When National Furniture needed to illustrate a new stacking chair line called “Upwards,” they called Trinity Animation. In this single project, Trinity would provide the furniture marketing video, photography, environments, and camera-ready 3D furniture rendering that would be needed. And all without a single physical chair!
CONSTRUCTING CHAIR VARIATIONS
The first step of the project is to have perfect 3D furniture renderings of the manufactured chairs. In this case, there were two types of chair – with and without arms. The models for manufacture had been constructed already by the industrial engineers at National. While these models are optimal for fabrication (incorporating constraints for rigidity, weight, plastics molding, etc.) they are also an ideal starting point for a 3D furniture rendering. In some cases Trinity must reconstruct a complex model from a physical sample or from photos. But where a model exists, particularly a solid modeling type file format like SolidWorks or CATIA, we can save time. The unseen elements are deleted, the missing visual details such as trim or upholstery are added and the model is finalized with the approval of the client.
With a 3D environment, there are virtually none of the cost and availability issues that arise with location scouting or building a set on a soundstage. Further, the furniture itself can be made in any color and any quantity where an actual photo shoot would require manufacturing a lot of unsold inventory. Also there are no time limits on a virtual 3D set – you can revisit and revise it a week later, or ten years later.
To give our artists a starting point, most clients or art directors will block out some sort of sketch. Also they may provide reference photos, indicating they like the floor in this one, the windows in that one, etc.
FURNITURE MARKETING VIDEO IMAGERY
Now the chairs, chair finishes and environments can be combined to create a set of large still images for marketing. Because the scenes are 3D furniture renderings, multiple angles add very little to the cost of the project. Familiar camera effects such as depth-of-field (distance blur) and glow or bloom effects are also incorporated to give a very realistic and flattering depiction of the furniture.
This imagery is initially prepared for the print brochure. But the 3D furniture renderings are of sufficient detail and quality that they will ultimately be useful for posters, trade show displays, web site graphics, dealer use and press kits.
THE PRINTED BROCHURE
With all the elements in place, the graphic designer can now produce the print marketing brochure. All the required images, including some alternate angles and also technical close-ups are delivered to the designer by Trinity Animation.
For graphic designers that use photoshop, Trinity Animation will provide layers or mask channels to allow the designer easy selection of wood grain areas or other critical portions of the image, so that fine tuning may be done quickly and easily. Beauty shots of isolated furniture are provided as floating layers so that they can be laid on top of any background the designer chooses.
You can view the finished 4 page furniture marketing brochure as a PDF.
DESIGNING THE ANIMATION
With the brochure complete, we could begin work on the 3D furniture rendering marketing video. After a rough script designed by National, Trinity produced a storyboard of the timing and movements that the animation would include.
Since all of the elements needed for the animation had already been built for the brochure imagery, the furniture marketing video for Upwards would have a fairly low cost.
FINALIZING THE FURNITURE MARKETING VIDEO
After approving the storyboard and selecting the music track (a royalty-free music track that Trinity helped select), the actual work of building the animation began. Once the sequences of the animation were designed, Trinity produced a quick, low quality timing/motion evaluation video called an “animatic” for review. This allows the client to thoroughly evaluate the work and make sure everything is perfect before it is finally output.
Be sure to view the finished furniture marketing video, preferably in HD and full screen!