Best Practices
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Daniel Erning
Content Marketing Manager

3D packshots - easily scalable display of products and packaging

A can of turquoise paint - staged as a packshot
August 25, 2023

Packshots are a standard in marketing and advertising.
Online, they are an integral part of online shops and on product pages as content formats.

The advantage: The buyer receives the essentials right at a glance. Nothing is distracting.

However, packshots can be more broadly defined: Not only the static image of the product, but also as a 360 degree view in a neutral environment, individual products can be displayed even better with a packshot.

This is possible both with classic photography methods and with 3D models that can create photorealistic 3D views or animations.

Packshot photography or 3D packshots?

The two examples of a packshot shown were created on the basis of 3D models.

The left, two-dimensional and static packshot is very easy to create both with a photo camera and on the basis of a 3D model.

The right one, three-dimensional and dynamic packshot The quality is very easy to create based on a 3D model. Photography gets more complicated; this usually requires professional studio equipment or a specially designed system with many individual cameras.

Pack shots using photo shoots:

In short: Anyone who needs a packshot for just one or a few products and hardly plans any further visual content in the future is well supplied with classic photography.

2D images with photo shoots:

Static, two-dimensional images of products: Since there have been images of products, this has been the most common and normal way to create packshots. Even though the market is changing and alternative methods offer more uses.

3D views with photo shoots:

In order to achieve 3D views using photographic methods, a lot of photos of the product are simply taken, usually placed on a turntable and then cut together to form a GIF or video format.

There are now special devices or 360 degree photo boxes that enable these views for packshots. In doing so, a 3D scan process used.

The product can therefore be moved around an axis, usually horizontally, or is moved automatically so that you get an almost complete picture of the product.

Pack shots using 3D models:

In short: If you need more than just a packshot format as visual content for your products and are constantly planning new product images and other content formats, 3D models offer greater flexibility and cost savings as a basis.

2D images through 3D models:

In fact, this is now a very common use of 3D models: product images such as packshots, which are displayed statically and two-dimensionally.

For this purpose, a product is virtually modeled with software and looks as real on a computer as it does in reality. It can now be rendered as an image at any time, very flexibly in a wide variety of environments and perspectives, including for a simple packshot.

3D views through 3D models:

This method is probably more expected, as it's already in the name: 3D packshots based on 3D models is much easier than combining cameras or individual images.

Stand out from the competition with 3D packshots

Pack shots in 3D and based on 3D models are the future and are already being used more and more often today.

Anyone who wants to have an advantage in the competition for attention has the opportunity to create new content for their product marketing in a much more flexible and cost-effective way with their products as a 3D model.

But above all, your product is already prepared for the virtual world and appealing formats: animations, AR, VR and videos are therefore just a few clicks away, without the need for photographers, shoots and logistics. And that with a quality that makes it no longer possible to distinguish between real photographed and virtually created content.

Another major advantage is that a product only has to be created once as a so-called digital twin in order to be able to create all desired content formats very easily, cost-effectively and quickly.

The benefits of 3D packshots for product marketing:

  • Quality: Deep zooming without loss of detail or sharpness is easy
  • User experience: Interactive product animations for a modern user experience
  • scalability: Reusability of the 3D model saves costs permanently

Create packshots yourself? It is urgent to pay attention to this

Pack shots are also relatively easy to create yourself with a few tips and tricks. But the trick is often to advertise a whole range of products or even large portfolios of the same quality and at high frequency with product images, such as pack shots.

With packshots, as with product images in general, you should pay attention to a few things:

  • The right size display

Perspective and presentation can change the impression of product size. A 1:87 scale toy car shouldn't look like it was on a 1:18 scale. Disappointed buyers result in increased returns. The correct size display for packshots is therefore important.

  • Authenticity of colors

Depending on the lighting and adjacent colors, the colors of packshots, i.e. on the product or packaging, can also change slightly. Even if they are only nuances, this can cause irritation for the customer if the color accuracy has not been observed.

  • Light and shadow

It sounds banal, but the ideal use of light and shadow — especially when only one packshot image is intended to represent an entire product at a glance — is essential and anything but trivial. A level of difficulty is added when different products across a portfolio are to be presented in the same look and feel.

  • image editing

Less is more: Products in a packshot should look realistic. If a lot of improvements has to be made to various products afterwards, maybe it wasn't just the photo shoot that was sub-optimal. It is also a risk that the look and feel of the packshots of different products will also be very different. And in the worst case scenario, unrealistic product images are created.

  • Consistency in the portfolio

As mentioned above, consistency across an entire product portfolio or website, including landing pages and product pages, is important for the user experience and brand image.

  • Optimum resolution

This too is all too often ignored or overlooked: Small yet sharp-resolution packshot images are extremely important online in particular. Online shops must be able to load many images smoothly at the same time. Ideal file formats are Jpeg and WebP for static packshots.

What is packshot photography anyway?

Packshot photography is a part of commercial photography that focuses on creating high-quality images of products.

The goal: to present the product in a visually appealing and accurate way and to highlight its features, details and qualities. The same perspectives and settings are often used across a shop or website. This makes it easier for users to compare and perceive.

Packshots the RenderThat way

Unique and scalable packshots

Unique products such as complex machines are no problem for us as 3D specialists.

In addition, our workflows also provide the basis for creating numerous other perspectives or entire formats from just one digital 3D model, at the push of a button. Particularly practical: If different products are similar, creating packshots for these products is also very easy and less expensive.

And the quality, settings and environments can easily be standardized on the computer, so that a great deal of manual effort and costs is simply eliminated.

Packshots without an existing product

In order to create packshots and all possible content formats for a product, photography must also include a physical product. We only need a reference or the dimensions so that we can create all visual content from it before production.

Photorealistic packshots with 3D

The level of detail of a packshot using a 3D model depends only on the customer's wishes. There are actually no limits to quality. Even complex machines or food and glass can now be digitized using 3D models in such a way that the differences can no longer be recognized.

Easiest packshot workflows

When a product has been virtually represented by us, the individual steps are simply digitally coordinated. Should the perspective be changed? Is this one color not yet completely correct? Approvals and feedback are given centrally in our tool. Content production has never been so easy, flexible and clear for marketing and product managers.

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