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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January Furniture Show: Get All Your Assets in Line

The January Furniture show is one of the UK’s biggest and most well known furniture trade show in the calendar. It boasts five halls from homewares to lighting, and everything in between. The 2020 show will run from Sunday 19th to Wednesday 22nd January.

 

Getting ready for JFS can take a lot of time, thought and preparation. Trust us, we know! But not only do we creaate photorealistic CGI images of furniture products and room sets We also specialise in design.

 

Our team come from a variety of backgrounds, and we have a handful of talented designers who love nothing better than to dissect the success of a brochure design. We are becoming something of a one-stop shop at Orbital. Initially, clienst come to us when they realise they can’t spot the difference betwen our imagery, and their long -winded photoshoots. But, when they realise we offer websites and print design too, it is hard not to resist hvaing your images framed into marketing assets by the same agency. You’d be amazed by the efficiency.

 

The January Furniture Show is the place to launch. New ranges, new brands or new looks. Making sure your marketing assets are updated is crucial. With buyers wandering past hundreds of stands, you want to make sure that yours is what they remember when they go to make orders, and keep on ordering from.

 

If you are wondering how to show off a large number of products in an eye-catching, on brand  and sales inducing hand out. Call on Orbital’s Unreal Creatives. We would love to create a mock-up for your brand, so you can see the results for yourself.

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Combining CGI with Core Values: Made to Last

The name Made to Last seems very apt for one of our clients. Because that's what our imagery is, made to last. Saying goodbye to photoshoots, and saying hello to forever editable images, forever re-stylable locations at the click of a button, and forever reusable fabrics.

 

Made to Last are an online retailer with sustainability, durability and the British Manufacturing industry in its core values. Stocking solely British manufacturers, they provide everything home based from electricals to outdoor furniture, and everything in between. When they saw some realistic images that we were creating for one of their suppliers, and realised there were no photoshoots involved, they contacted us straight away. Removing the use of photoshoots also perfectly matches the sustainability factor of this forward-thinking retailer. Not only are they avoiding fast-fashion by supplying high-quality products, but cutting their carbon footprint and waste. Removing the idea of location shoots saves travel and delivery emissions, wasted prototypes, wasted fabrics, and on. Our images are completely recyclable. You only pay for a fabric, product or room set to be built once! so it is pretty gently on the long term budget too!

 

With a new selection of recliner beds, Made to Last needed a room set of a traditional bedroom, that could house a collection of six electric bed ranges, in a selection of colours and sizes. With traditional photography, this would have cost the Earth, in precious employee time as well as money. And that’s our cue!

 

We started by creating a mood board of images that matched their brief. A particular shot was chosen, and we went ahead with digitally recreating their dream location. We then got started on building each bed range and all the available fabrics in 3D. With this option, it allowed us to show the products in a variety of states. With the beds dressed, without the mattress, without incline, and showing off the electrical advantages of the recliner beds. Within a month, Made To Last had a package of images to populate their website, ready to upload, in their inbox.

 

This week, we were happy to see our images, live on their website! No matter how many projects we finish, the feeling of seeing our creation hosed on someone’s website always gives us that sense of excitement and job satisfaction. The excited responses we get from our clients also helps! We can’t wait to get started on our next project with Made to Last, so make sure you keep an eye on their website to see if you can spot which images are from a photoshoot and which were created from nothing in our Studio. We don’t call it wizardry for nothing!

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

Call on Orbital's Unreal Creatives

Have a gander at Made to Last's website. Make sure you check out the new recliner beds, and try to spot any CGI...

Play Spot the CGI...
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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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IKEA uses CGI to recreate Stranger Things

So, by now you’ve all seen the magic we can create with realistic room sets. But to show the illusion behind CGI replacing photography in interiors, IKEA has taken it one step further. And we love it.

It’s just a still from Stranger things, right? Wrong! Just like the series itself, everything is not quite as it seems. The retail giant has used its own products in 3D visualisation to recreate the famed living room interior – alphabet and fairy lights included. But if we’re honest, we would have taken it one step further and made the set as if it was upside down, just saying…

But it doesn’t stop there. They have also recreated The Simpsons’ living room, and Monica’s apartment from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. It’s a clever little ploy. I mean, we’re not convinces that there will be a queue of customers ready to buy a clay orange sofa and paint their walls in pastel pink in homage to Homer and Marge, but it definitely makes you look twice.

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The Exchange: How the ‘Hub of the Furniture Industry’ is being realised

The Exchange isn’t just our studio space. It is a hub for the furniture industry. Which is exactly what was in mind during its creation. Based in the heart of the UK centre of Upholstery, the vision of the great, late, Matt O’Flynn, was to create a centre where industry professionals were constantly wandering the converted lace mills, opposite the infamous Harrington Mills. Easily accessible for furniture makers and suppliers across the UK. And we saw the latest example of this vision last week.

 

The Exchange was host to Sofa Workshop's annual sales meeting, with manufacturers visiting our studio throughout the week to deliver potential pieces to be shown in the Sofa Workshop showrooms across the UK. Staying for a coffee and a chat as always.

 

The Sofa Workshop team were here throughout the day, wandering through the dressed sofas, chairs, chaises and footstools made by some of the best UK manufacturers. Discussing the potential throughout the afternoon, only stopping for the (probably too large as usual) lunch served at midday.

 

There was method to the meeting, Sofa Workshop, as one of our largest clients, wanted their new pieces to be photographed and measured, ready for our Unreal Creatives to get them recreated in 3D as soon as the new ranges were decided upon. Having CGI fully integrated into their strategy means huge time and costs saved when it comes to new product launches. And, if we do say so ourselves, we are a great choice of agency…

 

We invite every new client to the studio to see how we work before taking on their project if possible. Learning how each other works and how we can integrate both working methods is the best way to develop a smooth process. We also just like having a natter over a coffee with new faces.

 

Edit: as I finish writing this post (with Rock the Casbah playing over the studio speakers), another client is leaving from his first visit to the studio, which lasted longer than he expected, mostly because the coffee is so good, and the doorbell rings again. Another hour, another visitor. An ode to the hub that The Exchange was built to be. Fabrics in and out, furniture deliveries and collections, business meetings and friendly visits. It’s a warm feeling to see this special vision come to life.

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New Burger King Ad Campaign Shows Cheeky Humour is PR Gold

Last week, The Cannes Lions Festival held its annual awards ceremony, honouring the most creative and successful marketing campaigns of the past year. It is always a great week to keep an eye on if you have an interest in marketing. And this year, it showed that when even the biggest companies take a risk, it can really pay off.

 

One of the biggest winners for 2019 was the almighty Burger King. Stepping up its smear campaign against McDonalds with a light-hearted twist saw the company scoop a whopping (don’t excuse the pun) three Grand Prix prizes.

 

The King of campaigns was this year offering customers their most popular burger for just a penny. But only if you ordered it from a McDonalds. Carrying on its ongoing anti-McBurger campaign, the new Whopper Detour App offered customers an almost free burger when ordered within 600m of a Ronald McDonald establishment. The app would then direct you to your nearest Burger King to pick up your 1 penny Whopper.

The award-winning campaign highlighted the importance of mobile when advertising. Linking the new mobile food order culture, as well as the age of gaming and the joy and shock that comes with bending the rules of sportsmanship, the Whopper Detour app was a mixture of creativity, cunning and comedy.

 

It is not the first time this year that Burger king has used McDonalds’ extensive advertising budget for its own gain. Flame-grilling has always been Burger King's signature cooking technique since opening in 1954, and in March this year, the burger chain used virtual flames to "burn" its biggest competitors. While it didn’t specify McDonald's by name, the pixelated imagery of billboards and print ads suggest that the app campaign was directly targeting the key rival.

Admittedly, many of us may not have the budget or brand significance for the publicity that these ad stunts have created. But we can take a leaf out of the burger giant’s campaign book. Burger King stays at the top of the awards list because they look forward. With this flux of new technologies, using mobile apps and AR is a sure-fire way to get strong engagement from your target audience. You may not be in the same industry, but the rules still apply. Always keep on eye on the horizon and have fun with your campaigns.

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Why IKEA is Thriving in the “Retail Graveyard”

This Swedish powerhouse really needs no introduction, with genius branding and advertising, they know exactly who they are, and so does the rest of the world. It was the brainchild of 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 but has been named on Forbes’ World’s Most Valuable Brand list in May 2019. So how is this flat-pack furniture brand still ruling the retail industry and staying so relevant? The secret is staying ahead of the market in not only trends, but technology. Every furniture seller should be taking a leaf out of their infamous catalogue to share some of the success. And here’s how.

 

In April 2018, the retail giant realised that it was facing a problem: it hadn’t been keeping up with the digital world and this sparked a shift in their business development strategy. Although IKEA has been ahead of other furniture companies, technology had been globally advancing, leaving many retailers behind. They started by investing in “personalisation at scale” allowing it to send precisely-targeted communications to people based on what they are doing online. “When people buy a bed, they actually spend two weeks researching online. There is a lot of information that we gather so that we can actually be relevant to the person wanting to buy a bed in those two weeks”. -  Barbara Martin Coppola, IKEA’s Chief Digital Officer, talking to CNBC.

 

The key to this strategy shift was the incorporation of CGI on a large scale. The Swedish furniture company has been aggressively ramping up its use of computer generated imagery in their catalogues, starting in 2006 with their first CGI photo of a Bertil pinewood chair. By 2012, the Wall Street Journel reported that 25% of their products were computer generated. And with its rapid globalisation, with products reaching multiple cultures CGI and 3D rendering is invaluable.

 

The newest addition to IKEA’s futureproof strategy is the Place app. Allowing customers to place IKEA furniture into their own home, digitally, before purchase. It automatically scales products – based on room dimensions – with 98 per cent accuracy. Customers can see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on furnishings.

 

The secret to IKEA’s success? Always being one step ahead. Especially in technology. With retail ever struggling, a business strategy that constantly stays ahead of technology and is digitally driven will drive sales and success. And what is the first step to the forefront? 3D rendering and digital marketing. It all started with the humble furniture visualisation. Once a company’s products are rendered, it opens a world of possibilities that are then ready-made.

 

To talk about how your products can be digitalised, get in touch with us today.

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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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An Honest Consumer: Why Good CGI Will Make Me Buy Your Product

Taking my Orbital hat off just for a moment, I would like to tell you the story of a consumer (spoiler: it’s me). It is easy to forget our own consumer story when we are emerged in our own company strategy, but isn’t that who all manufacturers and retailers are targeting? So, let’s take a look at why CGI on an e-commerce website is so important in my consumer driven situation in 2019.

 

I have just bought my first property (somehow, I managed to get on that ladder). And while it took me eight long months to finally get the keys, and a month’s worth of living in said property, it is still standing empty of furniture. As you can probably tell by these stats, I am a very fussy (indecisive) buyer when it comes to commitment heavy purchases. However, I finally have a bed frame and two gorgeous dark green velvet sofas arriving in a week’s time, and I want to take you through my buying process and why, unknowingly, CGI is so incredibly important for taking out hesitation time and allowing me, like many others, to commit to a big purchase.

 

As a 2019 shopper the first place I went, along with the majority, is online. I was convinced that I would not be buying a large piece of furniture without seeing it in a showroom, sitting on it, feeling the fabric, seeing the true colour, all these things that play on a seller’s mind when targeting their consumers. But that all changed quite quickly when I saw a small number of well-made websites with great 3D renders. You see, it’s not all about replacing photoshoots, but making a consumer’s online experience bespoke. Alas, I ended up buying two large sofas online without seeing them in person, and 4 weeks on, I have no regrets.

 

I found myself clicking away from any website that either didn’t allow me to wrap my chosen product in the fabric I wanted, or if it did, and the render wasn’t convincing, I left said sites immediately, not being able to visualise true colour or texture that I may be blindly ordering. I would find a sofa online, travel to a showroom, and either find that the sofa wasn’t available to view in the fabric I wanted, or wasn’t available to view at all. Getting exhausted with this process that always ended up in failure, I solely used websites that let me see a virtual but realistic render of the product that would end up on my doorstep, and crucially, allowing me to wrap my chosen product in a realistic render of my fabric, which is difficult to find, when you’re looking at velvet!

 

What really amazed and surprised me is how quickly I exited the sites of, even well-trusted retailers and manufacturers, those which didn’t have this service. Even if it looked like my sofa of dreams, there was no way I could commit. It made me realise the importance of what we do at Orbital. I am usually amazed by the magic of the graphics team, how they can create something digital which is indistinguishable from photoshoots, but as a consumer was where I truly realised the change in sales that we are creating for companies who work with us. It is revolutionising, and a much-needed solution to a great risk-immersed industry in a world of online sales.

 

If you want to the difference Orbital’s Swatch Selector can make to your online sales, get in touch with us today for a chat.

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