Project Showroom is a technology preview that establishes a vision for a service for home furnishing suppliers to enable their customers to visualize their products in real-life room settings. The initial emphasis of Project Showroom has been on the rendering. We are looking for a balance between photorealism and rendering time. There is a correlation between how long you wait and how real the picture looks. Right now we think we have images that look fairly real. We bring them to you in about 4 seconds. Like anything in this world, there is always room for improvement. What do you think: [email protected]? You can see Project Showroom for yourself at:
Once we get the rendering where we want it, an area where we will need to turn our attention will be the delivery of a compelling user interface. Our basic framework for the site consists of a scene view and a mini-browser which is a collection of thumbnails:
The mini-browser is broken up into Rooms, Products, and Finishes. For the technology preview right now, we allow you to pick between two Rooms:
You can switch rooms by dragging and dropping the room to the scene view or just by clicking on the thumbnail for the room. The room currently being displayed in the scene view is highlighted with a green border. We hope to add more rooms as the technology preview expands.
Within a room you can select Products.
As was done for Rooms, the products currently in the room are highlighted with a green border. You can drag and drop products to place them in the room or simply click on the thumbnails for them. When a room has more products available than can fit in the mini-browser, you can use the page selector to advance back and forth among the pages. Products are typically appliances or fixtures.
Finishes are handled just like Products. Finishes typically involve flooring, cabinets, counters, and walls.
Finishes currently in the room are highlighted with a green border. You can drag and drop finishes to place them in the room or simply click on their thumbnails. When a room has more finishes available than can fit in the mini-browser, you can use the page selector to advance back and forth among the pages.
When you place your mouse over a room, product, or finish, a tool tip pops up with a brief description:
The blue "I" can be clicked on to expand this information via a pop-up:
Each product or finish has a detailed information page that we will flesh out with information from the manufacturer. Clicking on the "See detailed info" hyperlink brings up this page:
The "more info..." hyperlink navigates you back to the manufacturer's site. "Replace in this scene" is equivalent to dragging and dropping or clicking on the thumbnail. As the name suggests, it places the item in the scene.
In terms of the navigation for the scene view, you can switch camera views using PREVIOUS and NEXT buttons:
The user interface is a work in progress. The goal of Autodesk Labs is to be influenced by consumers like you early in the process. So what tips do you suggest for a user interface? Please let us know what you think: [email protected].
Evolving technology previews right in front of your eyes is alive in the lab.