CONTACT US: [email protected] | PHONE: +44 020 3488 3437

Product Rendering History

Product rendering has evolved from simple 3D models to sophisticated, photorealistic visuals alongside advances in technology.


The history of product rendering has evolved alongside computer graphics technology advancements, from simple wireframe models to today’s highly realistic visualisations. Here’s a brief look at its progression:

Early Days (1960s-1970s)

Product rendering began with basic 3D models in the early days of computer graphics. Pioneers like Ivan Sutherland, who developed Sketchpad in 1963, laid the groundwork for future graphical interfaces, including 3D modelling.

Introduction of 3D Software (1980s)

The 1980s saw the introduction of commercial 3D modelling and rendering software. Programs like AutoCAD (released in 1982) and Wavefront Technologies’ Advanced Visualizer (1980s) allowed designers to create more complex and detailed 3D models. Engineers and architects primarily used these tools, but they also started to find applications in product design.

Rise of Photorealism (1990s)

The 1990s significantly improved rendering techniques by introducing more sophisticated algorithms for realistic lighting, shadows, and textures. Software such as 3D Studio Max (now Autodesk 3ds Max) and Softimage|XSI provided tools for producing more photorealistic images, essential for marketing and product presentations.

Mainstream Adoption and Real-time Rendering (2000s)

As computing power increased, rendering software became more widely accessible to various industries, including consumer products. This era also saw the advent of real-time rendering technologies, which allowed designers and clients to interact with 3D models in real time, significantly speeding up the design and review processes.

High-Definition Rendering and VR (2010s-Present)

The latest phase in product rendering includes high-definition rendering techniques and integration with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Software like KeyShot and V-Ray can generate lifelike images quickly and efficiently. VR and AR have transformed how product renders are experienced, providing immersive environments where customers can virtually interact with products.

AI and Automation (Present-Future)

Currently, advancements in AI are beginning to influence product rendering with automated processes for creating models and applying textures. AI-driven tools are expected to streamline the rendering process further, making it even faster and more cost-effective.

Product rendering has continually adapted to technological advances throughout history, enhancing the ability to visualize and market products effectively before they are physically manufactured. This field continues to evolve, promising even more exciting developments in the future.


Product rendering originated in the 1960s with early computer graphics, evolving from simple wireframes to detailed 3D models as technology advanced.

In the 1980s, the introduction of commercial 3D modeling software, such as AutoCAD, revolutionized product rendering by allowing more complex and detailed designs.

Photorealism became crucial in the 1990s with advancements in rendering algorithms, enabling more realistic and convincing images for marketing and presentations.

Real-time rendering gained prominence in the 2000s, enabling designers and clients to interact instantly with 3D models, which streamlined the design process.

In the 2010s, VR and AR transformed product rendering by providing immersive experiences, allowing customers to interact with virtual products in a realistic environment.

Emerging trends include AI-enhanced automation for faster and more efficient rendering processes, potentially reshaping how products are visualized and marketed.