No, real-time 3D is not a video. They are very different

We all stumbled upon that animated 3D model on a website and though well that is some interesting video. However, the truth is far from that. Real-time 3D is not a video. These models are what we call real-time 3D, an example of what a digital transformation represents which is strikingly different from the digitization of reality through text, images, and even videos. (check out our article “An image on a tablet is not Digital Transformation, nor innovation.” to know more about this subject)  

Have you ever tried to decipher a 2D illustration of a 3D product and failed miserably at it? That’s understandable since it is challenging to try and understand representations of what reality is in a two-dimensional format that strips the product from the details that matter.  

Real-time 3D solves that problem. It allows the viewer not only to visualize but to also interact with the product that is moving in real-time. 

What is real-time 3D? And How does it work? 

3D is captured and reconstructed from the real world in real-time by a process in which animations and images are rendered as quickly as possible that they appear in the exact time you are interacting with them. 

If you are used to playing or watching video games then you have experienced real-time rendering before. According to Unity, 3D images are calculated at a very high speed which is usually 24 frames/sec which is the minimum to trick the human eye and create the illusion of movement appearing as close to reality as possible 

Real-time 3D is dynamically updated in every frame which finishes processing before the next frame arrives and then expires. 

How is it different from normal videos?  

Real-time rendering and videos can be similar since they both use light to create images. However, when it comes to how they are created and the experience they offer, they are widely different. That is real-time 3D is not a video

Videos are an example of digitization which is the process of converting information from a physical format to a digital one. Videos are obtained by converting reality into a digital representation to be used by computer systems.  

They are created using compression technologies. From converting images into digital data and compressing it to its smallest file size to then decompressing it to get a presentation of that data in the form of a video. 

What is the value-added of Real-time 3D? 

Real-time 3D is very interactive and immersive. It embodies the human communication that we at Onboard aim to empower. Aside from viewing the scene in every angle possible it also allows you to dive deeper into it by zooming in on every detail.  

As a matter of fact, if you are an investor or a designer this allows you to know whether you’ve made a mistake in your design or not, what is needed to fix it, and where exactly. It facilitates the decision of a consumer to buy a product or not since you can view it from multiple angles which helps discover and understand if it is the right choice for you. 

Here an example of a real-time 3D. You can go ahead and discover it. 

Videos on the other hand offer a limited experience.  The only use you have of a video is to watch it at the static angle that the person recording chose and the best you can do to interact with it is press the play button 

Here is a short video of the same example shown above  

As you can remark with this format you cannot change the view either zoom in or out. You are able to only experience what the person who created the video wanted you to see

What industries can benefit from it? 

Aside from the video gaming industry that heavily uses real-time 3D, this technique is gaining popularity and is being implemented in other areas.  

Interactive 3D is a form of digital transformation that can revolutionize businesses on an immense scale.  

We at onboard for example are utilizing it to create intelligent 3D manuals. Our goal is to ensure that the inventors of a product are able to communicate their ideas to their users in the most humane way possible. 

The automotive industry can gain a lot using real-time 3D. Who wouldn’t want to peek inside their dream car and observe how they can handle it? 

This technique can make buying a new car at a next-level experience. Not just car purchasing, a house can also be immersive and as human as possible. Thus, the real estate industry is an ultimate beneficiary as well.  

Interior design and design, in general, will also be transformed using real-time 3D. The designer can view his work, move furniture around, and anticipate how the room will look like without the burden of lifting heavy products. 

To sum up, real-time 3D and videos cannot be put under the same umbrella. One is a digital transformation and the other is a form of digitization. Real-time 3D provides an exciting user experience. It is immersive, interactive, intelligent, and most importantly humanly   

Two colleagues at a factory

An image on a tablet isn’t Digital Transformation, nor innovation.

Creating a connected industry is the main promise of the fourth industrial revolution. Its goal is to apply digital transformation to the entire industry supply chain. However, applying this will push the manufacturers to get out of their comfort zones of predefined “successful” processes to be able to adapt to the market since these processes are becoming more and more complex for their frontline workers, who are still unfamiliar with these new technologies, and thus afraid of it.
Lots of concerns are rising with this sped up change, so the question becomes:

how do we innovate and leave humans at the center?


Humans are visual learners by nature, our first experience and discovery of our surroundings are through 3D (physical hand interactions). Images and text are only means of communication humans use to interact with each other. They abstract the true nature of things and sometimes even distort it. For example, manuals who are aimed to help end up confusing even more and lead to a 70% churn rate. They even tend to cause serious injuries especially when a user is using the product for the first time.

At Onboard, we aim to empower inventors and users to communicate humanly. Inventors who are engineers or product designers should be able to communicate their ideas. These ideas are to be understood by the users, the operators, and the customers in the most humane way possible, 3D.

How this digital transformation can benefit the industry?

Digital Transformation

3D brings the flat ideas of 2D to life which automatically improves the overall performance of the industry. According to The Global Digital Transformation Survey Report 2020, 75% of the responders thought that digital transformation has a positive outcome on their business. 3D manuals help identify problems earlier and pinpoint what exactly customers are struggling to understand. This saves the company millions of dollars by fixing what is confusing to customers as soon as possible. Thus, no money nor time is lost on long exhausting training sessions since the manuals are already interactive and immersive enough.

What is the added value of “truly” digitizing manuals and documents for consumers

Making a 3D manual for each product or process will help greatly the person executing. Indeed, it is easier to see the different parts, to know how to use it, and what to do exactly. It saves valuable hours by reducing the time spent trying to decipher the so-called digitally transformed 2D image displayed on a tablet. More engagement and better user experience are guaranteed since 3D helps match the reality of the consumer.

These manuals and documents are also accessible via an application or a web platform. This enables users to see the different components and follow the instructions allowing them to carry out their work efficiently. They can even streamline exchanges in real-time via augmented reality.

In conclusion, capturing reality on an image or a video is not a digital transformation that is merely creating a digital representation fixed in time. However, using 3D as visual communication is, when coupled with the power of the cloud. Having you onboard with us ensures that you will digitize your user manuals the right way. Most importantly, you’ll provide your customers with the best user experience, all whilst learning from them.

Digital Transformation

Photos created by freepik – https://www.freepik.com/