We propose you a making of of these collaborative real-time 3D wishes that have been designed and realized by ias.agora. Our team developed the project in agile innovation mode. We relied on the most advanced tools in terms of images and digital design. For this, we have been operating since September 2020 in agile sprints by surrounding ourselves with a team of talents on these subjects. An exploratory approach to invent the future of online collaboration, which will be illustrated in a new saga around Innovation and Consumer Centricity Augmented specific to ias.agora.

*Real-time 3D consists in calculating the images of the movie more than 30 times per second. Thus, it allows you to immediately modify the movie according to your votes. To view the movie in real time 3D, we advise you to use the Chrome browser. However, if the firewalls block your access, you will be able to find it again from a video on YouTube.

Experience a magical, inspiring, innovative and fun journey through our real-time 3D collaborative greetings*! … A new territory of exclusive collaboration to arouse emotions and commitments.

A unique approach in the collaborative universe: your vote, as well as that of all those who log in at the same time as you, can infinitely modify the behavior of the characters and the unfolding of the story (you can even decide collectively on the weather!).

This collaborative film was developed with the ias.a method ( innovation/agile/sensitive in action).

A method, developed with the ias.agora team, to better collaborate and innovate creatively.

This approach combines the best of Creative Problem Solving (which came out of brainstorming to which many other equally exciting methods and tools were added!), Design Thinking, agile approaches with Scrum-type sprints, revisited for creative and non-developers alike. In addition, everything is interwoven with innovative approaches and tools allowing self-organized teams to define their role, the decision system, and to install a good atmosphere and posture throughout the project.

To put it in simple words, at the beginning, we defined in a structured, precise and visual way what we wanted to do. The project fit into a single slide, with what is called a sprint portfolio. Then we started with a hypothesis. (A hypothesis is what the team is trying to validate to see if it is on the right track). We gave ourselves two weeks to make a simple prototype that we showed and experimented with caring people. These users represented the people who were going to use, discover our greeting card.

Following this experimentation, our hypothesis was validated. If this had not been the case, we could have modified it (or to put it in learned terms, we could have made a pivot!). After that, we started to refine the prototype. The whole team was working together at distance, synchronizing with good tools! And in the end, we got an innovative card, faithful to what the team had imagined. And as it was a great team, very well self-organized, the result is even better than what we had imagined…

I’m going to prepare several posts in this blog, to share the way it happened. Because it’s a very good example of self-learning (with people who were discovering real-time 3D software and who are not coders), agile collaboration, disruption of business models and open innovation.

In fact, in this adventure, it is as much the project as the path that interests the ias.agora team. Because this ecosystem in open source, with marketplaces and talents connected at the planetary level is very inspiring. As a result, it sheds light on the future of collaboration and innovation.

But let’s go back to the beginning of the adventure! Behind this greeting card, there is at the beginning a desire, a challenge in adequacy with our raison d’être.

Challenge (why do we do this!)

In this rather troubled period, ias.agora wanted to spread a positive, enchanting message to its customers for the end of the year in line with its raison d’être: DYNAMIZE THE COLLABORATIVE TO DARE THE EXPECTED.

The answer to the challenge, what we call in our language « the value proposition »!

For this, we had the idea of a short film, interactive idealy, using the visual codes of the ias.agora graphic design code and based on an interpretation of current 2D characters we use in ours presentations. A simple story where the collaborative, the cooperation brings a moment of joyful and unexpected freshness.

The talent, skills and assets that allowed us to do this in 8 weeks with a part time team.

Assets are called tools, packs that can be bought for a few dozen and a maximum of a hundred euros to create the universe.

Real-time 3D is realized under Unreal Engine 4.25, the most powerful with Unity platform for creating real-time 3D content.

The character was created from scratch by Victor Clavelly, a young student who graduated at the top of his class at the Duperré Paris fashion school. With this project, Victor discovered the modeling of characters and clothes intended for real-time 3D, with the specificities that this represents (to put it midly!). Before having a dynamic suit that fits well, Victor struggled to understand the logic, not always logical, of the soft with Zbrush, Blender and Marvellous (3D creation software).

The decor is based on the asset of the awning « Stylized Colorful Forest Camp Pack » that we twisted with Elliot Bidoire young talent in charge of the light and the map (the decor). Elliot reviewed the lights and colors of the whole project to match those of ia.sagora.

The original drawing of the character was created by the delo – two super graphic designers (Delphine and Elodie). They created our graphic charter and very nice characters for us to avoid that our innovation advice reports are too classical. Because yes! Innovation consulting is ias.agora’s core business!

The stylized light and shadows of the character come from the « Cel-Shader & Outline » pack.

The character’s animation has its own intelligence to move, run, jump, shift and even fly… Indeed, he knows how to adapt himself to the field on which he interacts, he avoids obstacles… Magic ! Thanks to the great work of the « ALS V4 » pack created and improved for years mainly by Caleb Longmire. The latter passed the project on to his community to integrate the Unreal Engine 5 team – the community that can be found on Discord (the collaborative platform for developers among others…).

— The flight animation, which is sublime, comes from the « Dynamic Flight with Blueprints » asset proposed by the very talented Hammerhead.

The « Advanced Locomotion System V4 » pack for walking, running, climbing…
« Dynamic Flight with Blueprints » pack for flying
What a pleasure to jump, fly, run in the landscape

The little characters that arrive randomly with flowers and other gifts make the main character react in a surprising way… These are animations managed with the Unreal Engine artificial intelligence system that we have set up in this way… But these little guys gave us a lot of trouble! You can see them jostling each other, bumping into each other and even kicking each other’s buttocks which make them jump several meters! Pretty funny, but sometimes they get stuck because they land in a hole or an area that the AI can’t handle… So it took us a lot of patience to make it run 24 hours a day, seven days a week without getting stuck.

The deer and their artificial intelligence system are from the « Animal Behavior Kit Pro » pack. This allows you to put deer and bucks in the scenery and let them walk around as you wish! You can put them in a virtual enclosure, let them move in a group or alone… To make sure that they come back regularly to feed, drink… An enormous potential to discover ! At the beginning, as in many assets, it was planned to be able to hunt the animals, to release big predators in decor. But you understood it, this was not really the spirit of our greeting card.

The animations are mainly taken from Mixamo Adobe website.

The deer and their artificial intelligence system are from « Animal Behavior Kit Pro » pack.

The cascade is based on « Cartoon Water Shader » asset

Pixel Streaming is, in my opinion, an innovation that has great potential. It gives the possibility to interact with this film, this collaborative universe without installing anything on your machine, without needing a very powerful machine! We just need a proper connection! For that, we used the pixel streaming technology proposed by Unreal Engine. And for know-how in terms of real-time 3D hosting, we relied on the team from The Seagull Company in Texas and their Eagle 3D Streaming technology.

The soundtrack is based on the « Footsteps Sound Pack » and fesliyanstudios.

I took on the role of Product/Vision Owner for the project. As the Vision Owner for the project, I was ultimately responsible for making the most appropriate creative and technical decisions to go in the direction of the starting sprints portfolio, the objective and the timing of the sprint. I also had the role of managing the technical assembly of all the assets (with a very visual and for me very intuitive programming language). Finally, I wrote the script for the walk (creation of the questionnaire and camera placement, sequence, distance between the places to be discovered, modulation of the 3D sounds).

The ias.agora team guided us during the experimentation in order not to propose too complex an experiment, and to make sure that our proposal corresponded to the initial objective. In the ias.a method, this is essential. And it allowed us to make a major pivot very quickly to ensure immediate handling by all users. We decided that the interactivity would be done by voting and not by piloting the character as in a video game… Which for a non-player is much too complex… The team knew and managed to bridle the technique to make our customers live a better experience. We thus proposed a real collaborative interactivity!

And also very important, the team was self-taught by relying on many video tutorials. Indeed, some of them are extremely well done, like those of Mathieu Pascal who has been developing for several years an ecosystem of training videos around Unreal Engine that is absolutely remarkable… It’s precise, very educational, very lively. For example, he offers several hundred videos. Many of them are free on his YouTube channel, his CreaJV site and others, for a fee, on tuto.com. In addition, he also hosts a channel on Twitch, as well as a Discord channel, now self-animated by his community! Again a very nice example of a new and inspiring business model. Many thanks to you Mathieu!

And finally, we were able to synchronize with the collaborative platform of the French leader in enterprise social networks and collaboration tools of the publisher Jamespot, with whom ias.agora participates in the development of some apps. It is the suite of applications that meshes an application with an activity flow, a very ergonomic collaborative media management, a visual management of team roles and a kanban-type table to synchronize well. All this is associated with our project management method from ias.agora… And in the current context, all this was done remotely, complemented by the excellent duo Miro (whiteboard) and Zoom that we no longer present.

Highly visual Jamespot workflow for the team to communicate in real time
A visualization of the roles of the self-organized team in the form of a circle
Twice-weekly synchronization focused on tasks and action items during agile sprints

In case of difficulty to view this movie in real time 3D you can find it here.

Version Française ici