Digital product catalogues : an evaluation of presentation and visualization techniques

Research output: ThesisLicentiate Thesis


This licentiate thesis concerns advanced digital product catalogues, with the main focus on product presentation. A computer based digital product catalogue opens new possibilities for advanced product presentation and integration into the existing compute environment. Several new possibilities for product presentation become available. By use of photorealistic rendering techniques, images showing every different product design or combination can be displayed. The mechanical behavior of a product or an assembling instruction can be viewed as an animated sequence for achieving an even higher degree of understanding. The digital catalogue can interface with CAD systems for direct transfer of graphic- and alphanumeric product information.

The main aim of this work is to evaluate ideas concerning product presentation for the next generation of digital product catalogues. Attention is also paid to program interaction and techniques for easier creation of computer-generated renderings. The ideas are exemplified through the development of two prototype systems. The functionality and interface layout of the developed prototype systems are studied by interviews and practical tests with presumptive users.

The first system exemplifies an advanced digital product catalogue managing building components. It is capable of displaying photorealistic renderings showing all available products and product combinations as well as animated sequences. The second system demonstrates a digital product catalogue handling furniture. The digital catalogue makes it possible to display synthetic images of all available frame-fabric combinations.

The persons interviewed have a positive attitude to the current digital product catalogues. The study performed shows some important matters for future development of digital product catalogues. A standardized and general format for managing product information would simplify the digital product catalogue issue. Furthermore, it is of great interest that an advanced digital product catalogue be capable of displaying images of all different products and product designs. If the product catalogue-managing program includes a photorealistic-rendering engine it is only necessary to distribute the geometry and surface definitions of the products included. This reduces the storage space needed significantly. The trend towards faster and less expensive computers is advantageous to this kind of systems.


  • Anders Follin
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Building Technologies
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • photorealistic visualization, three-dimensional modeling, Advanced digital product catalogue, computer animation, integrated visualization information, relational database
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • Christiansson, Pär, Supervisor, External person
  • Pärletun, Lars-Göran, Supervisor, External person
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Publication categoryResearch