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Whether you’re converting dozens or thousands of products into digital assets, you will need a digital asset management (DAM) platform. Once the batches of 3D models are created, a digital library is essential for storing, organizing, managing, and distributing your files efficiently and safely. 

The ARsenal engine includes a world-class DAM platform in addition to content production, QA and a free embeddable toolkit, making it a one-stop vault for all of your digital content needs.

Before jumping into this step-by-step guide, let’s start with a quick recap on what a digital asset is and why customers choose the ARsenal engine. Then we’ll see how to use the platform, from requesting 3D models to converting at scale.

What is a Digital Asset?

It might surprise you, but a 3D model is rarely delivered as a single digital file. Usually, a number of files are created when a product is converted into 3D - and those files are referred to as digital assets. Since a digital asset is really any type of media that exists in a digital format, everything from images to videos, technical files, spreadsheets, and most forms of media are considered digital assets today.

When requesting a 3D model of a product, you will always need to provide some product information for the 3D designer to do their work. In addition to the required reference images, it can also include accompanying technical CAD files or other file format blueprints. 

If that’s getting a little too technical, don’t worry, you really don’t need to be a 3D expert to work with 3D. All you need to remember is that it will likely involve an expanding set of digital assets, making their management and organization a priority. 

Why Customers Choose ARsenal

Two major reasons differentiate ARsenal from other 3D platform providers. First, the ability to handle any project at scale because we don’t rely on a limited team of designers. Our capacity is highly flexible and responsive so that when you request models, each request goes out to an extensive network of designers. This helps to ensure there are no projects too big or small for us to handle. 

Second, the ARsenal engine is a complete one-stop-shop for eCommerce customers making the switch to 3D. In addition to our bespoke solutions, ARsenal also includes a platform where customers can request models, conduct QA, and manage their digital assets. Some additional benefits include: 

  • Full control over permission settings
  • Access any time, from anywhere
  • Save time searching for files with advanced search capabilities
  • Track performance with analytics, and more

Now that you know a little more about ARsenal, let’s take a look at how to get started.

How to Request and Approve Your 3D models

Your customer journey starts with your very first model. When ready to place an order, you will follow these steps:

  1. Log into your ARsenal account 
  2. Hover over the ‘New’ button in the top right corner
  3. Select ‘3D Modeling Request
  4. Choose the use case: low or high poly 
  5. Upload reference files (images of product)

Although the steps are pretty straightforward, getting acquainted with any new platform can feel a little daunting at the very beginning. So let’s slow it down and dig a little deeper into step 4, which asks us to choose between one of two use cases. Why? 

Different use cases have different modeling requirements. In order to get an accurate quote, our designers first need to know what type of model you want. And broadly speaking, there are two main types: low and high poly

Select low-poly if you want to use your model in real-time applications like viewers and augmented reality. Choose high-poly for photorealistic lifestyle scenes, silo shots, and HD 360 product rotations. 

In step 5 you are given two options: add requests one by one or in bulk. We recommend starting with one by one to first get acquainted with the process before sending off bulk requests like a pro! 

This step is also one of the most important, as the quality of your 3D model depends a lot on the quality of the reference information you provide. For more detailed information on how to upload bulk files, see How to Use CGTrader ARsenal 3D Modeling Request Importer.

Once all the reference information is submitted, your order will appear under the ‘Orders’ tab in the left-hand side menu until a price quote is ready. After the quote is accepted, modeling will begin, and the progress can be tracked under the ‘Groups’ tab until finished and ready for QA.

How to Conduct Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance (QA) is an essential part of the modeling process in order to make absolutely sure that the model accurately represents the object and that the customer is fully satisfied. 

All finished models are first reviewed internally by our expert QA team, where they may undergo some rounds of editing to make sure everything is up to scratch. After the internal QA approves the model, it is then passed to the customer to do the final QA check. 

The QA process is simple, allowing you to mark any issues directly onto the image and add any feedback for the designer. Once QA is complete, the finished product will appear under ‘My Products’, where you’ll also see filtering options to assist in viewing your product catalog.

Keeping your Files Secure

ARsenal comes with all the tools needed to keep your business safe. In the permission settings, you can control how and who interacts with your content, as well as limit specific digital assets to certain people.

In an increasingly globalized, remote-working world, the ability to adjust and control user permissions is crucial for safety and seamless interoperability. 

There are 4 permission settings:

  • Admin: Full rights over settings and control over using the platform
  • Internal QA: Someone from ARsenal, can only mark changes and interact with designers
  • External QA: Someone from your team, with the same restrictions as above
  • Observer: Read-only, cannot request models or take actions within the platform

Analysis of Your 3D Models Performance

Our platform also comes with practical, built-in analytics to provide valuable insights on your digital assets and how they are being used. To access your analytics data, go to ‘My Products’ →  ‘My Statistics’ to see tracking results from embed codes that are hosted on our site. 

Every customer receives 10,000 views/month for free, reducing the cost of getting started, and above that, customers can choose to go onto a paid plan or host the views on their end instead. 

But what is a view? A view is only when a person interacts with the model by pressing the play button and is not counted in preview mode.

5 Top Tips for Storing Your Assets

The golden rule for storing your company’s digital assets is to always keep them in one place. This will avoid lost time searching for files, version control issues and duplicates, access problems, and other avoidable headaches. ARsenal customers get 20GB of free storage so they’re able to see the value before upgrading to a paid plan. 

The second tip is to keep your files clean and updated. When uploading your CSV files and folders, it’s recommended to complete all the information as best as possible. This includes adding the correct SKU, search tags, etc. 

Third, for every high-poly 3D model that we create, customers can also find a sequence of renders that are made for the 360 viewer but can also be used for product silo shots. 

Fourth, remember how we asked you to define the use case at the start? Now that your model is ready, ARsenal makes it easy to create interactive 3D visuals using our ‘New Embed’ link. And here’s another how-to guide to walk you through using this feature. 

Fifth, we recommend first-time users to contact their Key Account Manager for a quick first-time demo before going solo. And that’s just because we want to make sure that you understand which files need to be selected for which use cases, and be there to answer any questions along the way. 

Coming Soon to ARsenal!

As the world’s leading scalable 3D content production engine, ARsenal caters to a wide range of customers across various verticals. And our platform was designed to do all of the above. However, like any tech company, we’re working on a pretty exciting roadmap that will deliver continued improvements to your customer experience.

A sneak peek of our top 3 initiatives coming soon:

  • AI and automation of manual steps, including product web scraping and more!
  • Ecommerce integrations will make using viewers and AR even more seamless. 
  • Better overall user experience to support our self-service customers. We got your feedback, and we want you to know that we’re listening.

Schedule a free demo with ARsenal today to learn more.

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Step-by-Step Guide to ARsenal’s Platform for 3D Asset Production

Paweł Nikiel is a 3D Software Engineering Lead at CGTrader. He brings over a decade of experience in the 3D tech industry, from developing VR & AR startups to building automated, corporate-level CGI pipelines. He's also a contributor to Khronos Group 3D Formats and 3D Commerce working groups. In his spare time, Paweł is an avid skier, hiker, and video games enthusiast.

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