If you love the idea of featuring 3D content on your product page but feel unhappy about the end result, the problem might have to do with your chosen rendering method. One of the most crucial steps in creating a 3D version of your products in choosing between real-time and offline rendering. Each option offers certain advantages and challenges, which should be considered based on the business needs and product categories in question. 

Real-time rendering enables viewers to move the 3D image around and examine it from different angles as if they were holding the actual product in their hand, which creates a realistic and playful experience. Offline rendering, on the other hand, presents a 3D asset that cannot be adjusted in real-time but is therefore superior in terms of performance. Viewers enjoy a smoother and more detailed image. The trade-off is realism vs. performance, which is not an easy call to make! 

Offline rendering

Real-time rendering

Some product categories, such as jewelry, can benefit significantly from the advantages of each option and may require the creation of both real-time and offline rendered 3D assets. Some brands make a single choice for all of their product categories. IKEA, for instance, renders the entire company catalog in 3D and actually built an entire showroom in VR

Which option should you go for? The truth is that there is no rule of thumb here, and every business should form a strategy that fits very specific needs. 

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Product category: How important is it for your customers to view the smaller details of the product? Will they benefit more from a realistic experience? Real-time rendering allows shoppers to examine an item from every angle in order to make a more informed purchase decision, but fails to display the smaller product details. Check out these examples of a computer mouse and bracelet watch to understand what we’re talking about. 
  • Budget considerations: As always, the time and effort it takes to create high-quality 3D assets increases the cost. Rendering time can take between 15 minutes to 2 hours per item, which greatly affects the overall price. 
  • Timeline considerations: High-quality rendering takes time. A full-length 3D animated movie, for instance, would require at least a couple of weeks for rendering alone. If you aim for an extremely accurate, detailed and realistic 3D asset, do not expect to rush things. 
  • Connectivity issues: If your target audience may be located in areas where the internet connection is questionable, real-time rendering might fail to work. You’ll need a connection of 2G and higher. 
  • In-house technology: Your 3D viewer capabilities and the ability to create 60FPS assets will also influence the end result and the rendering choices leading up to it. 

With the different options offering significant benefits and demands, it is important to make this strategic decision with the help of 3D experts. Learn when to choose real-time or offline rendering, and when to mix both. Feel free to contact Hexa’s experts and start establishing a rendering strategy that is accurate for your brand, products, and target audience.

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