4 Reasons You Might Choose CGI Instead of a Photo Shoot

Every creative team has experienced a sudden change in direction or an urgent request to quickly capitalize on a new opportunity. A new campaign has a hard launch date, and the product or talent will not be available in time for a photo shoot. In order to refresh a well-known product, the brand requests a series of visuals showing the product in a multitude of different settings. What do you do? In situations like these, using CGI instead of scheduling a photo shoot might be the right choice.

What is CGI?

Computer-Generated Imagery (or CGI) uses computer graphics to create something that does not exist in the "real world." At BluEdge Media, we effectively use CGI instead of photo shoots in many projects. This includes ranging from showing the same product in multiple environments to creating a completely new prototype that has not yet been built.

Photo Shoots Sometimes Just Won't Work

When deadlines loom and time is of the essence, every moment counts. In many cases, a creative director and production team won't have the luxury of time needed for planning and scheduling a photo shoot. The hurdles that can slow or prevent scheduling and completing a photo shoot are abundant, but a few stand out as common concerns.

A photo shoot may not be an option when:

  • an unplanned project pops up with a tight deadline
  • working with a limited budget, or at high risk of exceeding budget based on the creative direction
  • travel to a location is unrealistic (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic)
  • product or talent is not available
  • a highly detailed view is needed

When to Choose CGI Over a Photo Shoot:

1. Prototyping:
Use CGI when you want to create something that doesn't exist yet, like a prototype or a new product idea. For instance, a dress shoe company is looking to break into running shoes. CGI can be used to build new models digitally while utilizing specs/colors/textures that stay true to the brand.

2. Changing Scenes:
Choose CGI when you'd like to manipulate an environment. You can move things around including people and furniture, or switch out old elements to new ones for a fresh campaign. This is a great option for interior design, movie sets, or digitally-crafted studio shoots.

3. New Products:
Instead of doing a new photo shoot every time you release a product, CGI can be used to create multiple versions of the same product. For your e-commerce store, website, brochure, social feature, etc.

After creating a product once as a 3D model, product colors and finishes can be easily swapped out, saving time and cost.

4. A Closer Look:
Use CGI when you need a zoomed-in look at how something works. Recently, we did a complete breakdown for a luxury watch client, showcasing the inner workings of every piece that makes the watch tick. These kinds of angles and motion would not be possible without CGI.