3D Visualization

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Creating 3D Visualizations for Architectural Projects

Having troubles creating professional 3D visualizations? Here are the 5 essentials that will help you improve your work drastically, but also how you should approach your work.

Creating 3D visualizations and renders is not an easy thing to do. Of course, a lot of people can do this, but can they do it properly? This is the real question. The reality is that technology has made things easier in the architecture world.

Today, you can use various software solutions and digitally create amazing visualizations that can offer many benefits to both clients and stakeholders. However, technology has also made things more difficult as it has raised standards for 3D visualizations. Everyone involved wants to be given the best possible visualization.

Architects can see their work presented in a clear and precise way and make appropriate changes, contractors, and clients can see how their future home will look like firsthand. Today, we are going to talk about certain essentials you need to keep in mind when doing visualizations to bring them up to the current standards.

1. A high level of detail is a must

The point of renders and visualizations is to look as realistic as possible. This means that a lot of time must be put into adding details. First of all, after finishing the general visualization of the architectural project, you need to add other elements that will make the whole thing even more convincing.

This includes people, vehicles, animals, and other elements that are not really relevant to the project but make it more convincing. However, this is not where it ends. You also need to pay attention to tiny details within models, including furniture, home appliances, windows, bricks, facial expressions, trees, branches, weather conditions, and many other details.

Try to think of the details that can further showcase the functionalities and practicalities of the project. Try to emphasize elements which have interactivity and make them stand out through details that could bring the whole visualization closer to reality.

2. You need to think about shadows and lighting

The lack of or excessive amounts of shadows and lights in 3D visualizations are the things that make them look very artificial and plastic. When there is insufficient light, viewers will have a hard time seeing what you are trying to show them. In case there’s too much light, all the details will be lost and all that effort you’ve put into adding them will have been in vain.

Because of this, you need to take care of lighting and shadows to ensure that there is more depth as well as a perspective for the viewer to immerse themselves into. On top of that, quality lighting can make 3D renders more focused, as they can highlight the important parts of a certain project and tell viewers where to look.

Many designers use vignetting, a technique that changes saturation, contrast, and brightness on the edges of the screen or images to focus the attention of viewers on what is in the center. When done properly, the people looking at the visualization don’t even notice the darker edges.

3. Add nature around the project

Many people will say that nature is obsolete within architectural projects. However, the surrounding scenery can greatly improve the realness of the render. Still, even though this sounds simple, creating nature around the project can be very demanding. You will have to add dozens of trees, plants, sky, sun, clouds, bushes, and so on.

This takes a lot of time and makes the render larger and more difficult to process. This means that if you are working on a slow device, it might take more time to actually finish the render. A lot of designers don’t practice doing this and they end up having really poor skills for building the surroundings of the project.

This is a must, no matter how much of a nuisance it seems, it means a lot to the clients for whom the project is done. They can have a better overview of the whole area and be able to visualize it better.

4. The view needs to be naturally consistent

3D visualizations have come so far that today they have to look like a short movie that will show people what a certain architecture project will look like when finished. They have countless 3D model combinations which allow viewers to look at through various angles.

This kind of camera-based overview makes the visualization more realistic and immersive. A lot of designers focus on creating great models, add a lot of details but their camera movement is simply not adjusted well, and this reduces the credibility of their work.

Modern standards for 3D visualization demand that you create presentations that are very realistic and this includes the angle of the camera and height adjustments. This needs to be done for the whole project. The best way to understand how to do this is to think of yourself as a photographer and try to imagine how a photographer would present their images.

5. You need to avoid creating sterile visualizations

Professional visualizations simply show what the designer thought about how the space was going to be used, its functionalities, and practicality. It is not only about being clinically accurate. You need to add personality into the designs so that the clients who look at the visualizations can imagine using that space.

This is why houses for sales which have tours of the area are sold more often. You cannot simply display empty space and expect that people will be able to visualize themselves in it. Add context through all the necessary elements that will be in the space and, if needed, show people using these elements.

These are the five essentials to keep in mind when creating 3D visualizations. Never forget about them and, of course, work on your technical skills to make them happen. It is both about being skilled and having the right mindset to deliver the best experience for the viewer and help them imagine what is in front of them.

3D Visualization – AI and VR are Revolutionizing Construction Jobs

As AI and VR technologies continue to improve there are many new industries in which they can be applied to improve operations. One of the sectors where VR can offer great benefits is construction. Here is how VR can change construction jobs.

VR and AI have arrived at our doorsteps and they’re here for the taking. These technologies are no longer used just in gaming, VR has spread to almost all industries. Wherever you point your finger, you can find VR being used and construction is no different.

In the next decade, the construction industry will move to adopt VR and AI completely and use them in a wide range of applications to save time and money throughout projects. With the highest level of immersive experience that VR provides, it’s simply perfect for the construction industry.

On the other hand, AI can be applied almost anywhere today. Wherever there are computers and programs, it can be used, and we all know that computers are everywhere. Construction companies have been able to see great benefits from these technologies and the potential to improve their operations in the future.

Issues in construction

When it comes to construction, the only possible way to look inside a house, building, or whichever facility is going to be built, is through small models. However, these small model designs aren’t that practical, as construction managers can only see a small portion of the whole construction and they can’t have a full overview.

The design models of a construction can be a lot different than the actual construction and this is where problems happen. A building's viability might be amazing on paper but once it’s transformed into a miniature there are many issues that can happen, and they often do.

With these issues all projects constantly require adjustments and revisions that cost a lot of money and during these changes, it often happens that the building looks completely different than the initial designs planned it to.

VR for building constructions

With the implementation of high-quality VR constructions, these issues can be fixed. This technology allows architects and designers, but also the people on the field to spot deficiencies in design on time and ensure that they are not built and become the deficiencies of the building itself. Reworking various issues means increased labor costs, but this will completely remove the need for this.

When it comes to the final build, this technology contributes to greatly reducing errors, stops downtime, allows projects to meet deadlines, and improves the overall quality of the construction.

A lot of VR software solutions for construction are designed to perform various actions so that architects or construction companies can get incredibly creative with their designs.

Some of the actions that can be done with VR software available at the moment include stress testing various components of the building, changing materials, and assessing what their use will be, going throughout the construction to visualize it and really be able to understand it before it’s even built.

VR and 3D modeling

Apart from builders being able to use their VR on site to recognize issues and do their jobs more effectively, this technology can also be used by designers and architects. 3D modeling is very important at the beginning of a project, as the architect won’t have to redesign things over and over because they didn’t work out well in reality.

However, 3D modeling is also used differently in construction projects. With sophisticated 3D models, it’s now possible to demonstrate closely to customers, builders, or investors what the building will look like in the end. It’s difficult to establish whether a building will look the way it’s imagined from 2D plans but 3D models with VR visualization can allow anyone to do this.

With virtual reality, builders or anyone else can work with structures in their natural size through the VR environment and spot difficulties, logistical issues, or simply mistakes that were made. This is a significant improvement compared to having to scale physical or computer models.

Improving the level of safety

Even though a lot of creation and design are done in construction, a large portion of it is also about actually building structures. This means that there are many employees working on a site where there are a lot of materials, machines, and dangers lurking around. A certain level of danger is always there and depending on the building, it can be lower or higher.

With VR technology, it’s possible to give greater protection to all the employees on the site. Combined with AI and VR, employees can wear technology that can give them warnings when potential risks to their safety are detected. Additionally, construction workers can have smart badges, which are small and convenient, to provide real-time data and show where all the workers are located at a given moment.

All of this means that the number of potential injuries is greatly reduced. The helmets that workers wear can also benefit from VR. With a constant information flow from workers to the office, they can get information about the risks that surround them, sudden temperature spikes and reductions, unseen threats, laser scans, and data sensor information.

VR can improve collaboration

The prospect of engineers, architects, and the investor being able to collaborate on the same project with designs and plans is simply amazing. Additionally, the builder can easily see what is required and easily assess if that is possible or not, provide accurate quotes while having an easy option for suggesting improvements.

It’s not just the people behind the project that can give input in the virtual space but also the people who will be using that building and spending time in it. If we are talking about a hospital, nurses and doctors can give valuable suggestions on what can be useful.

VR has great potential in terms of collaboration. The better the VR is, the more options there will be. Multiple people can work in a virtual space at the same time, make changes on the spot, discuss them, and offer valuable suggestions that they can instantly put to test.

At the moment, only a handful of companies are using these new technologies to improve their construction processes. However, their number is continually growing, as companies are starting to realize the vast amount of benefits these technologies provide. AI and VR will not only improve the quality of their construction work but also customer satisfaction.

Audi's 3D Visualization Customer App, Review and Takeaways

Audi has launched a new 3D visualization customer app. Let’s see what it’s capable of, what features it packs, and what Audi has in store for the future.

Audi takes the first step toward a digital customer experience. The new 3D visualization customer app coming from this company enables users to inspect Audi car models down to every little detail. It appears that Audi has recognized the need for such an app, and decided to become more competitive by offering something brand new to its customers.

Most of the millennials are familiar with 3D concepts, as many 3D games were available to them as they were growing up. Audi has decided to play the familiarity card and allow the modern customer base to experience their car models as if they were in the store or taking a test drive. Let’s see what Audi’s new 3D visualization customer app can do.

Audi’s 3D Visualization Engine

To deliver the best possible experience to their customers, Audi has decided to speed up the rendering process. Their 3D visualization engine allows customers to enjoy 3D renders in real time. In fact, Audie relies on the power of their website and servers for this.

While making their renders ultra fast, they have also made the process more convenient for the users, as they no longer need to download any additional plug-ins or applications.

Audi’s 3D visualization engine is capable of delivering a 3D image to users across multiple devices, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Their 3D engine was built to resemble the ones used in the gaming industry.

This is why it uses pre-built virtual Audi car data models from the central database. Rendering techniques are fast – they can deliver a new image in a matter of seconds. Considering the popularity of this brand, it appears that Audi has invested heavily in the IT infrastructure that can support multiple renders at any given time.

To completely understand the power of their 3D visualization engine, one has to take into account hundreds of equipment variants and several hundred million possible car models. This makes billions of combinations possible. On top of this, the engine renders the car on a realistic background, to make the image even more engaging to future customers.

Features

The new Audi 3D visualization customer app is designed to improve the car configurator already found on the company’s official website. Apart from bringing the 3D component, this app will improve the customer experience with the following features.

Custom Car Configuration

When configuring the car, the ability to customize features and see the results in real time feel fantastic. The experience is very similar to playing popular car games. Thanks to custom car configuration, the customers can experience their creation very realistically, without having to wait. This feature stands at the core of this 3D app.

Interactivity

To enhance the user experience even further, the developers have added interactivity to 3D renders. Customers can turn the lights off and on, as well as open and close the doors, trunk, and hood. Allowing customers to take full control of their car, even in the 3D environment, is incredibly engaging.

It also helps customers see how their favorite car appears from all angles, and with open doors and the lights turned on. If they don’t like it, they can go back, make changes, and interact with the new 3D render in a few seconds.

Support for Different Environments

It is clear that Audi’s intention is to help the customers better relate to their car models. It appears that they’ve added the support for different environments for these reasons exactly. Thanks to this, customers can place their car in different environments.

The current version supports several environments, some of them are landscapes, tunnels, and so on. Beside showing users how their configured car looks in different environments, this gives the entire render a more realistic feel.

Support for the Finest of Details

Audi’s 3D visualization engine supports even the smallest of details. This is why the 3D renders of configured cars are very rich in details. For instance, customers can see the finish of the inlays. They can also close and open the convertible top.

There is also support for displaying both running and parking lights. The important thing here is that not even the finest of details will slow down the rendering process.

Features Planned for the Future

The first 3D model was only available on Audi’s German website for the A4 car model. The manufacturer’s plan is to roll out the Audi visualization engine for all the available models in several countries, including the UK, France Spain, USA, and Japan. In the future, Audi’s 3D visualization customer app will feature:

● Higher image quality of up to 4K.

● More options for vehicle environments, including country-specific environments.

● Additional features that will only be available for the car dealers.

Takeaways

This is not the first attempt by this manufacturer to bring its car models closer to the customer base via 3D. Back in 2012, Audi released the Audi A3 augmented reality app in cooperation with ARworks. Since this app was such a success, Audi has come a long way to bring 3D to their customers and make it available via the default car configurator on their official website.

This is sound proof that there is room for 3D technology in the automotive industry. While Audi might be the first car manufacturer to use this tech, we can assume that many others will follow. Especially today, when 3D tech is available and supported by many devices.

Audi’s plans to make their 3D visualization app available in several countries is proof that the app was a huge success in Germany, where it was originally launched. With all the improvements planned for the future, we can only wait and see what the new app will look like and what it will support.

All of this leaves us wondering – what other new uses will there be for 3D technology?

3D Visualization and VR, A Match Made in Heaven

The modern digital age has brought many new things that we thought were not possible. The latest tech solutions are the immersive 3D visualization and VR solutions which can be combined to offer benefits in various industries.

Imagine being able to see your brand new product or a project in 3D space. Now that you have, imagine being able to do so without even building your product or construction. That’s something right out of sci-fi movies or is it? With the latest technological developments, this too has become a reality or should we say, virtual reality enhanced by 3D visualization.

By combining these two technologies together investors, customers, designers, and stakeholders are able to see their project or product throughout its life cycle and interact with it in a realistic and meaningful way.

This has opened up many opportunities in various industries and brought many benefits to both businesses and customers. Here is why these two are a perfect match and how they are shaping our reality through a virtual environment.

How 3D visualization and VR work

To view objects in such fashion, you need to have a 3D model or image. Some of the most widely used types of 3D images at the moment are stereoscopic panoramic images. Stereoscopic pictures actually consist of two pictures that are placed next to one another in a similar position but at slightly different angles.

Creating a 3D environment

It’s all set up to give anyone looking at these images an illusion of depth. The images are, in fact, 2D but the way they are positioned tricks the brain into creating 3D depth. The best-known applications of these images are 3D movies that actually aren’t 3D.

The true 3D experience doesn’t create the illusion – it actually has three dimensions and the most commonly used type is the hologram. Three-dimensional models can also be stereoscopic but they have a lot more details and are different than static images.

This means that you can view an object at any angle without having to change the viewpoint. It also allows you to move freely in an area or around an object and observe every tiny detail that it has to offer.

Immersive 3D through VR

The only way that a person can really experience 3D models and environment and interact with them properly is to have the right technology. After a 3D model or an image has been created, it needs to be viewed properly to get all the details, features, and depth.

In this case, the hardware choice can be VR glasses or VR headsets. The better the models are and the more details they have, the more sophisticated the hardware needs to be. This includes VR sets used for viewing. Quality headsets such as Oculus Rift have complex 3D models which allow them to immerse users into an interactive and realistic 3D visualization.

Application possibilities are endless

The projects usually feature one of the following things:

● reconstructing buildings

● building a new house

● seeing animals and interacting with them

● testing out new products

Viewing the project as a whole in a 3D environment and interacting with it allows various professionals to make the necessary corrections to their project no matter what it might be.

This type of setup is welcomed in various fields and industries, the most obvious ones being architecture and construction where it is already being used on a large scale.

These technologies allow professionals to find mistakes early on and correct them before any money has been invested in a project. However, they also give clients a way to see whether the project is exactly what they want it to be.

This new technology is very exciting and catches the eye of everyone involved in its use, no matter if we are talking about professionals using it, investors, stakeholders or clients. This means that customers will be more satisfied and professionals will be able to market and sell their work better.

3D Visualization and VR in Architecture

Most architects and designers have switched to computer devices for their work long ago. Since 2D drawings don’t offer enough clarity and cannot even be understood by most clients, it has become a trend to create 3D animations, models, and 3D renders that will help clients understand what is being done on their behalf.

All this has led to 3D visualization and VR technologies which have the power to present designs of future constructions in a clear light. Clients can manipulate models, move through all of the spaces, and go through every tiny detail of the designs presented to them. VR and 3D visualization combined offer interactivity and users can now even change the elements that they don’t like on their own.

Amazing advantages offered by VR

With architectural visualization that is immersive and interactive, both clients and architects can notice errors and faults early on. This makes it easy to prevent issues before any money or effort have been invested into construction. You can drastically reduce costs, as there isn’t any need for additional investments other than the ones that were initially projected at the start of construction.

On top of that, clients, investors, stakeholders, and professionals that work on projects can oversee the design. They can have a fulfilling discussion about the design and truly imagine what the final project will look like. Imagination is not really precise so when a person can see their vision in front of them, it’s easier to for them to change things or try something else instead.

3D visualization and virtual reality are drastically accelerating various design processes, with the architecture industry being the first one looking to exploit their potential. However, these technologies are yet to be fully developed in manufacturing, aeronautics, data visualization, simulations, arts, and many other fields. We can only expect a bright future for these solutions.

Design, Visualize, Create, the Workflow of a Successful Architect

Being a successful architect in not an easy task, especially since the competition is fierce and the job itself is very hard. So, how do they do it? Let’s dive into it.

The workflow of a good architect is greatly determined by three stages: designing a project, visualizing all the details, and creating a model of the final design. Three words should be part of the motto of every architect who wants to become an experienced professional: Design, Visualize, and Create.

To create a real and stunning work of art, an architect must first visualize the form of what he's about to create. The architect’s workflow is rarely covered in any standard and traditional form of education, yet it's the most important element of any project.

There are different elements and factors that need to be combined to create a workflow that will guarantee the desired result. Organization, communication, and collaboration, together with the process outlined above, should make up the workflow of a successful architect.

Before architects can approach a project, they need to understand the idea behind the project. The evolution of the working process took its natural course. It's closely related to the advancement of modern technology which gives more means and resources to the architects to organize their time much better than before.

The Early Stage of a Workflow

In the early stage of a workflow, it's essential to establish the main goals of a project. Professionals and specialists usually use this stage to gather as much information about a project as they possibly can. It's also a stage where the essential decisions are made. Each information and decision are equally important for the final result and, of course, no one wants their project to fail.

Architecture is an exact science and there's no room for mistakes. Due to the complexity of its nature, architects usually collaborate with other team members working on the same projects such as engineers and other specialists. The design is considered to be the earliest stage in the workflow of architects, mostly because that's where they make decisions about the recommended approach.

Based on the performance, the feedback helps them to keep pace with design changes that happen very frequently until the design reaches its final form. Such a division of workflow brings significant benefits to the architects. It also enables them to apply any necessary changes without disrupting the entire project.

The first stage of the workflow leads to the second stage, where an architect starts visualizing the already-made design in terms of performance goals such as energy cost, daylight, comfort, and other criteria. Also, in this first or early stage, an architect explores facade design, program layout, building form, and the like. It's also the stage where early models are created.

Visualization as the Second Workflow Stage

The second stage of a workflow is where an architect decides between what's possible and what a client wants. Visualization is crucial to the success of the entire project. It's the stage where an architect has to think about all the elements needed to complete the project and it further determines the course of possible actions that they need to take.

Today, it's possible to do amazing things with visualization thanks to the advanced software technology. With such software built specifically for architects, professionals and specialists got an extremely useful tool that helps them optimize their workflow and get the finest results.

Such software can help you bring your design to life by adding compelling effects, foliage, objects, lighting, materials, and environment through an impressive visualization. Such possibilities give you a full picture of where you currently stand with your project, allowing you to plan the next move, staying on or even ahead of your schedule.

With almost instantaneous rendering and editing, adding artistic and conceptual aspects to your entire workflow is easy. The best thing about these tools is that they allow you to create big visualizations. This instantly gives you a full picture of everything that you need to change or add, making things much easier.

Therefore, it's absolutely safe to assume that visualization gives a full perspective of the final form of the project to both the architect and the client. Design, followed closely by visualization are the essential steps that lead to a well-executed project.

The Final Stage - To Create

After the first two stages, the only thing left is to finish what you started. You already have all the necessary details, the wanted design, and a detailed visualization of how it will all look in real life. Now you can start creating a 3D model to get a full picture of the project.

Creating a 3D model puts all other team members on the same page. It's a way to remove any obstacles that might get in the way before the project reaches its final stage of realization. It's a stage where you actually create an object based on design and visualization, which were both shaped by the demands of your client. Even after this stage, it doesn't necessarily mean that the project is over.

Usually, more than one model is created to see how it blends with the variations proposed by the client and the rest of the team. If everything goes smoothly and by the book, a project is allowed to enter the stage where it's actually being built in real life. Being an architect today has numerous advantages over being one twenty years ago. This is simply because of the affordable and widely accessible advanced technology we now have.

The truth is, the success of a project greatly depends on the workflow of an architect. If you have these three distinct stages in your workflow, you'll ensure that the project is completed quickly and smoothly. This type of workflow has been implemented by many big architecture firms that have designed and built amazing structures. Follow this pattern and you can expect great success.

7 Great 3D Model Warehouses

These online 3D model warehouses are great resources for speeding up workflow and producing better visualizations.

3D rendering artists have a lot on their plate. Between finding work, doing the work, and making sure the work is good enough to get them more work, there’s little time to spare. The most successful artists find ways to shore up their workflow in order to streamline their process and do the best job they can do in a reasonable timeline.

That’s where 3D warehouses come in. They provide artists with ready-made 3D models they can insert into their work without the need to create the content themselves. They are shortcuts that can cut schedules in half, and lead to professional grade renderings that are delivered on truncated deadlines.

This is a list of 7 3D model warehouses that have been developed to host diverse libraries of 3D models spanning a variety of visualization sub-industries. Whether you are a game designer, architect, or marketing professional, these warehouses can help aid in moving along your rendering work and leaving enough time to focus on the things that really make your business tick.

1 | Turbo Squid

From cars and characters to animals and architecture, Turbo Squid has it all. It’s quality that counts here, and everything down to the slick interface bursts at the seams with it. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single 3D model in their library that doesn’t pass whatever high standard of excellence you use to judge them by. Turbo Squid is simply the best, and one 3D model warehouse you should keep bookmarked for life.

2 | Free 3D

The operative word here is ‘free.’ You might not find the most high-res, Pixar level 3D models here, but what you do find won’t cost you a think. Free 3D is the perfect place for beginners and rendering noobs to cherry pick some content and get their feet wet. You can browse models by category, or based on which modeling program you use. For being 100% free, there are a lot of extras here that make looking for and downloading 3D models fun.

3 | 3D Warehouse

SketchUp has come a long way since it’s initially rocky launch over a decade ago. This is due in large part to the ever-growing coffers of its proprietary 3D model database, simply called ‘the warehouse.’ It’s populated with thousands upon thousands of models created by none other than the robust base of SketchUp users worldwide. Not every model is top notch work, but you’re bound to find something you can use among the stacks.

4 | GrabCAD

If CAD is your 3D modeling bag, than GrabCAD has a lot to offer. It’s made up of a community of designers, engineers, architects, and students who all contribute to growing the library of CAD files members and users can browse. The GrabCAD community is vast, meaning the shear amount of 3D models available is large and ever-growing, ensuring you’ll be able to find something to contribute to your next 3D rendering or animation.

5 | CGTrader

CGTrader is a storied, well-stocked 3D marketplace where users can find both high-quality paid for 3D models, and lesser-quality free models for use in their rendered scenes. It comes with a healthy amount of browsing filters that help artists narrow down what they’re looking for and spend less time thumbing through content they have no use for. The site also as a number of VR-ready models that can take your work into the future of 3D visualization.

6 | 3DM3

For rendering artists whose primary mode of creation is fine art, 3DM3 has the database of content to make your lives easier. It’s a crutch used by computer graphics artists around the world, and has cultivated a robust library of resources that goes beyond your typical street lights, fire hydrants, and guys walking dogs. It’s also a place where artists can learn new skills, engage in a community, and share their work with the world.

7 | Archive3D

There’s nothing difficult about using Archive3D, which for its laundry list of users is its most attractive feature. There’s no need to hold a membership card or even provide an email address to start downloading models from one of the largest 3D model databases on the internet. No matter the format or software you’re using, Archive 3D will have something you can put to good use.