“Due to challenging economic shifts, it is with deep regret and a heavy heart that we have come to the difficult decision to wind down the Aperture Platform and services.”
That is the beginning of the statement from the team over at Outward as they have come to the difficult decision to shut down the Aperture Platform.
For Aperture Platform users, this news has come as a shock –– suddenly, a solution they’ve come to learn and understand, something part of their day-to-day processes is no more. But as with any evolutionary technology, some things are only here to serve us for the short-term, while more complex structures and systems are being built for the long-term.
That is why we see the closure of Aperture as a leading indicator that industry, and the need for 3D product visualization is evolving, it’s adapting into a new phase, whether we know it or not.
Get the latest updates straight to your inbox.
By clicking Sign up you'll receive occasional emails from Live Furnish. You always have the choice to unsubscribe within every email you receive.
The Future Of Visual Content Creation
Visual content creation has traditionally required the use of studio photography, complex design programs, and/or outsourcing in order to create branded content online. Aperture brought studio photography into the hands of retailers and manufacturers with its in-house studio alternative that included pre-set 3D templates for creating professional imagery. But successful visual content is now shifting away from traditional photography although, and putting 3D at the core of all visual content strategy. So, what does a complete solution look like for visual content creation today?
A Fully Digital Solution
We know that it’s difficult to understand the concept of putting physical products into fully digital environments, but there are a number of very good reasons why going fully digital is the only way forward.
1. Sustainability: Carbon emissions, reduction of waste, a more environmentally friendly alternative is the key to how we must do business, and will continue to do business in the future if we want a planet to live on. Fully digital solutions are the only way forward, and technologies that reduce waste from samples and physical prototypes are integral to visual content creation for organization across all verticals.
2. Ease of Use: Setting up a physical studio space, staging your products, lighting and more is incredibly time consuming and frustrating. The option to do all this and more, all within a digital environment, makes it possible to design product imagery exactly how you envision it without compromising on what you can create. Your only limitation is your imagination with a fully digital solution.
3. Lower Costs: The option to use 3D prototyping, models and renderings rather than designing physical prototypes, samples, and in-person photography reduces spend on production and resources dramatically. At the same time, visual content created in a digital environment actually performs better than traditional photography, and not only lower costs, but increases profitability.
These are just a few of the reasons why going fully digital is a must for visual content creation.
Self-Serve / On-Demand
Outsourcing anything comes at a price, and when it comes to visual content for something as unique as your brand, it can get complicated. A self-serve solution allows you to control the output without leaving it in the hands of external contributors to achieve the end result. Our customers have often expressed that the amount of revisions and time spent communicating how they want their visual content to look is a huge point of friction and the time wasted is never worth the outcome.
Self-service tools give you the autonomy and usability to create visual content at your leisure, experiment with colors, scenes, lighting and more, without having to ask someone to do it for you and waiting for a change to be made. The ability to see changes as you go makes this style of content creation a completely on-demand solution.
Customizable / Flexible
As with any limitations in the physical world, or with pre-set digital templates, there are issues with how much you can customize your visual content. When you are creating product content for your brand, you want it to be unique to your brand, not to you and also your competitors. The ability to truly customize all facets of the content you create is paramount to differentiating your products from your competitors, while also staying true to your brand image and to the buyers you want to attract.
For example, in Live Furnish, one template might look rustic farmhouse at first glance, but can easily be customized for a more modern look and feel in just a few clicks.
Scalable / Shareable
Consumers want content consistently, and the ability to create visual content at scale without requiring an in-house team of photographers, a studio space, and expensive and complicated design programs is a must. By incorporating a self-service tool that allows multiple members of your team to create, without any design, photography or 3D skills is wildly beneficial to how much visual content you can ultimately create.
These tools should also fuel collaboration and creativity across your organization. Not only should you be able to create content quickly, you should be able to get content approved instantly –– effectively removing the red tape that many manufacturers and retailers deal with on a daily basis.
This is what true content scalability requires.
The future of visual content is immersive experiences. By leveraging a fully digital solution, where all your products live in 3D, creates an opportunity for your organization to create shoppable experiences completely unique to your brand. It offers direct access to your products, allows for highly sophisticated product visualization –– done remotely –– ultimately increasing buyer confidence, generating more sales, and reducing product returns.
The future of visual content creation goes beyond static imagery and video, it’s the ability to create branded experiences that can evolve alongside your product catalog. It brings customers into a completely unique world or “metaverse” that can capture their attention and even gamify their shopping experiences.
What's Next For Visual Content Creation?
Although the Aperture Platform served customers well for the past decade, eCommerce is evolving, consumer behaviors are shifting and it’s time to step into a new era of visual content creation. If you aren’t considering a digital-first self-service solution, you may find your organization falling behind. Forward thinking leaders recognize that creating visual content at scale with 3D, is not just for today but for the long run.
If you’re looking for a self-service visual content creation solution that checks all the boxes above, you can book a demo with our team or try it free for yourself now.