How to bring your product to life through CGI and VR

Although it’s no longer seen as the ultra-modern, cutting-edge video technology it once was, CGI and virtual reality is more popular than it’s ever been before.

In fact, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the VR industry is predicted to grow annually by over 45%, and be valued at $4.26 billion by 2023. The democratisation of CGI and VR technology has led to it becoming accessible to a far wider range of businesses, for a huge range of purposes, particularly when it comes to advertising.

CGI and VRCGI and VR are ideal ways for businesses to promote their products and services in a way that combines eye-catching visuals with intricate detail and technical wizardry. That said, there’s no one-size-fits-all way in which it achieves these aims, and the technology is versatile enough to accommodate almost any need a company might have for it. Here are three of the main ways in which CGI and VR can help bring out the best in your products, and capture the interest of your potential customers.

Digital animation highlights the best aspects of your brand

CGI covers a wide range of techniques, including 3D animation and visual effects, which makes it ideal for providing an in-depth demonstration of what your products can do. For example, CGI is especially popular for advertising vehicles, with one director noting recently that most cars you see in adverts are actually digital overlays. This allows viewers to see the car in action, while eradicating any risk of the vehicle being damaged during the course of filming. Often, CGI will also be used to showcase the mechanical workings of a car, and with the confines of in-camera filmmaking no longer an issue, it gives directors a far greater range of motion and detail to work with.

For less technically complex products, CGI can provide a hyper-realistic backdrop to packaging shots or some fun animation to help grab a viewer’s attention. Skincare and toiletry brand Molton Brown used London design studio Frantic to design a unique reveal video to promote their new line of body wash products on screens in the brand’s stores. This required digitally workshopping a range of textures, creating a digital image of the packaging, and rendering the finished designs in 4D, all working together to provide a luxurious setting for the new products.

Computer animation can explain complex ideas

While we often think of CGI animation in terms of films like Frozen or anything made by Pixar, or helping make movie explosions pop that much more stunningly, its uses are often far more commonplace and understated. More simple uses of CGI animation can be just as effective, particularly when it comes to designing videos that explain how products work, or helping customers and clients understand a brand’s broader intentions.

Thanks to their short running times, reliance on bright colours, and pithy usage of text, explainer videos are also ideal for sharing, especially through social media. Since they are primarily information-based, they can be edited to fit the time and size limitations of each platform. This lets companies maximise their advertising budgets by making small but essential changes to the same piece of video content, while being able to target different audiences in the process.

VR can enhance your customers’ experience

In the last decade, virtual reality (VR) has progressed by leaps and bounds, and has become a far more common way to enjoy videos and games. As such, it’s no surprise that brands are eager to capitalise on its popularity and use it to their advantage. However, the realm of VR isn’t just about donning a pair of glasses and immersing yourself in digitally animated scenes, and even our humble smartphones can offer something close to the experience, through augmented reality (AR) technology.

AR and VR are two sides of the same coin — the former overlays digital content onto the real world, while the latter immerses the viewer in a completely digital landscape — and both can give viewers an incredible new perspective on a brand. From showing a product’s complete life cycle to allowing customers to try before they buy, the possibilities are endless. And since the technology is improving with every passing day, there’s no telling what the future will hold.