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Create marketing assets faster with Forma Render

October 21, 2021 in Manufacturing | 10 min. read
Dining room table rendered in Forma
Dining room table rendered in Forma
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The latest release of Unity Forma includes Forma Render, the newest addition to the Unity marketing solutions offering. Combining the benefits of digital photography and a video production studio with an image-on-demand render engine, Forma Render enables anyone to create high-quality visual assets from 3D product data.

Unity Forma is the established solution that helps companies develop compelling interactive 3D product configurators to interactively engage buyers. Now marketing teams can get even more from Unity Forma. The latest addition to the Unity marketing solutions suite, Forma Render, currently ships with Unity Forma. It makes use of the 3D configurator model built in Unity Forma to create visual assets for marketing channels, massively reducing the effort and time to get a product to market. One electronics consumer brand running the beta version of Forma Render stated that they were 2.5 months quicker to market with product marketing materials.

Current tools just aren’t cutting it

Traditional computer-generated imagery (CGI) offline rendering workflows can’t keep up with the insatiable demand for personalized visual marketing assets. The process is slow (therefore, expensive), and requires a complex production pipeline with highly-skilled 3D experts. Altogether it is time-consuming, costly and resource-heavy – none of which helps you get your product to market ahead of the competition.

One alternative is a traditional photography workflow, which requires a photograph-ready prototype of your product. This can be costly to produce, and late design tweaks can quickly render it obsolete. Getting the prototype and the photography crew to your chosen site, along with multiple external uncontrollable factors such as lighting, weather, and time of day, can easily put your photo shoots over time and budget.

Today’s marketers are under pressure to deliver fast – they can’t wait months for rendering specialists to create CGI, or afford expensive onsite photo shoots for prototypes. Importantly, neither of these methods allows for scalable production of customized image assets. Read on to discover how Unity Forma and Forma Render are streamlining the marketing content production process.

Forma rendering

It starts with the configurator

A configurator created in Unity Forma is an application of the digital twin of the product that includes all its relevant variants. This is what enables the personalization experience in the configurator. Forma Render runs from the digital twin created for the configurator. This means that visual assets created in Forma Render accurately represent the product in any chosen configuration.

By leveraging the work of the specialized teams who create the configurator digital twin, Forma Render empowers other teams (such as content producers or brand marketers) to generate high-resolution media assets, without the need for special 3D software skills, coding or costly and time-consuming physical prototypes.

Multiple output options

Forma Render operates in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) real-time environment without the need for lengthy training on complex CGI software, enabling marketing teams to easily create many types of content. The asset creation options in Forma Render include:

  • Interactive compositing: Place the product model within a scene, position it, activate configuration variants, all in real-time.
  • Use case-optimized assets: Images are optimized to the required resolution, aspect ratio and file formats for each use case with maximum resolution of 16K renders (e.g., printed collateral, digital advertising, website placement). 
  • Batch rendering: Easily and quickly generate visual assets in bulk with multiple variant combinations, ready to publish to your marketing channels.
  • Image on demand: By hosting Forma Render in the cloud, you can respond to personalized content requests from websites or applications in milliseconds.

One Forma Render customer found they were able to offer multiple customer personalization options to meet the market need, achieving 400% more design capacity in the direct-to-customer model.

Traditional marketing assets made easy

Interactive real-time 3D product configurators are becoming indispensable for an increasingly personalization-driven market. However, a thorough marketing campaign also needs traditional marketing content, such as static images. With Forma Render it’s easy. Starting with the product model already set up in Unity Forma, you can select the variation of the product that you want images for, place it into your preferred 3D environment, load new image-based backgrounds (HDRi environments), manipulate the product placement, camera angle, lighting, effects, and generate batches of images or videos ready to use in your campaigns.

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Check out the full story of how Volkswagen have revolutionized their marketing content production using Unity.

Delivering photorealistic assets

But what about image quality? Photorealism is a high priority for marketers, because representing your product accurately builds trust with your customers. It is the heart of personalization and critical for engaging customers online.

Forma Render allows you to create assets using Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). As you can see from this project using the Lexus LC 500, Unity HDRP produces stunningly realistic real-time images and video. Plus, ray tracing is available at the preview stage. This advanced rendering pipeline makes it easy for marketers to select the asset appropriate to the marketing channel.

Forma House Root Prefab With Lights
Photorealistic assets are key to engaging customers

Streamlined workflow

Fundamental to Unity Forma and Forma Render is the drive to improve workflow processes. By leveraging real-time 3D technology to power a single pipeline capable of omnichannel content creation, Unity Forma enables teams to collaborate more effectively in getting their product configurator to market quicker. Forma Render goes a step further.

Concurrent working

With the configurator as the foundation, Forma Render empowers marketing teams of any size or in any location to fulfill their marketing channel requirements, at the same time. For example, content producers can batch render assets for digital marketing, while brand marketers can prepare materials for printed collateral. Everyone works from the configurator digital twin, ensuring consistent product representations.

Straightforward and efficient rendering

Render high-quality assets with Forma Render without the need to recruit for specialized skills. You can extend the capabilities of omnichannel asset creation to a wider workforce that doesn’t need specialized 3D-software or coding skills. Assets can be preproduced and delivered to existing digital asset management systems.

Alternatively, the Forma Render application can be hosted in the cloud, and images can be delivered on demand when a configuration parameter is received. This means images can be dynamically delivered to websites or applications without pre-rendering any content. By skipping the pre-rendering phase, you gain creative freedom and iteration, and form the basis for additional personalization in your future marketing campaigns. This feature works best for products with many variations and a constant stream of requested image generations. Headless rendering API can be integrated into a cloud stack by system integrators or you can directly contact the Unity team for implementation support.

In the words of one Unity customer, “Forma brought so much value to our existing workflow: we reduced our media production time by around 75%.”

electing camera angles and output formats is easy with Forma Render
Selecting camera angles and output formats is easy with Forma Render

Unity Forma 3.0 updates

The latest version of Unity Forma is now available. Notable updates include:

  • Streamlined installation process
  • Templates to get projects up and running quicker, accessible from Unity Hub
  • Predefined optimized platform settings, making your project run more effectively on specific platforms out of the box
  • Improved WebGL optimization, demonstrated in the included sample project
  • New Javascript API to allow your website to interact with 3D content
  • New mobile-capable runtime UI system
Forma Infographic
Import, create, publish and analyze with Unity marketing solutions. Unity Forma now ships with Forma Render.

By adopting real-time 3D technologies such as the Unity Forma marketing solutions suite, industrial users are seeing significant improvements in their product lifecycle processes. Discover more about Unity Forma in our monthly webinar series, which covers what you can do with it and showcases what other customers have done. Sign up for our next webinar session, or watch our previous webinars on demand. 

The latest release of Unity Forma includes Forma Render. Discover what future updates are planned with the Unity Forma product roadmap. Reach out to our Unity experts to try it for free.

October 21, 2021 in Manufacturing | 10 min. read
Topics covered