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Photography vs. 3D Visualization: Time and Cost Expense

By Leah Martin | October 14, 2020

Either way you slice it, it takes time to do traditional photography or 3D.

If you have one product that comes in a single variation (a.k.a. one size, color, fabric, texture, etc) then photography is a viable option. However, even when you have a singular product offering, 3D visualization will always give you a competitive edge over (and a complement to) photography when it comes to online selling. Your potential customer can still interact with your product in a way more closely representative of an in-store experience, such as viewing it from various angles, seeing the product in Augmented Reality, etc.


If you have a product which comes in many variations, 3D would certainly save you time in the long-run. Using sources, such as 3D engineering files of the various options for your product, ATLATL’s Visual platform can help you create stunning 3D interactive renderings for your website. Instead of having to photograph each and every possible configuration of your product, all of the variations are able to be visualized by your end user (be it marketer or customer) via your user interface.


Using 3D files allows you to go-to-market quicker. No more waiting for the product to be physically shipped to you for a product shoot. You can instantly put a product on the market using 3D visualizations while it’s being made. This is a small but mighty thing- it could shave off weeks or (even months) of the launch process.  

Something important that correlates with time is updatability. Going 3D for your marketing is a huge time-saver when a mistake or update happens with your product. For instance: if you need an update as simple as adding new colors to an existing model, one can go into the programming and add new HEX color codes. Some other updates may take longer, but most would save time versus the other option of a new photoshoot. If you created new colors for an existing product and wanted traditional product photography, you would need to set up a photo shoot all over again, not to mention wait until your product in its new color is produced. In other words, making fixes and updates to your product marketing can be easy, and proves 3D saves you time in the long-run. 

Photography is different. You can only fix a mistake on a photograph so much. There’s a lot of aspects you can’t control with photo shoots, such as weather or hard-to-reach angles to get the best-looking photo. The aspects you can control take time: coordination, scheduling, post-shoot editing, and re-shooting if it’s not up to your standards. Imagine how time-consuming this would be on its own, let alone having a product that comes in a number of different color combinations or sizes you would have to individually shoot.  


Comparing product photography and 3D price in general is complicated as so much varies, plus there’s a lot of factors going into price. However, most of the time you’ll be guaranteed incurring more costs if you choose traditional photography. Things add up; how much you pay the photographer, photo editor, equipment costs, if things get damaged on set. And then there’s the costs of producing the product to actually photograph such as raw materials and labor. With 3D visualization, you’ll be employing the project manager, 3D artist(s), and implementation engineer. As stated earlier, you don’t have to wait for a physical product to be made, which automatically saves you both time and money.


So there you have it!

We know the possibilities of 3D in marketing look very promising, not to mention efficient on many levels. Plus, you’ll be setting yourself apart and ahead of competitors as 3D becomes more and more utilized over traditional photography.




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