Today, around 75% of all IKEA’s product images are CG, and they have a ‘bank’ of about 25,000 models. “These are all created at a ridiculously high resolution,” explains Martin, “We render them in 4Kx4K, and they need to hold up to that resolution. We need to be able to do whatever we like with the renderings - print them on large walls in the stores if we need to. Even if most of them are only ever used on the website, they all have the capability to be printed very high-res.”
The first entire room image to be created in CG for one of IKEA’s catalogues was in 2010. “There were a LOT of people involved in that image,” says Martin. “As you can imagine, the first time you do something, everyone wants to have a look! But then the catalogue after that had four or five images and it really took off.”
“The most expensive and complicated things we have to create and shoot are kitchens. From both an environmental and time point of view, we don’t want to have to ship in all those white-goods from everywhere, shoot them and then ship them all back again. And unfortunately, kitchens are one of those rooms that differ very much depending on where you are in the world. A kitchen in the US will look very different to a kitchen in Japan, for example, or in Germany. So you need lots of different layouts in order to localise the kitchen area in brochures. Very early on we created around 200 CG exchanges versions for 50 photographed kitchens in 2008, with the products we had - and I think everyone began to understand the real possibilities.”
Very interesting write up over at CG Society. Took Ikea a number of years to make the switch but they did.
On a side note, V-Ray for Modo exists now in Beta and hopefully I will be able to run some tests with it soon. Grant Warwick has a very impressive looking Mastering V-Ray class I'd love to go through. As far as I can tell Modo does not seem to have a specific in-depth shader tree / node class. And yes, I have watched all of Richard Yot's stuff I could find but it is more about rendering and not shader tree specific. ;)