Renders; how to leverage them

Two Morrama industrial designers give us the low-down on rendering: what they are and how they can be used by clients.
February 20, 2024

I asked Morrama industrial designers Jasdeep Kular and Dan Lloyd why renders are so important to the design process, here is what they said...

What are renders?

JK: Digital rendering is the creation of realistic images from a computer 3D model. It enables professional designers to preview their designs before a physical product or prototype is made, and clients to be able to see the concepts in digital 3D with textures / materials / colours applied. 

What are the benefits of using renders? 

 JK: As well as assisting  designers in streamlining the industrial design process, renders are used to share designs with stakeholders and gauge customer interest, so clients and the design team can make changes based on feedback before investing in physical prototyping. 

While it doesn't replace or improve on physically testing designs with users, it offers an opportunity to quickly test multiple ideas before narrowing down designs and investing in physical mockups or 3D printing. 

At what point in the design process would a client receive renders? 

JK: Rendering is crucial to efficiently communicate designs to the client throughout the entire project. Traditionally though, we use renders in the later stages of the product design process, after a series of workshops and sketching rounds, to really showcase our concepts to the client. Because we may still have multiple design directions at this point, optimising the rendering workflow is key. At Morrama we have created our own rendering studio that has a simple background to really focus on the product and we tend to reserve the more resource heavy contextual renders for the final design.

What other benefits are there to using renders within the design process?

JK: Typically, designers and manufacturers operate from separate locations, sometimes different countries. This may lead to a communication gap between the design and manufacturing teams, resulting in potential delays for the client. However, through the use of product rendering and 3D animation, designers can precisely convey the desired appearance, features and functions of the final product in the introductory stages of the project with a manufacturer. This fosters a comprehensive understanding, enabling them to contribute to the project as early as possible.

Can a client use the renders for marketing purposes?

DL: Rendered assets are a great tool for marketing for your product launch and after for further campaigns. Creating compelling digital images using 3D CAD models can be very effective if your product is not quite ready for mass production or if you do not have the budget left over for a professional photography shoot. It is also a great tool if you require imagery / video for a website. Rendering assets for a website can offer brands an opportunity to go beyond what is possible in physical shoots. You can build your own locations and sets, explore the way light works, and even construct alternate realities. 

What does it take to make great renders?

DL: Creating photorealistic imagery isn’t as complex as it looks. Essentially, you are replicating the real world in a 3D space. As 3D softwares such as Keyshot, Cycles and V-ray all emulate the way light works in the real world, creating physically accurate scenes and objects will give you photorealistic results. With that in mind, it is a balance of three things; Lighting, composition and materials. If these three elements are well thought out and align with the project brief set by the client, the outcome will be worth the wait. 

What does this kind of work typically cost?

JK: It’s hard to pick a cost from the cloud, but the factors that influence pricing include:

  • How many renders are needed, and by when?
  • How long will it take to set these scenes up? 
  • Do you need context scenes of the design? I.e living room / kitchen scenes? 
  • Will you require adding more assets to the scene? Props / additional models 
  • What is the quality and resolution requirements? A higher resolution render means longer processing times which means more hours on the project.
  • Is post editing on the renders required? If so, how long will that take?

Whilst a level of rendering is typically included in the design process, you may have specific requirements for a deck, website or marketing campaign. Depending on the factors above, these could take anywhere from a day or two to a couple of weeks to produce.

NOTE: Something that’s really important to remember is that a 3D model is required to create the render. Typically for hardware, this is created as part of the design process, however for textile projects suppliers do not work from 3D CAD so no model will be produced by the design team. This would therefore need to be purpose modelled for the renderings.

Why couldn't you just use photography?

DL:  Sometimes the product simply isn't ready to photograph yet. However it is often the case that due to the speed of producing computer generated images, it can also be more cost effective to render products than use photography. This is dependent on the type of product and what you are trying to communicate with the images. Rendering your product might negate the need for hiring studio space, models, equipment and any specialists that the photography shoot might need in order to get the perfect shot or video. 

On top of this, creating digital assets allows you to create scenes that would be incredibly challenging or impossible to create in real life. For example, depicting products in extreme environments, surreal settings, or situations that might be dangerous or impractical to photograph.

Once a product is created in 3D, the digital assets can be easily archived and reused for future marketing campaigns, presentations, or product iterations. This can save time and resources in the long run compared to arranging new photoshoots for each iteration or marketing campaign.

It’s worth noting though, that at Morrama we sometimes combine renders and photography if we think this will be a quicker way of achieving a realistic scene.

If you have any questions about rendering projects, give us a shout at


Jo Barnard