75 Prozent aller Produktbilder im IKEA-Katalog sind computergeneriert, 35 Prozent aller Szenerien ebenso. Der Grund? Keineswegs das Überkommensein des Fotografierens an sich, sondern ein simples, logistisches Problem.
The IKEA team didn’t feel there was anything wrong with traditional photography, quality-wise. Like any company, they just wanted to make things easier for the team to work on – to make the process simpler, cheaper and faster. With traditional photography, you need to have prototype furniture being built in different parts of the world shipped over so it can be photographed. Everything needs to be there on time and it can be logistically difficult, expensive and not that environmental. Then if there are changes everything needs to be re-shot. With CG re-creations of pieces, it removes a lot of this difficulty. However to start with, Martin says, “There was no vision initially to create entire rooms in CG, like we do now. We just wanted to create the individual pieces – the ones you see on white backgrounds on the web.”
Was jedoch die Rechen-Power angeht, so hat IKEA einen äußerst effizienten Weg gefunden, sich den Ankauf riesiger Renderingfarmen zu ersparen.
But how do all these huge files get rendered? Does Ikea have it’s own massive render farm tucked away somewhere in the northern Swedish fjords? No, says Martin, ”Everything is done here in house. We have our own rendering system internally, based on commercial components Deadline and spawn rendering in V-Ray connected with some internal tools. We use every computer in the building to give power to rendering as soon as they are not being used. As soon as someone goes to a meeting their computer-power is used, and of course there is overnight when people go home. The system works well, the render queue is emptied out pretty much everyday. Hundreds of images.”