The centerpiece to all this is the real-time 3D car visualiser debuting their first concept vehicle. For the first time audiences around the world got to experience the futuristic vision of the BYTON SUV from every angle and see the the innovative design for themselves.
There are many unique challenges in creating a visualiser for an unreleased, work-in-progress vehicle. We essentially had to create the 3D model in tandem with the ongoing development of the car itself, oftentimes seeing live changes to its design on a week to week basis.
This required the team to think fast on their feet and solve problems proactively in order to keep the project on track. Clear communication was key, as well as transparency at every step of the development process so that all stakeholders have a clear view of where things are at all times.
From the start we were determined to create a full real-time 3D experience in order to offer an uncompromised AR mode. The majority of car visualisers are only truly 3D for the exterior while the interior view is often a simple 360 cube map image. The benefits of this is twofold: it saves on asset creation (since the interior is generally much more complicated than the car body itself), as well as improved performance by reducing the overall polycount.
By opting to create a full 3D car inside and out we had committed ourselves to a bigger technical challenge from the outset, but we knew it was the "right" thing to do. Through careful planning and project management we were able to stick to our original vision without bloating the production.
A major part of any 3D production is establishing the asset pipeline starting with the source reference provided by the client. In the past we had built "game ready" models from scratch based on the reference files, which is not only laborious but also prone to inaccuracies. To both speed up process and produce the most accurate result possible we decided to implement an algorithmic poly-reduction tool that ultimately helped us get the result we were looking for.
Past experience tells us that the upper polycount limit sits at around the 200-300k mark for optimal performance on modern devices. With this in mind it was then just a case of processing the entire car piece by piece to target that number.
Augmented Reality has come a long way since we first started doing it almost a decade ago. With players like Google and Apple creating such powerful SDKs to handle AR on their mobile platforms, the bar for implementation has been significantly lowered and allows us to give greater focus on the overall quality of the product.
Using Apple's ARKit and Google's ARCore we were able to reach amazing standards of markerless AR tracking beyond what we were able to do before and in a fraction of the time. This gives us a lot of hope about the future of AR and all the wonderful possibilities that are waiting just around the corner.
It has been an amazing journey working with BYTON and seeing their product evolve from the drawing board into reality. There were many unique challenges working with such a new and ambitious car company but we rose to challenge and ended up doing some of our best work along the way.
If you have a great product that you want to share with the world through exciting AR/VR technologies, don't hesitate to get in touch for a free consultancy session.