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Choosing between Product Photography and CGI

In recent years, it has become more and more difficult to spot the differences between photographed products and CGI created models. And, with this, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people questioning which method they should opt for when trying to showcase their products to consumers.

If you have a new product on the horizon, it’s undeniable that you’ll want the highest quality of images possible to catch the attention of potential buyers. But, with both traditional photography and CGI more than capable of capturing your products in the best light, how do you go about choosing which technique to use?

Studio Product Photography for Tivoli Audio Speaker (2)
3D CGI Product Shot for Dog Collar Explainer Video (1)

When you should choose traditional photography

Here at Magenta, traditional photography is where we began back in 2006 and has since remained a core part of the services we offer. Yet, that isn’t to say we haven’t seen a shift in the commercial industry and client demand.

While traditional methods of product photography used to be everyone’s first choice, now, there is often a decision involved in choosing between CGI and photography. In this event, we’re able to advise when it’s best to use traditional photography and when it’s time to make the leap towards CGI.

So, here’s what we suggest. Traditional photography is best used to produce pack shots, which is where a product is presented against a plain background and captured from multiple angles. As an extremely economical method of production, with traditional photography, you’ll receive a large number of product images, at a fairly affordable price.

Pack shot product photography for Grunwerg
Pack shot product photography for Grunwerg

The benefits of traditional photography for pack shots

Product authenticity

Pack shots are all about displaying the quality and design of your product, so, what better way to do this than use your actual product in the shot? With traditional photography, you place your real products front and centre, displaying the value of your products through the authenticity of the images.

Volume of images

When using traditional methods of product photography to create pack shots, you can achieve multiple shots of your products in a very short space of time. With a portfolio of product images from varying angles, you’ll have plenty of images to choose from for numerous campaigns and promotions.

Cost effectiveness

Due to the simple set up and process of producing pack shots through traditional photography, a smaller budget will usually be required. This means, you’ll receive a large quantity of high-quality product images, without breaking the bank.

When you should choose CGI

Despite starting out in photography, over the years, we have responded to the rising demand for CGI by growing our skills and services. Now, computer generated imagery is seen as one of the biggest contenders to traditional product photography, with many turning to CGI for its impressive design capabilities and flexibility.

Yet, that isn’t to say CGI is always the best method to go for when producing product images. Just as we recommended traditional photography for producing pack shots, CGI is often suited for hero shots and larger campaigns.

Hero shots are a way of demonstrating how your products can be used by consumers. By placing your products in a visual scene, hero shots aim to encourage viewers to imagine themselves with your products.

CGI product photography for cosmetic brand (3)

The benefits of CGI for hero shots

Design flexibility

Once a computer-generated model of your product has been created, there is complete flexibility in how your product can be presented. For example, if your product was a piece of furniture, you could choose the colour, angle, lighting and background to compose a complete visual scene around the product. The design flexibility of CGI makes putting together a hero shot a lot easier, as there’s no need to build a physical set.

Pre-production images

If you want to begin marketing a product before it’s been manufactured, you can use CGI to create a realistic model of the product. Once completed, you can continue to use CGI to produce hero shots, effectively building consumer anticipation on the lead up to the product release.

Long term strategy

After a computer-generated image of your product has been created, it can be easily reused in future hero shots and product campaigns. In doing so, CGI can save you both time and money, as you’ll no longer need to invest in new photography shoots for each product promotion.

3D CGI Photography for Fruit Drink Brand (4)
3D CGI Product Shot for Pet Brand

Need help deciding between CGI and photography?

Before you head straight for the modern capabilities of CGI, it’s important you consider the type of images you want produced and the budget you have available. While we champion both CGI and photography as great methods of product imagery, at Magenta, we’re able to distinguish which technique will best meet the needs of your business, products and vision.

Able to accommodate for both CGI and traditional product photography, we’re continuing to provide both services throughout these challenging times, as we remain committed to providing you with high-quality images for commercial use.

Whether you want to discuss our services or need further help choosing between CGI and traditional photography, feel free to get in touch with our team at Magenta.

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