Planning Retail Space with 3D Virtual Renderings

December 19, 2014 | Retail

It’s a fact of life in the retail world...keeping a brand fresh often means changing store layouts on a regular basis and updating fixture programs to keep locations current and vibrant.

With most brands operating on razor-thin margins, however, development budgets are tight. Creative departments simply can’t afford to develop new layouts by trial and error, spending thousands to set up a prototype only to find that management had another direction in mind. And although scale models can serve as a visual representation of a project, developing such models can be time-consuming and making changes can be difficult.

But there is a way to test and show development ideas before investing in multiple scale models or a costly prototype. Rendering ideas in virtual space has revolutionized the way store fixture programs are presented to brands and retailers. With 3D virtual fly-throughs, clients can see a visual representation of their fixtures in the context of a “real” store at the early stages of the project, and can alter the design in a more time-sensitive and cost-effective way. Realistic renderings can help bring a project to life without killing the budget.

So what is it, exactly?

Simply put, a 3D virtual fly-through is a computer representation of a proposed project. The 3D aspect allows the viewer to move through the project, viewing fixtures from every possible angle.

3D renderings of fixtures can be designed to the exact proportion and scale, displaying realistic representations of textures, materials, color and finishes. Lighting and shadows can be adjusted to portray how a layout will look under a variety of lighting conditions and at different times of the day.

Think of it in terms of the techniques used in modern filmmaking. Your planned retail space can be simulated down to the smallest detail, allowing the viewer to see how the project would look in reality without the expense of building a full-blown physical representation.

Additionally, if the decision maker requests a change before approving the project, those changes can be made quickly, with the revised file sent digitally, sparing the expense of multiple physical model changes.

If you’re planning a retail space without the aid of 3D visual rendering, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity to learn from the virtual world.

Check out digital experiences designed and produced by Sparks.

Posted by Angel Carra | Request as a Speaker

On the go, mother of two, who believes things happen for a reason. SVP of Sparks Retail focused on driving the best client and customer experience – because I know how they want to be treated.