For years architects have used 3D mockups of their buildings to present their customers with understandable visuals. These used to be sketches and have since become 3D models generated from CAD programs (Computer Aided Design). As computer processing power has increased, so too has the ability to render (generate into 3D) better 3D models. This all depends on what your end user requires and what stage you are at with your design (both the following examples, each have their use, click the images to enlarge):
Some architectural firms are now adding fly-throughs to their list of outputs. Allowing the client to watch videos of what the building will look like from certain angles and with certain light.
However, the latest client request is to allow the customers or those your proposing the plans too, to have the ability to navigate and virtually look around the building or urban space. By this, we mean that you can allow the council, the client, the customer, the planners and builders and anyone else involved in the building to see what it is they are going to get by allowing them to navigate the space on a computer.
To do this we integrate game 3D technology with the building or urban space and allow the user to play the game (be it, without weapons or certain game features that make it a game). People have tried doing this with Quake and SIMS games. However, the best place seems to be Second Life’s virtual world software (shown by the number of architectural firms investing in it).
With Second Life the user can do the following:
- fly and walk around the building and thus fully explore the space occupied by it
- have an inventory of items that they can add to the space and move them around (i.e. an office table and chair)
- WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) experience
- network with the architect and other people involved in the program
- everyone can have the ability to edit the objects (i.e. move walls and adjust anything in the space)
As you can see it offers the user and those involved a great tool to produce a better designed architectural project. The program is free to download and you can install it on display machines for users at exhibitions and meetings. We can’t rave abut it more, it is our program of choice and the most popular for this job.
The following video shows architects at work in second life. These architects are getting together to create a building using a wiki method (collaborating together to build something quicker). If you need a someone to create you a building or urban space then please click contact us.