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Not everybody needs CGI

As a creative agency which offers computer generated imagery among other services, we are aware that CGI might not always be the optimal choice for everyone. Despite its clear advantages and rapid market development, there are situations in which more traditional methods could be used instead.

In some cases, using CGI just doesn’t make sense, economically speaking. So, when that’s the case, we advise our clients to not choose that option.

We are going to have a look at what some of these cases may be:

Evaluating whether you need to use CGI or not

Every company is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.Whether you’re considering a new product or service, you need to sit down and evaluate the costs. It is indeed true that CGI is cheaper than traditional photography, long term, but is that really what you’re looking for? What are your goals and how do you plan to do advertise your product? Would traditional photography be a better option for your product? IKEA uses CGI for about 75% of their products, but why not 100%? There are many variables which you need to consider.

Price paid vs return

3D visualisations are a powerful tool when used in the right situations. However, there are cases where the price paid is not worth the creation of a 3D visualisation.

For example, we’ve had clients asked us to create a 3D visualisation of a property for one of their clients. But the images of this project would only be used for one client only, and then they wouldn’t be needed anymore. The price and time consumed for this type of project would be enormous compared to the return of this investment. On the other side, CGI can be a wise choice if it’s used for a whole range of products which will then be sold in large quantities. In this case, the price paid vs return would balance themselves out and it would make sense to get high-quality images. One of our clients, HPP, makes full use of computer generated images to advertise, promote, and sell their products nationwide.

Does your industry need CGI?

There are certain industries where CGI can’t fully replace photography up to the point of making it look 100% authentic. One example of such industry is the fashion industry. Although CGI has progressed considerably in the recent years, it is still quite difficult to create and simulate certain complex folds and garment shapes. Moreover, CGI-human-models may lack realism in terms of face and body expressions, and might come off as highly unnatural in certain movie productions and adverts. If you also add the production costs, then it is clearly not worth trying to reproduce clothing or human expressions when a cheaper and more accessible alternative would be the traditional photo/video-shooting.


In conclusion, we highly believe CGI is not a one-size-fits-all solution, despite our advocacy for it. Companies and industries have different needs and require different solutions according to what their goals might be. Knowing the weakness and strengths of a tool gives you the ability to advise people whether this would be the right solution for them or not. None the less, we give our honest opinion to people who come and ask us whether it is feasible or not to digitally recreate their products in CGI and what would be the course of action afterwards.

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