Hello Karl!

Airport gift shop

In this gift shop 3D rendering project we visualized a spot called Hello Karl! in the San Francisco airport. Karl is the name that the residents of this city gave to its omnipresent fog. You can see this mysterious fog in the visuals adorning each column of the space.

A large screen spanning the whole gift shop 3D across the ceiling and down the back wall adds to the illusion. It features an animation of the mist surrounding the Golden Gate bridge. Isn’t it nice to have an opportunity to grab some last-minute souvenirs in such a pleasing setting?

Gift shop 3D rendering

Design details

At first glance it seems that this was an easy 3D visualization project. It is quite a small space filled with very minimalistic shelving units, consisting of simple geometry.

Also, there is nothing special about the materials: wood, metal, plasterboard, and some granite. It goes without saying that our client specified this gift shop design to the very last detail.

However, what is not immediately apparent from our gift shop 3D visuals is that all the merchandise was custom made as well. That means that in the project briefing we received over 200 photo references of products.

We then modeled and textured them to fill the all shelving units with the corresponding merch. It is essential to use custom merch in such a gift shop 3D rendering project because the goods sold there are very location specific.

Some visualizers might have used 2D cutout images to paste the products on the renders in Photoshop. Nevertheless, this is not an effective strategy considering that you need to do it on each view individually.

If you need to add or change some camera positions in the process – you will need to restart this post-production process each time. Moreover, the final result will never be as good as with real models.

3D render atmosphere

We have previously mentioned that one of the key elements in gift shop 3D visualization is the atmosphere of your renders. This does not only mean the lighting settings and décor, but also the characters that inhabit your scenes. People come to airports to travel, so they usually dress appropriately and are rarely empty handed.

Even if this gift shop is after the baggage check-in most people still have carry on and other shopping bags on them. Of course, we also ensured to include a realistic mix of diverse ages and ethnicities. Many different types of people use airports daily, so unlike in an office space, the crowd filling them should not be too uniform.

Here and here you can see a couple of other shop 3D visualization examples.