The buzz about 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) design has been growing for a while now, and brands and consumers alike have been anxiously waiting for it to break out into the mainstream. But complexity, cost, and tech demands have kept this slice of the future siloed in the studios of big (and big-budget) developers and design firms.
But 2021 is the year that changes. With tons of affordable, varied toolkits available for even the most casual creative to play around with - and our phones finally being sophisticated enough to process all that data - 3D and AR are finally something we can all get our hands on. Here's how we think 3D and AR will reshape the creative realm as we know it.
Render Me This: Is That Furniture Even Real?
Snazzy digital renders used to be reserved for architectural and engineering firms. But thanks to ever-growing computing power and the growing availability of 3D rendering tools, impressive digital spaces can be rendered from the comfort of your home office. Ad firms, retail designers, clothing brands, furniture companies, and even realtors can now whip up top-notch 3D scenes, layouts, and backdrops that show off their offer in three impeccable dimensions and for a fraction of the price and hassle of a traditional photo shoot. This is great news in a post-pandemic situation where teams are distributed, and customers want to err on the side of caution - while also maximizing the "experience" of shopping, something shoppers say is crucial.
Not Your Typical Prototype: 3D Product Design
The ubiquity and affordability of 3D product design tools mean that creatives can easily play around in the sandbox of 3D prototyping and product development. The powerful visualization that these tools offer means that designers can collaboratively brainstorm, develop, and iterate on a product - taking it all the way from initial idea to final concept much faster and more cost-effectively than traditional methods would allow. 3D product design also allows designers to freely explore new and unusual avenues without constraint, encouraging them to push the boundaries of design and creativity.
On the consumer side of things, high-quality 3D renderings are also likely to reduce e-commerce returns - many of which are due to a mismatch between the listing's visuals and the actual product. And if fan feedback is your thing, why not provide tools to help customers or users to generate product recommendations or suggested designs and send them your way? (Nike is killing it at this kind of UGC, by the way.)
Everyone's a Creator: Apps Make 3D Accessible to All.
Social media has shown how naturally creative people are. Web users have taken in stride the increasingly complex functionality offered by their favorite apps, from filters to video remixes. And with 3D, AR, and our portable devices growing ever more sophisticated and accessible, now is the time for brands to develop smart concepts, solutions, and campaigns that leverage these tools. IKEA did it with its furniture app. LEGO has expanded its word with its AR app. Even the BBC is in on the game with its AR civilizations app. For today's brands, the opportunities are endless: paint and texture matching, design visualization, virtual clothing fittings, cinema "bonus" materials, and more.
Is Your Firm on the 3D and AR Bandwagon?
The 3D revolution has been a long time coming, but in 2021 it's here and ready to play. Brands that tap into the possibilities of 3D and AR can streamline processes, cut costs, foster collaboration, push their creative boundaries, and identify new ways to engage with customers. If 3D isn't part of your toolkit, now's the time to get on the bandwagon - and set yourself apart from the rest.
Not sure where to start, or want to talk about how you can strategically integrate 3D into your marketing and design offer? Talk to the team at StellaPop - we're as multi-dimensional as they come.