Martin Enthed talks shop about the process for rendering hyper-realistic images of furniture

I don’t know if you’ve looked at an IKEA catalog recently, but if you have, you might be surprised to learn that 75% of those images are computer generated. Probably more at this point (this article is from two years ago). Martin Enthed explains how he and his team create computer graphics that look real enough to stand up to scrutiny next to photographs. While he discusses some technical things (including how each and every computer is used for rendering power as soon as its user goes home at night), illuminating for me was how he got the traditional-minded higher-ups of IKEA communications to accept using CG in their catalog — and the one time that people complained that the CG looked awful by pointing out 200 terrible product images, those turned out to be photographs (while the 2 or 3 they said were good turned out to be CG).

Oh also: the second image on the page — the one of an office with white cabinets and a desk and a chair? That’s a gif. Wait for it.