Exploring 3D’s latest technology through an immersive virtual gallery

After observing the continuous influence of 3D on digital transformation (and the acquisition of Substance Premier), Adobe launched a campaign around the future of 3D. This was communicated through Taking Shape, an immersive journey through the world of 3D art and design, which celebrates artists and encourages creators to discover Substance’s 3D tools. Adobe partnered with DOGSTUDIO/DEPT® to develop an immersive experience featuring Substance 3D’s software.

The journey into the world of 3D art and design

Through the Taking Shape initiative, Adobe wanted to create an educational space that supports 3D creators, providing them with trends and solutions on how they can best use the software. The Taking Shape initiative is hosted by Jesse Damiani – a writer, curator and producer from Forbes magazine – who takes us through a journey to explore the multi-faceted world of digital 3D art. 

Through the Taking Shape project, Damiani and artists discuss their workflows and how each style captures the current creative trends in our world.

The challenge of 3D experiences 

DOGSTUDIO/DEPT® faced two challenges: 

  • Creating an online world that was both inviting and intriguing. With the resurgence in physical events and exhibitions, the team had to work around a concept that would imitate the art in real life, virtually.
  • The lack of a 3D prototype. Initial concepts were based on 2D designs and were difficult to translate to 3D environments and camera movements.

Inviting users to the gallery

To maintain users’ interests without flooding them with too much information, we decided to replicate a virtual gallery. Throughout the gallery, artists describe the new dimensions they bring to life as their work is reframed in a virtual space. Each style or movement is presented through a web series of 3 curated styles: Photorealism, Surreality and X-topia. These curations ended up as the virtual rooms’ names to help users navigate.

Getting lost within the virtual rooms of 3D art

When entering the site, users are guided through a hallway to the different rooms which can also be accessed through a map, maintaining the visual immersive experience. Each room focuses around an emerging trend, growing movement, or creative approach shaping the field of 3D.

Even though the initial concepts were based on 2D designs, DOGSTUDIO/DEPT®’s creative and 3D design teams saw this as an opportunity to innovate. With close collaboration and frequent feedback from the client, the team built a new concept for each room with a design related to each theme explored. Upon entering the room, users can go through the web series episodes where Damiani walks us through the selected style or movement and how advancements in 3D software help creators of this style. Cursors within the page allow users to navigate through artists whose work represent the selected style. 

As users navigate through the rooms, they can find information about the artists’ styles, techniques and how this software helped them achieve their desired outcome. The gallery and content provided aim to remind users that anyone can produce such models with the help of Substance 3D.

Photorealism highlights the advancements in technology that help make art more realistic – whether the subject is real or imaginary. This room showcases how impactful realistic materials are in the growth of digital art.

The Surreality room reflects surrealism, an older art movement which has paved the way to potential future realities. Damiani describes this concept as a way to “unleash the subconscious mind,” further pushing the boundaries of art through creators’ playful relationship with material and design.

In the X-topia room, artists highlight the infusion of the organic world into digital spaces, reimagining current systems. Artists bring new beings and entities into existence and merge them into ordinary environments through creative practices.

The added bonus

While the virtual gallery had to be the central focus, Adobe wanted to give users a preview of the new assets included within Substance 3D and the team decided that the best way to showcase this was through Adobe’s Mascot MAT figures. In each room, there is a hidden MAT (Material Art Toy) and once all three are found and selected, a reward is unlocked, with users receiving up to a 50% discount on their license, additional assets per month and up to 100GB of storage. 

By maintaining a clean WebGL coding ethic and using a content management system that guaranteed a straightforward process of continuous content entry, the team was able to smoothly adapt to changes and new additions.

The results

  • 13K visitors in the first month of the launch
  • 24 minutes average time spent on the site on day one 
  • 36 weeks to build the platform 
  • 20K+ guests interacted with the launch webinar and social media posts
  • FWA Site Of The Day
  • FWA Site Of The Month
  • Awwwards Developer Awards
  • Awwwards Site Of The Day


CEO / CCO at Dogstudio

Henry Daubrez

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