Why CGI Fabrics are our Secret Weapon

Many of you may know us best for our CGI creations for the furniture Industry. We have come a long way in just three years, and would like to think that we are really starting to make a name for ourselves. But as an agency we have adapted and transformed over the years according to the skill sets we have gained, and as an ever-growing team, we are taking a look at where we started, and where we are going.

Yes, we go on about it a lot, but we really do take pride in the realism of our fabrics. Those of you who have never dabbled in the creation of CGI, may not know how much of a gaping hole in the industry realistic fabrics are. We even have oher agencies approaching us to outsource fabric building because of the difficulty and the level of our results. 

Never completely satisfied with the level of our ‘photorealism’, our technology and skill set never stays still. As a tech-based creative agency, we are always striving to stay ahead of the curve. Here’s a quick run-down of our fabric making journey:

Three years ago, when we first ventured into the world of CGI, making weaved fabric textures seemed like a challenge. A year later, we were perfecting velvets and how the colours change as the light hits the fabric in different places. We hunted down specialist kit to record the texture, reflection and transparency of a fabric to streamline the process. Once found, we then worked with the creators to adapt the software for the furniture industry. Once we had perfected that process, we realised there was still more to do!

Most recently, we have adapted a CGI plug-in normally used for big box-office films, and transformed its use to add all of those teeny tiny fibres that appear on real fabric samples, to add to our roomsets. Even on the shots where the fibres aren’t visible to the naked eye, they are still there, just to make sure that high level of detail is achieved. You would be amazed at the tiny details which add up to create a realistic image!

For our work relating to creating fabrics in CGI, we are constantly moving forward, staying ahead of the industry in our details and technology. So much so, that we have recently been recognised and awarded a Research and Development grant. The grant is only awarded to organisations which develop and test innovative products and services.

In fact, it is defined as: “The work that qualifies must be part of a specific project to make an advance in science or technology.”

Now, we won’t reveal our secrets, of course. A magician never reveals his tricks, but we can show you the results. The only difference between a plain wool material and a plain flat material? These tiny fibres! Have a closer look above where we have magnified the fibres on Warwick’s Amatheon Wool. We have also included an animation, just to show off the details and what we are able to achieve through CGI. 

Fabrics are what we do, what we’re known for and what we love, and with a gallery full of thousands of them you are able to take your pick. When working in the furniture and interiors realm it is so important to not only get the products and rooms looking photorealistic, but to make sure the fabrics on every product look real, natural and shows off their best qualities. We will always be looking for ways to improve and develop our skills when it comes to fabrics – not only by keeping up with the latest tech, but really educating ourselves on each and every fibre found in the fabrics our clients use! Make sure you follow us on our social media channels so that you can keep updated with our latest work that we love to showcase! 

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Digital Packages to Boost Sales in the New Normal

Sales within the furniture industry are drastically changing. People aren’t only buying differently, but they are looking for companies and brands to step up their sales campaigns to meet the demands of the changing consumer market. Traditional sales methods, such as travelling to meet clients with physical samples or holding product unveilings, are now looking to be a thing of the past. With Covid-19 having a drastic effect on how we sell, brands must now look for alternative methods to keep up their sales rates, or even improve them. 

Many of you will be aware that we have been creating digital imagery for Warwick UK for a while now. Digitising their entire collections. When the pandemic hit, after the initial shock, Warwick were quick to want to adapt to the New Normal. Seeing that their sales reps may be limited to Zoom calls for the near future, they were on the hunt for the best way to keep sales up during social distancing. And who better to ask that a company who deals in digital fabrics.

As we understand Warwick’s brand after working alongside them for so long, we already knew what they were missing to be able to sell fabrics well from a distance.

We already offer Warwick a package for each digital collection. Not only do we provide lifestyle imagery for every colourway in a range, but we also provide an online gallery which can be passed around to clients to see new launches without having to go via the website. This allows for sneak peeks of new launches and universal URL links to be shared internally.

As mentioned in our previous blog post, ‘The Importance of Animation within Interiors & Marketing’, there has been a constant increase in focus towards the importance of incorporating video and animation into marketing and sales strategies. Using animation and video has been proven to drive sales with 60% of people more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video referring to it. Warwick have been aware of this, but without the budget or skills to film a weekly production, they turned to us.  When all products and romsets are created in CGI, the easy part is setting up cameras in the virtual studio. This includes moving cameras. With Warwick’s collections, we supply an animation that looks like real filmography to show their fabrics in situ for every collection that we build.

Although we are great at fooling people with CGI, the video you see at the top of this post is not fake. Without access to regular sales meetings, we realised that each sales representative needed a full package ready-made for each collection, to be able to sell from a distance without losing any quality in the presentation. Our solution is to go on-site at Warwick HQ to film a fabric expert tell all about each of Warwick’s collections. These clips are then edited together to create professional videos to go along with each collection.

See the final result below.

Talking more about how to streamline the distanced sales process, we realised that each Warwick sales representative was creating their own Powerpoint presentation to showcase each new collection ahead of meetings. Not only does this leave too much room for error when it comes to consistent branding, but it was adding unnecessary workload to those who could be using their time to see clients and sell fabrics. Because of the software packages we use to put together galleries, edit imagery and animation, we had a package that feeds into the same software to create branded presentations for each collection that we digitise. 

This culminates in a well-designed presenter that includes every asset we create for Warwick in one easy to digest place. We are able to present the films about the new fabrics, animations, and full galleries of a collection to send out to all reps, as ready-to-sell packages. What more could you need?

All of these elements can be circulated via sales reps, website and all social media channels. Not only are these elements easily accessible for staff and clients, but they are all digital and safe to share during a time when we can’t meet face to face.

If you are interested in increasing your brand’s online presence, then don’t hesitate to get in touch today! 

 

 

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