Have you recently browsed through an IKEA catalogue? Did you know that over 70 percent of the images used are not real? They are computer generated.
In an era of digitalization, product photography is not forgotten. However, photography is being approached from a different angle. It is being “virtualized”. The CG (computer generated) techniques once used in the film and gaming industry, are continuously spreading across industries that most do not realize yet. Today, CG photography is well established within architecture, automotive, consumer electronics, and even furniture. But why is that the case?
Considering its advantages, there are good reasons for this advancement. Traditionally, objects were photographed with a physical camera in a studio. Nevertheless, as products are being continuously designed, created and tested using computer software, these models can now also be photographed virtually. As the level of digital “hyper-realism” grows, it is justified to believe that even human models could start being rendered using CGI. Even for trained eyes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between real and computer-generated images.
Indeed, traditional product photography is quickly becoming obsolete. Latest advancements in computer hardware, software, and ray-tracing technologies allow for re-creation in the way materials, objects, and light particles behave in a virtual setting. However, these tools are relatively useless on their own. It takes an extra-artistic effort in composition, framing, and storytelling to create truly breathtaking and ultra-realistic images that not only trick but captivate the eye.