3D effects leave a memorable impression, making your website bright, vivid, and distinct. We use three-dimensional images and animation more and more, and not because it’s become trendy over the last few years. 3D gives you opportunities and advantages that can’t be achieved through 2D graphics. This is what makes 3D design so popular and promising.
If you are aware of all the opportunities offered by 3D visualization, you can choose the features that will improve your project in terms of functionality, looks, accessibility, and consequently, lead to a higher conversion rate.
So what is 3D capable of?
The most popular features in e-commerce are:
The product is photographed multiple times from different angles, with the images later combined into a single 3D image. (There’s no 3D model of the product in this case.)
Full three-dimensional visualization of the product based on a preliminary model of the product.
These are used to build virtual services and implement out-of-the-box design solutions.
1. Intuitive trust
This may not be readily apparent, but the first impression from 3D content is trust.
The human brain is wired for three-dimensional spatial perception. We perceive 3D images as real, even if they’re just a figment of an artist’s imagination. A website that uses 3D images has the advantage of presenting users with something real-looking and tangible. Sure, it’s an obvious illusion, but the human visual system “reads” the object as three-dimensional and the brain is tricked into perceiving it as something that really exists in the world. All this happens in a split second. And it is in this precious split second that the user forms his or her impression of the website — favorable or not!
Virtual 3D objects have depth, volume, and shading. They obey the laws of physics. To our brains, they are believable and real, which makes them worthy of our attention.
2. Product presentation
The websites with the highest conversion rates are those where customers can look at the product the way they would in real life. In other words, see it from all sides, zoom in, and check out the details. 3D visualization enables you to create realistic objects, rotate them, and examine them from any angle.
3D modeling helps you showcase the product in the best possible way. Not only can you visually improve the product’s presentation online, but you can also show some features that are not typically evident (such as inner workings, assembly or disassembly).
Sample product presentation:
This specific way of presenting is increasingly popular nowadays. Users enjoy rotating an object any which way and zooming in, which enables them to examine it better.
This means building a 3D model of the object, designating textures and materials, setting the scene. Then the object is rotated to the desired degree and rendered. Now you have the frames for your website animation. The frames are then stitched together in JS to create a rotatable, viewable object.
Of course, it’s not always viable or possible to have a 3D revolution on your website. Online store operators can create simple rotating gif animation for their products — for example, using this software:
Even this kind of presentation has significant advantages over the usual photos and boosts sales.
More serious and complex presentations should be left to professional 3D designers and photographers.
3. Project presentation
Sometimes you need to show off a product before it’s even been created. In that case, 3D visualization is the best option. For instance, you can examine an as-yet-unbuilt house from the inside or take a virtual tour of tourist attractions. The ability to do so has a huge effect on the user’s decision to perform the target action.
4. Inside view of the object
Some things and processes cannot be photographed. 3D graphics and animation can show the inner workings of any machinery, the internal organs of the human body, the structure of atoms, molecules, cells, viruses, bacteria, and more. The size of the object and the speed of the process don’t matter: they can be easily and comprehensively visualized in 3D, whether it’s the movement of galaxies or the structure of DNA.
Today, virtually any technological production and construction employs 3D modeling.
In the medical field, 3D visualization is indispensable in demonstrating surgeries, treatment procedures, or materials.
5. An alternative to photography and videography
Sometimes objects and phenomena can be photographed, but it’s too difficult and cost-prohibitive. Many people don’t realize that commercials featuring new cars streaking down the highway are not actually filmed but rather 3D-animated using a vehicle model. The spectacular splashes of Coke, the floating golden potato chips, all the various tricks showcasing the product are 3D modeling, not video recordings. No one actually juggles Coke cans or races cars pointlessly in front of a camera.
Time is another concern. To film even a mid-sized construction, for example, you’d need at least several months. 3D-animating this same process will typically take under 30 days.
Photos and videos of objects frequently contain unnecessary details or artifacts that get in the way. 3D modeling allows you to get rid of all the clutter, clearing the view, and presenting your image in the best possible light.
6. More information
You can examine complex objects in detail, study their workings and structure, understand their operating principle. You can zoom in and blow up any part of the screen to see every little thing.
7. No limits
Product visualization and modeling have no limits. You can create a model of any product/object and showcase its features and capabilities.
8. Competitive edge
There are no clichéd patterns or standard effects in 3D, so feel free to invent and experiment. With 3D, designers have unlimited opportunities to let their imagination and creativity roam free. 3D visualization is a great way to distinguish yourself from your competitors and demonstrate your grasp of cutting-edge trends.
9. Incentivizing users
3D visualization of a product is an additional incentive for buying the product because:
10. Active user participation
The websites and apps with the highest conversion rates are those where the user feels in charge. For example, the user can do more than simply choose a product: they can customize its features, rotate it, change the way it’s shown, etc. This helps establish an emotional bond with the product even before it’s been purchased.
Here we have a website with an interactive construction kit. Visitors can choose the make and color of the car, rotate the image manually, and examine the vehicle from every angle:
In their mind’s eye, they already see themselves as the happy owner of a car (and a step closer to the target action). It’s a technically complex but effective solution.
11. Costs and benefits
Most websites and apps don’t need the costly and complex 3D modeling approach. Talented designers can create high-quality, high-impact 3D visualization using standard design tools.
3D visualization must be used to enhance the contents, not just for the sake of it.
Too many 3D objects and effects will distract or even scare away the users, so keep in mind:
Here’s an example of clever and purposeful use of 3D in website design:
3D visualization is capable of creating new worlds and spaces. Humans perceive the three-dimensional world as reality, unconsciously becoming a part of it even to the point of physical reactions. 3D is a fantastic opportunity for designers. But don’t get so caught up in creating new worlds that you forget about the project’s objectives. It is the contents that should dictate whether you need 3D visualization, tricks, and effects.
We wish all 3D practitioners to create new and beautiful realities without neglecting the existing ones.
Always in touch,
The Outcrowd Team