The Beginners Guide to 3D Graphic Styles in Marketing

Are you new to 3D graphics and how it relates to your particular marketing needs or interest?

If so, I’ve created this brief overview just for you. Here, I’ve outlined the various styles of 3D computer graphics in online and print marketing. Hopefully this can help you understand how and where 3D graphics are being used effectively.

Over the last 20 years we’ve seen 3D computer graphics come a long way. I can remember being blown away by the first Toy Story movie – how could this possibly get any better? But with each new movie sequel, they did! And the beauty of 3D computer graphics continues to amaze and delight us all.

Take a look at the comparison below of Andy from Toy Story 1 and then from Toy Story 3 below.

Aside from the fact that Andy has obviously grown up and changed in physical appearance, take note of the more subtle details such as more contrast and depth in the lighting, an improved skin complexion, realistic cloth material and hair. All of these subtle details add up to a huge improvement in 3D computer graphics over the years.

Toy Story Screen shot


The architectural and industrial design industries have been aggressively pushing the boundaries of 3D computer graphics to realistically visualize concepts for products and structures. The intention of pre-visualized or “pre-viz” 3D renders are to visualize the final result of engineered or architectural floor plans also known as CAD drawings before they are actually created or manufactured. This could be a new condo building or perhaps a concept for a new car or some kind of technical device.

Pre-visualized 3D computer graphic images are highly valued for the precision and accuracy of the images. In terms of marketing, they also generate a fantastic “wow” factor which stirs up excitement and anticipation for a planned product or structure.

My friends over at VizPix studios are true professionals in this area.  Their portfolio is an example of refined excellence when it comes to high quality 3D computer graphics in architectural visualization.

VizPix Architectural PreVisualization Examples

credits: VizPix Studios

Interactive 3D Web

In 2011, WebGL was introduced to the internets. With the advancement of JavaScript API, 3D graphics can now be displayed in any web browser without installing annoying plug-ins. This has opened the door to some amazing new possibilities in 3D computer graphics. HTML 5 Video games, interactive websites and some really cool experiments have been popping up all over the online world.

A great example of this powerful advancement is with Zygote Body. An online tool to visualize and learn human anatomy. With an interactive scroll bar, you can view a 3D human model from skin, to tissue, arteries,  muscles, organs and bones – right in your web browser! No downloading or installation necessary.

With WebGL, the user has the control to zoom and orbit around the 3D human model, select specific parts of anatomy and even isolate specific areas of the body . Pretty amazing if you ask me. Check this out:

Motion Graphics

3D motion graphics can be easily spotted both online and on television. The most well known area of motion graphics involving 3D computer graphics is usually logo reveal animations and graphic overlays on TV such as sports events transitions, commercials or a tv network logo, such as NBC or HBO.

But there is a lot going on with 3D computer graphics in motion design and some of the most spectacular examples are created by small studios and freelancers all over the world to promote products and explain messages of both large brand and small business clients.

Many trendsetting studios are pushing the styles of 3D and covering new territory with 3D computer graphics. Check out the examples below.

Bananas from FutureDeluxe on Vimeo.

3D Illustration Art

Along with motion graphics, 3D Illustration art has seen huge growth in online and print advertising. With improved render technologies and accessible software, more artists and small studios are taking advantage of this medium to create truly spectacular results.

There are some misconceptions that all 3D illustration art and graphics should be high-tech or futuristic style. Although this is a completely relevant and awesome style, it is only one possible style of 3D computer graphics. There are many examples of 3d illustration art displaying a variety of styles such as surreal and  quirky or gritty and organic. Today, the possibilities for 3D illustration are endless. Just have a look at these amazing works…

Anny Want - 3D Illustration
Credits: Anny Wang 

Beeple Crap - 3D Illustration Renders

Credit: Beeple


Now that we have navigated the major areas of 3D graphics in our marketing media today, let’s move on to discuss some thoughts on the creation of these works.
When you begin looking for a studio or freelancer to help you with your 3D content, there is one important thing to keep in mind:

Professional 3D artists, animators and technicians will narrow their expertise. If they are very good at what they do, they will not offer every aspect or style outlined above. It’s important to understand the 3D computer graphics industry is as deep as it is wide and one could spend a lifetime focusing on one or two areas of 3D and still have a great deeper to go.

Our studio, for example, focuses on stylized Motion Graphics and Illustration when it comes to 3D graphics. I would be doing my clients a disservice If I made an attempt at architectural pre-visualization or photo realistic styles. I would need years to explore and improve on those areas and it’s not the direction I want to take Image Propeller.

My passion is in 3D animation and illustration for clients looking for a unique promotional or marketing tool. I tend towards a more stylized look when I work in 3D – inspired by the video game industry and papercraft artwork. Keeping my services limited to motion graphics and illustration has given me the opportunity to dig even deeper with 3D and ensure I’m creating the best possible product for my clients.

Here are a couple examples..

3D Illustration work

3D Illustration Example - Image Propeller Studios

Western District Fair Map 2016

I hope this has helped! And if you are looking for more information on our 3D Illustration Services, you can learn more by clicking the button below.
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