For the first Arksen 85, the development team created the animations for the boom arms and added a three-state visibility system, while the artists built the coastal scenes. Unity Forma really comes into its own when all the final elements can be manipulated together.
Traditionally, the chief product officer would be directing each of the various developers and artists to polish the final product. This can be a lengthy process of back and forth between team members. However, with Unity Forma, a non-technical specialist can easily adjust cameras, lighting and material variants and test them with ease. This saves a great deal of time and resources internally.
Additionally, the Forma process itself is very efficient, which is essential, as the Arksen model is getting updated continuously. As soon as a new version of the Arksen model is in Unity Forma, it’s possible to update material and visibility variants in a simple drag-and-drop interface using the product configurator.
As the structure of the project is preserved, the existing camera work, animations and environments are retained between product updates. Automation tools such as the product configurators and the material thumbnail generator further speed up this rework. It generates new thumbnails for the Forma user interface in a quick and easy process that saves many hours of work.
Finally, Unity Forma allows all parties – canVERSE, the Arksen team, and Arksen’s client – to try different ideas and spot potential problems in real-time that normally would be found much later. Hence, collaborators are able to build and review together in one cohesive design process.
“Unity Forma lets clients emotionally engage with their Arksen, as they get to see and feel a digital twin of their boat in context, rather than an abstract CAD drawing.”
– Jim Mair, Technical Director, Arksen
So, Unity Forma has not only become a vital sales tool, but also part of the design feedback loop that lets the team rapidly prototype in hours instead of days.