Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (hereafter Toppan Printing; head office: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President & Representative Director: Shingo Kaneko) has developed a virtual simulation service for the automobile industry that enables high-quality 3D computer graphics to be rendered and distributed in real time on a cloud server. The beta service will be released in June 2012, with the system being used as a tool to support sales in car dealerships and via internet catalogs, and the full service will be available from the summer of 2012.
This service enables real time 3D computer graphic simulation including the changing of color or car parts, and it is possible to distribute the information to various devices including personal computers, tablet computers and smartphones via a network. With the rendered 3D graphics, it is possible to change the background image and freely change the viewing angle. The cloud server has a database not just of vehicles’ CAD data but also of product information and it is therefore possible to provide accurate information that is needed for sales activities such as the suitability of optional parts and the price after customization. This service will enable salespeople to give their sales talk a more concrete form by visualizing consumers’ demand in real time, and could therefore maximize sales opportunities.
Background to development
3D CAD based product design is being introduced into many industries including automobiles, consumer electronics and housing equipment because it can shorten development time and reduce costs. On the other hand, in sales and marketing departments, it is necessary to prepare in a short time a wide variety of graphic materials including colors and optional parts for use in sales promotion tools such as brochures. This has brought challenges including an increase in production costs and workload, and a decrease in quality and accuracy.
In addition, with the diversification of needs, product variations are becoming more complex and there has been an increase in the volume of information that cannot be fully expressed using existing printed catalogs and video media made in advance. Therefore, a need has arisen for a system that enables a wide variety of color variations, combinations of a huge number of optional parts and various viewing angles to be viewed efficiently.
Through the production of CG for sales promotion tools such as catalogs and videos, Toppan Printing has accumulated knowhow on utilizing manufacturing CAD data effectively and creatively. Toppan also enjoys a high level of technical knowledge, having developed original virtual reality technology and provided virtual reality systems and content based on cultural heritage to museums.
Making use of this track record, Toppan Printing has established an environment for rendering 3D computer graphics on a cloud server based on the CAD data of automobile manufacturers and enabled the production of photorealistic graphic images at low cost and in a short time. It is now possible to put a potential product into visual form interactively in response to the consumer’s needs at any time and in any location.
Features of the service:
Realtime image generation by a 3D CG rendering engine on a cloud server
The service uses a real time rendering engine from Bunkspeed, Inc. (hereafter Bunkspeed; head office: Carlsbad, California, U.S.A; CEO: Philip Lunn). High-quality 3D computer graphics are rendered instantaneously in response to the user’s requests and they can be used on various devices via a network.
Price simulation function in addition to configuration function for product information
If the desired color, optional parts or background are selected on the screen, 3D graphics of the vehicle are instantly rendered in line with the order. The 3D computer graphics can be freely manipulated and viewed from any angle. As product information is also loaded onto the database, it is also possible to display information including price and the suitability of optional parts.
Use in a wide range of potential situations
It is possible to choose a sales promotion method to match the location and situation, from a full-scale simulation in theater format to a presentation using a mobile device, and the system can also be used as a tool to support sales, enabling the real-time visualization of detailed product information that cannot be fully explained with a printed catalog.
Global sales and support structure
In collaboration with Bunkspeed and its majority owner Realtime Technology AG (hereafter RTT; head office: Munich, Germany), which have well established reputations in the development of software related to 3D computer graphics for applications such as automobiles, Toppan Printing will provide sales and support for this service not just in Japan but throughout the world.
Initial introduction costs: From 5 million yen; Operating costs: 200,000 yen per month.
*Separate costs for content creation, system maintenance and support.
Toppan Printing is targeting sales of 10 billion yen in fiscal 2015, including related orders.
As the “Toppan Virtual Simulation Service”, Toppan Printing will expand this service to industrial products other than automobiles in the future, and aim to develop further services including interior space simulation services for the housing equipment industry.
* This service was demonstrated for the first time at RTT Excite 2012, which was held in Germany’s Munich on April 26, 2012.
* Bunkspeed, Inc.
Bunkspeed, Inc. was established in Carlsbad, California, U.S.A. in 2002. The company sells high-quality real-time rendering software used in product design to customers including major automobile manufacturers throughout the world.
* Realtime Technology AG
Realtime Technology AG was established in Germany’s Munich in 1999. The company sells 3DCG software, provides solutions, consultation and content creation services, and offers high level technical capabilities, products and services in the various operational processes of 3DCG. RTT has a strong track record in the digital marketing field, including internet content and visual media for promotion, such as the introduction of interactive computer graphic systems for showrooms and events in a wide range of sectors including not just the automobile industry but also airplanes, fashion and consumer electronics.
*The names of companies, products and services featured in this press release are the trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies.
*The information in this press release is current as of the date of publication and is subject to change without notice.