At Maestro, we’re fascinated by making what our clients imagine become reality, and one of the most powerful tools we can leverage to make that happen is 3D animation. Each different type of 3D animation is capable of being used to create amazing training materials and sales collateral that are not only visually impressive, but more informative and impactful than alternative media options. 

Let’s review why 3D animation is such a great training and sales tool and look at some examples of how passive 3D, interactive 3D, and immersive 3D are used in training and sales collateral.

Why should I use 3D animation?

You may wonder why you should use 3D animation when 2D images and drawings have worked well enough so far. To start, well-crafted 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. 3D animation elevates content in a more comprehensive and advanced way than photography.

We’ve noticed when talking with our partners before a project starts that many of them are unsure of when they should use 3D animation—some jump too quickly at the opportunity, while others are reluctant to go that direction. But the common denominator is that they simply don’t know what kind of 3D animation is best for their particular needs, timeline, scope, and budget.

How is 3D animation used in training and sales?

Passive 3D is used in film and video

Passive 3D is the most accessible form of 3D animation and can be used in a variety of ways for training and sales—on its own, in an app, or as part of a motion graphics video. Watching a 3D video is an effective option for learning new material, and users can pause the video at any time to stop and absorb information, take a quiz or learning check, or start over if they need to spend more time with the material.

With 3D video, it’s also possible to make it interactive to increase its versatility. This can be done by taking the sequence of images and importing them into the native code in order to create a slider or drag/zoom interaction. This gives users the illusion of interactive 3D at a fraction of the cost of using a gaming engine like Unity or Unreal.

Passive 3D animation is best used for:

  • New product launches, especially as a tool to hype up your sales force
  • Explaining complex products in detail, highlighting unique processes, or showing an “under the hood” view of interactions or processes that aren’t easily visible
  • Creating a “WOW” piece to show potential clients while making product differentiators extremely clear

Interactive 3D is used in video games and augmented reality

Interactive 3D is the type of 3D animation used to create video games and augmented reality (AR) experiences. What makes interactive 3D so revolutionary is the first-person interactivity that it brings to the sales and training spaces—it puts the user in control and allows them to personalize the pace of the experience. One way you can incorporate interactive 3D into training and sales experiences is to create “tours.”

A “tour” could be a walkthrough of a new product that the user is getting to know or selling to a client, or it could be a literal tour of a physical space—such as a retail store, hospital, or even a cruise ship or resort—where the user does their job. In either case, the virtual environment is open, meaning the user can explore it as they wish, at their own pace.

Interactive 3D is best used for:

  • Environmental simulations that allow users to interact with the space in which they’ll be doing their jobs
  • Product simulations where users perform a task with a product
  • Detailed product animations that let users manipulate the view

Immersive 3D is used in virtual reality and mixed reality

There is a great amount of potential for using immersive 3D—namely, virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR)—in training and sales. With the advancements in medical tech alone, it’s easy to see the tremendous impact that VR and MR are going to have on every person across industries.

With training, we’re always trying to make the learning environment as close to real as possible, and VR and MR are perfect for this. Can you imagine performing a complex surgery—or more simply, even fixing a car—and getting step-by-step assistance from your glasses?

Professionals in all industries, ranging from mechanics to surgeons, are already starting to benefit from VR and MR, and the military has been actively exploring the use of VR in training for years now, using it for everything from flight and battlefield simulations to medical training.

Immersive 3D is best used for:

  • Detailed and action-oriented simulations
  • Complex informational training
  • Training customers on how to use a product

The limitless possibilities of 3D animation

The possibilities that exist for using all types of 3D animation are nearly limitless. But as much as we love 3D animation, we encourage our clients to explore other options before jumping straight to this solution. That’s not to say that 3D animation won’t be the best way to approach a given goal, but there are often other options that could be more beneficial to a situation or a better use of time and budget. However, the return on 3D animation is often tremendous.

Feel like you’re missing out on the 3D animation train after reading this?

We can help evaluate your training to see if 3D animation is what will take your training from good to great.

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