How Variant Works

By tagging materials and meshes in a file, we can request any possible combination of 3D assets from the Variant API.

What is Variant?

Variant is an API that lets companies dynamically generate 3D variants of their products from a single master file. These models are then usually viewed in AR, VR, or in a web browser.

For example, if a car comes in a range of colours and and wheel rim shapes, a 3D modeller builds all of them into a single file and uploads it to Variant. Then, a customer can request a 3D product variant with their chosen colors and rim shapes to view in AR and only those assets are downloaded & shown.

Using Variant you can allow users to view billions of variants using a single file that has been carefully tagged.


Tag Basics

Variant works on the concept of ‘tagged’ objects in a file. You can tag meshes or materials with tag-names and use them to make meshes visible/invisible, and assign named materials to meshes.

Planning your tags carefully up-front will help reduce the time needed to create 3D models, minimize the download size for the user, and simplify adding future variants. 

How to add tags

Tags are set in your preferred 3D editor, by editing the names of 3D objects. We show that a word is a tag by wrapping it in the special characters: “V[ ]”

For example, if you had a 3D mesh named “armchair” you could tag it as CHAIR by changing the name to: “armchair V[CHAIR]”, or simply “V[CHAIR]”. It doesn't matter if there's other text in the name - the only thing that matters is that our tag-name CHAIR appears surrounded by V[ ].

(screenshot from Blender)
(screenshot from Blender)

Tags can only contain numbers, letters and the hyphen ‘-’ character. Tags are case insensitive, so there’s no difference between ‘Chair’ and ‘CHAIR’. However, we strongly recommend using uppercase to make tags stand out from other text in the name field.