Case Study - Creating a Futuristic 3D Configurator for Old-fashion Handcrafted Production

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Kingsley Footwear has started in 2013 with the making of riding boots, short-boots and sneakers. They produce totally configurable, handmade and made to measure products and wanted the improve dramatically the configuration experience as well as the production process. The Sketchfab Viewer API helped them create a great customer experience. Pierre Herrent, Project Manager at Kingley Footwear, talks about the development of this product.

About the Kingsley Footwear Configurator

Kingsley Footwear wanted to improve the order and production process by moving from the good old fashion paper order process to a fully digital process. As well as differentiate from other brands with a state of the art boot configurator.

A first version was made using Qmaze configurator and the combination of three.js and 3ds Max. The customer’s response was excellent. The whole experience of configuration with the instant visualization of the colors and materials was great. The process was a success and improved in great measure the quality of the product and the production delay.

Moving to the Sketchfab Viewer API

Kingsley Footwear wanted more and the project team went on search for a version 2. This would have to be much lighter to load and allow interactions with the 3D model. This is where we discovered Sketchfab and the ‘Annotations’. We moved also to Blender and made use of modifiers, which decreased the file size dramatically. We were also seduced by how extensive and simple the Sketchfab API is to use and to integrate in our application.

The integration between Sketchfab and Qmaze has been made bi-directional. From Qmaze, the Sketchfab model, materials and camera position is updated. From Sketchfab back to Qmaze clicking the annotation navigates to the correct variables in the Qmaze configurator.

At the same time, the quality of the modelling improved as we were getting more experienced. We proceeded in two steps, first we scanned the models and used this as a basis for the modelling process. Then we started modelling completely by hand with extensive use of modifiers to ensure a small file size in the end, which is critical for us. We had to take new pictures of all leathers as we started using specular, glossiness and normal mapping.

We made a proof of concept, became Sketchfab Pro User and went live with a totally renewed Qmaze configurator.

The Result

The configuration experience is great: you can click on a part of the shoe, with the annotation, this will turn the model and zoom on a part, this will also trigger a menu for this part in the configurator, making it simple, intuitive and dynamic to configure. The reproduction of the materials is superb and gives a real feeling of the product, color and material combination.

Manage expectations… At the end of each configuration, the screenshot function in Sketchfab delivers very realistic views and reduces to almost nothing the risk of misunderstanding with the customer as well as very detailed order for the production. Together with the digital process, the efficiency and quality has been greatly improved.

We had to use Sketchfab’s support and have always received fast and pertinent answers.

About the author

Bart Veldhuizen

Community Lead at Sketchfab. 3D Scanning enthusiast and Blenderhead.

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