For the layman, product rendering and visualization is the digitisation of what a company is selling and the creation of images that represent that product in a number of different ways.
Whatever that thing is, it is modelled in a program such as Maya, Rhino, or 3DSMax, then rendered using a variety of plugins and rendering engines including VRay and Maxwell.
At the surface level, it is a computer created representation of a real life product – something that can be bought, sold, or traded for fox pelts.
But the rabbit hole goes much deeper. The process for developing a digital content starts just as the design itself: from the beginning.
Concept artists get the first stab. Take, for example, project X. Project X begins in brainstorming, where teams of artists,
engineers and designers throw ideas at the wall and see if anything sticks. It is a chaotic time in the life cycle of a new product,
and designers need to be able to maintain flexibility while also producing concepts that are real. They have to look real and feel real and live by the same rules
and physical constraints that the product itself will someday have to live in. Computer software lends a helping hand once again.
A hundred different versions of the iPhone must be thought up before the actual product hits the factory floor,
and most of those iPhones live exclusively in the digital form. Designers hand ideas to concept artists who turn out realistic renderings that can be critiqued, talked about, and ultimately refined.
This is the process of a modern day product designer. The computer-driven components of the design are there from the beginning,
and go through change after change and iteration after iteration before becoming something real.
This is the benefit of having a team of talented artists and software technicians on staff.
Product rendering is there every step of the way: from conception and prototyping to realization and advertising.