The Threekit Platform: Implementing Interactive Visual Experiences
This guide will take you through the process of creating immersive visual experiences using Threekit. By the end of this guide, you will understand the process of creating a product catalog full of interactive 3D assets, replete with 3D configurations and beautiful visuals, ready to expose anywhere on the web.
Before we get started
In a real-world implementation, Threekit will be utilized by a variety of personas who conduct various tasks and workflows in Threekit which are then neatly packaged together to expose the results on the web. In this guide, we will discuss the various personas involved and their general tasks within the Threekit Platform.
Throughout the guide, we will also assume a certain knowledge of 3D and, for certain tasks, developer-level competency. Other tasks will require knowledge of the business and the products/product rules defined by the business.
Also, we will guide you through a progression involving simpler, contained tasks packaged for the purpose of exposing various concepts. Eventually, the tasks will become more complex and specialized and will require a greater knowledge of either 3D, 3D technology, front end web development, or some combination. Don't worry, though, we'll let you know when you are stepping into complex territory. The intention of this progression seeks to not only inform stakeholders of what can be expected in a standard interactive 3D implementation but also to familiarize the greater outside audience of what it is Threekit does, with a clear path to discovering how.
Lastly, the intent is to illustrate both how the platform facilitates seamless delivery of immersive commerce on the web, and how merchandisers leverage their existing Product Catalog structure to drive asset management at-scale.
It is worth mentioning that this overview does not imply strict adherence to a singular workflow, but it will emphasize where Threekit addresses inefficiencies in the maintenance and delivery of immersive commerce experiences on the web.
Effective delivery of an interactive 3D experience is a collaborative endeavor involving developers, 3D Artists and, most importantly, merchandisers. We know that the three groups don't often work together and rarely intersect in the same system. Threekit is a system that brings together those stakeholders and facilitates easy communication and collaboration.
The following roles are involved in the delivery of a typical 3D configuration experience. There are numerous instances in which everyone works collaboratively; those instances will be spoken to in context.
Collectively, the merchanidsing and product management teams have comprehensive knowledge of the product catalog. From providing the framework for all viable Product configurations to final approval of visual assets and corresponding presentation thereof, these individuals and their respective teams sit at the epicenter of all things Threekit.
Responsible for assisting the Merchandising/Product Management teams in importing data, addressing the UI requirements of the configurator, and integrating to the front-end, the developer provides all necessary technical assistance along the way.
The Artist is responsible for ensuring visuals are at standard and fully representative of the dictate set forth by the Merchandisers and Product Managers. Where the Merchandiser provides the blueprint, the Artist does the building, ensuring the 3D representation of the products satisfy all viable combinations of options and meet visual quality standards.
1) Create or Import Product Data
The Threekit product catalog should be a mirror of your real product catalog. Traditionally a merchandiser or a product manager would maintain and update this data. Threekit will consume the product data from any well-formed external sources via an import process using a JSON file format. Direct integrations may be built using our public APIs. Generally, a product catalog consists of catalog items such as products, parts, and materials. This will include a variety of product data and metadata. Most often the products will be in some sort of a hierarchy.
2) Import Visual Assets
The components that make up the final 3D view are generally referred to as visual assets. These will include 3D models, scenes (including camera and lighting setup), materials and textures. In Threekit, you will then associate these visual assets with their corresponding product catalog items. The final result displayed to the end-user is an assembly of visual assets based on product configuration data.
3) Create Configurators
Once the product catalog items and visual assets are associated, the options available to the end customer. The final end product will then include the rules and constraints that impact the end-user experience.
4) Build Your Visual Experience
Lastly, we will approve and publish all the assets and build the final visual experiences. The final user experience and the types of assets that will be generated will be dependent upon the needs of the business. This step will also include embedding the assets in the final user experience wherever it is required.