BASF Introduces Platform for Digital Visualization of Automotive Exterior Colors
MUENSTER, Germany — With AUROOM™, BASF’s Coatings division introduces a digital platform that enables OEM designers to access a database of photo-realistic virtual car colors. BASF’s virtual colors capture all facets of automotive coatings including lightness flop, color flop and sparkling. By mapping these colors on car models, OEM designers can virtually paint every color proposal and gain realistic impressions of colors and effects on a complete car already in an early design phase. AUROOM will be a valuable tool for OEM designers to speed up and perfect the overall color design process, as they are no longer solely dependent on physical samples that need to be painted and shipped. AUROOM provides further innovative features like real-time side-by-side comparison of different color shades of the same color group to make the right color decision easier.
“Automotive coatings are highly complex colors with texture, color position and surface defining the overall impression. To easily understand the impact of these color parameters on a 3-D shape, the digitized colors enable the user to see this on their individual models,” said Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive Color Design EMEA at BASF’s Coatings division. Working together with almost every car manufacturer on the market, BASF currently produces over 600 colors in Europe with new colors constantly being designed. Cameras will now scan this massive portfolio. The huge amount of appearance data generated during the scan is processed using a sophisticated mathematic model, while BASF’s colorimetric know-how contributes to ensure its authenticity. OEMs can then access the comprehensive color data at the AUROOM platform and render it on different 3D shapes provided by the platform or CAD shapes of their own models.
“Digitalization is an important topic, especially in the automotive industry. We have a lot of experience creating colors in our labs, and now we are able to digitize them and create photo-realistic digital reproductions. For our customers, it means the color decision process will become easier, faster and much more effective. They can also use the data for their own brand-specific car configurators so that car buyers can experience automotive colors in their entire variety, which supports their buying decision,” said Krzysztof Patryk Stolarzewicz, head of Global Strategic Marketing at BASF’s Coatings division.
In the startup phase, BASF’s virtual color solution will first be introduced to OEMs in EMEA. In addition to the digital platform, the customers will have the chance to experience the technology at AUROOM’s “analog twin” – a specially designed showroom at the Color Design Studio Europe in Münster, Germany. To demonstrate the colors and effects in the most authentic way possible, BASF also developed special virtual 3-D car shapes. Like BASF’s iconic dome shape, the virtual shapes simulate various forms of a car body. In order to assess compatibility of color with the overall design concept, OEM designers can choose shapes of different vehicle segments in AUROOM for color visualization.