Case study

Shotgun Behind the Wheel at Renault’s Automotive Design Studio

Founded: 121 years ago
Headquarters: Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Locations: 7 Design Centers in France, Romania, South Korea, India, China and Brazil
Team Size: 500+
Team Members Trained on Shotgun: 200+
Training Time: 6 months
Specialties: Innovative Automotive Design
Favorite Shotgun Features: Data Management

Founded 121 years ago, Renault is a multinational French automotive manufacturer renowned for incorporating the latest innovations across its unique line of brand models. At the center of advanced vehicles creation, Groupe Renault’s Corporate Design is composed of an international team of more than 500 design professionals dedicated to creativity and to developing new prototypes and next-generation vehicle designs for its portfolio of brands, including Renault, Alpine, Samsung Motors, Dacia and Lada. Renault’s Design Groupe combines the artistry of physical modeling with the latest design techniques, including digital modeling, visualization, and interactive design. Project Manager at Renault Design Studio, Zoica de Murard joined us to discuss how Renault drives superior design with collaborative tools for its multidisciplinary creative teams.

What is your background and how did you get started at Renault?

I am engineer graduated from Polytechnic University of Bucharest and ECP Paris. I have successfully implemented new processes and improvement projects in the realization of physical prototypes, the industrialization of new vehicles and in the supply chain in the automotive industry for the past 15 years.

With a transversal knowledge of the company’s functions, I am now Digital Asset Management (DAM) Project Manager for Corporate Design Groupe Renault in the IT Division. My main objectives within Design Digital Direction are to offer and deploy collaborative and efficient tools to the multidisciplinary creative teams.

What differentiates Renault from other automotive companies?

Renault was born from a passion and innovative spirit for the automobile in 1898. In keeping with this mindset, the Groupe Renault today is present in more than 130 countries through his five brands. Renault, its historical and major brand embodies the culture of its French roots with the spirit of the "car to live", reflecting a "human" brand that addresses its clients’ aspirations through every stage of their lives. In terms of design, our products are delivering emotions through colors, sensuality, and latin forms. Generally, the brand has long been committed to innovation for as many people as possible, as demonstrated by its pioneering role in the field of electric vehicles, since 2011. This makes our cars unique and clearly sets us apart from other automobile brands.

Tell us about the Design Center of Groupe Renault

The main Design Center of Groupe Renault is based in France, in Guyancourt, near Paris. To support its international presence, Design relies on a network of six other locations around the world—in South Korea (Seoul), India (Mumbai & Chennai), Romania (Bucharest), Brazil (Sao Paulo), and China (Shanghai). This allows the Groupe Renault to design future models as closely as possible to our customers’ expectations.

Renault Design is a multicultural team of 545 people, integrating around 30 different nationalities. Its team combines craftsmanship (physical modeling, saddlery, painting) and technology (digital modeling and visualization, interactive design) driven by an authentic passion for the automobile.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for automotive studios today?

In today’s competitive market, automotive studios are challenged to propose attractive products for many different people around the world, with high quality requirements and cost efficiency. In the same time, we have to anticipate the mobility of tomorrow by developing new solutions in full environmental compliance. Technology and digital design solutions play a key role helping us to improve business processes and better collaborate and communicate cross-functions worldwide and all along the different development stages of our projects.

What led you to consider Shotgun?

For us, digital tools are a means to develop the business and meet our clients’ expectations in a competitive automotive market and a complex technological world. The R* Generation Transformation Program launched in 2014 reviewed the overall building and facilities organization, the methods of collaboration, and the use of new digital tools for our teams.

We needed an updated digital asset management solution, so we studied Shotgun and have since adopted it to help our studios collaborate with agility, creativity, and efficiency.

Which other solutions did you look at to solve these challenges and why did you choose Shotgun?

We researched a benchmark of DAM solutions and noticed that they would respond only partially to our needs. We liked the seamless integration of Shotgun with the other Autodesk digital modeling’ tools and his openness to integrate it in our digital ecosystem. Integrations with Alias, Vred, Photoshop, and Maya make Shotgun unique on the market.

With Shotgun, we are convinced that a foundation with good data management in our studios will permit us to successfully implement our studios’ digital transformation.

On what projects are you using Shotgun?

We are working with Shotgun on various projects in different stages of development—serial vehicles projects from upstream to downstream as well as concept cars in the image of Morphoz presented in March 2020.

Could you share some use cases where Shotgun was essential?

Some examples where Shotgun proved to add an important value to the management of a design project at Renault : coordinating five different teams representing more than 30 people on a serial electrical car project or coordinating the same function across the world design network on a single concept car vehicle realizing reviews with live annotations on data.

How does Shotgun help streamline processes for designers, modelers and project leaders?

Shotgun makes it possible for the data creators, users, and managers to be working on the same project vehicle. The integration of the activities as tasks inside the Shotgun pipeline helps us streamline the process and to keep only those that provide added value. It is a huge process and working transformation that brings value over time. Our final target is the integration of the full product in our process with a minimum level of customization and no more manually handling file versions, no more email exchanges, and no more loss of files.

How do you handle project review at Renault and with executive stakeholders?

Our global vehicle development process is hybrid based on digital and physical models. The project reviews are then also taking place in a digital and physical world. In the upstream concept phase, the agility of the full digital process is essential and virtual reality devices are used more and more for our project reviews.

In the downstream phase, when the project approaches industrialization, a physical model is essential as It permits the analysis of its emotional potential in real-world conditions with the future clients. At that point, the full deployment of Shotgun is still in progress.

We are able to manage live 2D reviews with annotations on the Shotgun web interface. But we also manage 3D reviews on Alias Models with the centralization of the annotations on the Shotgun web interface. In addition to this Shotgun helps us prepare the reviews before the meetings without needing other presentation tools. This was not possible before.

Could you describe what time and resources it took to integrate Shotgun into Renault?

The first step was the local integration of Shotgun on premise into our IT system. Our system administrators worked in direct collaboration with Autodesk to successfully complete this complex operation.

The second step was the construction of the pipeline from our process mapping. Starting from that, we defined different project templates, as serial, concept car, or library projects for the transverse data.

The third step was the training of our users. We have trained more than 200 designers, modelers, and reviewers in the last four months and assist them directly on projects when necessary. In order to face this huge training effort and total adoption of the product by our users, we have started a successful collaboration with RCD Except, Autodesk Partner for Shotgun in Europe.

The deployment of the solution in our studios has started effectively at the beginning of 2019. Since then we have been devoting full time to deployment. Our major challenge remains balancing what is Shotgun for Renault versus what is Renault inside Shotgun, since we are willing to work with the lowest level of customization.

What are the benefits of having implemented Shotgun in your production workflow?

The implementation of Shotgun in our studios helps us to better manage our digital workflows and to set up a solid backbone for our digital transformation. We can increase the efficiency of collaboration for our creatives by ensuring the availability of the last version of the digital data, all in the same place, for all studio members.

The time saved using Shotgun permits us to put more focus on the quality of execution and allows our creative members to focus more on innovation.