MINI Online Configurators


Product configurators play a central role in a modern sales process – whether on-line or in sales talks. They fulfil the customers’ wish to initially design their vehicle virtually and to be able to experience it digitally in their personal configuration.

Task

The product variants of a vehicle can be almost infinite. Intelligent solutions are needed so that all possible combinations can be displayed on-line and visually in high quality. These solutions must be able to respond to high parallel access rates in milliseconds, run efficiently on all devices from the mobile telephone to the desktop computer and incur the lowest possible running costs. In addition to these high requirements, MINI went one step further. The content should be retrievable in a printable quality. This enables the individual international markets to create individualised image content of the vehicles for different purposes of use in a consistent, time- and cost-efficient manner. The aim was to use the configurator to provide worldwide individualised images with a homogeneous visual language for as many communication channels as possible.

Implementation

The 3D data models of the products formed the visual basis of each configurator. They were provided with realistic materials and perfectly placed in the scene with the help of illumination, just like in a real photographic session. Now, however, the production of all possible product variants as full images is simply impossible due to the extremely high number. The solution lies in rendering individual parts and assemblies, which are combined on demand in real time in a final image using a compositing server developed for this purpose. The individual visual components of an image are virtually like pieces of a puzzle and are assembled in milliseconds for the vehicle configuration desired by the customer. This layer-based approach allows fully configurable images of the vehicle exterior and interior by day or night, which can no longer be distinguished from reality.

Result

The MINI Configurator was launched with the introduction of the third MINI vehicle generation. All perspectives, a 360 degree walkaround and detail shots of product highlights are available in 5K resolution, making each of the images printable. On-line, the back-end provides the user with performance-optimised images in HD resolution. Internally, it is possible to access the HighRes data of any possible configuration in country-specific design. Modern, data-based product visualisation in its most beautiful and flexible form.

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