How CGI is Transforming Furniture Development

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 it can elevate the development of 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 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 photorealistic 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 tries at least several variants of product design and makes many adjustments, which require 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.

Get in touch to see how we can streamline your design process today!

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Win £2k of CGI at January furniture Show 2020

The Furniture Awards is an annual celebration of the best suppliers in the industry exhibiting at The January Furniture Show. Organised by Furniture News, the awards aim to recognise the businesses leading the way in their own product categories.


Being immersed in the furniture industry, we sponsor the awards by offering the prizes for each winner. And this is one award that you really want to win. it is especially great for companies that have never set foot into the world of CGI. Offering our expertise to bring your chosen product to life, in a photorealistic room set of your styling. Choose your theme, submit some inspiration images and any materials that may need to be used. Next thing you know, you’ll have a set of photography images for your newly launched product free of charge.


If you haven’t yet registered for the awards, what are you waiting for?


There are five winners of the Furniture Awards. Each a supplier to the industry outstanding in their field. On the first day of the show, our Director, Rob Walker, will be accompanying Furniture News when informing the winners of their prize. We will also be offering plaques to each winner, along with a giant cheque for £2000. Because why not? It’s a good photo opportunity, and who hasn’t wanted to receive one of those lottery-esque giant cheques?

Now, let's play a little game of spot the CGI.

One of the much deserved winners at last year's show was renowned Parker Knoll.

their prize was spent on recreating a legacy photoshoot. If you haven't yet ventured into the realm of CGI, you might not see the benefits of this straight away. Having a past photoshoot recreated in CGI, means that and products that are added to the range, from armchair to footstool, or any new fabrics, from embroidery to velvet, can be placed in the same room set retroactively. Keeping the range on brand and consistent.


Have a look at the two images below and see if you can spot which is the original photoshoot, and which is our CGI recreation. (Without looking at the bottom right hand corner of the images!)

Make sure to come and visit Orbital in Hall 1 on stand G80. You might even catch one of our pretty cool demonstrations. Yes, we will be demonstrating our speed and finesse when it comes to CGI live at the show. If you bring a plain fabric along, we may even be able to render it on a product before your eyes. It’s not something you want to miss out on!


Talking of fabrics, while you’re here. Why not heck out our brand-new CGI Fabrics page. We have been adapting and developing specific softwares over the last two years to perfect the art of creating realistic fabric textures like no one else. See the results for yourself!

Have a look at the two images below and see if you can spot which is the original photoshoot, and which is our CGI recreation.

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5 New Ranges for Warwick Fabrics

We’ve had a busy few months over here at the Studio. Although we’ve kept you updated on a small handful of projects, we’ve kept a few up our sleeve. But with the passing of the infamous Decorex this week, one client in particular has had a big launch, which included distributing a number of our ‘unreal’ images. If you follow our social media accounts, you may already have an inkling which client we are talking about, because we have been releasing ‘Sneak Peeks’ (we are also well aware that the suspense building here is rendered null and void because we assume you have all read the title of this post…)


Since winning Warwick as a client, we have built five of their fabric ranges in 3D, with room sets and detail shots to complement each range. We’ll update you more on this when Warwick Fabrics UK launch their new website next year. You can bet that our imagery will be all over it! But this week, Warwick released their brand-new brochures for the launch of two new feature ranges; Heritage and Sequoia. And guess who designed, populated and printed them? Us. It’s us, in case you needed a prompt there…


It makes a lot of sense to get all of your marketing assets in one place. as we were already creating photorealistic CGI room sets and digital fabrics for Warwick, why not take advantage of our design team too? This way, there is no agency waiting on imagery from somewhere else, it is all dealt with in one place. A one-stop-shop if you will. While you’re at it, why not get the web team involved too?

But let’s focus on the brochures. We all know that preparation for a launch at a big trade show can be a headache at the least. Photoshoots to get right, brochure designs and printers to deal with. Warwick let go of that hassle. They just sent us a sample of every fabric in their new ranges, emailed some inspiration images, and sat back, waiting for the imagery to flood in. Next thing you know, images signed off, brand-new, on-brand brochures were delivered to their office in time for Decorex.


If you want a piece of the action, and to lose the stress of location shoots, outsourcing design, print and web development, get in touch. January furniture Show is just around the corner now…

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Steve Bristow Furniture: The Luxury Site With Imagery To Boot.

Some of you may recognise the name Steve Bristow from the hugely successful masonry company, but the stunning natural stone worktops now have a sister company. Last year, launching at the January Furniture Show, Steve Bristow Furniture appeared, with a luxurious range of hand-polished quartz furniture. But they needed an elegant website to match their new products and new brand. And that’s where Orbital stepped in.


As a new venture, Steve Bristow had a number of beautiful designs, but no photographs. No photoshoots? No problem. We were tasked with not only creating a new high-end website with growing SEO hidden within the text, but also creating all of the imagery to populate the new site. And that is what we did.


Steve Bristow Furniture are unique in the fact that they not only offer stunning quartz furniture, but the pieces are completely customisable. So how can they show each product in each variation and material? With Orbital’s product builder, that’s how.


We created a great hero lifestyle hot for each product, and then rendered each product in every possible material and shape so that the end-user can see exactly what they are ordering before making their purchase.


This is an ongoing project, as Steve Bristow Furniture are ever extending their luxury designs. So we are making more and more visual marketing assets for them, and consistently updating their website.


Now that these images have been created, they can be used across all marketing channels. Print ads, brochures, exhibition stands and more.

If your website is in need of a facelift, or you want to say goodbye to photoshoots, get in touch with us today!

Call on Orbital's Unreal Creatives

Have a peek at Steve Bristow Furniture's new site. Don't forget to swoon over the imagery!

See the Luxury Quartz Furniture

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Read All About It: Sofa Workshop

We have been working hard over here at Orbital. And our most recent finished project was for Sofa Workshop.

Sofa Workshop have been creating a brand new website for the last year, and when they realised they needed a load of shiny new images to populate it, Orbital came to the rescue.

With a huge range of products available, which are customisable with over 1000 available fabrics, there is no feasible way to photograph every single combination. And that is where the magic of CGI can really turn a business around.

We created a huge 491 products, and wrapped them in 75 different fabrics. Now that is a lot of images.

We didn’t stop there! When it comes to Sofa Workshop, they source their products from a number of different UK manufacturers. We made it our job to collate fabrics from their suppliers, and made sure to send proofs of products to their respective manufacturers too, to make sure everyone involved was over the moon with our digital recreations.

Have a look around the new site to see our handiwork

Check out Sofa Workshop's New Website

Check out our case study to see our whole project with Sofa Workshop

See More About Our Sofa Workshop Project

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Long Eaton Guild Donate to Hospice in Memory of Matt O'Flynn

At Orbital, we have had a close relationship with the Long Eaton Guild since the beginning. Not only being based in the heart of the UK Centre of Upholstery, and recently redesigning Iain James’ website (who is a core member of the Guild), but we have a little more history than that.

Our agency used to be a widely varied digital design agency, and it was in summer 2017 that we realigned our business to focus on the interiors industry. This was in no small part, down to a strong friendship turned business venture when Matt joined Rob Walker at Orbital. After many years of close friendship and business partnerships, decided to team up to create the vision that we have in the Studio today. From launching a new hub of the industry, to being at the forefront of the field after developing brand new technology to digitally recreate fabric. They built a studio, and a team from the ground up, and a bloody good one at that.

Matt sat as the chairman of the Long Eaton Guild from 2007 to 2018, being completely immersed in the furniture industry from a young age. A pioneer in the industry, there aren’t many people in the industry that haven’t heard of Matt O’Flynn. He was the man of many hats (both figuratively and literally) Sadly, Matt was diagnosed with Cancer just as Orbital moved into the new studio.

Earlier this year, Matt lost his battle with cancer after a stay in St Michael’s Hospice in East Sussex. The Hospice gave incredible care, and always made sure there was an atmosphere of laughter and warmth, making not only Matt’s time more comfortable, but that of his family too.

When the Guild approached Orbital in order to create a new website to house both details of the Guild, and the famed bi-annual Longpoint, there was only one condition. We would happily create a new, user-friendly website, as long as it was created in dedication to Matt, and that the price of the project was waived, and donated to St Michael’s Hospice instead. Andrew Mitchell and Iain James of the Guild couldn’t think of anything better, and so the project began.The Long Eaton Guild now have a new site to encourage visitors to Long Point, and in turn have generously donated a sum of £500 to a hospice that is doing so much for so many.

The hospice has responded to the donation with huge amounts of gratitude to both the Guild and Orbital, highlighting how many more people they can now help with these funds.

“Thank you so much for your overwhelmingly generous donation given in memory of Mr Matt O’Flynn. What an incredible gift which will enable the hospice to continue to support many more people. As you know, our services are provided free, and we are reliant on the kindness of people like you who give so generously in order for others to benefit from the support we offer. On behalf of the team at St Michael’s Hospice, thank you. Your generosity is heart-warming.”


See the brand new Long Eaton Guild Website here:

Donate to St Michael’s Hospice here:


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Designing in a Virtual World

Forget starting your new design with a pen and paper, new virtual reality (VR) technology boasts the ability to see and walk around a 3D sketch of your new product at the very first stages of the design process.


Using new headset technologies, it is now possible to conjure 3D shapes out of thin air, using a ‘virtual pen’, and share the life-like design with clients and colleagues around the world, in real time.


While a similar process is already available, where companies are cutting time and money by sending prototype sketches to 3D agencies (like us) to create and edit their new products without building a single piece, the whole process is looking to become more accessible over the next few years. For those who have the budget, that is. VR is finally beginning to fulfil its potential for business.


"You can walk around your sketches so you can see how your lines work in a 3D environment, and move freely in a room, explains Jan Pflueger , augmented and virtual reality co-ordinator for German car firm Audi.


In the past, the technology - hardware, software, connectivity - simply wasn't up to the job.


"Designers didn't like using headsets because the image resolution was too low," says Mr Pflueger.


As well as low resolution images, the headsets were bulky and full of wires making them uncomfortable and impractical. But now, with advancing technologies and internet speeds VR is becoming more like reality every day.


Looking at the big players ahead of the game, Audi is working with Finnish start-up Varjo, “which has recently starting selling a high-end (€5,995; £5,170) headset boasting ‘human eye resolution’ using a technique called ‘foveated rendering’. It uses eye-tracking technology to tell which part of the image you're focusing on, then concentrates its processing power on that section to render it in high definition.”


With the images being high resolution, it means that designers can see necessary modifications and make changes before any expensive physical prototypes have been made speeding up the design process at a very early stage. Not only can you share the designs with colleagues, but also clients. The efficiency of the process is heightened by adding input from the end-user at the very beginning. Pretty cool if you ask us.


The possibilities this opens is endless, with customers being able to walk round a show home or car showroom, and tailored designs available to edit in real-time, taking away lengthy waiting times on decision making and removing the hesitation from the buying process. Giving the interchangeable choice of colour schemes, flooring and carpet choices, kitchen options and on. But such high-quality graphics require a lot of processing power, so most high-end headsets have to be "tethered" to a powerful computer. But not for long.


A big breakthrough will be to offer near human-eye resolution VR without the need for any cables. And this is where high-speed 5G connections will have a big impact. With streaming speeds 10 to 20 times faster than existing connections, the high-res images will be sent to the headsets wirelessly.


Looking into our Orbital crystal ball, we can see that design processes will be completely transformed over the next five to ten years as VR technology becomes more accessible. But if you’re not quite ready to take into account this type of spending, take the first step and see how we can revolutionise your marketing materials, with the use of 3D.


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Digitising Your Fabrics: Our Process

We understand that not everyone has been immersed in the world of 3D. You may have been told that you will need 3D assets of your fabrics, but you are not sure how the process works and it is stopping you from taking that first step. So, we thought we’d give some clarity:

1. The Pitch

We want to show off what we can do, and we want to make sure that will help the development of your business. So, the first step is inviting you to come to our office to have a peek of the projects we are currently working on, and we will probably show off some technical wizardry – the team is pretty talented, we can’t help showing them off. We will then sit you down and talk about where the gaps in your visual marketing and online sales are, and the best way to solve them. Don’t expect any visual concepts yet, but we can show you some of our case studies that may sway you. (We also serve a great lunch which is worth the visit alone.)


Then there is increased SEO. Search engines favour relevant content. And images getting clicks are exactly that type of materials: they bring visitors to the website, lead them to explore its content and interact with it. So, the more successful images you have, the more chance you have of getting and keeping top positions in the search results.


Needless to say, each product shot needs alt and title tags, and descriptions. So when your high-quality, engaging product design renderings have well-written attributes with relevant keywords, search engine rankings will know that your page content is high-quality and therefore useful for your target audience.

2. The Brief

Once we’ve got the job (thanks!), we will ask for a swatch or flat photograph of each fabric that you need digitalised so that we can work our magic. If you were really great clients you would also send us a lifestyle shot of the fabric, wrapping a product, so we can see the way light hits it at different angles.

3. The Build

Our team will then recreate your fabrics with flawless step and repeat patterns, photo-realistic textures and colour matching perfection. You don’t need to know too much about this part, except that we can recreate your fabrics in record time. Seriously, we can have a fabric swatch perfectly digitised in under ten minutes. You really won’t believe it.

4. The Finished Product

You have proofed and fallen in love with all the images. So now it is up to you where you are going to use them. We can put them in a great brochure design. Use them to drastically improve your eCommerce website or ask us to build room sets for them to be placed into for a time and cost effective alternative to photoshoots .

It really is as simple as that. We always make sure you’re involved in the whole process and our door is always open. Why not check out some of our previous work here . Come and meet us (or Skype if you’re too far away), send us your fabrics and that’s it! You’ll have your perfect 3D assets in no time at all. What are you waiting for?


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How One 3D Render Can Transform Your Marketing Process

Furniture CGI has revolutionised product marketing and advertising. Previously, getting marketing imagery required a longwinded and costly photoshoot. Naturally, each change in season or new addition to a range required a new photoshoot, so the process started all over again.


With the advent of photorealistic 3D product rendering, Marketers and Manufacturers get perfect imagery in a simple and cost-effective way. Furniture CGI of any type – lifestyle, product shots, animation – can be created digitally, with no limits to creativity. And it can all be created from one simple sketch. Let us tell you how.

1. 3D visualisation for websites

Once your first 3D model is built, you can get a whole variety of furniture CGI: close-ups for demonstration of textures, materials and tiny details; cutouts for highlighting the inner structure of products, front views for general outside looks, side and bird views for showing the design from every angle.


Most importantly, the process is simple if you hire the right team. All a Manufacturer needs is to provide the 3D Artists with a reference image of the furniture product and its dimensions. No photoshoots, heavy prototypes transportation, and no need to control the process: 3D rendering companies create everything digitally, and in photoreal quality.


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2. A CGI model allows for any colour-way to be showcased

A 3D visualisation can be edited. This way, 3D Artist can change fabric colours and textures for the Marketer to showcase all colourways and finishing options. Which is way more cost-effective than producing a separate prototype for each colour and send them all to a photography studio. Moreover, photorealistic CGI colourways will look every bit as impressive as a photo.


3. 3D model is perfect for showing different configurations

A professional 3D rendering team can make changes to the image geometry and get new furniture design configurations, for instance, add new armrests to a chair. Which is a great way to show all design variations in a furniture catalogue, as well as getting the cgi for a new upgraded version of the same design.


Making changes to a furniture configuration is also handy when it comes to testing the market. Before even having the physical prototype for models with upgraded design, companies can upload images to their website and start selling by pre-orders.


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4. 3D Model of a furniture item can be put in a variety of scenes

With one 3D model, 3D Artists can place a product in a multitude of scenes, whether one needs a plain background or roomsets in different environments. Various lifestyle cgi is a great idea for furniture advertising, because different interior scenes showcase different benefits of a design and therefore appeal to different audiences.


Just imagine: one 3D model, and a plethora of lifestyle images without buying decor or going to locations, as it is the case with photography studios. Professional 3D Artists will create any kind of tailor-made interior scenes digitally, specifically for the product.

5. A 3D model can be further reused for any type of furniture CGI

Another advantage of 3D modelling for product design is that it can be used to get any type of 3D renderings, be it still furniture images or interactive solutions. With a ready 3D model, a Marketer or Manufacturer can get new visual materials in less time and at a reduced cost across all types of media. Online marketing campaigns benefit from photorealistic 3D animations, 360˚ views, even brochures and Virtual and Augmented Reality. The possibilities really are endless.

Furniture cgi has changed the product promotion process forever. Now, photorealistic 3D renders are an asset allowing to get top-notch images for online and traditional marketing, and refresh them any time. 3D modelling and visualization allow companies to get visuals faster than with photography, and it costs less. To get started on your 3D journey, contact Orbital today.


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5 Tips for Successful Digital Marketing Using 3D Rendering

Product 3D rendering is the best way to get unlimited numbers of marketing imagery fast. Not just images looking good on the website, but images that make visitors click the call-to-action – have a look at the website, learn more about the item and finally make a purchase.


So, Manufacturers and Marketers use 3D product rendering services to get creative marketing images. Group and hero shots, plain backgrounds and lifestyles, detail, general, front and top view, with cutouts, customization features, colour solutions – 3D rendering software can create it all, you name it. Let’s look at 5 ways product 3D rendering makes digital campaigns breed results.

1. 3D Visualisation for Websites

When shopping online, customers expect to see at least 3 images of a product. Naturally, the more images, the better chances to get full attention of the audience. Product 3D rendering eases most customer concerns. 3D lifestyles show the types of environment the item looks best in, as well as dimensions and the decor that goes with it, whilst isolated shots highlight the main features of a product and show its design without distractions.


And let’s not forget about animation. 3D animations, panoramas, 360 views provide more information on the item and make for a pleasant customer experience. The viewer appreciates being able to turn the object around, zoom in, see the detail. Not only does it make shopping more pleasant, but in 2019, these luxuries have come to be expected, and the fickly customer is likely to leave your site in favour of another online shop which allows them to see all angles in a greater quality render.


Then there is increased SEO. Search engines favour relevant content. And images getting clicks are exactly that type of materials: they bring visitors to the website, lead them to explore its content and interact with it. So, the more successful images you have, the more chance you have of getting and keeping top positions in the search results.


Needless to say, each product shot needs alt and title tags, and descriptions. So when your high-quality, engaging product design renderings have well-written attributes with relevant keywords, search engine rankings will know that your page content is high-quality and therefore useful for your target audience.

2. Photo Realistic Rendering for Content Marketing

Blog is a must-have for successful product marketing. Sure enough, one can cope without it, but why missing on a sure way to increase brand visibility, drive more traffic to the website and build mailing lists. Product 3D rendering provides Marketers and Manufacturers with imagery to illustrate the articles. So that the blog visitors not only read about how to get a high-quality armchair, but actually see what should be inside owing to 3D cut-outs.


Not to mention the ease of seasonal marketing. With 3D rendering you can ever-change the colours, background and interior accessories that surround your product. Making it marketing ready for any season in an instant.

3. Product Visualisation for Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a powerful tool that can skyrocket profit. It’s the best way to reach out to practically any target audience, in the age of the internet. Successful social media campaigns allow to build hypes for product launches, increase brand awareness, and drive more traffic to the website. And product 3D rendering allows to get any kind of images for promotional campaigns, whatever the strategy and creative idea.


On Facebook, it always makes sense to tap into the power of 360 views and videos for customers to learn more about the product line and the brand itself. 3D visualizations in Pinterest and Twitter will make sure consumers find and pin or retweet your images when looking for inspiration.

4. CGI for Digital Advertising

Much of the power of digital advertising lies in the fact that that Marketers can measure results and kill the ad if it’s no good, or make changes. Unlike photography, product 3D rendering cost and technology allow for the images to be tested and altered without photoshoots and transportation fees. This way, your marketing team can test the image until they find which drives the most engagement. Which is great news for online advertising budgets.

5. Product 3D Rendering for Email Marketing

Email marketing campaign is a time-proven way to drive interested consumers to the website and even reactivate dormant customers. Combined with social media advertising, it has twice as much power.  Having a variety of 3D visualizations is incredibly handy for implementing strategy. Promoting new models, announcing events and sales – high-impact imagery is always handy to build communication with clients.

Digital Marketing Campaigns are now vital for the success of any company. If you feel like you are not making the most of your strategy, and need some advice or want us to send you an example of the flexibility of our renders on one of your products, get in touch with us at Orbital today.


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