Gaming Technologies and PLM: Part 4

By Virgile
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Hello,

In the last few posts, I’ve been exploring the parallel between gaming technologies and PLM, including a few examples, especially from the automotive industry.

However, I thought it would make sense to show an interesting bridge between PLM and gaming technologies, through a more concrete example: Peugeot Citroën has been using 3DVIA Virtools for many years, as well as other traditional Dassault Systemes PLM software.

On the following PSA Peugeot Citroën link, you can see a video showing some of their usage of real time 3D, for design reviews and product experiences.

Quite a few other leading automotive OEMs use Virtools for the same purpose, including a European company; the one I’m thinking of isn’t willing to share all what they’re doing with the market though, as they consider it gives them a technological advantage over the competition.

Thanks for your attention! Next post will be made live from the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco (March 23-27, 2009), where 3DVIA will have a major presence and make some announcements.

In case you missed my previous posts, here are the links:

From Building Products to Experiences: Can Gaming Technologies Help? Part 1

Gaming Technologies & PLM? Part 2

Gaming and PLM facing similar challenges? Part 3

Thanks!

Virgile

Gaming and PLM facing similar challenges? Part 3

By Virgile
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One of the challenges faced by both worlds is to be able to prototype and iterate on ideas pretty fast. This requires to adapt to new techniques and new tools.

  • On the one hand, video game developers are able to build amazing interactive 3D games on consumer devices. You look at some of these games and think: wow, these guys are super sharp in building both technologies (if they use middleware, they’ll usually say they re-wrote everything anyway) and beautiful art and gameplay. Yet, they widely suffer during the production process, spend millions of dollars to get to the level they targeted, and usually struggle to generate new intellectual properties and kill game projects before it’s too late.

  • On the other hand, PLM actors master designing products virtually and create “interactive reviews”, with a whole bunch of software technologies with high-class, real-time rendering features like RTT and Opticore, or sometimes 3DVIA Virtools. These industrials have for the most part clearly understood the value of creating virtual design first. However, only a few other them, as far as I know, have moved to the next wave: making a much more interactive review, involving many kind of experiences. They clearly have to move forward in order to extend the research field.

Using the same techniques and/or technologies?

You got my point, now please take a look at what my friend Martijn Steinrucken, concept designer at Electronic Arts said a few months ago at the Dassault Systemes Developer Conference (DevCon).

Part 1 is about the history of video games and where we are now. For those who are already familiar with this industry, I suggest to fast forward to the end segment or directly to the second video;

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Part 2 is about a key pain chain of the video game industry: how to convince people about your ideas and projects.

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So, does this ring a bell? If you get rid of the fancy looks of the characters involved in the presentation, I guess this translates well to PLM issues.

P.S. If you missed the beginning of my Gaming-PLM series, here are my previous posts:

From Building Products to Experiences: Can Gaming Technologies Help? Part 1

Gaming Technologies & PLM? Part 2

Building the Design Foundation: Pillar 3

By Kate
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The DS Design Studio is not just about Design Image and Design R&D Solutions. While we’ve talked about Design DNA within Dassault Systèmes, and the 3D software design solution for the design community, DS Design Studio’s activity is wide enough to require two additional foundational pillars.

Pillar 3: Design Experience:

For a product’s design to be fully understood and intelligently modified, it’s helpful to place it in its real context, even at the embryonic stage. By starting your product design in 3D and placing it into a 3D environment (including, virtually of course, the objects, architectures, ergonomics, and people that will be using the product), designers can get a sense early-on of what works and doesn’t.

As I mentioned in the DS Design Studio mission post, the philosophy of design experience is about “usage scenarios, or human needs and desires, and spirals to creative problem solving, the design of products, products within our environment, environments composing our experiences, and our experiences within our real lives.”

We see a lot of architecture designers placing their buildings in 3D contexts representing the neighborhoods, towns, or natural environments that will serve as home-sweet-home to the structures themselves. And inversely, they’re filling the interior of these structures with 3D representations of the objects, decoration and people that will fill them. The Weburbanist blog features some gorgeous and thought provoking examples of these in its 3D Farm Tower post.

DS Design Studio promotes the usage of 3D environments, objects and scenarios as a powerful Design Experience context for design reviews. The idea is to create a lifelike experience environment for the products under design.

From 3dvia.com, designers can download thousands of 3D objects to mix into their Design Experience scenarios. For example, today I looked under “furniture,” and there are 391models showing. Eventually these 3D objects will become “smart,” meaning they’ll include behaviors that will allow you to set them into action within your Design Experience scenario.

Tools that designers can use to create various environments for their beloved products-under-design include 3DVIA Virtools, a solution used by the gaming community but also more and more by industrials, and 3DVIA Shape (similar to Google Sketch-up). We can even imagine that more and more design reviews will take place in immersive VR caves where designers and clients can really participate in the virtual design scenarios and “test” the products. I’ve read that Jaguar is already doing this.

VR caves are amazing and I can’t wait to try the new one at DS Campus, but there’s an alternative to “entering the matrix” that provides some exciting design review possibilities. Now you can run, jump and roll around in 3D virtual worlds– literally. Sound spacey? You can catch a glimpse of how in the below video.

Here’s a closer look at the VR backpack you saw in the video:

Design experiencers simply put on the VR backpack (& viewer), step into the dark star/hamster cage, and then can begin travelling in a 3DVIA Virtools powered world. And guess who designed the VR backpack?

Best,

Kate



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