The Cequent™ Group family of brands are some of the strongest and best known in the automotive industry. Over the 100 year histories of some and others #1 in their product, Cequent Group has dominated an area of the accessories that aid in hauling and transport. Their focus on high quality products extends to the visuals and marketing imagery the use across the brands, using KeyShot to communicate both application and functionality. We talked with Mike Horgan, Visual Media Specialist, with Cequent Group to find out what set them apart and how KeyShot is used.
Modeling software used: SolidWorks
How does visual media play into the design process at Cequent?
Cequent Performance Products uses visual media in a number of ways to help promote and market our brands and products. During our design process, engineers constantly look toward visual media to help expand their understanding of how a product is evolving from concept to production. This can be as simple as capturing video to assess a test product in use, to generating an animation to show the full articulation of a product to the rest of the engineering team.
A large part of our visual media use deals with the education and training of how our products work, along with the proper way to use them. At Cequent we are very focused on making sure that our customers are trained in the correct practices of how to install and operate the products that we create. Visual media has allowed us to reach a larger and greater scope of audience while providing a means to better explain our product concepts whether it be through video, animation, or interactive online courses and presentations.
What is the primary 3d modeling software at Cequent?
The primary 3D modeling software that we use is SolidWorks. Our engineers design and build all of our products as CAD drawings using this software then our visual media team is able to import them into KeyShot for texturizing, animation, and rendering purposes.
What’s unique about how Cequent presents product design?
Cequent™ products design have always been innovative, trendsetting and awarded numerous U.S. patents. The brand names within the Cequent portfolio are some oldest and most respected brands in the industry, some dating as far back as 100 plus years old. They offer premium features and performance in the trailer, towing and electrical products categories.
How is KeyShot used at Cequent?
We use KeyShot to render out high quality images of our products for use in videos, promotions, and presentations. Our visual media team also uses KeyShot extensively to add texture and animate models of Cequent’s products for use in our promotional/training videos, company presentations, show booths, and interactive online training courses called e-Learning Sessions. These animations help illustrate our products in many ways better than video because they provide a more in-depth look and can provide perspective that we could not achieve with a physical camera.
How has KeyShot helped save time, money and/or improve quality?
Many of the products that Cequent Performance Products produces are bulky and heavy. There have been multiple instances where we were unable to explain or visually show how a specific feature of one of products works using video. KeyShot allows us to take our products and break them down in any way necessary, from any angle, to properly show and educate that feature in motion. It also gives us the ability to place our product in any number of situations or environments that we would not have the ability/time/money to do with video. This is extremely helpful when we are on tight timelines to produce our e-Learning Sessions. KeyShot’s ability to place a camera anywhere in 3D space has allowed us to show our customers angles of our product that would not be practicable using conventional photography. Cequent Performance Products also participates in a number of promotional/selling shows throughout the country and it is not physically possible to bring our entire product line to each of these events. Using KeyShot we are able to illustrate our products to the customer using visual media, eliminating the expense of shipping certain products and reducing the time needed to set up a booth at these events.
What advice would you give to others interested in producing visuals?
Our advice is to never limit your thinking of what you wish to accomplish or capture when creating visual media. We have found many times that there is never only one way to visually capture our products. Tools like KeyShot allow animators and artist to go beyond the limits of what conventional photography/videography allow to showcase their products in new ways. This creates better understanding and education for your customers resulting in higher sales margins.