Marshalls PLC-header

Paving the way.

Marshalls PLC is a global leader and the UK’s leading hard landscaping manufacturer, supplying stone and concrete products to the construction and landscaping industries for over a century. To kick off their investment in technology and serve their growing customer base, Marshalls were looking for web-based solutions to assist contractors and urban planners and provide the ability to plan and visualise their new flagship range of block paving, Modal. Working closely with their internal teams we developed a web-based solution that could accommodate a number of common paving layout patterns then create a tileable 3D representation of the paving.

Marshalls Outdoor Reality App

Groundbreaking mixed reality.

Crafted for both iOS and Android devices our innovative Outdoor Reality app introduces an entirely new way to plan gardens, driveways or exterior landscapes. By utilising some of the latest features of Augmented Reality, our app lets you effortlessly map out spaces and instantly explore a diverse range of paving products. By harnessing the precision of our renowned 3D capture techniques (shown below), this app brings the future of 3D space planning and pricing right to your fingertips.

Augmented reality paving displayed on a tablet in the garden

True-to-life visualisation.

Building on our developers’ expertise in AR and combining our state-of-the-art 3D scanning techniques we’ve ensured that every texture, colour variation, and material detail from Marshalls extensive paving catalogue is faithfully replicated in the virtual world. This not only provides users with a lifelike preview but empowers them to make confident design choices. Whether they're exploring various colour options or selecting from the applicable laying patterns, the visual accuracy of the app ensures they see an authentic representation of how the paving will look in their own space.

Outdoor Reality app displayed on an iPad tablet

Seamless calculations, pricing & online shopping.

Beyond its visualisation capabilities the Outdoor Reality app has been designed to transform the way users shop for paving. By taking advantage of the latest advances in AR technology, our app accurately uses depth to calculate and map out a paving areas. These areas can be flat surfaces, or follow the contours of the landscape, ideal for uneven gardens and driveways. This area data forms the foundation for our streamlined online pricing system, delivering instant project costs with an adjustable tolerance for wastage. The app seamlessly integrates with Marshalls online shopping basket, ensuring a seamless transition from design envisioning to the purchasing process.

Celebrating excellence.

We're thrilled to announce that our the Outdoor Realty App has been awarded a Communicator Award in recognition of its ground-breaking innovation and contribution to the realm of mixed reality experiences. This award serves as a testament to our dedication to pushing the boundaries of technology and delivering unparalleled solutions in the field of augmented reality.

View over the shoulder showing the Marshalls Outdoor Reality AR app on a tablet device
The Outdoor Reality app displaying measurements in AR mode
Marshalls PLC

Pikcells have been our Tech Partners since 2019, working with us to design and develop some critical business tools to better engage and inform our customers"

Building blocks.

It is hard for customers to visualise how different types and colours of paving blocks will sit together so a simple elegant solution was needed.

We decided that an interactive WebGL solution would work well, giving the user a 3D illustration with realistic materials and surface details.

By using a menu with simplified paving patterns users can choose an applicable layout and suitable load category for the project before tiling the pattern to a larger paved area. We also included a 3D mannequin to give the user a better idea of scale.

Marshalls Modal block paving configurator displaying a mannequin on a paved area
Marshalls Modal configurator block paving loading categories

Toned stones.

The configurator allows for the ten colour options in both textured and smooth finishes and automatically generates a pattern with equal percentages of blocks. These proportions can be adjusted using sliders or percentages in the colour mixer.

Marshalls block paving colour mixer

Export to your 3D software.

Once the paving design has been completed, architects have the ability to download a BIM [Building Information Modelling] file of the layout – suitable for Autodesk Revit – or a set of PBR [Physically Based Rendering] texture maps, which can be used in any 3D package.

As the paving configurator uses 3D models it is able to calculate normal, specular and reflectance information.

A PDF paving summary is also available as a download, which contains all the technical details about the layout and colour selection.

Marshalls block paving BIM and PBR download options screen
Marshalls block paving PDF summary download
Paving diffuse texture
Paving height map
Paving normal map texture
Paving roughness map

Marshalls Augmented Reality Paving Visualiser

AR asset catalog.

Marshalls wanted to raise the bar with their online web catalogue and having previously seen our Augmented Reality webstore, they enquired about the possibilities of an online 3D product library that customers could use to access and view AR on any device.

AR paving displayed on a mobile device

Marshalls saw huge potential in this tech, they distribute tens of thousands of samples to customers each year which is both costly and exceptionally wasteful, as 99% of them will be thrown in the bin once evaluated. Implementing an AR solution would allow them to reduce their carbon footprint by not sending out as many samples and also improve their customer service experience, by giving instant access to thousands of simulated products through an online 3D sample library.

An iPad displaying an augmented reality view of paving designs in real-time, providing a more interactive and engaging customer experience.

Engineering a scan-to-AR solution.

After researching and testing out the best options for accurately digitising paving products we invested in a new state-of-the-art photogrammetry rig, capable of perfectly capturing the finest of details.

Various brick and block samples 3D scanned for Marshalls

We created a future-proof library of 3D paving assets by scanning every product at high resolution. To make them AR-ready, it was essential to optimise the 3D mesh for use with WebGL and adjust textures for colour accuracy. With 1200+ items to scan and process, our development team automated many of the procedures to make the timescales achievable.

We’ve detailed this scan-to-AR end-to-end process in our digital asset capture R&D page.

A 3D artist using Reality Capture to create a stone in 3D

Augmented Reality without the app.

With AR-ready 3D created, the Marshalls web developer team could simply add the visualiser to their website product pages alongside the standard imagery.

The visualiser works on all browsers and devices, displaying paving in a 3D viewer on desktop PC and laptops. Mobile devices and tablets can enjoy a more immersive experience with the built-in camera allowing for AR from the webpage, with no apps or downloads required.

Marshalls 3D paving viewer screenshot
Marshalls 3D paving viewer displayed on a laptop

Our clients.

We value a great working relationship with our clients above all else.
It's why many of them have worked with us for years as their trusted partner.

Marshalls PLC
Wren Kitchens
Omega PLC
PGT Windows & Doors
Toll Brothers
Neville Johnson
Integral Surface Design
BA Kitchens
Sub-Zero Wolf
PWS Kitchens
Ask Real Estate
Emser Tile
LPD Doors
Vita Student
Moores Furniture Group

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