Why Lifestyle Imagery Is Crucial For Successful Sales

Why Lifestyle Imagery Is Crucial For Successful Sales

September 14, 20216 Minutes

For many of our clients, having lifestyle and roomset imagery has always been their favourite aspect of their projects as they are able to see their products in a real life environment and have the same amount of creative input as they would on a photography shoot. However, as some clients come to us with the sole purpose of wanting to showcase their models in every possible fabric combination as product cut-outs, they often overlook, or are unaware of, how important it is to have your products shown in a photorealistic environment.


Retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, especially in the current circumstances, rely on imagery to sell their products. As the recent months have shown that photography shoots are becoming a thing of the past, we want to take a moment to highlight the reasons why having multiple shots and formats - cut-outs, lifestyles and animations - are so crucial in increasing your e-commerce game. 


Many of our clients have now dropped photography all together, meaning that we are producing all of their marketing collateral. One of the main benefits of CGI is that you have complete control over every aspect of the project, prop arrangement, materials, lighting and camera angles can be changed and adjusted in an instant - unlike traditional photography. Of course when focusing on showcasing your products in every possible combination you sell it in, lifestyle imagery may be overlooked. However, it’s important to note that they are just as, if not more, beneficial when it comes to selling products online. 

One of the main benefits of showing your products in-situ is that your clients and customers are able to visualize how your product looks in a ‘real’ environment. You may not think it to begin with, but seeing a product on a white background, vs in a beautifully dressed living room can give off a completely different vibe for the customers, and can ultimately be the deciding factor when it comes to purchasing your products. As well as this, they can gage the size of the product. Of course, you may have dimensions on your website, but for someone who’s online shopping quickly or just having a browse, having a product shown in-situ can really help them to distinguish whether your product is right for them. 


Some of our clients like to use their roomsets to showcase multiple pieces from their store, such as furniture models shown with faux plants, rugs, side tables and lighting fixtures. You can completely customise your lifestyle shots so that they can represent your brand and give customers ideas of what else to buy from your site. 


We are currently working on a super exciting project for one of our clients! For each of their projects with us we create flat and wave shots, lifestyle imagery showing their fabrics on multiple products, e.g. curtains, cushions, sofas and throws and animations. As this specific client has so many roomsets in their digital asset library we wanted to test out a way to create a 3D walkthrough where you can click and change the fabric on the soft furnishings within the roomset.

Working with our team creates many benefits for you to use in future projects, not only will you have your own digital asset library, but if you have made a roomset for one project, you are able to use it again and again without the building fee. You are also able to endlessly change and edit this room, you could turn a minimal nordic bedroom into a gothic living room by changing the wall colour and texture, the flooring, the furniture and all of the props - you can even change the lighting too! Once you have your roomset built it is so easy to go back in to create more shots at different angles, to animate the room and to create digital walkthroughs. This aspect of having a roomset built can often be overlooked, but once you have your room as part of your digital asset library you are able to use it and change it for future projects. 


If you’re looking to step up your game when it comes to selling, lifestyle imagery may well be the way to do it! Get in touch with our team of Unreal Creatives today to see how we can help you! 

Time To Embrace CGI - How Well-Known Retailers Have Changed The Game

Time To Embrace CGI - How Well-Known Retailers Have Changed The Game

September 9, 20215 Minutes

As we look to enter the busiest months for furniture retailers and manufacturers, it’s the time for businesses to look at how they can set themselves apart from their competitors. The answer? It’s time to embrace CGI. 


Wanting imagery quickly, easily and at the fraction of the cost of photography? If your answer is yes, we’ve got you covered! It may seem like a no-brainer for some, but it’s significantly clear that many people still can’t wrap their heads around the incredible benefits that CGI holds and how much it can increase your sales. 


As it’s now been a good few months since stores have opened their doors to the public again, we’ve noticed that online sales still remain at a constant high. Not to mention we’re seeing an increase in store closures to cut costs, with the plan of spending this money elsewhere - mainly on e-commerce, marketing and digital assets. In August this year it was reported that 1 in 7 shops were still vacant or closed and it appears to be on the rise as the year goes on.

Back in April we saw a big shift from John Lewis as they announced the closure of four of their department stores and four of their At Home stores due to the lack of sales and customers. Setting the tone for the industry, the popular retailer announced that ‘Given the significant shift to online shopping in recent years - and our belief that this trend will not materially reverse - we do not think the performance of these eight stores can be substantially improved’. Not only did the retailer admit in-store sales were decreasing, they admitted that online shopping will continue to be on the up, stating that ‘we expect 60% to 70% of John Lewis sales to be made online in the future’. 


We’ve seen John Lewis sales via the web increase by a whopping 20% over the last year - leaving only 30% - 40% of their sales made in-store - it appears that their online sales performance saved them from going under during the pandemic. It’s no secret that the retailer’s e-commerce capabilities are impressive, they are able to show most, if not all, products in all available materials and sizes which would’ve put them ahead of competitors when we couldn’t go in-store to see fabric selections. 


Of course, it’s not only John Lewis facing store closures, Dunelm managed to maintain 70% of sales despite store closures back in March of this year, all thanks to their online shopping experience. 

You may think that basic imagery will sell your products, but customers are becoming increasingly impatient and picky when it comes to online shopping. The more you have to offer your customers, the happier they are, the more they shop with you and recommend you, and most importantly, the more sales you’ll bring in.


For those of us who work in the CGI industry who aren’t 3D artists, many of us joined the industry with little to no knowledge of the capabilities of CGI. So, discovering furniture giants such as IKEA, Dunelm and John Lewis use CGI to populate over 50% of their sites was quite shocking. With CGI becoming increasingly realistic with every passing day, it’s time to take the leap - if you haven’t already. Traditional photography is becoming more expensive, more time consuming and less achievable with each passing day. If you’re wanting to follow most of the furniture industry in cutting store budgets to focus on digital assets and e-commerce, traditional photography is most definitely the route you want to avoid.


Get in touch with our unreal team of creatives today to see how CGI can transform your online sales and e-commerce capabilities!

Best of British - Long Point returns this September

Best of British - Long Point Returns This September!

September 1, 20213 Minutes

After its successful return in May this year, The Long Point Show returns for it’s second installment this Autumn. Taking place from 20th to 22nd September in Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire the show will reunite over 30 exhibitors this time around.


Long Point supports and champions the many upholstery manufacturers in the area to come together and enable buyers to visit them in their own spaces, offering inspiration and insight into the furniture capital of the UK. In an intimate and relaxed setting, we will see manufacturers open their doors once again for this fantastic trade only show.

We of course will be here not only to support the Long Eaton Guild and all its hard work and dedication but to showcase our team and their many talents too.


Specialising in CGI fabrics, photorealistic imagery, branding and design, there is a lot to see and take in here at the Orbital studio. With an experienced and creative team, we are able to produce unrivalled CGI imagery for our clients which include Warwick Fabrics, Time4Sleep, Westbridge and Sanderson Design Group (previously known as Style Library) to name a few.


We welcome all visitors to the Studio, it’s in a prime location in the heart of the action and directly opposite Harrington Mills which houses some of the best manufactures in the business. Not only that, you can come and have a sneak peak and a nose around our fantastic CGI and design studio to see the magic take place before your very eyes!


During the show we will have a meeting room available for hire, as well as an exhibition space complete with a brand new kitchen and a seemingly endless supply of tea, coffee and biscuits! Please give us a call to enquire.

This year we are in good company, and proud to be hosting Warwick Fabrics, Weymss, Tamarisk Designs and Richmond Interiors - so do make sure to drop by to see their incredible products too.


We are looking forward to seeing faces old and new once again, share what incredible work we have been doing over the past few months and hear all about what you have been up to!

Missed us Online? We’re Back!

Missed us Online? We’re Back!

August 27, 20214 Minutes

With some unexpected technical difficulties with our site sorted, we’re back with a brand new website!


We wanted to not only highlight our team’s incredible work, but we also wanted to showcase our new services that we offer. With an experienced team in CGI, photography and marketing, we’ve spent a lot of time over the past year and a half looking at ways to help and benefit our clients with online sales. As more and more clients wanted our help, we are now offering a complete digital sales package service to all of our clients.

This not only includes the expected digital assets such as lifestyle imagery, product cut-outs and fabric swatch imagery… but we are now offering clients the opportunities to access and use the endless possibilities that come with using CGI.


With product cut-outs, i.e. showing a product in all of it’s available materials, becoming an expectation from the public whilst online shopping, we’ve delved into ways to make sure our clients stay ahead of the competition. As we work so closely with our clients we are able to understand their business needs and from here, offer advice on what can be achieved through the use of their digital assets.

‘Most of our clients first came to us wanting product cut-outs to show a model in every available fabric. As this is almost impossible to achieve through traditional photography, they turned to CGI. Only recently have clients started to make the most of these digital models by looking into the different avenues of what they can get out of CGI’

- Rob Walker, MD.

With a new outlook of being a one-stop-shop for our clients, we want them to make the most out of their digital assets that we’ve built for them. From AR/VR, to interactive sales presenters, to animation... and with our purpose built product customiser almost ready, we are offering our clients just everything they need to sell a product online! Make sure to stay tuned and keep up to date with our new services as we are adding more information and imagery to our website on a weekly basis.


We can’t wait to reveal our product customiser once it’s live! With just a few finishing touches to go, make sure to keep an eye out on our blog, LinkedIn and social media to hear all about the customiser and its capabilities.


We’ve delved into the details of this in our latest article in the August Issue of Furniture News! You can read all about it here. You’ll find us on pages 58-63, not only this but we are thrilled to reveal that we are on the cover once again.

We can’t wait to see how our clients’ online presence grows and develops through the use of these new tools. Make sure you don’t get left behind, contact our team of Unreal Creatives today!

Online Sales Fall As Consumers Hit The Shops

Online Sales Fall As Consumers Hit The Shops

July 31, 20213 Minutes

As lockdown eases and the ferocious vaccine rollout continues, it is evident that consumer confidence is growing to get back out on the high street.

Spend is now being diverted from online sales and growth fell in the month of June by 14.1% according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers.


However with some goods in high demand and retailers still grappling with ongoing issues with supply, shoppers are still very much insistent on buying an item when they see it in stock instead of shopping around for the best deal.

Cost and time effective marketing visuals to boost online sales are therefore imperative and the use of CGI has never been more popular with clients now realising how every CGI image has a world of endless marketing possibilities.


Clients can return to each 3D model and create new digital images whenever you choose, creating seasonal marketing campaigns and eshots with ease. If you introduce new fabrics to the range these can not only be created quickly, but rendered onto models producing digital assets that can be out there for the world to see in a fraction of the time and cost that it would take to build a prototype, photograph and place on a shop floor for display.

With our purpose-built product customiser almost ready to launch, we can now offer complete digital sales packages. Our product customiser will allow your customers to completely customise and configure products to suit their needs and fit their own personal style. Not only can you change the fabrics and materials of a product, whilst being able to see its dimensions and a running total of what it will cost, the customiser will also allow your customers to spin a product around via the 360 function. Customers will also be able to view products in their own home through the use of AR! This complete and comprehensive package gives a consumer everything they need and complete confidence to buy. What could be better?

With consumer habits undoubtedly set to see-saw over the coming months, capturing those online sales in a fiercely competitive market may prove difficult once again. But having a robust and strong online presence coupled with the clever use of CGI and its infinite possibilities will ensure you stay one step ahead of the competition.


With everything you need to sell a product in one place, from one fantastic team, the possibilities of your digital assets are endless! Don’t get left behind…get in touch with our unreal team of creatives today.

Check out our online solutions here

Lets Go!

Visit Our Studio During Long Point 2021

Visit Our Studio During Long Point 2021

May 18, 20214 Minutes

Long Point 2021 is taking place from 24th to the 27th May in Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire. Specialising in CGI fabrics, photorealistic imagery, branding and design, there is a lot to see and take in here at the Orbital studio! We are opening our doors and inviting all visitors to learn more about the world of CGI.


We have recently featured in the latest Furniture News magazine! Want to learn more about CGI and how it can benefit your sales? Carry on reading!

Computer Generated Imagery as a replacement for traditional photography methods have been heavily featured in the last few issues of Furniture News. With Technology and skills evolving to a point where a consumer would find it impossible to see the difference between CGI and photography, it’s a conversation being had by most retail services in a time where not only shops, but factories too, have suffered heavy closures.


Your products are only as good as your photography, especially in the online shopping evolution. Orbital Vision are the CGI furniture and fabric specialists. With over a decade of experience in the industry, and a team with backgrounds in photography, design and interiors, they have been spearheading the CGI industry for the last three years. Based opposite the famous Harrington Mills, it’s no wonder that the agency has streamlined their focus on furniture and are in a perfect position for the infamous Long Point exhibition.


With the disruption to the industry over the last year, it has become clear that more and more businesses are looking for a new way to present their products to customers. We are being approached daily by new businesses who have seen the imagery on our website. But it seems that there are still many misconceptions about using CGI to sell products online.

“We are finding that lots of businesses may have approached CGI either recently or a few years ago, with another agency, and were disappointed with the results; giving up on the concept altogether. The other side we are hearing of is businesses who have never considered this way of selling, and have no idea how to get started. But Computer Generated Imagery to replace traditional photography is a no-brainer! Cost and time-effective marketing visuals to boost online sales, without leaving your office. Not to mention that you can have more imagery than possible with photography.”


Orbital are opening their doors during Long Point to invite all visitors to learn more about the world of CGI and how it can transform sales. From suppliers to manufacturers to retailers, CGI will soon be a necessity to sell a product, and the more you know, the more powerful your next steps. Book a one-hour slot by email or phone to have all your queries answered. Having one-to-one slots mean that Orbital can advise on your specific strategy, and on a cost-effective approach bespoke to your journey along with live demonstrations.


The brand-new café-style kitchen will also be open at their studio providing hot and cold food and drinks at any point during the show. There is a pool table and private, comfortable seating to take advantage of.


We can’t wait to see you all during Long Point 2021!

Augmented & Virtual Reality Is Now Accessible To Businesses Of Any Size

Augmented & Virtual Reality Is Now Accessible To Businesses Of Any Size

February 17, 20217 Minutes

In the past few months we have noticed more and more of our clients approaching us about creating AR/VR models, 360s and interactive walkthroughs. These are all powerful selling tools within the furniture and interiors industry, they have had a huge impact on a customers shopping experience. As this is something relatively new, it’s not a surprise that many of our clients don’t know where to start, whether it’s easy, or whether it’s possible.


The only thing that has been holding technology back from having AR/VR models as a standard online is internet speed. With 4G we have seen many attempts at introducing AR/VR into the furniture industry, however, results aren’t photorealistic because the live rendering times are too slow. Trying to rush into this new realm can be exciting, but it can also mean that using this technology with 4G means that you have to sacrifice the realness of images, leaving them looking fake, which is what we strive to avoid at all costs. After a long wait, 5G is now here and quickly becoming a standard for the everyday. The newest development in technology has not only seen an incredible increase in internet speed and power, but it is about to change how we interact with our devices and how we shop online.


Within the furniture and interiors industry there are so many possibilities for what 5G can offer us. Not only will we have a greater capacity for data but we will also be able to access data with a delay of 1 millisecond (down from 40-50 milliseconds that we’ve seen with 4G). Due to the power behind 5G, consumers can now expect a more interactive way to shop. With live event experiences and more immersive media, customers and consumers should now expect to see more AR and VR models coming their way. We are advising our clients to prepare themselves now by getting all of their digital assets built and ready to go. Not only will they be prepared for this new leap in technology, but having digital assets is also great for their current online presence and online sales. Not only that, but as soon as the bandwidth is quick enough, all of these assets will be quick, cheap and easy with a level of realism that we can’t imagine right now.

Taking into consideration the current climate, and how it will affect society going forward, this new technology injection will do wonderful things for the furniture industry. With social distancing and faceless customer service bound to be integrated in the post-covid culture, virtual replacements for shopping experiences will only grow. But already, consumers can access furniture models, complete with details and materials, and ‘test them out’ in their own homes – visually of course.


Not only are AR and VR models expected to become the new normal for the industry, but so are real-time, interactive walkthroughs. With trade shows being postponed or cancelled for the second year running, many of us are questioning how the industry will transform and whether trade shows will return in the same way. This makes 3D walkthroughs even more important for our clients as we are expecting to see these replace traditional trade shows.This is an incredible selling tool that can not only be used to sell your products, but to also create more of an interactive experience for your customers, clients and consumers making them more likely to return to shop with you, and recommend your business to others.

The heavy use of 5G across the world means that we will be able to do more and experience more on our phones, making these AR/VR experiences more widely accessible. This all sounds incredible, however, you can’t do any of this without having your products built in CGI. Many retailers and manufacturers who only have a single shot of a product in a single fabric shown on their website are already falling behind when it comes to increasing their online presence and selling capabilities. With the incorporation of 360 models, AR/VR and interactive experiences, the competition within the interiors industry is growing and it’s getting increasingly difficult to stand out.


For most, if not all of our clients, looking into this new realm is quick and easy as they already have their products built in CGI. Of course, all of the above sounds amazing and we can bet you’re thinking ‘how can I get that on my website?’, if you don’t already have models built in CGI, this is your first step! Here at Orbital each of our clients have built their very own digital asset library over time, these include fabrics, models, roomsets and props for lifestyle shots, collected through each project with us. The difficult part is already done. To transform a photoshoot or a range into VR is purely down to rendering from then on. It’s a much simpler process than you might think. Don’t let this scare you though! Our team is at the ready to help you up your online presence, whether that be through a cut-out model or a complete interactive walkthrough of one of your stores!


Get in touch with Orbital’s Unreal Creatives today to discover how to make your marketing more virtual.

Orbital's 2020 in Review

Orbital's 2020 in Review

January 22, 20217 Minutes

We’d like to take some time to reflect on how our business developed and progressed within 2020. With the last year definitely being one to remember, through many highs and lows we are so grateful that we have managed to grow as a team and as a business, thanks to all of our clients! We worked with some incredible companies last year, ranging from small independents to some of the biggest names in the industry. Trying to think positively towards 2021, we are looking back on some achievements we didn’t think were possible in the year of the lockdown.


We started the year off with a bang, we were in Hall1 at the January Furniture Show for the third year running. It actually caught us off guard how much attention the images on our stand got. Our own personal highlight was being approached by a number of other CGI agencies asking about our work. Not a bad way to brush off those January blues!

In 2020 we were able to expand our team (we almost doubled it!) now we have such a range of people working here and our skill sets are only growing. Our CGI team has now doubled in size, so we have an amazing team who all specialise in different areas. We have also taken on two new account managers and two new members of the fabric team, along with the increase in the CGI team we have more manpower to work on more projects.


Possibly our favourite new member of the team is the office pup, Rodney! He’s here everyday and is always ready to greet the team with tail wagging.


Last year we really wanted to step up our game when it came to offering more services to our clients. Not only have we started developing and offering digital sales and marketing packages (which you can read all about here), but we have also taken a lot of time to produce more animation and get back to our roots with videography. We are now able to offer our clients a broader range of marketing assets, this includes creating corporate videos, animations for their products, a shared library of digital assets between clients which also provides networking to fuel real-life sales.

Another new way that we’ve become increasingly helpful to our clients is through prototyping products in CGI (you can read about this here). Much of last year was spent assessing new ways that we can help our clients sell and progress as businesses even during lockdowns and uncertain times. With the help of our digital sales packages and prototyping service – many of our clients have been able to continue, or even improve their methods of selling and designing.


A huge moment for us in 2020 was when we were recognised by the UK government as a Research and Development agency for progressing technology in the furniture and interior industry. The team took the time to create and adapt brand new softwares and scripts to create realistic CGI fabrics that had never been seen before. If you look closely at our most recent projects, you will see that our fabrics even include the tiny fibres you find on real fabrics.

In terms of our studio space we’ve done quite a lot of renovation this year, not only have we upped our digital storage and rendering capacity, but we have also made some physical changes to our office space! We are happy to announce that in early 2021 we will be focusing on renovating our showroom and will be hosting Warwick and Tamarisk – keep an eye out for this, it’s sure to be good! Not only have we upped our digital storage capacity but we have also hugely invested in our technology. We are constantly looking for new tips and tricks and always looking to learn the newest technology which is why we are always updating our tech. Speaking of renovation, we took a look at our website and social media, we wanted to really represent who we are and what we do. We have completely rebranded our instagram to have more of a continuous theme. Along with this, we have updated our website with new services pages and places to showcase our videos and animations.

Of course an amazing way to end 2020 was by being on the December cover of Furniture News! Along with our work being the front cover, we also had a six page spread discussing how we are redefining the fabric of reality. Our main focus for this was to let the Furniture News readers know how we are helping all suppliers, retailers and manufacturers in the furniture industry through networking between clients and creating a shared library of digital CGI assets! You can read all about this here.


We cannot wait to see what 2021 holds for us and our clients! If you are interested in getting to know more about who we are and what we can do for you, just drop us a call or an email and one of our team will be in contact in no time!

Product Development & CGI: How We Can Help You!

Product Development & CGI: How We Can Help You!

January 9, 20217 Minutes

At the moment many furniture manufacturers are facing a huge obstacle when it comes to product development. With factories and offices closing for months, it’s become increasingly difficult for many manufacturers to be able to test, create or even envision what their new product launches will look like. As you can imagine, in a sector that changes and releases new launches every year this has been a very stressful time for many of our clients. Here at Orbital we are determined to finding new ways in helping our clients combat these issues!


When it comes to product development, furniture manufacturers experiment a lot with design, using an entire development team to go through a long traditional process which requires frequent prototyping. There is a more effective way to shape the design and develop the concept of products. Not that we are biased in any way, but the solution is the integration of CGI into the design process. 3D product rendering gives modern manufacturers ample opportunities to create the perfect design and save money on its realisation at the same time.


So what is product rendering and how can it elevate the development of an item’s design? Generally speaking, it’s a photorealistic image of an object made by CGI Artists in 3D software. With this technology, Manufacturers and Product Designers can work on the 3D model of the product, trying different colours and materials, as well as changing its design elements. This innovative tool substituted traditional prototyping and can drastically streamline how manufacturers develop and promote their product.

With the help of 3D software, a designer can visually realise changes in colour or material on a new product, change design elements and geometry. An engineer can Identify design problems and find a practical solution in minutes. All just in a few clicks. Using a team that works with 3D software, manufacturers and designers can easily try different designs without producing a physical prototype for every new idea. The process of creating has never been faster and more flexible, so a Product Designer is free to generate ideas and try out plenty of various concepts, shaping the design to perfection without extra expenses. Seeing every design in 360 degree photo realistic quality.


Traditionally, while working on a project and trying many design options, a Manufacturer orders prototypes to see how the object works with different colours, materials and design features. However, ordering a new sample and waiting to see the physical form, before knowing you are fully happy with the design can take months. It can be a laborious and expensive process for the early stages of product development. Needless to say that often a Designer will try at least several variants of product design and makes many adjustments, which requires quite a few prototypes.


With photorealistic product rendering, Manufacturers can first create the best design that could be tested and approved, and only then spend money on a final prototype. This opportunity speeds up production and allows a brand to start sales earlier than their competitors.


Another advantage of product rendering is that it allows the opportunity to test the market with multiple designs before manufacturing a single prototype. Have a full set of photography to show off the concept designs, as if they were fully realised products to see what consumers or buyers react well to before creating the product. Reverse engineering at its best, ready to save manufacturers a huge amount of time and financial risk. Already holding photorealistic room set imagery also means your product launch can get off the ground straight away.

Product 3D rendering helps to make jaw-dropping photorealistic visuals that display all the details, materials and colours as realistically as possible, so the client can fully examine and evaluate the design of the goods. Depending on the customer’s task and the concept, Manufacturers can showcase all colour and design options to take the hesitation out of the buying process.


As many manufacturers will know, when introducing new products to retailers they often want to personalise your products so that they are selling something unique to their own branding. This again can start the whole prototype process over again, meaning more money, time and resources are used for a sale that may not even go ahead. Meaning that many of the UK manufacturers have warehouses full of prototypes that are just sitting there collecting dust and taking up space! To combat building physical prototypes again and again, it is really quick and easy to edit your models in CGI to show a retailer different designs. You can also showcase their personalised products in a lifestyle shot which makes the whole thing seem more real and appealing as they can really envision what it will look like!


Of course, you may have to make a physical prototype in the end stages of your design process but you will be able to avoid creating multiple prototypes for retailers and the process is a lot faster. This benefits not only the manufacturer for sales and keeping their consumers happy, but also for the retailers as they may receive products a lot sooner than expected!


Our team is constantly looking for new ways to help and benefit our clients. Especially in the current circumstances we feel that it is more important than ever to be looking out for one another in the industry. If you are interested in testing out some prototypes and having them built in CGI for you to see your products come to life then contact us today!

How Lighting & Unreal Engine 5 Are Blurring the Lines Between CGI and Reality

How Lighting & Unreal Engine 5 Are Blurring the Lines Between CGI and Reality

November 19, 20204 Minutes

Epic Games has released their ‘first look’ at the Unreal Engine 5 video game engine. We are obsessed. The graphics are stunning and really showcase the possibilities of CGI, which is great for us! Building more of a conversation around CGI is crucial for all of us within the industry, and Unreal Engine 5 has really blown our minds away!


This is a huge development within the CGI realm, for one thing it’s driven a lot of attention towards its capabilities. This new technology is a huge leap within video games and animation. Here at Orbital we are looking into this new technology and will hopefully be using it within our own work.


Within our CGI work we create lifestyle shots which are rendered as stills from animations, meaning that any two shots (especially outdoors) can be different, with clouds or shadows moving, if this is your desired outcome. Doing this makes our lifestyle imagery even more realistic. When creating room-set shots it’s not just about making the furniture look as real as possible. It also involves creating realistic room-sets that can be used in catalogues and marketing campaigns to show consumers what your products can look like in an actual environment, not just on a plain background.

Lighting is heavily important within CGI, although subtle, it is what gives an image its final touches in bringing an idea to life! Here at Orbital it is important to us to be able to produce lifestyle imagery that is photorealistic. We are constantly looking into new developments in technology and the field. We have recently been looking into Lavina, to produce even more realistic results. Lavina uses physically based lighting and global illumination to bring to you CGI imagery that is hard to point out. Lavina will also allow for us to produce animations in real-time and then render the shots, making effortless animations of our fantastic imagery.


The suns that we add into our scenes create real life lighting, mirroring what products and roomsets would look like in real life! It is important for us to be able to make our clients products look as realistic as possible, after all we’re here to help our clients sell their products and want to do them justice!

Epic Games used a Playstation 5 to showcase the graphics. The environment they have created is so photorealistic you will be captivated when seeing it, it’s difficult to point out that it is CGI. Epic Games have gone as far to say that within this generation they want to achieve photorealism in games on a similar level to movies. They have achieved this by editing their software to now use over a billion triangle pixels, with a much faster rendering time than ever before, these cinematic pixels make the graphics so much more photorealistic.


Within the demo clip they have been able to utilize two new technologies, Lumen and Nanite. Lumen renders light sources and focuses on bounce lighting and highlights to create an incredibly realistic environment which changes as you move around it. Nanite is a geometric technology which allows rendered images and environments to be incredibly detailed, this has proven to be especially useful with grass, rocks and other textural elements. By using these technologies Epic Games have been able to create an environment that confuses many of us, even those within the CGI field. We cannot wait to try this out and see what Epic Games develops in the future!