The Chuck, a Red Dot winning bookshelf, ticks all my boxes for innovation and design. It’s simple in its construction, easy to use, fun to interact with, can store books/media of different types and sizes, has the capacity to look strikingly different every time you make a change to it, and is very capable of being the most interesting piece of furniture in your room. With two metal members on either side holding together six strips of wooden veneer, the Chuck bends and flexes as you place books on/between the veneer sheets, creating undulating waves of wood that store your books, CDs, plaques, and objets d’art.
The way these items are placed on the wooden slats affects the overall form of the bookshelf, literally turning it into an installation that transcends traditional furniture, and that’s unique to your arrangement style. Items can be placed vertically, or horizontally, or sometimes even diagonally on Chuck, giving you the freedom to express yourself not only with your book collection, but also with the way you arrange them. The Chuck also has no defined constraints for how big or small the books need to be, giving you more freedom and flexibility (literally too) to use the storage it provides, and in doing so, create a piece of art from a humble piece of furniture!
Bicycles have always been the healthier way of commuting, but there’s still a long way to go to make bicycle riding as safe as sitting inside a car. Bikes are fast, but incredibly quiet, and given their size, they aren’t as visible as a car with its flashy headlights, taillights, and loud horn. So in a world that desperately needs to re-embrace cycling as a way of commuting, the FLECTR 360 Omni wants to provide a small-footprint high-impact solution to make bicycling safer.
The FLECTR 360 Omni are superiorly engineered adhesive reflector panels that provide 360° coverage. From wherever a car headlight may hit the bike, FLECTR 360 Omni will grab the driver´s attention making the biker visible with a stunning glow. Designed to be mounted on the rims of a bicycle’s wheels FLECTR 360 Omni requires no electronics, battery, or upkeep. The FLECTR 360 Omni lights up your wheels by reflecting the headlights of all vehicles around you, making you visible to avoid collisions. The panels kick in immediately when it starts getting dark and one’s visibility begins reducing, eliminating the need to remember to switch it on. It simply works when necessary and remains inconspicuous in bright daylight. The 360 Omni comes in a unique parallelogram shape that fits well over any sort of wheel rim, and FLECTR also includes cutting guides to help trim its size to suit your wheel-type.
The breakthrough for the 360 Omni is its use of metalized cube-corner prisms for reflectors rather than relying on simple glass bead technology. The prisms help reflecting light more efficiently back to the light source, turning it into a bright shine on your wheels. Weighing in at just 2 grams, the FLECTR is lightweight and has a zero impact on the bike’s performance or aerodynamics. The FLECTR 360 Omni lights up when the bike’s static, creating distinct, visible patches of light, but things get even more interesting when you’re riding your bike. FLECTR´s rotating, pulsing and moving reflections light up the entire rim, dramatically increasing one’s visibility, making bicycling much safer.
FLECTR 360 OMNI wraps razor-thin around your rims and from wherever car headlights are approaching, it grabs the driver´s attention. All around, without exception.
360 degree visibility. Multi-direction reflectivity increases your safety.
Non-static light patterns. Rotating, pulsing and moving light grabs extra attention.
No air drag & no dynamic imbalance. With a set weight of just 2 grams, FLECTR 360 OMNI leaves your wheel´s performance unaffected.
Custom reflective film technology. Unique 3D conformable film with reliable bond & dirt-repellend surface.
One size design. With a simple cut along the integrated cutting aids you adapt FLECTR 360 OMNI to your rims.
Microprismatic technology. Highest possible reflection from thousands of metalized cube-corner prisms. Forget about simple glas bead reflectors.
How it works. The arched profiles of modern bike rims offer a perfect base for an adhesive wide-angle reflector as there are multiple plains for reflection. The two-piece FLECTR 360 OMNI wraps around the rim from both sides and overlaps onto the rim vertex. The advantage: gap-free reflection from all sides.
Are reflectors better than electric bike lighting? Reflectors have a big advantage over electric lighting – they do not require maintenance and are still there for you even if your lighting fails. But both, reflectors and bicycle lighting form a system and should always be used together. You decide how much safety you need to feel comfortable cycling.
Using algorithmically generated data (the same data used by NASA), the SpaceTime Coordinates Memento is a snapshot of the exact planetary arrangement on any given day, be it a birthdate or an anniversary, or even a promotion. Artist Govy collates scientific data that accounts for planetary movements, being able to plot back the exact position of each and every planet in their dance around the sun on any given date. That data turns into a piece of concentric art which gets etched onto either wood or acrylic, turning a plain circular disc into a planetary portrait for a special date.
Planetary positions are just like fingerprints… they’re quite literally one in a million. On any given day, in any month or any year, the nine planets (if you count Pluto too), are rarely in the same position relative to one another. Thus, with each day, the planets find themselves in unique formations that don’t occur for millennia. Each day, the planets create a unique piece of choreography, which the Memento captures by etching the pattern onto a wooden or acrylic plate.
Unlike the Memento’s 3D printed discs from last year, the current series uses precise laser engraving technology to capture the art-pattern. Available on Bamboo and Walnut in the wood series, and on Fluoro Blue, Green Glass or Clear for the acrylic line; the Memento comes as a 25mm, 30mm or 35mm disc, and can be worn as a pendant or strapped to a bracelet, or even mounted on a platform like a trophy or framed like a medal. Simply the most thoughtful and personal gift you can give to either yourself or a loved one, the STC Memento is ideal for capturing birthdays, anniversaries, first moments, or even personal achievements! It helps highlight the event by showing you that time and space come together to create unique fingerprints of your unique memories!
Commemorate a birth, wedding, first kiss or the moon landing! Every date in history has a different and unique planetary alignment. SpaceTime Coordinates (STC) is a precise depiction of the Solar System. Take a moment to meditate on the significance of life itself and our place in space.
Custom Made with Science & Lasers
STC’s new collection of Mementos is laser cut and engraved, and this technique brings new materials they are very excited about: Acrylic and Wood!
STC designs are the most precise and accurate on the market because they rely on the same data that is used by NASA to predict eclipses or to compute spacecraft trajectories.
They can calculate the precise position of each planet on its orbital path, given any particular date in time. In fact, theur Orrery is so accurate, it has been featured by OpenNASA!
The four dimensions (x, y, z, and t) are used to represent a particular location in time and space, also known as the 4th dimension, which might come handy if you ever stumble upon a wormhole or a tear in the fabric of the Universe.
Bamboo is a material with natural variation, such as lighter or darker wood grain. The Bamboo sheet is made of five layers of veneer (thin slice of wood). Bamboo is 100% renewable and sustainable.
Walnut Premium Veneer has an MDF core with real wood veneer (thin slice of wood) on each side which is sanded smooth and finished with a clear coat. It has a high grade appearance, the grain direction will change the overall appearance depending on the light direction.
Acrylic is hard and stiff as plastics go. It is sensitive to stress concentrations sharing a certain fragility with glass. Avaliable in Fluoro Blue or clear. Acrylic is non toxic and recyclable in some areas.
The YD Design Storm takes a look at products, services, and spaces that are storming the internet. The idea? To turn internet-storming material into brainstorming material! Scroll down for our collection of handpicked works from design websites, portfolios, and social media. Get inspired, save projects, pin images, or share links with fellow design enthusiasts!
Watch this space for your digest of design brain-fodder… and an ever-evolving map of design trends!
One of cinema’s greatest moments was the last second of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. I remember the camera slow-zooming into DiCaprio’s totem, the spinning top. The idea was that in his dreams, the top kept spinning, and in reality, the top eventually returned to its static position. As the camera zoomed in, the top slightly faltered and everyone around me gasped as the scene cut to a close, leaving us to wonder if DiCaprio, who was united with his children, was dreaming about it or not.
Nolan has us question a pretty straightforward phenomenon. If you spin a top, does it keep spinning for hours and hours, or does it, after a few minutes, return to its position of rest? The latter, obviously. In fact, you’d have to be dreaming (literally) for the top to spin forever, right? No! That’s where the Limbo comes in. Holding a Guinness World Record for the longest spin time, the Limbo top can literally spin for hours. In fact, it holds a world record for spinning continuously for 27 hours 9 minutes and 24 seconds.
The secret to Limbo is its construction. Machined from solid aluminum (there’s even an indestructible titanium version) with a stainless steel ball at its base, the Limbo comes with a hollow interior which houses an electric gyroscope. The gyroscope enables the Limbo to keep spinning continuously, even overcoming hurdles in the process. It allows the top to spin on any surface, from a table, to a hand, to even a pillow. The gyro within the Limbo gives it the acceleration it needs to keep spinning, even when pushed, knocked over, or made to jump from one surface to another. The electric gyroscope spins at a dizzying speed of 10,000 RPM, and is perfectly silent, allowing the Limbo to outwardly seem like any normal top… until you take it for a literal spin!
The Limbo rotates on any base. It bounces off obstacles, teetering a little before regaining its balance, and unless manually stopped, can go on for anywhere between 4 and 24 hours (there’s a limited-edition World Record Limbo kit available too). The electric gyro requires USB charging, and the Limbo comes with a charging cable too, to keep the magic going… but no one else will know the secret behind why the top you began spinning at your table at the beginning of the work-day continued spinning through countless meetings, lunch breaks, and even till the end of the day. Go tell them they’re probably dreaming!
LIMBO is a smart, self-balancing electric gyro, disguised as a beautiful CNC-machined spinning top that spins for hours.
Just as the true value of a camera is not the camera itself, but the photos and moments it captures, the true value of LIMBO is its ability to amaze and elicit a WOW response from your surroundings.
Plus, watching LIMBO spin is really relaxing and enables you to take a tiny break from reality.
In Shiny Black.
In Native Aluminum.
In Matte Black.
In Native Titanium.
Each LIMBO has its own unique characteristics, making it look, feel and spin a little differently. And when you hold each one, the contrast between them really accentuates just how special each one really is.
They used some really advanced new algorithms to make sure LIMBO spins perfectly with maximum spin time. They also had to minimize the power used by the motor and the processor’s frequency.
How to charge it? Unscrew LIMBO’s casing to reveal a standard micro-USB connection just below the surface.
The cast iron skillet is probably one of cooking’s most essential tools. It imparts a certain flavor to the food, often enriching it with iron too (which is incredibly good for you), and the metal itself has certain properties that helps cook foods like steaks and pizzas faster and better. The cast iron skillet has been around for centuries, and frankly put, looks centuries old too.
Since most cooks focus on its cooking benefits, the skillet hasn’t really seen a redesign. Its shape has become almost an icon, and Strand Design is here to modernize it, making a cast iron skillet that’s fit for the 21st century. Titled Ironwood, the skillet gets a sleek makeover, and even comes with a wooden spatula that fits perfectly on the top of its handle, as well as a wooden trivet, allowing you to place the hot skillet on tables.
Ironwood takes the age-old skillet design and introduces modern details. Made from thinner walls, the Ironwood looks less clunky and more contemporary, with a lighter + sleeker build. The cooking surface is machine-finished and comes pre-seasoned with a polymerized cottonseed oil coating, giving it a natural, non-stick surface. A longer, sleeker handle gives you a better grip, allowing you to hold the skillet farther from the heat—or with two hands if you prefer—thanks to its curved, easy-to-grip design. Ironwood’s accessories come crafted from solid, unfinished beech wood that works well under high temperatures and even develops a patina over time, giving your cookware a personalized touch.
Crafted from a high-carbon alloy, the Ironwood skillet heats up uniformly and faster too, allowing for a much more efficient cooking experience. Adding a modern touch, not just with design but also with material, to the century-old skillet, Ironwood wants to further the healthy tradition of cooking on iron surfaces… but believes that age-old traditions don’t need to look age-old!
The Ironwood Skillet by Strand Design is a modern, high-performance, cast iron cookware. It is thinner and lighter than most, machined smooth, pre-seasoned, and features a longer handle for a two-handed grip.
Ironwood Skillet was designed with the home chef in mind. Strand Design knows that you love to entertain and that you want every meal that you create for your friends and family to look as delicious as it tastes. That is why Ironwood cookware is designed to transfer seamlessly from the stove to table.
Each skillet comes with its own solid wood trivet and serving spoon, making it the perfect centerpiece. The trivet and skillet nest with one another for stability and heat protection, and the wooden serving spoon nestles into the form of the skillet handle.
While ironware can be expected to last for centuries, there is no reason that it should be constrained to a centuries-old aesthetic. The Ironwood mission is to create beautiful cookware for the modern home that is designed for both performance, and presentation.
The goal is to help home chefs make beautiful food at home. Strand Design believe that cookware can be serveware, and that the ability to bring a meal directly from the kitchen to the table helps everyone enjoy the process of a home-cooked meal a little bit more.
Smooth, light, comfortable. Making thin iron castings is not easy. Strand Design went on a global sourcing mission to find a manufacturing partner with the equipment and expertise to produce the smooth, thin castings they were after. Ironwood is produced on high-precision, automated machinery in a foundry that is dedicated to making only cookware.
Seasoning (the polymerized cooking-oil coating that makes cast iron non-stick) works better when applied to flat, semi-smooth surfaces. They machine the cooking surface of Ironwood pans to create a flat area with enough texture to bond with our cottonseed oil seasoning.
Their wooden accessories are made from solid unfinished beech wood and will develop a beautiful patina over time. The skillet’s heat ring fits into a grove on the top of the trivet for stability and the spoon nestles into the base of the handle.
Most cast iron pans have very short handles. Strand Design decided to buck tradition and make our handle a bit longer to facilitate a two-handed grip. This makes handling the pan far easier, especially for chefs with petite hands.
In a lot of ways I see the Nintendo Switch mirroring the success of the iPhone. The release of the iPhone spawned a lot of smaller industries that would make accessories for it. Companies would create specialized products, docks, speakers, that only worked with the iPod or the iPhone and the success of these products led to the survival of a lot of smaller companies who extended Apple’s vision.
The Nintendo Switch, although not as wildly popular as the iPhone yet, is resulting in a lot of creators making accessories that help extend the functionalities and capabilities of the gaming console. With everything from cardboard kits to extended battery packs, the Nintendo Switch is seeing a wave of accessories. Just like the camera and laptop redefined the bag industry, the Nintendo Switch is creating its own movement as exemplified by The Switch Bag by Séfu — a simple, safe, and stylish satchel-type bag that allows you carry the portable gaming console around in its own style, rather than dumping it in a laptop bag along with your other items.
The Switch Bag comes in both leather and cloth constructions. The leather variant is made from full-grain vegetable tanned leather and has an old-world charm, complete with brass stud fasteners. The fabric variant comes with more modern magnetic fasteners and a waterproof Cordura branded nylon outer lining that beats any weather. Each of the variants stays true to its style, while making sure that they are functionally on the same level playing field.
Séfu’s Switch Bag comes with a spacious interior that’s big enough to comfortably fit the Switch (even accommodating the Joycons), as well as your other belongings. Designed with a dedicated Switch compartment that’s padded for extra protection, the bag uses a magnetic, leather partition to separate the Switch from your other belongings, be it your charger, keys, phone, wallet, or even passport. The partition even serves as a cartridge belt too, carrying as many as 12 different game cartridges on the go with you.
Designed to be to the Nintendo Switch what photography bags are to cameras, The Switch Bag comes with two varying yet equally charming styles and a functionality that makes a world of sense if you’re a Nintendo Switch owner. Much better than carrying just any bag with the Switch stashed inside it, Séfu’s Switch Bag gives you much more personalized, dedicated storage for not just the gaming controls but also its peripherals, along with your personal belongings. A must-have for all Nintendo Switch gamers!
Séfu designed a minimal bag with a focus on protection, accessibility, and quality materials that was just the right size to carry your Nintendo Switch and a few daily essentials. The removable center divide not only protects your screen but it also holds 12 games. And because it’s removable it means your bag will have a life beyond the Switch, opening up the possibility to carry a variety of things — even a mirrorless camera and a spare lens.
An example of a fully loaded Switch Bag ready for travel. Contents: mobile phone, wallet, keys, USB type-c charger, passport and boarding pass, Nintendo Switch, and removable center divide with 12 Switch game cartridges!
Comes in three variants, Deluxe, Pro, and Standard.
The Standard Switch Bag and the Pro Switch Bag share these remarkable features:
– Vegan friendly – Durable water resistant fabrics – Removable shoulder straps with 38mm webbing – Matte gunmetal hardware: including a custom tri-glide with an engraved Séfu logo – Removable center divide: protects your screen, holds 12 games, and is held in place by magnets – Protective foam – Extra strappy things: attach your bag to your belt or bike handles!
Pro Switch Bag – Made with 500D Cordura Brand Nylon 66 fabric, available in Black and Space Grey. The Pro bag also includes a layer of Poron XRD Extreme Impact Foam along the sides and bottom. It is a no compromises bag that uses the best materials they could find.
The lid on the Pro Switch Bag uses two 25mm magnetic snap buckles. It’s a one-of-a-kind technology combining the advantages of strong magnets to make them easy to close and secure snap functionality to ensure a high locking force.
Standard Switch Bag – The lid uses simple magnets for closure. It’s the fastest solution for opening and closing your bag, and strong enough to keep your valuables inside. The 600D Polyester fabric and is available in fun color options. It uses standard EVA foam instead of Poron XRD.
Deluxe Switch Bag – Made from a cowhide exterior and a lambskin interior. Each bag is hand-cut, hand-sewn, and hand-finished by skilled artisans. It features brass alloy hardware with a classic brass finish. At launch the bag will be available in three limited colorways.
This is the perfect bag for the fashion conscious gamer. It’s the kind of thing that will look better as it ages and with proper care can last a lifetime. Because it is hand-made our rate of production is limited, and so their reward tiers will be limited as well.
Séfu is a functional fashion brand. They design products that solve problems, are easy to use, and make you look cool. Their name is pronounced ”Say Foo”. This sound has a few Japanese interpretations that are relevant to their brand, including: “Safe”. With the Séfu Switch Bag they created a simple bag that is protective, stylish, well organized, and easy to access. Now you can bring your Switch with you everywhere you go!
I’m not a minimalist by far, but there’s a reason the walls in my house are bare. I’m indecisive. It’s the same reason I’ve never been able to get a tattoo. It’s a commitment I can’t seem to make because I don’t know what my tastes and opinions will be five years down the line. (Yes, I watched Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette and maybe I’m not a Picasso fan anymore)
That being said, Canvia promises to make that fickle-mindedness less of a problem. The framed display is perfectly painting-sized, and lets you literally select from a massive repository of artworks (sorted by artist, description, genre, medium, etc.) and display the art on its display. However, here’s where it’s distinctly different from other photo-frame displays. Developed by Palacio, the Canvia comes with a 1920×1080 full HD Advanced IPS display, but within the frame also lies Palacio’s proprietary Artsense technology. Sensors within the frame read surrounding visual conditions. Canvia combines this data with image processing techniques and existing ‘reflection profiles’ (defined through prior testing of similar environments and artwork images) and use this data to capture the realistic reflective behaviors of physical art, making it look incredibly similar to a painted canvas rather than a digital display. Put the Canvia in a sunny room and the painting looks more vivid, or frame Canvia in the hallway near your door and it modulates the display’s colors and brightness to feel less like a display and more like an actual print.
The Canvia’s display is all about freedom of expression, for you as the owner. Owners of the Canvia get access to Palacio’s online portal of art (containing thousands of paintings from the classics to the moderns), while for just $10 a month, a premium account with Canvia gets you access to commissioned artpieces by famous and upcoming artists, illustrators, and photographers (Palacio gives back to the artists by sharing revenue with them). Designed to be used in landscape or in portrait, you can simply select artworks or even create a playlist of paintings to be displayed on Canvia’s revolutionary screen. Through the smartphone app, you can even zoom into the paintings, cropping out parts you don’t like, or even choose to display captions with the details of the artwork. Having a get-together? You can turn Canvia into a photo frame too, displaying photos from your camera roll or social media… and Palacio’s also working on Google Home and Alexa integration with the Canvia, allowing you to literally change paintings (and in turn the theme of your home decor) with a sentence!
Canvia is a smart display that makes digital images of art look like authentic paintings and prints.
Canvia offers lovers of art and design an authentic and harmonious viewing experience with an unprecedented level of freedom to change and explore. Controlled via an intuitive app, web account or voice-enabled devices such as Amazon Alexa, Canvia makes it easy to find art to suit changing tastes, keep you inspired and enliven your surroundings.
Canvia is driven by Palacio’s proprietary (patent-pending) ArtSense technology that simulates the behavior of a physical painting or high quality print on a digital screen, whatever the environment.
Built-in sensors read ambient visual conditions and this data is used to actively adapt the displayed image. The light-emitting screen therefore appears solely light-reflective, as with physical art, and ensures all images retain a realistic painting or print-like quality (conserving details like texture, color and individual brushstrokes) under any conditions.
ArtSense also enables art selections that better suit an environment and context. In this way, Canvia offers a more realistic and harmonious art viewing experience than any computer monitor or TV; so real, in fact, that it’s difficult to tell the difference between Canvia and physical art.
Canvia is linked to a huge online library that includes artworks from all genres, eras, cultures and media (including photography), offering choices to suit any mood, occasion, context and décor.
Need something relaxing for a late-night study session? You can schedule one of Monet’s calming waterlily paintings. Friends over for the big game? Go for a George Bellows from one of our ‘Sports’ themed playlists. Throwing a house party? We’ve got an explosive Kandinsky or energetic Degas cabaret scene for that.
Users can schedule their own playlists and upload personal images via the app (iOS or Android), web account, USB or MicroSD. Information about an artwork and artist can be added as an overlay, and the entire artwork can be explored through zoom and repositioning functionality within the app.
Sejun Park’s Aalo does something most furniture brands do not. It focuses not just on settling, but on the relocating aspect too. Designed for a generation that often is on the move, whether to pursue their career or their calling, the Aalo range of furniture travels with you and lets you call multiple places home. Aalo’s unique assembly system also makes it hackable, reusable, and customizable.
“As a city dweller, I was moving between places quite often, which meant my space arrangements were frequently changing. Each time I struggled to find furniture items that would fit my new space perfectly, and there were no good options, “says Park, a former Lexus Engineer, “Customized furniture was simply out of my budget, and trying to create a DIY solution required time, money, and special tools. I began experimenting with various materials, manufacturing processes, and assembly mechanisms to come up with an easier and more versatile furniture solution. And that’s how Aalo got started.”
Unlike the biggest player in easy-to-assemble DIY furniture, IKEA, Park’s Aalo was made in a way that when assembled, is a functional piece of furniture, but isn’t permanently assembled. Aalo’s range of furniture is made from powder-coated aluminum pipe extrusions and joineries like L-shaped, T-shaped, and Y-shaped connectors. Assembling them together involves a DIY aspect that is swift and relatively intuitive. The ability to undo assemblies by simply unscrewing them means you can quickly disassemble parts too, and the lack of permanent fixtures like glue, nails, or screws means the furniture can be easily disassembled and transported to a new location where they’re assembled again.
The aesthetic of the Aalo series is perhaps a result of its unique USP… to be easy in terms of manufacturing, shipping, assembling, and disassembling, and to be a functional, robust product when in use. Its minimal styling makes it perfect for those subtly decorated, minimalist, functional apartments and lifestyles of today’s millennial nomads. The current series includes bookshelves, benches, garment racks, desks, all of which use the same parts, therefore minimizing waste during production, while also giving you the ability to concoct your own creations using the parts you own.
“Ultimately we want to provide furniture with an extended lifetime value, one more sustainable than other furniture brands that have somewhat became synonymous with the term ‘disposable furniture’. If you’re moving and have no use for an Aalo piece any longer, you can disassemble it, then reuse the same pieces to build something entirely different.”
I usually never recommend rendering any sort of product on a white background unless it’s truly necessary. When rendering, the background plays an important role along with the foreground, helping complement/balance it, or create a heavy contrast (that’s usually the photographer or designer’s call), but a white background can generally feel slightly template-ish. The real problem, however, is rendering white on white. A white product on a white background can usually be a nightmare because they tend to merge into one and another, creating ambiguity, and often end up concealing details of the product rather than revealing them… so how exactly does one render white on white? There are a few tricks you could master.
The first trick is realizing that your product, background, and lighting are NEVER the same color. When you load a model into a rendering software, chances are, you’ll use pure white on your product, while the background and lights by default are set at white too. This similarity begins causing your product and background to be practically indistinguishable. The fix? No product is perfectly white, and conversely, no backgrounds are perfectly white either. Choose a shade that’s 98% white (on the black to white spectrum) and your product immediately stands out against the background, while looking more realistically white, rather than perfectly white. You may also want to add a hint of blue to enhance its perceived whiteness, or maybe go in the other direction and drop in a tiny bit of yellow to make it look on the warmer side. Consider using a warmer or cooler shade of white as your background too to create a contrast that your eye will easily pick up on because of the difference in color. You could exploit Keyshot’s color options, even using their extensive Pantone color set.
Trick one relied on choosing your product and background colors. Trick two requires a fair amount of expertise, but if done right, can make renders look stunning, regardless of how plain your product is. In fact, it’s something Apple has mastered over the years. With products that usually constitute straight lines and geometric curves, Apple relies heavily on perfect lighting to make their products pop. Take for instance the Apple Airpods (image below) that are placed against a white background. The idea is to have lights that illuminate the correct places, and cast shadows on the correct places. Never have a light shining on the side of a product, because a highlight on the side makes your product’s edge disappear into a white background. Always aim for a shadow around the edge, giving your product a gray outline, which helps a viewer easily pick up on the product’s shape. If all fails, add a light in a way that casts a shadow on the floor around the edge of a product, making it more visible. Keyshot has tonnes of environment options that help accentuate product details (consider experimenting with an environment that has a dark-ish background rather than settling for the default environment setting). With time, you can build your own environments to add a signature touch to your renders, placing lights exactly where you need them, creating accurate highlights on your products. This, in turn, will also help you brush up on your studio lighting skills, when you’re dabbling in photography. Another pro-tip? A glossy finish on your product makes highlights and shadows more pronounced. If your product is matte, the crisp lighting details often turn fuzzy. Want to render a matte-finish white product? Make sure your environment has a good balance between light and dark elements, so that they show up well on your matte product.
Not really getting the exact highlight you want on your rendering software? No problem! Trick number 2.5… just build the highlights in photoshop. Take your render to a photo editing software, and add your highlights using a brush. This gives you MUCH more control over your render, and if it’s any consolation, touching up renders and adding artificial highlights is something ALL companies do to make their renders look more flashy.
The last trick… just manually increase the contrast on your pictures. If your product has black details that are getting lost when you increase the contrast, try meddling with the Curves tool (ctrl + M or command + M) in photoshop to increase the intensity of just the grays. That way, you’re not touching the whites or the blacks. You’re just taking the ‘almost white’ parts of the image and making them more gray. To finish off, try adding a vignette to the image, giving it a bit of a distinct border, and helping it create a spotlight on your product.
Rendering white on white is quite a challenge, but the trick is being able to have either a mental or visual reference. If you know exactly what you want, where you want highlights, where you want shadows, it makes execution easier. As far as personal advice goes, stay away from templates and try to build materials and environments from scratch. It makes rendering a much more hands-on activity, and more so, helps YOU stay true to YOUR vision, rather than getting lucky by dragging and dropping colors, textures, materials, and environments. And most importantly, when rendering white on white or rendering anything in general… stop thinking like a product designer, and start thinking like a photographer. Your renders will look absolutely stunning!
Video Credits: Luxion Keyshot Mouse 3D Model: Luxion Keyshot Car 3D Model: Taufiqul Islam Airpods Image: Apple Clock Vase Image: Jaro Kose