Here are a couple of renderings I did yesterday to explore the option of developing better resources for our advertising.
The basis for the experiment is 3D vs Photography. Photography takes a lot of work to get right - every time you shoot. I also don't always have access to the lighting I need. 3D can look too artificial but if you get it right, you can easily rearrange items in a scene or build other scenes/tweak them and get a large number of quality images from that. Sure you can set up a shoot and get a large number of photos at once too, but with 3D you can create the image you need in a matter of minutes. Perfect if you don't already have the right angle or objects in the scene.
The question then is simply, which is more efficient. Ultimately the final image must be a high enough quality to suspend disbelief in the viewer. This is something I have yet to achieve, but, then I haven't spent much time on this. Results are so far quite promising.
Rendering was done on Cinema 4D on a Mac using standard global illumination. Time spent (including building 3D models) less than an hour. I would need to work on the textures and lighting and add more objects to the scene (it's quite boring), but I intentionally kept it light on props to save rendering time. These are not meant to be finished images.
3D or Photography? Im leaning towards 3D so far, the question will be how long do I need to spend to make it look "real".