A wealth of artistry and technical knowledge goes into the creation of a photorealistic but fully computer created image.
Step 1: We create a detailed high poly model of all the components of your product and any additional scene assets.
Step 2: We surface the model. In a nutshell we give each component of the model its own unique material proprieties. This is where the science and technical aspects really come into play. Everything about a surface is controlled here, from shine, sparkle, transparency, refractive qualities, displacement maps used for fine textures, and on and on. Surfacing is the foundation of creating photorealistic renders.
Step 3: Next comes composition and lighting. This is where the years of high end still life retouching benefits the work. We use real world lighting scenarios and tricks employed by the best still life photographers, so that our shots have the lighting depth and complexity that makes great still life work come to life. This is coupled with a detailed eye for shot and asset composition.
The great benefit of CGI still life is its innate flexibility. At this stage we try out a myriad of compositions and camera angles and share those tests with the client. It gives everyone more time and flexibility during the production process to find the ideal visual. With traditional still life photography, if you don't get it right on set the first, you are in trouble and face potentially big production cost overruns if you need to reshoot or spend a great deal on extra post retouching.
Looking at a preview of the final render output, you will notice deferences from the final render. It's at this point that we begin to tweak and play with the final elements. In this case, we decided to remove the nail polish from the stem of the brush and add a single elegant drop to the bristles. From this point, we added a reflective ground plane, and large circular drop of polish behind the product.