3D Models for Augmented Reality – The Five Ws

Posted on November 24th, 2017

“We’re here! It’s fantastic!” he excitedly yelled, as he barged into the CEO’s office.

Tom, the CTO of e-Commerce company Furniture Inc., had been fighting for Augmented Reality to be their next strategic focus and now the application is ready to be launched. “We are ready to launch our Augmented Reality application, I understand. When will we see the first results?” The CEO said, with a smile on his face. “Well, uhm, see… The app can be launched right now, but we can only offer the 6 products used in testing. We are lacking the 3D models of our other billion products… It’s a costly effort but I have it kind of figured out!”

What are 3D models and why is it costly?

Augmented Reality technology requires images to be in 3D, allowing you to “walk around” the object or to have it interact with the items in the real world. This means the image or “3D Model” has properties associated to it other than the image itself. For example, when placing furniture in your living room through an AR app, the properties must include dimensions such as length, width and height. They are also different from typical CGI work as, for example, you need to consider the effect lighting will have in an unknown area.

Having said that, with these few pointers I’m sure we will make it work :

  • For early stages; start with the right product lines considering ROI and the value in using AR for this product
  • Quality Assurance (testing & guidelines for example) is ke
  • Creation is a time consuming effort, sourcing is a great option

Where will this impact my business?

Guess what? The models you’ve created for your AR App are reusable. CGI is quickly revolutionizing the e-commerce market eliminating the need for a showroom/photo studio. The models created can be placed directly in your favorite scene. Considering entering the Virtual Reality arena? Same models can be used!

When should we start creating the models?

Currently, there is a resource crunch on the creation of 3D models. It’s tough to find qualified artists and interior specialists who can deliver the huge quantity required. It is important to find a strong (set of) partners who can consistently deliver the right quality and quantity of your 3D models. Take into consideration that you need time to find the proper guidelines that work for you, so build some experience early. Send me a PM if you need help with the guidelines, we have a secret formula.

Who is budgeting for this?

CMO gets a new funky feature to promote and gets to save massively on photoshoot activities CTO will probably be the owner of the technology AR is impacting the top line, CEO will hear you.

Why choose a partner that has experience with Augmented Reality?

Quality of models.

Quality of models is main criteria while developing models. If the 3D model quality is insufficient then visualization becomes too tough and conversion suffers.

Optimization of Models

Loading time of models in AR app is equally important. Every millisecond counts so you can’t have a model, which is heavy in size and not optimized for AR app.


Whether it is pilot project or full scale to test or provide Customer Experience of Augmented Reality, your partner(s) will need to be able to deliver the quantity required.

AR Knowledge

There are no common standards to create models for AR application so far. AR Knowledge is an additional advantage that can give an edge in developing models. AR knowledge helps to create right optimized models with right set of textures and maps for the AR App.

Cost Effectiveness

Creation of models is an intensive job where quality checks regularly need changes, especially as requirements are still changing in this space. Creating a model can take anywhere between 3-24 hours from creation > live so bring down your hourly cost without impacting quality.