Surfacetech 3D Furniture Photography
3 mins read

Surfacetech 3D Furniture Photography

This is the Training And Conference Catalog created for Surfacetech (a/k/a Surface Technologies Furniture) – a Kansas City based manufacturer of premium design tables. To produce a broad spectrum of furniture photography on a limited timeline and budget, the entire catalog was produced with 3D digital imaging rather than furniture photography.

Furniture Photography vs. 3D rendering

Furniture photography requires extensive scouting and rights management for any sort of elaborate environment. Some environments are virtually unavailable, such as hospitals and airports. Others will require some kind of fee for the usage, and may even encumber the resulting shots with rights issues – you want to put out another ad, you have to ask permission and pay another fee.

Also, every piece of furniture needs to physically exist — in some cases this is not possible on the production timeline, or it will require fabricating and transporting a lot of unsold inventory, or at the very least risk denting a lot of heavy and valuable furniture.

An alternate to doing furniture photography from picturesque locations is to build the sets on a soundstage. This too has many drawbacks, the most obvious being the cost and time required for construction. Usually once the shots are completed, the set is broken down and discarded, so no re-shoots will be possible without substantial costs.

All these issues are nicely solved with 3D digital imaging by Trinity Animation. The results are believable. They include every prop and nuance that the art director required. Every shot can be revisited – weeks or even years later.


Trinity has amassed a substantial prop collection for use by our clients. So, laptops, lamps, paintings and cityscape backdrops add little to the project scope, and the focus stays on artful presentation of the furniture presented in the catalog. The entire project for this catalog was completed in approximately 8 weeks.


This catalog was art directed by Jillian Pai of Iconic Revolution Design. Ms. Pai is an expert in both design and marketing. Her approach to directing Trinity’s virtual furniture photography is to keep the furniture front and center and not add a lot of distracting elements in the background. So, while each scene looks livable, and lived in, there is a generally minimalist approach to populating each set.

Surface Technologies 2008 Furniture Photography Catalog by Trinity Animation

[A photo of the printed furniture brochure]

Download a PDF of the finished brochure.

Furniture Photography of flip-down desking for laptop stowage

Virtual Furniture Photography and video!

Later, a short animation was developed from the pictures on page 6 for the Docking Station desk – showing how a laptop can be safely stowed away in a classroom environment. Because the entire scene was already developed, the only cost for this animation was for an animator at Trinity to create the movements!

Animated Furniture Demonstration from Trinity Animation on Vimeo.