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3D, or not 3D.

March 13, 2013

To all of you 3D fans out there, there are 5 sets of pictures below for &Tradition new lamp collections. Can you tell which one is 3D (done by Xoio Studio) and which one is real picture? The answer is at the bottom of the page.

& tradition 1 3d & tradition 1 & tradition 2 3d & tradition 2 & tradition 3 3d & tradition 3 & tradition 4 3d & tradition 4 & tradition 5 3d & tradition 5

Answer: 1st of each set is 3D.

3D rendering has really come a long way, right? I think the 3D team must have spent hundreds of hours to come up with something that impressive. However, I am still not a big fan. Not that it isn’t good, I just think it lacks imagination.

“Real” and “Feel Real” are simply 2 different things.

This goes all the way back to my days in advertising, when we were forced to present super fine retouched layouts (we call them “lay-art”, which stood for “layout + artwork”), instead of rough sketches in the beginning. When the job was almost finished, 9 out of 10 times, clients would just compare the final print ad to the very first lay-art, then argued about the differences in the small details like skin tone, hair style, shadow… It was like we were getting punished by doing them a big favor in the beginning to help them “imagine” the final result.

Have we just shot ourselves in the foot? Should we have done it?

The same applies to 3D rendering, now that I am in interior design. I have had clients questioning why the final wall paint color was not “exactly” the same as the original 3D. It took me hours to explain that 3D was meant to be for “reference” only. They would then say we shouldn’t have presented those 3Ds, that they were not the same as the final apartment, that they were not real… so on and so forth.

Wait a minute, 3D aren’t supposed to be real.

I understand it’s the nature of this business, and sometimes it is necessary to do 3D rendering because it helps everyone to visualize and it is an impressive selling tool. But we still insist to do mood board, instead of some superfine 3D. Not that we are lazy, but we just think it is better to leave “room” for imagination. At the end of the day, it just comes down to managing expectation. And it doesn’t feel right to ask some “unreal” 3D rendering to create “real” expectation.

What do you think?

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