3D animations allow us to see and experience products in a way that is not always feasible in reality. They create a deeper understanding of construction, design or functions and can provide insights to the inner workings of the most complex machines. 3D technologies broaden our perspective by making things more visually tangible.
Since they originated in gaming and are used very successfully there, modern 3D technologies have spilled over into economy, industry and business. So-called real-time rendering is now not only influencing marketing campaigns, but is also driving creative content production for virtualized brand experiences.
This is what real-time technology brings along
Realtime rendering, also called live rendering, is in the broadest sense a term for images or animations that are rendered very quickly. So fast that the viewer does not notice that his computer or the respective end device needs time to calculate these images. The term rendering refers to the processing of the data by the software used by the respective graphic designer.
The more complex the image - also called frame - of an animation is, the longer the usual rendering can take. With real-time rendering, however, the data is processed in real time. For this reason, it was first used in the field of gaming to make the movements of the characters in elaborate video games look natural and fluid.
Scenes that consist of many individual frames thus appear to take place in real time. The minimum number of frames needed by the human eye to perceive movement as natural is 24 per second.
Realtime Rendering - Benefits for Marketing and Sales?
Real-time rendering, unlike traditional offline rendering, allows designers to make changes to designs more quickly. Since it is many individual frames that make a movement appear fluid, elements of individual images can also be adjusted. This creates reusable content, as not every 3D animation or TVC has to be completely recreated, but can be adapted.
But how can real-time rendering be used in marketing and sales? Especially companies that focus on virtualizing their marketing and sales offers can benefit from the technology. Because not only individual content at the various customer touchpoints, but the entire virtual brand ecosystem can be created, supported and continually expanded by real-time computer graphics.
The goal is to create a virtual environment that can be explored by potential customers. For example, if a company uses a virtual showroom where visitors can take actions at various points and find out about the brand, the support provided by realtime rendering starts with the creation of this virtual space. The environment and the movement in this virtual brand world can be represented almost real and authentic, and real-time technology also brings some benefits for the individual touch points in the showroom.
For example, 3D product configurators change the appearance of products in real time and display them photo-realistically from every perspective. A customer's interaction with the product, for example with an exploded view, can be designed so that there is hardly any difference to the "real" experience for the human eye.
How realtime rendering creates a second reality
So the technology offers us the opportunity to not only create static images and videos without depth, but to create movement in space. This space can be adjusted visually and in terms of content at any time through the real-time solution, so that users can walk through a unique virtual brand world.
An example that can be used to illustrate the effect of real-time rendering comes from the field of architecture. New building projects, for example, have long been made tangible through reconstructed models. However, architectural renderings can take the visit much further and, for example, show the development from the shell to the finished object.
For example, a customized software solution with real-time rendering can be created for an architectural firm that allows clients to generate a model of their vision that can be visualized and adjusted in real time. The digital 3D model is made atmospheric through changeable lighting conditions and realistic-looking environmental elements. In the same way, animated figures could walk around in the model to better assess the proportions in the object.
What does this mean for businesses?
This example gives an idea of the possibilities that 3D real-time rendering offers for all kinds of industries. Especially for marketing and the development of appealing advertising content, the technology will become even more important in the future, and it also brings some advantages for the resources of a company.
In a Forrester survey, for example, 83 % of companies confirmed that real-time rendering saves them about a quarter of the time they would have had to spend with the traditional rendering process. But the reusability of assets that can be changed through customisation also saves time while ensuring consistency of content. For example, a model created in this way for internal product design can also be used for a retail AR experience or a 3D display ad after adaptation and recontextualisation, thus pursuing different goals of a brand. The resulting speed and flexibility of the processes enable interaction with and a faster response to the changing market.
Especially in times when customers are the focus of every campaign, experience and entertainment are gaining in importance. Both are currently created primarily through interactivity and the possibility to explore different perspectives of the virtual space. Real-time rendering supports these effects through the development of realistic images and the option to interact with a virtual environment in real time. Virtual reality applications are virtually predestined for this, as they also allow their users to physically immerse themselves in the virtual world.
Real interaction at a distance
The technique of real-time rendering makes it possible to replicate images on a computer fast enough for a viewer to interact with the simultaneous digital environment. This is a crucial added value for the virtualization of companies. Digital environments can appear realistic and the exchange with customers in B2B and B2C can be personalized even over a distance.