INTERVIEW of Benoit Serieyssol, Designer and Associate at Félix & Associés.
1. Why did you subscribe to a Meshroom VR Studio licence ? What is creation value for you ?
We were curious and we received Antoine Doumenc for a presentation of the tool to our team. We were immediately interested in its potential and its applications for our designers activity. So we established a partner relationship as beta testers, so we were among the first professionals to test the solution. The fact of being able to use a software adapted to its needs, and not under the constraints of the publishers is a real benefit: we make evolve the tool, it is built to measure with Meshroom according to our feedbacks. This is exceptional.
2. What could you tell us about the handling and the software interface ?
The tool has two interests: for designers in the conception step and also to involve the client in the project process. Virtual reality is a real complement to the 3D image or the “classic” plan, it promotes the immersion of the customer in the reality of his project (space or product). For us, the handling was very fast, the interface is very simple. The customer must be accompanied for his first time with Meshroom VR. I think for example of the “lasso” which sometimes seems a little confusing for a customer who is not from generation Y or for a client uninitiated. But the handling is still very fast and finally after explanation it is easily mastered. In some cases, we give to the customer only the helmet and keep the joysticks to manipulate in its place, this overcomes this small difficulty.
3. At what step in your creative process is Meshroom VR involved?
There are two uses of Meshroom:
- Between us at the beginning, to have another dimension, to have the shell or the volume.
- With the client during the validation step. Indeed, as soon as we feel that it hangs, that we have a decision that is not effective enough, we use this tool to allow us to validate or make choices with him.
4. Are there VR presentations for each project, to each client?
Not all the time, but more and more. It comes more and more in the process. As soon as you have a customer who hesitate or is reluctant about a project dimension, “putting the head in the helmet” instantly helps to unblock the situation. The customer will immediately give us a constructive answer. Our customers arrive then to express us “yes it is too small or it is too big”. These are very constructive feedback on a scale of dimension.
For example, I had a problem of space perception for a client convinced that the planned meeting room was too small and that therefore wanted to review the entire plan to move it. I brought him from Châteauroux for a work session during which I immersed him in his space with VR. The customer finally realized that the meeting room was big enough. This allowed me to validate the project very quickly and avoided me multiple interactions and productions of 3D or complementary plans to justify this dimensioning.
5. We have heard designers who are afraid to get into this tool because they say they are going to show things to their customers too earlier, they have a fear of showing unsuccessful work. What do you think ?
At Felix, we don’t are afraid at all! We integrated the 3D / VR tool in our creation process. It’s a way to visualize differently for us and for customers. We create 3D sketches, volume models, 3D visuals, and now the Meshroom VR solution is an additional 3D dimension. We do not have this fear, on the contrary, we integrate VR very early in our creative phases, it is a design tool among others that allows us in addition to go faster thanks to the immersion. We always go through the stage of the model in volume, the VR simply allows us to go faster.
6. Have you reduced your model numbers?
No, it’s a complement. Knowing that at the beginning, we mainly thought to use Meshroom VR for the object / product and that we finally realize that it is also used for space design projects. It is sometimes more difficult to model a space than an object, for this reason, it is often very relevant to go through the VR.
7. Did you have a lot of VR demand from your customers ? Is it a differentiating element against competitors ?
I don’t know if it is differentiating against competitors, I can not say it today. But yes we have a lot of customers who are VR viewing seekers.
8. Have you considered leave an headset available in a customer office for let them VR viewing in autonomy ?
Yes, absolutely, we could do it just as we already send PDF files. Tomorrow we could imagine that our customers rent or buy equipment and a Meshroom license as part of our collaborations, which would improve the process on recurring projects.
9. How have you and your customers felt about our “company – start-up” collaboration?
It depends on the size of the companies, but actually some large groups are sometimes a little bit reluctant. We are convinced that collaboration with a start-up like Meshroom is really beneficial for our agency and generator of innovation. We have never seen this as a brake but on the contrary as opportunity. We perceive that as a true partnership. It is interesting for Meshroom to rely on a solid design studio with a large range of business practices and projects to develop a software and an offer tailored to its target. It’s a balanced exchange.
10. Finally, to conclude, and if we want again establish the legitimacy of Meshroom VR in your daily life: if you had to do it again, will you work with Meshroom VR?
Yes ! Today, it is certainly an experience that we would renew. Meshroom VR is part of our computer park, integrated in our process of design and co-creation with our customers.