Quality can be seen as a degree of excellence of something. In our case, this usually refers to software that looks good and is satisfying to use.
Even though our solutions are filled with code and technical content, I can’t underline the importance of appearance enough. The fact of the matter is that people need to see to believe and believing means buying. Making this possible is at the very core of our business.
Quality comes from within
Five years ago, I started working with 3D models at VividWorks. Since then, I have moved over to R & D, where most recently I have focused on work methods and workflows in order to create and maintain better visual quality for our 3D content.
My long-term goal is to standardize our 3D-modeling process so that certain quality levels are reached every time the same way. Proper standards also makeit possible to guide our customers towards providing better models. This standardization ensures that 3D models function properly and without friction on the Platform.
Shortly put, I want to find the best practices and pass them along. For example Unity, the visualization engine we use, has its own manual for making materials such as glass, metal, fabric etc. If you fail to follow their instructions, sofa covers won’t look the way they are supposed to.
Computers are pretty high class these days and can support heavy solutions, but still, the starting point of modeling should be that what is not seen should not be there. Basic CAD models are usually too heavy to be used in visualization engines so they have to be optimized and made lighter before being put into use. Sometimes we even need to re-make models in order to make them fit.
We are also talking about business, so it is not cost-effective or even smart to remake everything or spend weeks on one image. The best possible scenario is that we achieve the best result on the first try.
First impression is everything
Requirements have grown over the past few years. Every phone has a camera and people are used to looking at high-quality pictures. The same goes for 3D-modeling; photorealism has become the new normal.
Our line of work requires a certain artistic eye and visual perspective. From 3D models all the way to user interfaces, everything must look good. The human eye is the best (and worst) critic. A simple glitch with the lighting is spotted without mercy.
From our point of view, the appearance of the solution is the final outcome, but from the user perspective this is just the first step, the first impression. This is the tricky part. We must build something that works flawlessly but is essentially judged just on its looks.
Trying to obtain the desired quality, VividWorks has developed a High Quality Rendering (HQR) service that provides photorealistic images and viewing. As awesome as it is, it is not some magic ingredient that automatically saves the day and makes everything great. HQR can not salvage something that has been broken from the start. We are once again talking about creating 3D models correctly right from the beginning.
When the groundwork, the foundation of it all is done right, only then can we make things look so good that people want to buy them.