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Daniel Erning
Content Marketing Manager

3D rendering for furniture visualizations: Basics and why every manufacturer should look into it

3D furniture rendering of a bed in various variants easy to implement
October 16, 2023

Why should you read this article as an employee of a furniture company or e-commerce retailer of furniture?

If you work closely on the product, in marketing, product management or sales: According to experts, the digitalization of sales and the associated change in customer experience is one of the driving topics in the furniture industry.

From this point of view, it is only a stone's throw to the topic of product visualization and product presentation in that very digital world. And the biggest lever here is 3D visualization and 3D rendering of all kinds of furniture.

This article covers the essential aspects of 3D rendering for furniture makers, from fundamental principles to advanced techniques and future trends.

A status update in advance: Many other industries have had their product catalogs digitized in series in order to have to worry significantly less about visualizing and digitally using the products.

The furniture industry is in the midst of this transformation process.

Why 3D rendering is important for furniture makers

The visual revolution

3D rendering has virtually triggered a visual revolution in many industries. It enables manufacturers to create lifelike, photorealistic representations of their products without the hassle, logistics and associated costs.

As a result, manufacturers and retailers are not only improving their own processes, but also enabling their customers to make well-founded purchasing decisions through new types of presentation (such as configurators, AR, VR and animations).

Cost-effective prototyping

Traditional prototyping can be time-consuming and costly. 3D technology massively simplifies the prototyping process. Virtual prototypes meet the majority of requirements and are a more cost-effective option, speeding up the design and testing phases and thus reducing time to market launch.

New marketing perspectives

Marketing products, and increasingly furniture, has never been as visually compelling as it is today. 3D rendering makes it easy to create impressive marketing materials, from catalogs to digital campaigns and the online shop. Manufacturers can present their products in various environments and thus respond to different customer requirements.

Basics of 3D visualization and rendering

Rendering creates photorealistic images, videos, or animations from a 3D model of a piece of furniture. It involves working with textures, geometries, light and shadows on the computer to produce realistic images.

On the one hand, the 3D designers are experienced designers who represent reality and, on the other hand, can use special 3D software to achieve these effects.

The various software options play a central role in 3D rendering. And they have been getting better and better in recent years, so that 3D renderings of products can be realized ever more easily and quickly. Algorithms and more and more artificial intelligence in programs are helping to do this.

Software and tools

Choosing the right software is crucial. Leading 3D rendering software, such as Blender, Autodesk 3ds Max, and Cinema 4D, provide powerful tools and workflows specifically tailored for rendering furniture.

Effective 3D rendering requires powerful computer equipment. Appropriate hardware, including a high-end graphics card and sufficient memory, is critical for smooth and efficient rendering.

The process of designing furniture with 3D

From concept to 3D model

The journey of furniture design starts with a concept. 3D rendering transforms this concept into a detailed, virtual model that captures every aspect of the piece of furniture.

Customer requirements on the one hand and the product with the real dimensions and properties on the other hand are brought together by the 3D agency.

Material selection

Materials breathe life into furniture. 3D rendering allows you to realistically represent a variety of materials, from wood to leather, and makes the final rendering look compelling and appealing.

Lighting and environment

The right lighting and environment is critical. With 3D rendering, lighting conditions can be controlled so that furniture manufacturers can present their products in the best possible light.

Create realism

Textures and materials

Texturing involves applying realistic textures to the 3D model. The materials should be based on their real counterparts in order to achieve authenticity. Shader balls are used for this purpose.

lighting techniques

Lighting technologies such as global lighting and HDR environments ensure that the furniture appears natural and well-lit, just as would be the case in a real environment.

Details and the relationship to perfection

Attention to detail is one of the tools for photorealistic presentation. From delicate carvings to fabric pleats, such details and deliberate deviations from unnatural perfection create ultra-realistic visualizations.

Choose the right perspective

The choice of camera angles can influence the effect of the rendering. It is important to choose angles that highlight the features and functionality of the furniture.

Composition and framing draw the viewer's attention and emphasize the most important thing about the piece of furniture. A professional composition increases the attractiveness of the products.

Working with virtual spaces

The environment in which the furniture is presented is important. With 3D rendering, individual environments can be created that complement the furniture and are well received by customers.

Furniture manufacturers can offer custom customization options. 3D rendering makes the process of visualizing these bespoke pieces easier so customers can get a clearer picture of the end result.

Create photorealistic images for furniture

texture mapping

UV mapping techniques are essential for applying textures accurately. This process ensures that the textures adhere perfectly to the surfaces of the 3D model.

PBR (Physically Based Rendering) textures emulate how materials interact with light. PBR textures provide a higher level of realism and accuracy.

Realistic lighting

Global lighting simulates the way light is reflected and diffused in the environment, creating natural and soft lighting effects.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) environments improve the realism of lighting by incorporating a wider range of luminance values, thus contributing to stunning images.


Color correction fine-tunes the colors and hues of the rendering to ensure that they match the intended visual style.

Depth of field mimics the way a camera focuses on specific parts of a scene and gives the image depth and realism.

Advanced techniques

Ray tracing is an advanced rendering technique that further increases realism by simulating how light interacts with objects in the environment.

The integration of 3D rendering with virtual reality and augmented reality allows customers to virtually interact with the furniture.

Integrate 3D rendering into workflow

Collaboration and feedback

Involving stakeholders and customers early on in the design process through realistic 3D renderings helps to collect valuable feedback and insights.

3D rendering makes iterative design easier and allows quick adjustments based on feedback, resulting in improved end products.

marketing and sales

3D rendering makes it possible to create compelling product catalogs that make it easy for customers to browse and select products.

Integrate 3D renderings with your e-commerce platforms to improve the online shopping experience and give customers the opportunity to imagine the products in detail right from home.

3D rendering services vs. in-house

Weighing the pros and cons of outsourcing 3D rendering services versus building your own team helps you make an informed decision.

Choosing the right approach to 3D rendering depends on your specific needs, resources, and long-term goals.

What are the trends in 3D renderings?

The future of 3D rendering in the furniture industry is closely linked to AI and machine learning and offers more efficient workflows and greater realism.

Real-time rendering enables immediate feedback and interactions, making it an important trend in the industry.

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