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JigSpace x Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN | Launching a race car into the metaverse

How Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN stole the show in their first metaverse project with JigSpace.

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, 2022 race car C42 in augmented reality using a JigSpace.

A new look, a bold new angle

After a massive brand overhaul, the renamed Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN was sporting a new team logo, a new lineup of drivers, and a stunning new race car: the C42. Now they needed to find a way of getting fans buzzing about their brand in the leadup to the 2022 season.

Furthermore, the Swiss-based team wanted to foster a reputation for being highly innovative and an early adopter of cutting-edge technology.

To achieve these goals, the team partnered with JigSpace – and our resident 3D wizard, Jordan – to create a metaverse launch project that would place the C42 in the hands of every fan. Viewers would be able to explore the C42 wherever and however they desired using augmented reality on their mobile device.

Alfa Romeo staff member presenting the C42 race car Jig at the partners' conference in Italy prior to car launch..
Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN's 2022 race car C42's Camo livery Jig being presented at partners conference in Italy.

Why partner with JigSpace?

JigSpace enables users to create 3D presentations and launch them to viewers in augmented reality on any mobile device. This was key to the success of the C42 digital launch.

Through JigSpace, Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN could recreate the feeling of a real-life F1® car launch with the convenience of mobile augmented reality. This allowed fans all over the world to get as close to the team – and their 2022 C42 contender – and truly feel like a part of the launch experience.

JigSpace’s unique, step-by-step format also meant that the team could seamlessly transform the camo livery into the quintessential 2022 C42 car livery in a dramatic unveiling.

"In many other augmented reality apps and model viewers, seeing the model is just about the full extent of the experience. But with JigSpace, it’s more like a 3D slideshow, with something exciting happening at every step."
Jordan
JigSpace 3D expert

Bringing the metaverse presentation to life

Confident in JigSpace’s powerful AR capabilities, it was time to put the pedal to the metal and start creating.

Working together in a team environment, here’s how JigSpace and Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN were able to create a metaverse presentation that got fans eager for the upcoming F1® season.

Step 1. Understanding the audience

When creating an augmented reality experience for the metaverse, it’s important to first consider the priorities and interests of your audience. This can help you determine what to show, and what to highlight in your metaverse presentation.

Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN knew that their fans would love to know what it was like to sit in an F1® race car. For this reason, the 3D model and texture details would need to be as realistic as possible. This would make the AR race car presentation as immersive as possible, giving fans the experience they’d always dreamed of.  

Step 2. Crafting a compelling story

Before work could even begin on the 3D model, it was vital to first determine how best to tell the F1® team’s story.

"Because of the step-by-step flow format of JigSpace, we were able to replicate a real car reveal, and focus on different features of the car on different steps."
Christian Dautenheimer
Head of Brand Management at Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN

To make the most of JigSpace’s step-by-step presentation capabilities, the team created a storyboard which mapped out each step. This made it possible to plan out the best experience for fans. The metaverse presentation would begin with the car displayed on the podium in its stunning camo livery, followed by the reveal of the official 2022 livery. The model would then be brought to life with interactive features such as spinning wheels, sound, and airflow lines.

With the storyboard plotted out, the Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN metaverse project was ready to roll!

A visual depiction of the storyboard of this project: from concept to the full AR experience.
The storyboard for Alfa Romeo's 2022 race car reveal

Step 3. A 3D model for the metaverse

Armed with a great idea, clear direction, and real-world CAD engineering data of the C42, it was time for the rubber to really hit the road in bringing the experience to life.

To show the C42 in all its glory, the team had two 3D models of their cars. The first was the Barcelona testing CAD, and the second was the upgraded C42 model that would be debuting in 2022 in full livery.  

Step 4. Optimizing the 3D model

3D data is usually quite detailed, so to make 3D assets run better in real-time, they often need to undergo an optimization process.

Using techniques that are common to the games and film industries – such as repotology – the geometry was simplified to remove any unnecessary detail. In this way, the team were able to bring the car data down from millions of tris to a more manageable size that could be rendered in real-time on mobile platforms.

Along with the fantastically detailed CAD data from the Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN cars came thousands of unique meshes upon importing the model into 3D software. But optimizing each and every mesh would take far too long, especially when not everything can be seen in real-time AR. For this reason, any unnecessary parts and components were culled to ensure a smooth user experience – and less headaches for the team.

Once the 3D model was optimized, it was time to UV unwrap, texture, and import it into the software.

Step 5: Texturing the 3D model

The next step was to unveil the livery. Due to the storyboarding efforts earlier in the project, the team knew that the plan was to start with the Camo livery before unveiling the Launch livery – a custom-made dissolve shader would be used to achieve this.

But before the livery could be unveiled, it first had to be created, with care taken to capture all the little details and make the texture as true-to-life as possible.

For our 3D expert, Jordan, watching the texturing come together was the highlight of the project.

"Texturing the car was definitely the highlight. Here, it really came to life with realistic materials, and matching the livery to the concept images was so satisfying. It was a joy to texture."
Jordan
JigSpace 3D expert

Step 6: Creating a dynamic 3D model for the metaverse

To bring the whole metaverse project to life, the next step was to enhance the 3D model with animations and sound. This started with adding movement to the wheels.

But what is an F1® car without the roar of an F1® engine? One cool feature of JigSpace is the ability to add sound to your metaverse presentations. Taking full advantage of this capability, fans would be able to watch the C42 transform from its Camo livery into the Launch livery, before the wheels spun to life accompanied by the sound of an F1® engine.

This really captured the thrill and excitement of attending an F1® event and seeing a real race car reveal in-person.

Step 7: Editing the design

The Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN livery features different partner logos and elements at different races, so its appearance regularly changes. That means the C42 Jig needed to be as easy to change as the physical car, both in the leadup to the event and throughout the season.

The highly flexible nature of JigSpace meant that edits required by the branding team could be swiftly and easily executed in the JigSpace Workshop – without any delays in the changes going live.

In fact, when edits needed to be made just hours before an event, the team were able to make the necessary changes and push them live in just minutes.

The results

"From previous experiences, I was under the impression that AR and VR experiences were highly complex, and could only be run by big teams of specialists with long lead times. This was not the case with JigSpace."
Christian Dautenheimer
Head of Brand Management at Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN

Importing models into JigSpace was a frictionless experience for everyone. Even when changes needed to be made to the presentation, it was a simple matter of deleting the model and pressing ‘import’, followed by the ‘import to every step’ button which saved so much time.

The powerful JigSpace Workshop platform allowed Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN to tell a story in stunning 3D, which could then be experienced in the metaverse by thousands of fans all around the globe. To be a part of the experience, users simply needed to scan a QR code or follow a link on their device. They were then immersed directly into the Jig.

Check out the Jig below:

"The creative decisions and processes were quick and flawless, and we were able to craft exactly what we envisioned for the best possible fan experience."
Christian Dautenheimer
Head of Brand Management at Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN

Within 24 hours of launching the C42 into the metaverse, the Jig was viewed more than 500K times.

At the start of the 2022 season, Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN saw more fan engagement than any prior season. On Instagram alone, one post revealing the Jig has been viewed more than 1.6M times, liked over 170K times, and has attracted hundreds of comments praising the car’s bold new livery.  

Fans have also been eagerly creating reels, stories, and posts of their own featuring the C42 Jig. This has created an explosion of fan-generated content that further spreads the word about the team.

"I’m excited about the next projects in the pipeline with the JigSpace team, which will explore the different use scenarios of Jigs, and further push the boundaries of digital app-led AR and VR activations."
Christian Dautenheimer
Head of Brand Management at Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN

How the Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN launch has helped shape the future of JigSpace

Working in a team environment with Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN in transforming the C42 into a 3D model was a unique experience for the JigSpace team. The metaverse project really helped shape our understanding of what it took to create a universal experience for viewers, regardless of whether or not they had the JigSpace app installed.

To make this project a success, a lot of work went into developing the WebAR Viewer so that Jigs could be viewed on any device. The Jig was accessible simply by scanning a QR code or clicking a link that immediately loaded onto their device.

Not only were these developments essential to the success of this project, they’ve also helped shape JigSpace’s future capability as well.

Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN’s 2022 race car C42 viewed in AR with JigSpace
"We want Jigs to be created and viewable by anyone, and this project has helped us accelerate that goal!"
Jordan
JigSpace 3D expert

Watch this space for more exciting things to come! To read more about our groundbreaking partnership with Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN, click here.

Hennika Kestilä
Hennika Kestilä
Hennika Kestilä
Head of Marketing