Real-time 3D will reframe the shoot as we know it
The technology also makes creatives feel creative again.
Stephen Barnes
Founding Partner

Yet another round of feedback. Then the additional render time. That means more days from your timeline and another chunk from your budget. The only thing moving quickly is your heart rate and stress levels.

And advertising used to be fun.

Rendering, waiting, travelling, meetings, meetings, meetings, last-minute edits, waiting, feedback loops, email loops, even more edits, even more waiting. Sometimes, it can feel like the tail is wagging the dog.

It sucks time from your schedule, money from your budget, joy from your creatives and resources from the Earth.

And it’s only getting harder and more complex. Budgets are being stretched beyond breaking points, users are demanding more content, more frequently, with more complex layers of personalisation, and teams are stacked, multi-tasking, and chasing their tails.

This means policing brand quality and consistency is nearly impossible inside a web of stakeholders, human error, and clunky, siloed asset management systems. Trying to hit clients’ increasingly important carbon reduction targets just gets more and more difficult.

But what if it could be different? What if it could be more like something like this quote from Björn Conradi, creative director at Digitas, whom we recently worked with on a project for EE where we used Unreal Engine to build a set of online worlds with a challenging deadline?

He says: “At one point, we joined a live session to review a version of the floating island. It looked absolutely fantastic, but the colour palette was too close to some of the other executions and had to change drastically. This is obviously a tonne of work when you have just built an entire world. I tried my best to deliver the feedback as delicately as possible.

Be a god in a world of your own making

“Still, before I could finish my sentence, they changed some parameters on the time of day and position of the sun, and it was done immediately. Working in Unreal is not so much 3D design as it is being a god in a world of your own making.”

With real-time 3D, such as Unreal Engine or Omniverse, all of these deep-lying problems and frustrations just disappear. When you put it up against the grind and hoops you have to jump through from traditional offline processes, it feels like a breath of fresh air.

It removes all the shitty jobs from the production process that drive up cost and time, and drive down enjoyment and joy in the creation of work. And isn’t that what we all got into this amazing industry for in the first place?

Having worked with numerous clients and agencies, I’ve found that every time you peel back the curtain, real-time 3D is blowing people’s minds. It makes creatives feel like a kid in a sandbox again, it makes production people wonder why they have been working the way they have for so long, and it makes clients wonder where their budget (and all of their time) has been going for so long.

It enables something we like to call “creativity at the speed of thought”. You can have golden hour at any time of the day and it can happen in multiple places around the globe at the same time. Clients can feed back over your shoulder and you can work collaboratively in real time to go to places creatively that wouldn’t have been possible before.

And once you have that universal asset, whether that be a product, a place or even the whole world, it not only guarantees quality, consistency and flexibility across your brand – with infinite assets produced from a single “digital truth” – it also drives cost savings exponentially. Every project builds on the investment of the last and, as your library grows, so do the cost and time savings.

If you have an upcoming campaign where you have huge ambitions but a tiny budget or need to create 3,000 slightly different versions of a product shot, or need to build a Formula 1 car in five days or make a perfect replica of the world in white, then go sit in the sandbox of 3D real-time design and make it happen.

By unlocking this creative freedom and empowering artistry without borders, you can drastically reduce creation, production, and revision times, which means you can reallocate the budget to other areas.

And it may just make your creatives happy again along the way.

This article was first published on Campaign