Speedinvest Blog

3D Content Creation at Scale: Our Investment in Colorful.app

by 

Yang Tran

April 28, 2022

We're excited to finally announce our investment in Colorful together with our friends from Point Nine and with participation from Hyper, Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas, and Matt Robinson.

Colorful is a web and mobile-based virtual photo studio that allows everybody to create life-like, computer-generated 3D photos and scenes in a browser without special, high-performance hardware. 

The Colorful interface that allows for quick and easy 3D image creation.

Let’s dive into what makes us so bullish.

The boom in E-commerce: competing for brand recognition

The rapid shift to online shopping, accelerated by the pandemic, continues to skyrocket with sales forecasted to grow by 50% over the next four years, reaching 7.4 trillion dollars worldwide by 2025

source: Benedict Evans

If we look at the market more closely, mobile-commerce sales will account for 7% of all retail sales in 2022 and social commerce sales are predicted to triple in the coming years, growing from $492 billion in 2021 to $1.47 trillion by 2025.

Any retailer can now reach their customers directly through various marketing channels, or put differently, consumers can browse and buy products within any digital environment. This opens up a world of possibilities for brands to elevate their customers’ buying experience. 

The human mind processes visual content 60,000 times faster than writing and pictures generate up to 94% more views. But visually compelling images and videos alone are not enough anymore to convert today’s demanding content consumers into customers. Creatives need to be closer to the customer, hyper-personalized with movement and animations taking the center stage. 

With 3D becoming more realistic, content is becoming also more impactful and interactive immersing your audiences and ultimately driving customer acquisition.

Rise of 3D content for greater customer engagement

Until now, large brands like IKEA, Nike, Apple or Mercedes have spearheaded the transition from traditional product photography to super realistic 3D renders… but what about the rest of the economy?   

Visual content that caters to specific audiences helps to bring the online shopping experience into alignment with what customers have come to expect when walking into a store. This makes conversions easier and, ultimately, improves the customer journey and brand loyalty.

But the process of crafting this kind of content today is more tedious than most people think. Why? You need…

  1. A location
  2. A photographer 
  3. The right equipment 
  4. The right lightening   
  5. Lots of time and patience 

At the end of all of this, if you’re not happy with the result, you have no undo or edit buttons. 

Imagine a virtual photo studio that creates product images in seconds

What if I told you that this scene never existed in real life? And what if I told you that you could do this in 2 mins without any headaches? 

Or this...

Or maybe this?

 

Check out more here: https://www.colorful.app/showcases/showcase

Introducing Colorful.app 

A browser-based 3D tool for creating professional photo shootings. Pictures, especially animated ones, tell more than a thousand words. Just look for yourself!

Cloud Computing as an enabler 

When working with 3D renderings, special and high-end hardware is required. The majority of artists are using powerful - but fairly expensive - GPU setups in large desktop PCs. But due to the maturity of cloud infrastructure and lower cost thanks to IaaS providers like AWS, GCP or Azure, Colorful can offload computationally expensive tasks to the cloud. This removes hardware requirements for designers and allows them to collaborate across platforms. 

The result? The ability to easily and craft quality 3D renderings at a speed and low cost never before possible. And there is more innovation to come!

Newer generation iPhones and iPads (more devices likely to follow) have a LiDAR sensor. This empowers designers to capture polygon models of objects in their physical environment using Apple’s ARKit. Watch this space.  

LiDAR rendering of three chairs
source: https://developer.apple.com

The X behind it all: The Colorful team

When we met Nik and Mirko, we were impressed (and still are!) by their passion and deep deep knowledge of the 3D imaging and design space. 

Nik was previously one of our very own and, since then, has been our go-to person whenever someone at Speedinvest had a question about 3D tech. Mirko is an absolute expert when it comes to visual computing with previous experience at BCG.

Before founding Colorful, they both experienced the pain of creating product photos themselves while running an e-commerce store. Looking for alternatives, they noticed that larger companies like IKEA, Apple or Tesla are often using 3D renders, but 3D software that was used to create those shots was not easily accessible to most creatives. You needed to overcome a steep learning curve and buy a high-end machine, quite an expense for a single license. 

This is why they created Colorful as a web platform with out-of-the-box cloud rendering, enabling users to get started producing quality 3D images that convert viewers to customers without any burdensome hardware requirements.

If you want to learn more about Colorful: Coloful.app and if you are looking to join them: https://www.colorful.app/careers.


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