Grand Rapids-based X-Rite Inc., a global color science and technology company, today announced the industry’s first immersive Virtual Light Booth, which allows designers, material suppliers, and marketers to accurately and efficiently visualize and compare 3D digital material renderings with physical examples. The side-by-side comparison is done in an environment that controls all parameters influencing the perception of appearance and ensures a new level of consistency between digital prototypes and final physical products, which helps companies reduce approval cycles and accelerate time to market.
“We have incorporated more than 60 years of color and appearance science into our state-of-the-art Virtual Light Booth to provide an immersive and interactive experience that allows users to accurately evaluate material appearance in both a physical and virtual world,” says Dr. Francis Lamy, executive vice president and chief technology officer for X-Rite. “For the first time, VLB allows product teams to compare digital and physical materials under the exact same perceptual conditions – from illumination to contextual to observational factors. With the VLB, design teams can easily vary these conditions to see changes in material performance. As a result, designers can make more informed material selections and reduce approval times and improve product quality.”
VLB combines X-Rite’s SepctraLight QC professional light booth technology with a high-resolution, color-calibrated LCD display and real-time color management engine. A digital material rendering or product simulation is shown on the VLB’s display next to the physical sample, enabling users to view both the virtual and physical samples under controlled daylight conditions in a standardized visual environment.
Lamy adds that there is a growing need for physically precise virtual designs, especially as companies transition to digital manufacturing processes. Computer Automated Design and rendering software solutions currently have limited ability to visualize physical appearance characteristics such as texture, gloss, transparency, and opacity, while VLB makes it possible to capture and verify the true appearance of material in a digital environment.
“We have taken the complex process of virtual evaluation and developed a turnkey solution that can be used across any design-to-production workflow. Customers do not need to worry about color calibration, lighting or viewing angles. We have incorporated all of this into the new VLB so that customers can quickly and accurately evaluate virtual and physical materials,” he says.