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Is 3D Animation Right for Your Product?


Trade shows are a perfect way to showcase your products in a personal way to a large crowd. Since face-to-face events have been put on pause, many event marketers have switched to a virtual event platform for the interim. Although these online events have many similar features as in-person events, just like with any “new” technology, there is still much to be improved in this digital space. If your business has chosen not to invest in virtual events but are still interested in a digital experience to showcase your products – learn more about 3D animation and if it’s the right platform for you.

Different types of 3D Animations:

  • Interactive is used in gaming and augmented reality. Most users can set the pace and direction of the experience, much like a virtual tour. It can go in many different directions, not just on a linear path, like a training manual. It is most used in environments where the user can go into different rooms, through doors, or up and down stairs. It can also be used in product demos where the client can interact with the product, holding it, taking it apart, putting it back together or using it with other parts.
  • Passive is most commonly used in training videos and sales. It can be used for quizzes where the user can go back to find the correct answer, pause or speed up at their own pace. It can be used in an app, via a link to a site or in a video. Most used in product launches, as a differentiator from a competitive product or to show parts that aren’t typically visible.
  • Immersive is the best medium for complex training like performing surgery. There is Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR), which are both options when you’re talking about Immersive 3D. The military and commercial airline industries have been using augmented reality for years to simulate flights. It was a major segment in the movie, “Sully” showing how the pilot was able to land a commercial flight on the Hudson River in the middle of January, without a single fatality inside or outside the plane. Immersive 3D can also be used with customers to allow engagement with a complex or very expensive product before they make the purchase.

A realistic 3D Animation is much faster and more efficient than texts, images or general videos, so this could be the best solution for you once all of the big questions are answered.

Here are some questions to ask about 3D Animation and if it’s right for your product:

  • What is your budget? It can get costly, especially if you are combining 2D, 3D, video and voiceovers. Be prepared to come to the table with a basic understanding of the costs involved and a realistic budget.
  • What is your key message? Can it be done just as effectively (or better) through another medium?
  • Is there a history of feedback on your product that shows it as cumbersome, or that the user instructions are difficult to follow?
  • Is it imperative that a visual solution be created in order to sell your product properly, when face-to-face selling is out of the question?
  • What is the expected return on your investment? Is it monetary? Is it a better trained sales staff which would lead to less turnover and lower compensation costs? Will it keep end users engaged and loyal to your brand? What is your idea of ROI and will this solution increase it?
  • How long do you expect to use it? If it’s for a one-time event, is it worth the cost (again think ROI)? If it’s going to be used for months or years, can it be updated and edited as product updates are rolled out?
  • Can some of the elements be used in future creations, allowing you to save money by not recreating the wheel?

A few additional thoughts as you go into your discovery meeting:

  • How will it be used? Is it a TV or streaming ad? Is it strictly for internal use or training? Is it a sales tool to be utilized by your sales staff? How long is its life expectancy?
  • What duration of time are you aiming for it to be? Time is money, so the longer the animation, the higher the cost will be.
  • What is the key message? You should have an idea before sitting down with your agency/partner.
  • Be willing to trust the professional you hire to do the job. They may have solutions that will save you money, time or embarrassment.
  • If you don’t know how to ask for what you want, bring some examples of what you’ve seen to the meeting.

These days 3D animations are making it more and more difficult to know what is real and what is computer generated, even when watching a movie. The technology is just that good. 3D animation can take a complicated concept, product, or process and make it easy to understand. It can deconstruct, highlight, slow down, speed up, and pause visuals to make sure a concept is clear. It can break a product down to show how pieces fit together, one piece at a time. It can also show your potential customers that you are engaged in using leading technology and animations to keep your brand top of mind, and you’re willing to go the extra mile to ensure your message is on-target and getting to the right audience.

If you are looking to talk to someone about 3D animation and how to get started, reach out to Skyline Exhibits today and we will get the discovery process started!