Zentia sought Creative Content Works’ expertise to build a 3D product configurator allowing users to visualise, design and personalise their products in a wide range of interiors.
Zentia is the UK’s market leading manufacturer of complete ceiling solutions including mineral ceiling tiles, suspension grids, and floating ceiling systems from their two UK factories based in Gateshead in Tyne and Wear.
Earlier this year, Zentia launched a complex, modular ceiling product aimed at architects, specifiers and ceiling contractors. They needed a cutting-edge product configuration tool to help their customers visualise, design and configure Zentia’s products in a highly interactive, immersive and visually stunning 3D environment. Following a competitive pitch process, Zentia appointed Creative Content Works (CCW) to build a configurator with photorealistic and stylish room environments along with a tactile and user-friendly interface.
As the UK's leading manufacturer of complete ceiling solutions, Zentia understands the importance of paying attention to every detail, especially when it comes to their premium Sonify product offering.
These virtual spaces needed to accommodate changes in lighting and be experienced as seamlessly and intuitively as possible. Another challenge was to create a high degree of interaction without compromising on photorealism or user experience. Additionally, the virtual environments needed to be diverse enough to appeal to Zentia's target market sectors.
By embracing the principles of parametric design, Zentia is now able to deliver high performance acoustic ceiling solutions at scale with ease and unrivalled accuracy and to competitive lead times.
For the first release of the configurator tool, we focused on building five unique virtual environments (Hotels, Education, Healthcare, Restaurants and Commercial) for nine different canopy and baffle types so that customers could view the products within different interiors, with the ability to change ceiling styles and design aesthetics. Each room offers the option to amend the Island Size, Canopy Size, Alignment and Product Ranges to see how they would look in situ. What’s more, we were able to offer Time of Day and Virtual Walkthroughs to get a truly accurate representation of the products at different times of the day.
Making this experience as believable as possible was really important. For instance, if the user changes the time of day, then the light reflecting off the ceiling changes, and affects the whole space. The closer we could get this to reality, the better. Our tool helps their customers make more confident buying decisions, and make the purchase process even more smooth and efficient.
- Vladimir Mulhem, Technology & Innovation Director at Creative Content Works
Darren Burns, IT Manager at Zentia commented on the partnership;
We chose CCW because of their full-service offering (across creative, technology and production) - and of course were blown away by the quality of their work. It really helped that they understood our product and the market we’re working in. We are very excited to create a cutting edge tool that’s leading in the market.
Zentia needed the right creative technology partners to make this project happen. Already confident in their ability to deliver the benefits of an expertly put-together ceiling – perfect acoustics, aesthetic impact, and technical performance – Zentia required collaborators who could match their level of real-world sophistication in the “phygital” arena.
The technology stack CCW implemented was chosen because it put Zentia ahead of its competitors by providing a future proof solution that is feature rich and future proof. Using a combination of Unreal 3D Engine, PureWeb Reality Engine, React JS, AWS Lambda and MongoDB. Core partners include:
Unreal 3D Engine - The immersive 3D environment hosting the interior space and product configurator was built using Unreal Engine 5. This gives the highest graphic fidelity and realism without compromising interactivity.
PureWeb Reality Platform - The content was delivered through PureWeb’s Reality pixel streaming platform. As an on-demand cloud infrastructure, this future-proofed the solution whilst allowing the best cross-device compatibility.
Seamless Streaming: Any Device. Anywhere.
PureWeb, who Creative Content Works and Zentia chose to distribute the streaming experience, had to make sure that the various customisations implemented by customers would not negatively impact the quality of the 3D environment or slow down the online user experience. This involved working with PureWeb’s pixel streaming platform to ensure a smooth transition between the different interior styles a customer might request e.g. which island size, canopy, baffles, colours and alignment would be integrated into the overall design.
We had a pretty ambitious project timescale, and PureWeb were a supportive partner every step of the way. We really trusted them to make sure the Unreal Engine was executable and seamlessly integrated into Zentia’s platform. Leaving us to do what we do best. Make beautiful and photoreal immersive experiences."
— Vladimir Mulhem, Technology & Innovation Director, Creative Content Works
Since starting the project, we’ve realised the importance of having alignment and clarity of vision to make the most of the opportunity."
- Darren Burns, IT Manager at Zentia.
Sonify 3D Studio now provides potential customers with a canvas to allow them to experiment with a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes to create highly creative acoustic ceiling designs - including acoustic ceiling baffles, rafts and canopies in a number of sector-specific spaces. The configurator creates a bill of materials that can be delivered on site as a ready-to-assemble 'kit of parts'.
Infinite Combinations: 5 unique spaces, 9 product lines, all parametrically driven and configurable in an infinite number of combinations.
Rapid Timescales: Release 1 was delivered in 6 months.
Leading Tech: Cutting-edge technologies were used including Unreal Engine 5 Lumen and Nanite technologies.
Seamless Streaming: Achieved the frame rate of 60FPS
Personalisation - Customers can now experiment with a wide range of products in different colours, shapes and sizes
Improved UX - Sonify 3D Studio removes barriers to a sale with photoreal 3D visualisations
Traceability - Each design has a unique project ID for full traceability to support a single thread of information
Revit - Specifiers and Architects can now download acoustic ceiling designs as Revit files
Bill of Materials - Customers can create a Bill of Materials delivered direct to site for unrivalled accuracy during installation.
The Sonify 3D configurator is now an essential sales tool that can be woven into the foundation of Zentia’s future sales efforts for years to come, by reducing barriers in the sales journey, offering visually stunning 3D representations and offering unrivalled accuracy during installation.
Unleash your creativity with Sonify by Zentia, an interactive 3D product configurator: https://www.zentia.com/en-gb/sonify/.
For more information about our 3D Product Configurators click here.
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