3D product renderings offer some advantages over photography: they can be less costly to produce, they can highlight details that might otherwise be difficult to capture, they can illustrate something that doesn’t even exist yet, and they can be revised or edited more easily at a later time if something like a color scheme or feature changes. And as everyone knows, the results, from a photorealistic standpoint, can be virtually indiscernible from those of a photograph. Here’s an example of a 3D rendering of a valve I created for Oventrop Corporation, using Modo.
Entries in Featured Work (10)
I’ve previously written about my approach to creating infographics. I frequently get asked to design these technical diagrams that help explain a company’s production process. An image can often be the most concise and engaging way to communicate and market what is often a complicated set of industrial procedures.
The drawing might require a simple two-dimensional view, but usually something more attention-grabbing like an isometric rendering that shows the machines in a 3d view is requested. These drawings can be static or have interactive functionality added. Sometimes animation is the way to go. The approach is determined by the complexity of the process and how the drawing is going to be deployed and viewed by the audience.
Here are four samples of typical process diagrams that employ slightly different approaches. First, a two-dimensional rendering of the gasifier process, created for Genser Energy. This approach is usually the least time-intensive to create, and can also be animated relatively easily because of the lack of perspective. (Flash required):
Next, an illustration of Markem-Imaje’s coding and labeling options. This rendering provided a visual representation of Markem’s comprehensive number of labeling and coding machines in the context of the various substrates that they’re capable of working on. Rendered in an isometric style, this image had to fit into a brochure layout where space was limited, so the size and detail of the machines had to be carefully considered. The conveyors were “flattened” horizontally to fit the space:
Aservin had me create a simplified drawing of their salt-packaging plant for potential investors. The original illustration was tailored for print and presentations, and I added some simple interactivity for potential use on the web:
ECT2 needed to communicate their synthetic media treatment process. I designed a static illustration with arrows to indicate the flow of water, but because of the complexity of the operations involved, I also created an animated version (using Adobe's Edge Animate) with control buttons for use on the web and at trade shows:
This is another recent project for Discovery Channel. The popular "How Stuff Works" series required a set of three illustrations for their volume 2 DVD packaging. Among the subjects covered this time around were chocolate, whiskey, and games; very different but interesting subjects to render in 3D. As a technical illustrator, I'm usually drawing hard-surfaced, mechanical subject matter, so the organic nature of the "Whiskey" and "Chocolate" images made them particularly fun and challenging to create. See the cover layout here.
Lighthouses have a romantic, slightly haunting feeling about them. I took a tour of one as a kid and I remember peering upwards into the close spaces of the inner tower and feeling a little creeped out, imagining some poor guy ascending the steps on a dark, stormy night to illuminate the lantern.
They're fascinating historical icons nonetheless, and great subject matter for a technical illustrator. I wanted to depict one with its most interesting feature–the spiral staircase–exposed. I based this image on the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse in Florida, which I chose because of its relatively large size and the abundance of reference material available for it, including an original architectural drawing. The side perspective was chosen to provide a clear view of the staircase, and architectural details were kept to a minimum to focus attention on the interior. Let me know what you think!
This is a recently completed illustration of an order fulfillment system in development for SI Systems. The mobile A-frame will offer a fast, flexible, cost-effective method of warehouse order-fulfillment and material handling. It was great working with Deb Di Gregorio and Denise Silva at Camarès, who made the project go really smoothly.