We are excited to finally release Colorful, a browser-based tool that lets you create real photography in a browser.
Colorful photos are created in a 3D scene with software only. We have created a creative tool that allows everybody to create real photos, in a browser, based on a 3D scene without the need of special/high-performance hardware.
If you are not sure what this means, imagine you are in a computer game but your goal is to take a beautiful photo of your game. The photo taken in the game is indistinguishable from a photo taken in the “real world”.
...and companies like IKEA, Apple or Mercedes agree. Here is why:
Photo-shootings are hard, everything needs to work at the right moment, with no undo or edit button.
For a photoshooting you might need a venue, rent equipment, hire a photographer, prep the set for perfect lightening, buy props and more. Since everything is happening in a few hours, all the stakeholders that that have say in the final results will be present. A process like this is obviously not only very expensive, but also nerve racking.
Virtual photography can change this. Imagine working on a photoshooting like you would work on a Google Doc with your team.
We wanted Colorful to work for anyone on any browser. 3D rendering software uses large datasets and is one of the most computationally expensive tasks. To make Colorful we had to reimagine the current state of 3D software. We split all actions in two. A performant preview and a high-quality render action. The preview action, runs locally on the browser and assures immediate feedback, while the render action does the same on a server focused generating a photo preview.
There are 3 components to this idea
The availability of cloud computing enabled companies like Uber and Netflix to scale their operations quickly and globally. We are using cloud computing to remove barriers.
At Colorful we are offloading computationally expensive tasks to the cloud. Removing hardware requirements for designers and allowing cross platform collaboration.
Working with 3D renderings demands special hardware. Most artists are using powerful, yet expensive GPU setups in a large desktop PCs. This is needed to quickly iterate on a scene by calculating a preview of the final photo. Moving those operations to cloud computing enables artists to work from anywhere, even MacBooks (or phones in the future 😉). It will also allow lot’s of creatives to try out 3D rendering for themselves.
Since the complex work is done on a server, we can start sharing complete photo studios in simple links.
We think this is changing everything:
In a “real world” setting this wouldn’t be possible and in traditional 3D applications you would move Gigabytes of data through proprietary software setups with costly licenses.
Figma taught us that half of the creative process is removing barriers. Involving more stakeholders at the point of creation is powerful and eventually leads to a better outcome. At Colorful we believe it’s vital to facilitate critical communication right where the design is made.
In the next months we will role out more and more collaboration features that help teams to work together on a single project, both in real-time and asynchronously.
In summary, our master plan is:
If you're as excited as we are, consider joining us.