Ikea Photoshops 75% Of Their Catalog, So Now I Guess We Have To Deal With Furniture Image Insecurities
Nothing is safe from Photoshop. Not even furniture. According to DesignTAXI, an Ikea employee revealed that 75% of their catalog is computer generated. It was Martin Enthed, IT Manager for the Swedish furniture brand’s in-house communication agency, who divulged this mind-blowing intel in an interview with CGSociety. But perhaps the more insane thing about it all is that Ikea has been creating CG product renderings since 2004!
All this time I thought that Ikea dedicated an entire year to staging and photographing their 300+ page annual catalog. But it all makes sense — the beloved furniture business has hundreds of thousands of products to sell. It would be ridiculous if they didn't use computer generated images. Not only is it more efficient and cost effective, it allowed the Ikea team to simplify the whole process by no longer having to build models and ship them for photo shoots.
Even though Ikea wanted to transition everything to digital images, they still wanted to maintain the look and feel of a "lived in" environment. In order to make everything look as natural as possible, the company's photographers and 3D artists had to undergo an intensive cross-training exercise learning about one another's techniques and skill sets.
The team became so good that people couldn't tell the difference between what was real and what was computer generated. "We looked at all the images they said weren’t good enough and the two or three they said were great, and the ones they didn’t like were photography and the good ones were all CG," said Enthred. Enthred also revealed that the team pulls from a database of "25,000 models, with product images rendered."
So, the next time you flip through Ikea's glossy catalog and wonder how they get everything to look so gosh darn perfect, just remember that, like those tiny-waisted models, it's all a lie.