Tom Toomey, business development director at PacMin, explains how the model-builder is harnessing 3D projection technology in collaboration with Blue Sky CGI
What is the new technology?
The new 3D projection technology is a multi-faceted storytelling sales tool. It creates new ways to start and maintain a conversation. We want to give our customers greater creative freedom so they can create compelling stories about their brand and products. We start with a physical model or display and blend it with animated and still digital content. All these elements are carefully choreographed to become an engaging interactive presentation.
Could it be used to support the interior design process?
Absolutely. This can shorten the design process, especially in terms of incorporating customer feedback. Prospective customers can come in, see the aircraft model, view different cabin configurations and make comments. We’re then able to update the 3D content so the customer can see those changes quickly.
How exactly does it work?
Once the customer’s story is determined, a set is designed which includes digital content and a physical model of the area to be covered by the projection. We then use a warping program to create an animation that can be divided up and projected by multiple projectors. You can take it a step further by adding special effects, lighting and audio.
What type of data do you need?
We work with each customer to find the best way to relate their brand message and engage their customers. Some customers might have very technical data to work with and others might not. We can also enhance or modify existing data, or even create by hand modeling if needed.
How much time do you need to create the display?
We can accommodate most schedules. If a project needs to be completed on a very tight timetable we can adjust our approach to accelerate the process. Having existing data will definitely speed up the process, and once the content is mapped onto a model or display, we can update it seamlessly. Our focus is on making our customers stand out, so that means our team is always ready.
What else is featured in your new PacMin Studio Experience Center?
Currently, our 3D projection demonstration is the focal point. It’s not a 3D goggle experience either. It is a very tactile, immersive experience. Customers will be able to step into the room and see the content projected right in front of them. We envision adding some interactive models to the Experience Center down the road.
What investment have you made in this?
In terms of our facility, we did some renovations and built a specialized room (the Experience Center). This included investing in new projectors and a sound system, building a custom mount to house the projectors, and investing in training for our staff. We also produced a dynamic half model as the canvas for our 3D projection. From start to finish, more than a dozen individuals were involved in creating the Experience Center. But this is what worked for our needs. We wanted to create a permanent installation, so customers looking to use 3D projection for their next event may not need all these renovations.
What is the thinking behind this move? Are customers demanding integration with digital visualization tools?
PacMin is known for its models and displays, and we’ve actually been developing this technology for some time now. We recognize the impact it can have on our customers (and their customers) so we partnered with Blue Sky CGI to bridge the best of both worlds. This is an opportunity to combine both of our strengths and help our customers present their products in new, exciting ways.
Our customers definitely drove this process. They are tired of the same old methods so we wanted to create a better customer experience – whether that is integrating digital or something else waiting to be discovered.
Do you have plans to develop the technology further?
Yes! We hope our customers keep challenging us to take their message further.