Alto-Shaam

Turning Up the Heat to 360°

Alto-Shaam, based in Menomonee Falls, WI, is a recognized leader in the foodservice industry offering commercial cooking systems to companies around the world. Alto-Shaam came to Ascedia in search of an engaging experience that would clearly explain and sell the many features and benefits of the Combitherm Oven. The goal was to showcase the unique quality product construction, how it works, the results it produces, and ultimately position it as a solid business investment for the commercial kitchen. Ascedia produced a video that seamlessly synchronizes with HTML and combines 3D animation with live footage, time-lapse photography and 2D animation. This combination of techniques opened up amazing possibilities to showcase each feature and benefit in the best possible way. By simply scrolling up and down the page, the video in the background scrubs forwards or backwards to the next product feature.

Understanding the Product & the Audience

Effective sales come from a thorough understanding of both the product and the audience. After using the product, reading manuals, studying CAD models and asking engineers and salesmen a whole lot of questions, the Ascedia team gained an intimate knowledge of the inner workings and market advantages of the Combitherm Oven. That knowledge was then applied to user research, which involved competitive analysis, creative analysis, persona creation and user testing. 

Presentation Is Everything

Inspired by Alto-Shaam’s products and armed with research, Ascedia carefully fashioned the key points of the story, script and composition into storyboards. Every angle and shot was mapped out using 3D models, product photos and sketches. The team creatively solved UX challenges to create a unique experience that worked well across different devices, screen sizes and browsers.

Bringing Digital To Life

The lion's share of the Alto-Shaam animation production took place in Blender, an open source 3D application. The geometry was depicted with amazing accuracy and detail by importing the Combitherm Solidworks CAD files and custom modeling everything else to fit. Every part was meticulously shaded and textured to closely match the look and material of the real products, while every hinge and moving piece of the animation was rigged with constraints for accurate, lifelike movement. Smoke, water, particle and physics simulations were set up and tweaked to emulate the inner workings of the product.

Different Methods, A Singular Result

Several of the Combitherm Oven’s features and benefits were better suited to time-lapse photography and video over 3D animation. Ascedia captured various product cycle videos, photography of 3D textures and reference images, and time-lapse photography of food cooking in the oven. With careful planning, the footage was seamlessly composited into the 3D render, bringing together the best of both worlds. After the 3D footage exited our rendering pipeline, the final stage of the video production process involved 2D animation, compositing and color correction. The result was converted for HTML5 video and handed off to our front-end wizards.

Tangible Results

In addition to positive client and user responses to the interactive 360° experience, early analytics reflect impressive user engagement and conversion results.

  • Average session duration increased 142%
  • Bounce rate decreased 64%
  • Conversion goal rate increased 30%  
  • Received a 2015 Communicator Awards - Gold Award of Excellence