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  • Blog: MediaLab 3D Perspectives

    Product Images for Complex Product Lines

    Multiple Configurations = A Need for 3D Product ImagesIn the last post, we talked about creating multiple images from one geometry, but what about when your business moves at the speed of thought? In today’s world there is also a need for product images that keep up with:

    • Rapid Prototyping and Product Development
    • Multiple Configurations
    • Just in Time Manufacturing
    • Product Updates

    Rapid Prototyping

    One of our furniture seating clients is constantly designing new products and components, and looking to get them launched in the marketplace as quickly as possible. This means producing images before products are even built. To keep up with development and get the product images needed, they use 3D product images.


    [Read more…]

    10 More Uses for 3D Content

    Uses for 3D ContentWe’ve all done it. You come up with a great concept, create outstanding content, post it on your site, kick back and wait for the business to roll in. But are you doing enough?

    With so much content fighting for so many eyeballs, it’s not enough to just post it and forget about it. You need to make sure your best content gets in front of your customers, sales team and partners.

    Creating a plan to effectively distribute your content takes time, but also gives you the most bang for your buck.

    So stop hoarding your best content and get planning.

    10 places to distribute your 3D content:

    1) Your Website (on the Right Pages)

    Don’t limit publishing to product pages. Customers likely search for product information on your Help, Customer Service, and FAQ sections.

    Prominently feature new products and product lines on the home page for maximum visibility. 3D set shots like those used by RODA by Basco make a lasting first impression, especially when placed above the fold.

    RODA's home page

    Screenshot of RODA‘s home page which prominently features 3D set shots from MediaLab.

    [Read more…]

    3 iBeacon Best Practices for In-Store Product Marketing

    beacon

    An Estimote beacon; Attender.com

    Apple’s latest technological marvel, iBeacon, has the potential to change in-store product marketing forever. It enables push mobile marketing by using stationary sensors to pinpoint the location of a smartphone and proactively send information to it. The technology behind the beacons works with a store’s mobile apps, integrating location and other data to enhance the shopping experience. It’s already been deployed in Apple stores, and adopted by Estimote and the app Shopkick.

    How iBeacon Stacks Up to Current Tech

    1. Better indoor location awareness. Unlike GPS, which pings satellites and is notoriously unreliable indoors, iBeacon uses stationary indoor transmitters to detect mobile devices moving in and out of range. Even areas that were previously considered phantom zones with poor cell reception can be “geofenced” to detect mobile users anywhere from inches to yards away. [Read more…]

    3D Nip Tuck: When Enough is Enough with Virtual Art Direction

    After the tenth time under the knife, the celebrity says to the plastic surgeon, “ I dunno doc, it just doesn’t look real.” Excessive tweaking can go terribly wrong. The same is true with 3D image creation – over-directed art can suffer a loss of quality and realism.

    Too little input in the early stages can miss the vision and mean costly “retakes.” Too much direction in the latter stages can produce unrealistic lighting effects, surface textures, and other 3D image quality issues.

    Here’s an example of a 3D image gone wrong.

    3DArtDirection_Recommended 3DArtDirection_Overdirected
    Dramatic directional lighting for realistic shading and reflections Improper Lighting: The client has requested the room be evenly lit and that the refrigerator surface and all cabinets have the same color – really meaning, the same “lighting value” – to avoid shaded areas and reflections. As a result, natural lighting and textures have been compromised.
    “Ambient occlusion” or attempts to model the way light realistically radiates, especially where objects intersect or where light encounters non-reflective surfaces No Shadows: The client has requested that the shadows created by this affect be removed. As a result, the lighting effects that would happen naturally around objects are missing, creating a lifeless look.
    Optimal contrast of colors and textures Poor Contrast and Dull Textures:  Changes to colors and textures have reduced contrast and created a muddied appearance.
    Attractive set propping to create a realistic lifestyle shot Under-propped: Requests to have most props removed, replaced or scaled to less realistic sizes, have reduced the lived-in space feel.
    Realistic stainless steel textures including natural light reflection and subtle imperfections that show bowing in the metal Over-perfected: Requests to have reflections and bowing removed have resulted in dull and unrealistic stainless textures.
    Photo-realistic “blown out white” window effect, reflecting what happens when a dim interior is exposed for visibility Unrealistic External Environment: The client has requested a yard with grass and trees be made visible through the window which conflicts with the lighting applied to the interior.

     

    Quality is a delicate balance. The best results come from a healthy pairing of client art direction with 3D expertise and interior design savvy. Not only is greater photo-realism achieved, but 3D images stay on vision, on time and on budget.

    For more on perfecting the 3D shot, download Keeping It Real: Art Directing the 3D Set Shot.

    360° Product Spinners “Cover All Angles” of What Online Shoppers Want

    What consumers want in online product images isn’t new but the methods and challenges of delivery are ever-evolving, leaving some online retailers playing catch-up.

    What Online Shoppers Want

    Since 2003, consumers have been asking for alternate product views, zooms and video and have now come to expect those as standard features. Over the last few years, the e-tailing group has also noted an uptick in demand for product image features like 3D, color change and the ability to view the product in a simulated room environment.

    The stats:

    etailing_group_findings

    Attempts to Deliver

    NikeProdImage

    Interactive product image of the “Nike Free 5.0+” women’s running shoe from Nike.com

    Top brands and retailers have responded to consumer demands in varying degrees. For example, Nike lets shoppers view shoes from 4 angles and zoom in to see design details. Walmart and Zappos provide multiple zoom-enabled images to toggle between product color variants. They also show some products in action through recorded demonstration video.

    [Read more…]

    Take the Test: Will You Sink or Swim in “The Year of the Tablet”?

    Take the Test: Will You Sink or Swim in the "Year of the Tablet"?You’ve heard the hype: 2013 is being hailed “the year of the tablet”. There’s no question that tablet adoption and use is on the rise. The questions are: what will it mean for your industry and most importantly, are you ready?

    We’ve compiled a few links and stats around what we see coming, and what it means for the Consumer Products & Retail and Homebuilding industries in particular. See what the tablet surge holds for your industry and then take one of the tests below to see if you’re poised to sink or swim.

    What’s Coming

    Tablet Prices Will Drop

    Apple’s latest 16GB iPad2 and Mini are $399 and $329 respectively – an over $100 drop since the iPad’s 2010 release. Rising competition from Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Sony, Acer and others is helping to drive tablet and e-reader prices down. You can already pick up Lenovo’s IdeaTab for $299 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire for $199. And, if you’re willing to sacrifice a few GBs or features, you can snag others for under $200. But an even bigger indicator than today’s price is tomorrow’s tech – already developing in and for “emerging markets.” Acer plans to launch a $99 tablet in China called the Iconica B1. India’s $40 Ubislate tablet could drop to $25 by year’s end. While these aren’t due to touch US soil at these prices just yet, they put the reality of low-cost tablet production in clear view. [Read more…]