How to Create 3D Product Images for eCommerce Sites
High-quality 3D product images enhance the engagement of your eCommerce site or online store by providing your customers with realistic previews of what you sell. This helps your customers make better buying decisions, increasing satisfaction and sales. This blog will show you a five-step path to adding 3D product images to your site to support your visual commerce strategy.
What Is a 3D Product Image?
3D product images allow viewers to experience items from your product catalog from multiple perspectives, just as they could with physical objects. Customers can see products from different angles, zoom in for a closer look, or virtually walk around a digital shopping environment such as a virtual showroom. 3D-rendered product images can support other viewing options, such as seeing models in different sizes, colors, or styles.
This multi-dimensional quality distinguishes 3D product images from traditional photography, which is 2D flat images. 3D-rendered product photos are more realistic and engaging, bringing the digital shopping journey closer to the experience of a physical store.
What Is 3D Product Modeling?
3D product modeling is the process of creating multi-dimensional digital models of physical products suitable for augmented reality deployment. There are several ways to create product models suitable for 3D advertising:
- Combining 2D photos into 3D presentations
- Using a 3D scanner to capture reference points from physical objects
- Building a 3D model directly using design software
The first two methods start with a physical object as the basis for the 3D model, while the third uses digital coordinates to simulate a physical object. All three methods arrive at the same end: a digital model defined by three coordinates and other characteristics, such as color and lighting effects.
Benefits of 3D Images for Online Shopping
Using 3D images for website marketing offers eCommerce retailers a wide range of benefits, including:
- Enhanced product visualization and detail
- Multi-angle viewing
- Support for augmented reality applications
- Ability to view products in the customer’s physical space
- Superior product presentation for marketing
- Improved customer engagement and conversion rates
- Increased perceived value of the product
- Better product comparison for buyer decision-making
- More satisfying online shopping experience
These advantages mutually benefit customers and retailers, making 3D product images a win-win proposition for everyone.
How to Add 3D Product Images to Your Website in Five Steps
You can break down the process of creating product images for 3D eCommerce into five steps:
- Choose the Right 3D Modeling Software
- Gather Reference Resources
- Create 3D Product Models
- Add Finishing Touches to Your 3D-Rendered Product Images
- Publish Your 3D Product Images
Let’s look at what each step involves:
Step 1: Choose the Right 3D Modeling Software
The first step is choosing the right 3D modeling software. On the technical side, you’ll want to consider factors such as what types of images you need, where your images will reside, and which file types the software supports. For instance, some file types are native to iPhones, while others are open-source. Some excel at rendering different textures, while others are geared toward video game applications. Some support animation, while others do not. Beyond technical considerations, it’s important to consider the learning curve, which can be time-consuming and costly.
The process of rendering and optimizing images is not beginner-friendly. Hence, while you can research DIY methods, we recommend making things easy on yourself by adopting a user-friendly platform such as VNTANA. We allow you to upload your pre-existing files or let our team 3D scan your products or build digital 3D models for you. We support the most common file types used in eCommerce.
Step 2: Gather Reference Resources
Before beginning the 3D modeling process, you’ll save time by gathering any references you need. Depending on the method you use to create your files, you may need to gather physical products for scanning or high-quality photos for modeling. In some cases, you’ll want to tap into third-party resources for elements such as different textures, colors, or materials. These can be obtained from online libraries or scanned from real-world objects.
Once you have any images and scans you require, you’ll need to store, organize, and select which ones you want to use. A content management system such as the VNTANA CMS feature can help with this. To make your image files manageable for online sharing, you’ll need to optimize their format and file size. VNTANA has a tool to assist you with this when you publish your images, but you can set the stage for efficient publishing later by considering file size as you’re gathering your images at this stage.
Step 3: Create 3D Product Models
Once all the necessary resources are gathered, the next step is to create 3D models of your products using your chosen software. The exact steps will vary depending on your platform. Still, they generally involve matching reference points on your product to a 3D coordinate system to create a mesh framework formed from basic polygons such as triangles. You can then refine the framework by adding contours and colors to closely match your physical product.
Step 4: Add Finishing Touches to Your 3D-Rendered Product Images
Once your 3D model is complete, you can add final touches to make it more realistic or visually appealing. This can include adjustments such as lighting, shadows, special textures, and backgrounds. Make sure to check how your image looks from multiple angles to gain a full perspective on your customers’ potential vantage points. You also should review the images you create to verify consistency with your brand guidelines on elements such as color, camera angles, logos, and fonts.
Step 5: Exporting and Using the 3D Product Viewer
Once the 3D product is complete, the next step is to export it in a high-resolution format that you can use on an eCommerce site. The exact steps for exporting the 3D product will vary depending on the 3D modeling software used, but generally involve:
- Choosing the desired 3D file format (Use our 3D file guide to help you understand your format options)
- Setting the texture resolution
- Saving the image to a location on your computer
You will need to optimize and publish the 3D product image so it can run smoothly on your eCommerce site. If the 3D product images are not correctly optimized, they will be too heavy for the web and potentially not load. Remember to ensure the 3D viewer settings align with your brand guidelines (such as background, initial camera position, etc.).The final step is to embed and publish the optimized 3d product viewer on your business e-commerce website.
Now you’re ready to get higher conversion rates, boost your product engagement, and more!
Create 3D Product Images with VNTANA’s 3D Commerce Platform
To recap, creating 3D product images involves choosing the right software, gathering reference resources, creating 3D models, adding finishing touches, and publishing your images. You can then begin using your 3D product images to deliver more realistic, engaging customer experiences that drive more sales conversions.
The easiest way to execute these steps is to use VNTANA, the only platform you need for end-to-end 3D product image publishing. We let you upload existing 3D images or tap into our team to create 3D models for you. Our software automatically optimizes image files for easy sharing online. We instantly generate 3D line sheets for internal or distributor review. Once your files are created, they’re ready for sharing on your website, eCommerce platform, social media profiles, or gaming engines. Our platform has been shown to double conversion rates and decrease returns by 40%. Schedule a live half-hour demo with one of our specialists to see how we can get your 3D marketing strategy up and running in minimal time.