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Marketing firm hopes to give 3-D new shape: Scofield Editorial one of first Midwest firms to add bells and whistles to models initially used by architects

April 2, 2007

Scofield Editorial, known locally as an innovator in video and post-production work, is burnishing that reputation by becoming one of the first firms in the Midwest to combine three-dimensional video modeling with traditional editing touches such as animation, sound effects, and other audio and video.

Three-dimensional modeling was introduced by engineering firms about a decade ago, and has also been used by some video game manufacturers. But only recently have advertising agencies combined 3-D with traditional video editing touches.

"There is no one in the Midwest who has married 3-D work with this type of editing," said John Miles, principal of Indianapolis-based Miles Brinson Brown advertising agency. "To get this sort of service before, we were forced to go to New York or Dallas. It will be a big plus for this market to have this offering here."

It takes a specialty firm to work with 3-D, said, Aaron Baar, an AdWeek reporter based in Chicago.

"Companies with special editing skills in a few other major markets have mastered the combination of these 3-D model projects with what is considered highlevel editing elements," Baar said. "This sort of service hasn't really made its way to secondary markets."

"We think this has tremendous potential for a number of clients," said John Scofield, who founded Scofield Editorial in 1983. "Eventually, we think this has the potential to be 50 percent of our business."

Local advertising industry experts said Scofield has the contacts to bring the technology to central Indiana in a big way.

Scofield, which began working extensively with 3-D modeling last November, counts the NCAA, St. Vincent Foundation, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Indianapolis Colts, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indy Jazz Fest and The Forum Shops at Caesars among the projects it has worked on.

Scofield is working on projects using the 3-D technology for two real estate developers but won't disclose who they are due to confidentiality agreements. Scofield expects 2007 to be a big year for the new offering.

"Engineering and architecture firms have discovered the power of this medium, but there have been no marketing elements added to the presentations," Scofield said. "What we can do, will take this to a whole new level."

Scofield, who maintains a 1,400-square-foot office in Broad Ripple, has already added several employees to his 10-person staff to work specifically on 3-D modeling projects. He expects further boosts in employment in the next two years.

The most obvious advantage of 3-D modeling over traditional video footage is that it can be used to show structures that haven't been built, Scofield said. The models can also be combined with video of existing infrastructure, landmarks or other items.

"Through editing, we can layer a number of elements into the piece, even as the project develops," Scofield said. "This technology would be ideal not only for real estate projects but for something like the 2011 Super Bowl bid. You can demonstrate the look and feel of something that isn't there yet in a way that simply wasn't possible before."

For instance, Scofield said, a 3-D downtown model could be combined with ambient street noises, commentary and the roar of the crowd inside the still-under-construction Lucas Oil Stadium. Infrastructure that exists only on drawing boards for things like the NFL Fan Experience exhibit could also be shown.

Scofield said the technology would also be ideal for projects like those being pondered at the former Market Square Arena site.

"These 3-D projects look incredibly real, and the editing touches add sizzle," Miles said.

The downside is cost, said AdWeek's Baar.

Scofield said clients can expect to spend $30,000 to $70,000 on such a project. The work can be time-consuming, too, Scofield said, with a major project taking weeks or months to complete.

But existing templates can be relatively easily revised, and already Scofield's staff is working on models of downtown and other local landmarks that can speed future projects along.

The conventional alternative to the 3-D video, Miles said, is an architectural rendering, adding that those can be almost as expensive to commission as a project using the new technology.

Scofield, which does business primarily within a 500-mile radius of Indianapolis, has relied primarily on word-of-mouth to grow his firm. With the new 3-D offering, he plans to become a more aggressive marketer of his firm's wares.

"Not many people realize how good these 3-D projects can look, and how they can be used," Scofield said. "It's going to be real important for us to get the word out."
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