05/12/2019No Comments

Idea // A/B Testing though the magic of CGI

A/B testing is nothing new. You give folk two (or more) options, and see how they react. You then have a good idea which one version to push to your customers, clients or users.

cgi a/b testing illustration 3d visualisation

Icons made by prettycons from www.flaticon.com

 

Digital A/B testing is often used when designing and running websites, advertising and marketing campaigns.

Take web design for example, you have 2 designs but you don't know which perform the best. So you create 2 websites, and 2 groups of users. You then measure the performance of the websites, and go with the strongest website.

Smart right.

 

Well why not do the same with CGI illustrations. Create 2 versions of the same product and see which one gets the best reaction. 

cgi a/b testing illustration 3d visualisation

And the beauty of using CGI is that the product doesn't even have to exist, and doesn't have to until you know which one will sell.

Super smart right?

cgi a/b testing illustration 3d visualisation animated

By using CGI and digital mediums wisely, you could gain a real advantage over the industry, be more resourceful, and better serve your customers.

The phrase "knowledge is power" has never been so relevant as it is right now, and with A/B testing you can build that knowledge.

cgi a/b testing illustration 3d visualisation

So to prove a point, we're going to run a test soon. We'll take a product, create 2 variations, and see which one gets the most interaction on a platform like Instagram.

And we'll of course post our results!

 

Until then, take it easy, and if you'd like to know more about A/B testing, CGI or anything else, then drop us a line. Details on the contact page.

Thanks,
Dean

14/11/2019No Comments

Finished Friday // Samerson Kitchen // Interior Kitchen CGI

Samerson Kitchen // Interior Kitchen CGI

Finished Friday this weeks brings this beautiful interior space, which draws inspiration from modern kitchen design, with a mid-century twist.

The full project can be found on our Behance page.

 

And if you'd like to know more about the project, are thinking about a CGI commission, or just want to friendly northern advice, then just drop us a line.

Contact details handily on the Contacts Page.

17/05/2019No Comments

Finished Friday // Mountain Vista CGI Interior Visualisation

To help the client illustrate their concept for this refurbishment of a American private business retreat. We created 3 interior images showcasing the proposed changes and alterations.

Head over to the completed projects to find out more about this project!

And feel free to drop us an email or DM for a friendly chat if you'd like to discuss this, or perhaps a similar project you have in mind.

 

14/01/2019No Comments

Thoughts on the Alton Towers’ Virtual Reality Roller-coaster Galactica

Finally a chance to experience one of the first Virtual Reality roller-coasters. It's been 2 years since it opened, and earlier this year as part of a “Funstermind” networking event, I had chance to ride it.

Admittedly, I didn’t know much about the ride before I visited Alton Towers, but in hindsight this perhaps was an advantage, as I had little expectations, and viewed the ride as the average Joe, rather than the CGI geek I am!

But to give you a bit of context, watch this video for some background insight.

In a nutshell, you’re strapped into a roller coaster, lying on your front, so you feel like you’re flying. You have a virtual reality headset, something similar to a Samsung Gear VR, which you wear throughout the ride.

As the ride starts, you fly through sci-fi buildings and landscapes, eventually leaving the complex for the vast openness of space. The virtual journey lasts around a minute, which synchronizes with physical roller coaster. When the roller coaster goes up, the virtual journey also goes up, and it is sort of believable and quite immersive.

The visual virtual elements are also quite good, but not spectacular. Perhaps I’m use to the high quality produced on high end VR headsets, or maybe it’s just that I know how good CGI can be, so when I see something falls below the current high standards, I’m left disappointed.

Maybe for the average rider, the graphics are more than acceptable. I also completely understand the hardware (mainly the VR headsets) will have limitations as to how realistic the visual elements can be pushed. In future years I expect we’ll see quality across all VR platforms to improve, just like any other technology.

But visual quality aside, there are two massive bug bears for me.

Firstly, if the ride has been open for 2 years, why hasn’t the virtual journey ever been changed? From what I can tell, the virtual world is exactly the same as it was the day it was opened. One of the big advantages of creating a digital, virtual world, is that new content can be added without any physical changes to hardware. Why haven’t Alton Towers tweaked or changed the content? Imagine how much attention the ride would get if you could ride the Millennium Falcon in VR just as the latest Star Wars was film was released?

But even just adding a couple of variations to the virtual world would make me want to go back, to experience something different. Sadly this is missing, and I really do think they’re missing a trick to get people to keep coming back.

Secondly, why is there no user interaction with the virtual world? Why not give the users a virtual cross-hair with a huge laser gun to shoot the bad guys? It would be very easy to do, and would make the experience so much more immersive and interesting. You could even have a scoring system, and play against your friends. Imagine how many times people would ride Galactica just to beat a score?

Again I think Alton Towers are missing a huge opportunity.

So to summarise....

Roller coasters are still amazing and always will be. Is there a need to mix VR with roller coaster? Perhaps. Does VR add to the experience? Again, maybe. It’s all down to the execution in my eyes.

The Galatica is one of the first VR roller coasters, and does show what is currently possible. However with a bit of creative thinking and a more engaging approach the experience could be 10x better, and could make VR roller coasters the main attractions at theme parks, rather than just another ride. Add some interaction or game play, and VR roller coasters will hit a new high.

Virtual reality experiences like the Galactica will continue to grow, and will undoubtedly become more popular. I just hope theme parks and other entertainment industries fully utilise the capabilities of VR and CGI to make the user experience something the user will never forget.

Dean

31/01/2017No Comments

Will Drones One Day be Giant 3D Printers?

Will Drones One Day be Giant 3D Printers?

Drones are fascinating, and they seem to be everywhere from drone racing, to delivering groceries. I stumbled across this video, which very cleverly shows a drone being used to create art.

Read more

31/08/2016No Comments

360 Virtual Reality Chair // The future of VR?

360 Virtual Reality Chair

If you're a gamer, virtual reality guru, or just want a glimpse of just how immersive virtual reality will be, then spend a minute and watch this 360 Virtual Reality Chair...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKQ7U8ix2zY&feature=youtu.be

I'm excited by tech like this; for me it seems to offer a lot of solutions for many issues is virtual reality.

Solving problems with virtual reality?

Firstly, many folks complain of motion sickness when using the virtual reality headsets. Theoretically a virtual reality experience is so immersive that the users brain is tricked into believing what it sees. At the same time the users brain has little or no connection between the physical and virtual worlds.

For example, in a virtual world the user can turn a corner, but they don't physically move. Users may then experience motion sickness. The virtual reality chair's solution is to physically turn the user 360. The chair also features pedals so the user can control speed distance and orientation with their feet. Both of these features link the physical user to the virtual world.

Virtual Reality Treadmill, an alternative to the 360 virtual reality chair

There are VR treadmills (check out this video for more info on virtual reality treadmills), which allow the user to physically walk. They look impressive, but in my opinion are perhaps a step too far for the home user. However these could be very useful for training simulations and serious gaming where it's important to mimic real life as close as possible.

Standing or sitting?

For the average user, a 360 virtual reality chair may be an ideal solution. Standing can be tiring, and for virtual reality to become mainstream the tech needs to be as easy and comfortable to use as possible.

The chair could be used for various genres of virtual reality, such as driving simulations. But also let's not forget that the majority of users are use to sitting when gaming. Users may eventually become accustom to standing, however right now sitting would be the obvious solution.

The future?

Without doubt the 360 virtual reality chair has a future. The chair may solve issues with motion sickness which is a massive plus. The chair is ideal for virtual gaming in many genres. Add a steering-wheel or a joystick and the chair could give amazing virtual reality experiences.

Users can buy the chair for only $599. A virtual reality set-up with a high end headset and PC isn't cheap, so adding a chair isn't unthinkable.

This 360 virtual reality chair may be the first step towards a complete VR home experience. In years to come the technology will advance, and inevitably these chairs will be fitted with hydraulics, heat, wind and maybe even odors! Imagine that!

For now check out www.rotovr.com to learn more. Get in touch with your ideas and thoughts, and maybe even some predictions for the future!

Dean

11/07/2016No Comments

A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement

A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement

We have been playing, tinkering and mainly having fun with virtual reality, all in the name of research of course! The sheer number of apps, videos, experiences and games already available is amazing, and we've only really scratch the surface with our research. However one piece of virtual reality content really stood out, and that's "6x9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement"

Blog Virtual Reality Solitary Confinement App Video 360 VR

Created by The Guarding and The Mill (see more info here), this virtual reality experience is a great example of how a virtual reality experience should be! It places the viewer in a horrible 6x9 cell, and gives us a glimpse onto just what solitary confinement may be like. Let's just say it's not very pleasant!

Blog Virtual Reality Solitary Confinement App Video 360 VR

6x9 is one VR experience that really stand out for us and does so for few reasons. Firstly it's based on interesting and engaging content. Real convicts who have been in solitary confinement talk about their experiences. Even if 6x9 had been a news article, or a pod cast it would have still grabbed my attention.

Secondly the visual experience is good. OK the graphics aren't photo-real, but to me that doesn't matter. The room is dark, dirty, and not a very nice place to be all. The room changes, weird effects happen to suggest different feelings or even hallucinations that an inmate would have. The user is guided through the experience, and one thing I like is that you can look behind you, but the content is delivered in front of the user, so you can sit comfortably on the sofa without having to break your neck or stand up and turnaround to see the content! Sometimes you almost forget about the quality of the CGI as I found myself listening to the audio or reading the graffiti style text.

Thirdly, and perhaps the most important reason why this works so well in my opinion, is that the creators have taken great content, and then chosen the best medium to tell the story through. In this case they've used virtual reality, and by doing so they've enhanced their content and experience. Too often I see people with the thought of "we have VR, how can we use it?". This can lead to badly built experiences, and people simply trying to force their content into virtual reality. Look at how many best selling mobile games are being butchered to use VR, simply to jump on the band wagon to be part of the VR scene. It's lazy, cheep, and will damage the reputation of virtual reality as a medium if we're not creating brilliant content.

Anyway, back on topic. The 6x9 is a lesson in how to produce virtual reality experience. Please check out the app, all you need is a smart phone, Google Cardboard, GearVR or something similar. There's also a little trailer if you can't get your hands on a VR headset....

Enjoy (if that's even possible in a 6x9 cell?).

Dean

21/06/2016No Comments

Josh Joins us for Work Experience

Over the next two weeks we have Josh joining us on placement from college. He's learning the art of CGI, and has interests in all areas of the industry, from architectural visualisations, to computer gaming!

SONY DSC

With us, Josh will be tinkering with some virtual reality projects, having fun with 3D scanning and getting his hand dirty with 3D printing. I just hope we don't teach him too many bad habits!

Dean

16/06/2016No Comments

Video Blog Posts coming soon…

We're always up for trying new things, so we thought we'd try our hand at video blog posts as an alternative to our usual written blog posts!

Video Blog CGI 3D

It's something we've never done before, but we think it could be a great way to show everyone our work, how we do things, our thoughts and perhaps just a little more of us!

As with previous blog posts, we'll be talking about projects, workflows, developments, industry news and much more. We'll also be sharing our screen with you, giving you an insight into how our CGIs are made.

It's going to be raw, unfiltered, and we really don't know how it will go, it could be great (wishful thinking), or it could be suicide! But there's only one way to find out.....

So we hope you'll join us, and if you have any topics or questions for us, please drop us an email and let is know!

Dean

14/06/2016No Comments

Studio Pendant Lights Ready For 3D Printed Shades!

We love 3D printing, so why not use is to add a touch of design to the studio!

3D printing light shades has been something which has been an idea inside my head for far too long, the only thing really holding us back was some suitable light fittings to mount them to. Well today the electricians came round and installed the retro inspired pendant lights to the studio! Needless to say we're very excited!

3D print printing light shade CGI 3D

Pendants installed and looking good!

The pendants are very simple, just a retro cord light fitting and retro bulb. The beauty of these pendants is we can quickly change the pendants whenever we like, and that's just what we plan to do!

3D printed pendants have been done before, but we feel this is a great way to add our own touch to the studio, and by utilising 3D printing technology we can experiment and create almost any design.

3D print printing light shade CGI 3D

3D printed shades inspiration.

The design and creation shades will be a case of trial and error, but that's half the fun isn't it? Some designs will work well, and others may not, but as the cost of 3D printing is a fraction of the price of traditional manufacturing processes then we can quickly alter and iterate designs until we're 100% happy.

So, all we need to do now get designing, fire up the printer and get making! Watch out for future blog posts on the designs and printed shades!

Dean

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PUNCH DIGITAL

Punch Digital Services Ltd

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