Out with the old and in with the new…

The below is part of a series about how we work day to day. We’ll be taking you behind the scenes and detailing what we do, along with some of the decision processes made. First off, how we present and visualise things…

For over 10 years, we’ve been generating all of our product visuals using the built-in render tools in our 3D CAD program, Solidworks. For the most part, it’s been reliable and helped us generate what we’ve needed. 

However, as we’ve had the opportunity to work on more prestigious projects, we’ve felt the need to improve how we present ourselves.

When we’ve needed to produce a render, the key elements are “Does the render look realistic to what our customer would get?” and “Does the render help sell our vision for the play area?” As previously stated, it was sufficient for the most part. We didn’t feel that it was the best that we could do though. We felt that we could do better.

We recently interviewed for people to join our Design Team, and one of the questions during the interview process was “What product would you improve on our website?” Interestingly, we had a handful of responses from candidates saying that they’d improve the renders, and that they’d make them more realistic. We couldn’t have agreed more. We looked at the images we were producing and knew that there was more on the table when it came to producing great visuals.

Over the last few months, we’ve started to implement new design principles in terms of how we’re producing renders and visuals. We’re currently updating our standard product renders and we’re also working on how we present our playground designs and concepts. We’re utilising 3DS Max and some stand alone render programs to try and improve our offering.

We’ve already seen improvements in what we can produce. The material appearances are now a lot more realistic, especially when it comes to timber. The accuracy in the wood grain has been a significant change. Previously, it was very flat in it’s appearance, but the new rendering method shows some great depth and variance in it’s appearance. The same can be said for stainless steel. The natural grain in the material is better represented and provides a more accurate representation of what the material is truly like in an environment.

What does this mean to you? If you’re a customer or prospective customer, we’re hopefully going to be able to show you a better representation of what you’re going to receive when you place an order with us. If you’re looking at creating a new play area or have a scheme that needs visualising, the improvements in how we render and show our products will be able to help stakeholders buy into the new vision for play.

Keep your eyes peeled as we roll these out over the next few weeks across all of our media outputs.