Here's how it works. You create a 'model', pushing and pulling vertices, polygon faces and edges with a preferred software package. With no shader or material applied it's just a virtual wireframe, and in most cases design houses use an Autodesk application like Studio Max or Maya. The model is placed into its virtual environment - also modeled, then shaders and virtual materials are applied using a process called wrapping. The scene is then 'lit' in much the same way as a product is lit in a studio, and then after much tweaking etc, a final rendering as seen through the lens of a virtual camera, is made in whatever renderer, and if they're using Max then it's most likely V-Ray. Modo is another application which has gained ground in design houses. I used to make artwork using this stuff back in the day. Very tedious and very exacting. The computer knows nothing, you have to tell it how and where to do everything. In some cases it can take years for someone to become adept at computer modeling.