Realism in 3D Configurators


What is realism? Realism is the depiction of objects through photorealistic interpretations. These interpretations can be shown through art, graphics, videos, films, and also applies to the 3D visualization of products. Realism has been used across generations to showcase images in their life-like form, whether it has been in films, the gaming industry, or in the field of product visualization. It has increased in popularity with the advancements of technology, due to the fact that objects on-screen can mimic it’s real life counterpart, helping customers imagine and sometimes feel the presence of the product.

How to achieve realism in 3D development

A photorealistic image is developed from the original look and feel of objects in a static or animated state. Getting the texture, shape, and color of the image to represent the original object and achieving photorealism, requires a computer with highly technical capabilities due to heavy use in the rendering process.


The first step in developing a realistic 3D model of a smart-watch is to collect and study its references. During this step, it is important to define the structure of the developed model, study the materials used and their interaction with ambient lighting. In this example, a watch based on modern analogues can be used to show a realistic concept.

Creation of the model

When creating a model of the watch display, the model itself should be as optimized as possible, which can be done using polygon shapes. The watch has an even rounded shape, the strap is thin and has a wrapped shape. When modelling a bracelet, we will use a denser polygonal mesh to create the most photorealistic model.

Working with light

In the examples below, an HDRI map and two baked or finalised textures will be used. The HDRI image gives a soft multi-colored reflection of light, this example shows the depth of materials through reflections. Both images are different in their layout, conveying studio lighting and open space.

  • Get an atlas with shaded areas
  • Then, light sources are placed on the scene
  • After this, the image is calculated in the form of a light sweep

Working with materials

When the light has been adjusted and shadows have been created, we have the base for the watch, yet there at not enough features on the model to show the photorealistic effects we are after. Namely, adding color and different watch features. As described earlier, the display has three effects on the reference images, and their implementation adds realism to the screen. So, we have now added the display to the working dial, you may notice that light overflows at the corners and across the glass itself. By removing the repetitive structures of patterns across the model, we see the model come to life.


Rendering is carried out in a standard color palette using the interactive real-time rendering environment “Verge3D”. Before setting up the logic, it is necessary to carry out the final set of the scene.

Final settings and arranging the configurator logic

At this stage of configuration, small elements have been added to increase the model realism: a second hand on the clock and a working button has been added. By pressing this button, the watch screen switches to night mode. Added shading, implementing the point of view for the camera and limiting the vertical rotation angle is a part of the final implementation steps. These added features help create the most photorealistic layout of the model.

The realism of the environment

There are many different methods used to achieve realism in 3D visualization. Each approach is determined in relation to the product being developed, whether it be a piece of clothing or a multi-level building. Therefore, across these different cases, it is sometimes necessary to focus on light, and in others, on material effects or even embed animated objects.


Implementing a well-developed 3D configurator on your website will enable you to streamline your business efficiencies and increase sales. This website function stands out from the competition, allowing you to gain further insights into the customers purchasing needs. Showcasing your products through photorealistic models, including 360-degree rotation, gives customers confidence in your products. Therefore, creating an unforgettable experience and association with your brand.



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