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Happy new year from us at the E-commerce Content Creation Podcast! Last week we had a clip show episode that focused on some near future state technology that we had the opportunity to explore in 2022. In this episode Daniel is going out on a limb to make some predictions about 2023 on some of those same topics. What could happen this year in generative AI, video production, 3d rendering and other types of 3d content and automation. Let's get out our crystal ball, and see what exciting ways we can be wrong about what’s going to happen in e-commerce creative production in 2023.

Full episode transcript

Daniel Jester:

From Creative Force, I'm Daniel Jester, and this is the E-Commerce Content Creation podcast. Happy New Year from all of us at the E-Commerce Content Creation podcast. Last week we had a clip show episode that focused on some near future state technology that we had the opportunity to explore on this podcast in 2022.

In this episode, I'm going to go out on a limb, I'm going to make some predictions about 2023 on some of those same topics. What could happen this year in generative AI, video production, 3D rendering, and other types of 3D content, as well as automation. Let me get out my crystal ball and see in what new and exciting ways I can probably be wrong about what's going to happen in E-Commerce Creative Production in 2023.

All right, so let's start with what I think, I hope will be an easy one. We're going to start with automation. I think that 2023 is going to be a big year for automation for three main reasons. The first reason is that, it's proven technology. I'm calling this future tech, and really the idea of the future tech is because it just hasn't been super widely adopted in various parts of studios throughout the world. But this is not at all hypothetical. Many studios have used and are using automated imaging devices today. There's only really a couple of things that have gotten in the way of more widespread use, and those things are being addressed.

The biggest issue in the past has been the sort of isolated nature of the automated device. Having been a user of StyleShoots and orbit view devices in the past, one of the challenging things about them, is that they sort of existed outside of the workflows of the rest of the studio, and in order to integrate them, at least three or four years ago, it was sometimes not worth the effort to go through that. This isn't true anymore. This past year, we at Creative Force announced our integration with Orbit View, and that integration is in use at studios today. Shout out to Danny and Polly at Show Labs in Colorado.

This means that studios using Orbit View devices like Show Labs, can manage their automated device workflow as part of their larger production process. One of the other leading automated device makers, Style Shoots, announced some upgrades to its own workflow process to be able to take advantage of integrations and external workflows like post-production as well. These devices are not islands anymore, they can be integrated into the larger production process.

And speaking of Style Shoots, when Pro Photo acquired Style Shoots in the spring of last year, that news got a lot of attention, and I think brought a lot more visibility to Style Shoots and automated devices and workflows at large. Every studio I've ever worked with had some amount of Pro Photo gear. That's a lot of gravity in the industry. And when a company like Pro Photo invests in automation, I think it's probably a pretty safe bet that we'll see more adoption of automated devices in a wider variety of content studios in 2023 and beyond.

Another pretty safe bet is video production at scale. You might be saying to me right now into your headphones, that this is a foregone conclusion. But I think it's worth talking about a little bit. Because the pieces are in place to make video production significantly more scalable than it has been in the past. For example, Creative Forces Cloud Video releases in 2022 meant that Creative Force Studios can manage video production from inception to delivery just like still images. And this solves a pretty significant pain point for many studios, which is simply managing the files and feedback necessary to get a PDP video out the door and onto the website. On top of that, in the past, it's been sometimes considered to costly to produce videos at scale, but customers demand it now more than ever before. TikTok and other video-centric social platforms have dramatically changed the way young consumers shop, it's video across the board for Gen Z, and that means finding ways to make it easier and cheaper to produce is an absolute necessity for brands and retailers in the future.

And we're going to talk about Viral in relationship to video. Viral that we talked about last week in our clip show, this enables much greater insights into, not only how your own videos perform, but how other user videos about your product perform as well. It's a good indicator that video is here to stay when you consider the investments that infrastructure platforms like Viral and Creative Force have made, and that customers are using those tools today. After some fits and starts over the last few years, I think in 2023, video is here to stay.

Speaking of infrastructure, let's talk about 3D. The possible applications of 3D in e-commerce are vast, and we have a tendency to focus sometimes on the consumer facing applications. But as we learn from Ben Conway at Ventana, there are many, many applications of 3D that any brand could make good use of before a customer has ever even seen the product. We're talking about 3D now, but it's worth taking a minute to talk about collaboration tools. In the post COVID era where remote work has been a persistent part of professional life, we find another application of 3D that exists before the product is offered for sale. Using 3D renders to sell your designs to wholesale customers or internally at your own brand. You give the powers that be an almost photorealistic look at your designs without ever having to cut one single bolt of fabric. That's a win for both remote work and sustainability.

And let's think for a moment about the next logical conclusion of 3D technology like this and 3D workflows like this. You already have incredibly detailed 3D renders of your new fall collection, why not pass those files off to your creative team who can take them to the next level, creating photorealistic renders that could be used in place of flats photography. But then let's take that to the next level. What if you combine these renders with a service like LookLit or POS3D from Bright River, which can take those images and put them on models? What if you generated synthetic models with Vysual, then you use another generative AI service to put those models with those garments in an AI generated environment? You've now produced an entire suite of assets for a product that hasn't even been cut or sewn yet.

I don't really feel like I can make a prediction on how far we'll get with 3D in 2023, but I won't be surprised at all at the scenario I just described plays out before the end of 2023. In addition to that, you can expect to see 3D shoe try-on gain popularity with many brands offering that to their customers, and probably some new forms of seed and MySpace technology, like that AR technology that functions a little bit better and looks more realistic than it has in the past.

And now that brings us to generative AI, all the talk of the internet for the last quarter of 2022. I'm going to set aside all of the concerns that have been discussed and I think rightful concerns and just focus on what I think will happen. And we're actually going to start with ChatGPT. I think this is the most likely form of AI to find its way into the toolboxes of creatives in 2023. The value of ChatGPT is obvious to anyone who's played with it. Right now, as of this recording, it's a little bit too formulaic, but has already found a place in my personal toolbox to help me get past any writer's block I might encounter. I haven't used it to entirely write a piece of content that I need, but I have used it to point me in the right direction, and I think that's a pretty cool application of that technology.

On the imagery side of things, it's a little bit less clear. The question of the data used to train the AI is a valid one and one that might hinder adoption of this technology in business applications until it can be worked out. One exception to that, again, is Vysual, who uses biometrically released data sets to create its synthetic people. Will this technology see widespread adoption in 2023? I don't think so. But I do think there will be at least one high profile brand that publicly announces their campaign was mostly or completely created with some form of generative AI. But as for becoming the standard tool in e-commerce, I don't think we're going to get there in 2023.

So, just to hold myself accountable, let's run through those again. For one, automation, I think we're going to see a lot more adoption of automation in content production studios across the board in 2023. Companies like StyleShoots, Orbit View, Picture Instruments, Ordery, all of these companies are producing really excellent automated devices, automated ways of working that can shorten your speed to web, and it's just a matter of getting them into studios and selling it to the creatives and the management teams of those studios that that investment is worth their time and money. For my part, I think it is.

Video production, I know, I know it sounds obvious, but I just wanted to point out, we've tried video, we kind of did it a little bit here and there, a lot of companies dipped into video and then backed out of it, but I think video at this point is, A, expected, and B, the infrastructure exists now to make it cheaper and easier to produce, easier to manage for a content studio. So for that reason, I think video is big time in 2023 and here to stay.

And then 3D, again, 3D renders. I think we're going to see more widespread adoption of shoe try-on. I don't know, we will probably see some brands that are going to come out and try other types of garment try-on, but I think the issues around fit and material are harder to solve for on garments than they are in shoes. And we will probably see, I think we could potentially see, like I pointed out, some company, some brand out there who creates an entire suite of assets entirely generated through some of these processes.

And then on the generative AI side, I do think that we'll probably see some very forward thinking fashion brand out there who produces an entire collection or campaign for a collection using almost completely or a 100% generative AI, but I think that there's a lot of learning about how to use generative AI as well as some important questions around the legality of some of these things that we need to figure out before we really see widespread adoption in 2023. So that's it. Those are my predictions. Who knows? Probably I'm wrong on most of them, but we'll find out.

That's it for this episode of the E-Commerce Content Creation Podcast. I know it was a short one, but I assure you, we will be back to regular episodes. Starting next week, we have David Yonkers from Bright River talking to us about their future technology, POS3D, which I did mention briefly in this episode. You'll have to wait until next week to hear more about that. Many thanks to all of you for listening. I hope that you had wonderful holidays and I'm looking forward to spending more time with you in 2023. By the way, now's a great time to fulfill your New Year's resolution to write a review for the show, if that was your New Year's resolution, I don't know if it was, but it should be if it's not. The show is produced by Creative Force, edited by Calvin Lanz. Special thanks to Sean O'Meara. I'm your host, Daniel Jester. Until next time, my friends.

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