Scene population – Bring your CGI imagery to life


Whether or not to populate a scene should always be a consideration with almost all 3D visualisations. By scene population we refer to adding a sense of life to a 3D CGI scene by incorporating mobile but static objects. Things like cars and vans, people walking by, pets, flowers, bushes, trees, etc. At North Made Studio we always like to try and incorporate some form of life within the scene to help with user engagement but each and every project we undertake is different and so we have built up the following list to help our clients decide if scene population is the route they want to take, or not.

The advantages of adding scene population elements

  • There are a variety of different ways to populate a scene. Objects can be added such as cars, people, animals, trees and shrubs. Each will add different elements to your scene.
  • The scene can be populated with the intended demographic, thus helping your clients envisage themselves within the development and allow them to see it as it will be when completed and bustling with life.
  • Adding life to a scene means you can draw attention to a certain aspect of the image (if that is the aim).

The Disadvantages of adding scene population elements

  • Adding population elements can affect cost, this is usually done during post production so time is dedicated to sourcing, editing, adding and carefully blending objects in to the scene. This can drive up cost as well as increase lead times.
  • If scenes are over populated it can look cluttered and overcrowded, consequently deterring focus from vital aspects of the image. If you only have a small property it is best to keep population to a minimum and focus on showing off the property.
  • Sourcing the correct objects, cars, and people can be time consuming and if wrong objects are sourced and added, it can have an adverse effect. Adding the wrong objects can totally spoiler the engagement effect of the CGI scene as the eye will be drawn to the “error” and focus will not be given to the important areas of the scene.

The ultimate aim when thinking about adding population elements to a CGI scene is to work with the client and see what types of trees, people (demographics) and vehicles they would like in the scene. Compare that to what we at North Made Studio would recommend and look at finding a balance between this.


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