products. Hence the need for the businesses to know the basics of CGI creation. Otherwise, it will be impossible to achieve the best productivity when working with 3D modeling studios. For instance, if manufacturers do not know the time frame of creating 3D models of products, miscommunication with a CGI company will probably occur, deadlines will be pushed further, and the schedule of a planned marketing campaign will be ruined.

As a professional 3D modeling studio, we care about our customers and want to help them prevent these troubles. That is why we prepared this guide. In our previous articles, we have already explained how to create a 3D model of a product and delved into the pricing of this service. This time we’re going to consider the time factor. Join us as we explore how long does it take to create a 3D model of a product, and what can influence the timescale.

#1. Level of detail

  • 3D Photoreal Visualization Of A Red Steel Circular Saw

  • 3D Photoreal Visualization Of A Golden Watch With A Relief

3D models can be roughly separated into “simple” and “complex” ones based on their level of detail. Have a look at these two products of 3D modeling. Both of them are made with photoreal quality and superb attention to detail, and yet, the former was made within 20 hours, and the latter — within a whopping 56 hours! What caused this difference? The answer is the complexity of a 3D model of a product.

In the case of the first item, the circular saw, production was relatively simple — because a CAD base did not have too many complex shapes. So even with all the lighting and reflections editing, rendering and post-production, it took around two working days to make this 3D model. While the second item, an ornate watch, was much more difficult to accomplish. To create a 3D model of a product with such a gorgeous relief, 3D artists need to use 3D sculpting software, like ZBrush. The process is difficult and time-consuming. Even the most skilled professionals spend days carefully carving out a 3D model of a product from a block of polygons. Therefore, the more structurally difficult design is — organic shapes, lots of little details, and so on — the longer it will take to recreate it in 3D.

#2. Image resolution

3D Photoreal Visualization Of Two Action Cameras With Black Background

It is not enough to just create a 3D model of a product to make marketing materials. After that, a digital object has to be rendered and converted into 2D visuals. But there comes a question — what image resolution does one need? By default, 3D modeling studios provide images in HD. But what if a client needs a higher quality? Larger dimensions mean longer rendering time. As a rule of thumb, everything above HD adds a few hours more to visualize. For example, rendering a CG picture in Ultra 4K HD will take four times longer than in regular HD. And if there are multiple POVs or several 3D product models to be rendered — a customer would probably have to wait for a couple of days for the final results.

#3. CG models’ background

3D Photoreal Visualization Of A Golden Mechanical Watch In Space Environment

It is possible to create a 3D model of a product on a mono-colored background or in the context. The latter option, which is called lifestyle imagery, is a great marketing tool. A product shown within an appropriate scene looks more desirable for potential buyers. However, when it comes to creating lifestyles with CGI, it increases production time, in comparison to mono-colored background images. This is because in this case, digital space has to feature not only the 3D model of a product itself, but also a fleshed-out scene, and contextual elements.

Adding each of those details means a few more hours of work. Sure, decor and other paraphernalia can be of lower quality than the 3D product model — if they are blurred out to focus attention on the centerpiece. And yes, it’s not always necessary to make them from scratch — 3D modeling studios have vast libraries of premade assets. But still, carefully placing lifestyle details and making sure that they seamlessly blend in is a whole lot of work. On top of that, each of those elements casts a shadow, there may be several different light sources — and all that has to be accounted for. So, even a simple lifestyle image may take a day or two to make, and the more complex the order is, the longer it would take.

#4. Interactivity


    The final product of 3D modeling and rendering may come in different forms, including interactive 360 views. Such a 3D model of a product can be rotated, so the viewers will be able to examine it thoroughly from all sides. 360-degree views are an impressive type of commercial product rendering for marketing — but their creation is time-consuming. Essentially, a 360 product view is a visualization of one digital model from different POVs combined into one piece. For making such a CGI material, each shot has to be rendered separately and then combined into an interactive image. To create a 3D model of a product like this, 3D artists would need a few days, so clients should plan their marketing campaigns accordingly.

    #5. Animation

    Speaking of the most impressive 3D visuals — CGI can come in a fully-animated form, too. If businesses want to present their new merchandise as stellar, 3D animation is perfect for the job. But how long would it take to create a 3D model of a product in the animated form? Let’s see.

    To animate CGI, 3D artists would have to not only create a 3D model of a product, but also a digital environment for it. Then, 3D professionals will need to move the camera around the scene to get multiple POVs that will showcase an item from every angle. It will be needed to render every POV and combine them in a particular order to create an illusion of movement. This way, even a short 3D animation, less than 10 seconds, can take about a week to make. And if the final 3D video has to be longer and requires some complex post-production effects, and the object has lots of moving parts that have to be shown in action — a manufacturer can add a few weeks to a project timeline.

    The amount of time needed to create a 3D model of a product depends on many factors. If a manufacturer needs something relatively simple to be visualized, like a chair or a table on a white background, it can take only a couple of hours to make. But if something more complex is needed, like highly-detailed objects, lifestyles, 360-degree views or a 3D animation — that would take quite a while. To plan ahead, a business should always consult with a 3D visualization studio to accurately determine how long would it take to finish the order in question.

    Since you’re here, you probably want your products to be visualized as fast as possible. We are glad to help you with that. Get high-end CG visuals at a reasonable rate with our 3D modeling services!

    Catherine Paul
    Content Writer, Editor

    Catherine is a content writer and editor. In her articles, she explains how CGI is transforming the world of architecture and design. Outside of office, she enjoys yoga, travelling, and watching horrors.


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