Digital Rendering. Questions & Inspirations for a Sunday

A digital rendering on Pinterest

So, I just stumbled upon this rendering on Pinterest. It took me more than a quick glance, but the shadows and the lines of the upholstery were a tell-tale. This is not a real sofa! This is a rendered sofa. Seems so obvious now, but when it first appeared in my Pinterest feed, it fooled me for a hot second.

Last year, I  worked with a furniture client that built out their whole brand new catalog via digital rendering and only physically produced a portion of the designs after the fact. As a result, I started to pay attention to how much this digital rendering is seeping its way into the marketing and advertising efforts of the furniture companies, and I also got to see first hand how much of the design work was blurred between the software enabled designer as much as the material designer. (In our case, the software was AutoDesk 3Ds Max.)

During that time, I learned that Ikea’s catalog was over 75% digital rendering, and why not – its’ SO much cheaper (read by business owners as more profitable) to have one talented team behind a computer screen, designing the layers of an interior like Ellen Page’s job in Inception – than to actually corral all of the product, all of the lighting, all of the styling and all of the photography… but y’all – this conjures up some questions. Are you AMAZED at this technology and the fantasy forays we may now indulge in? Is this a whole new frontier for interior design that we can now explore? OR, do we feel cheated that someone (maybe on a whole new spectrum of skill) is able to produce a design with so much less effort, and then perhaps pass it off as the real deal?

If you want to get a feeling for yourself about what’s to come, just download this Homestyler app to your iPad and design your own room, filled to the brim with all the digital renderings of West Elm and Blu Dot product that you’d maybe never have thought to design with otherwise.

Meanwhile, I wanted to find the source of the rendering on Pinterest, since I felt a little cheated, and my reverse image lookup brought me to a Brooklyn Brownstone tour on Design Sponge. I didn’t get much further in my search.

The real thing from Design Sponge
The actual room from a Brooklyn Brownstone tour.


So, I’m enjoying the questions that I’m asking myself as a result. I’m excited to see what the future holds for interior design now that this technology and the skill set that it requires is expanding into my Pinterest feed!

It’s very similar to an argument that happens between organic and electronic musicians, one that you can hear on my new fav podcast here. Since Friday, I’ve been gluttoneously consuming Pitch, the podcast. I’m a music lover and this is a really fun geeky dive into various phenomena that surround the art of music, from the makin, to the singin to the listenin to the producing of it. You don’t have to be a musician to appreciate the stories, but it helps if you are a bit of a music geek.

That’s it, that’s my Sunday thought process while the rest of my little world is consumed by football playoffs and video games.

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    • Hmm… it’s pretty easy considering what it’s doing. You can even start with your own photos for backdrops, you just match up your corners on an x y axis. In terms of product, you are limited to the library that they present you with, and it’s a little oddly organized. But overall ease factor is pretty good.

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