Epic Games operates one of the world’s largest games, Fortnite, and also develops Unreal Engine, the most advanced real-time 3D creation tool that powers Fortnite and is used in industries beyond games. Over the last few years, more professionals in architecture and related fields are using Unreal Engine to bring stunning, photorealistic worlds to life.
In an exclusive interview with ArchDaily, David Weir-McCall, Architecture Industry Marketing Manager at Epic Games, shares his insights on the use of digital technology, such as the likes of Unreal Engine, for collaboration and co-design within the field of architecture, engineering, and construction.
International architectural practice Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) is constantly striving to improve efficiencies and enable greater creative exploration through the application of the latest technologies. With nine offices worldwide and projects based anywhere from Europe to the US and China, the company takes a global approach to its design process by fostering collaboration; it’s not uncommon for a single project to involve team members based in London, New York, and Singapore, for example, who come together virtually in what Cobus Bothma, Director of Applied Research, calls their “tenth office”.
Real-time architectural visualization provides a compelling immediacy that helps stakeholders in architectural projects better understand unbuilt buildings. With the interactive architectural visualization tool Twinmotion, it’s now possible to transform BIM and CAD models into these convincing real-time experiences quickly and easily. Architectural designers benefit enormously from tools that are easy to learn and use, but they also want to create visualizations that provide a genuine sense of presence. Realism is the key to achieving this, a focus of the upcoming release of Twinmotion 2020.
In this article, we’ll provide a sneak peek at some of the new Twinmotion features.
Forward-thinking architectural firms, infrastructure consultancies, and interior design businesses are increasingly leaning on real-time architectural visualization to explore, evaluate, and present designs. By affording clients and project stakeholders the opportunity to experience future spaces in interactive and immersive environments, real-time technology provides a compelling immediacy that 2D drawings cannot.
American video game and software development company Epic Games today welcomes Twinmotion as the latest offering to help visualization professionals in the architecture, construction, urban planning, and landscaping industries better communicate their designs. Powered by Unreal Engine 4, Twinmotion delivers real-time, final-quality rendering through a simple and intuitive interface, with the ability to quickly produce a variety of presentation options including images, panoramas, videos, and virtual reality content.
As more and more visualization professionals adopt real-time rendering for presentation and collaboration, we’re seeing yet another trend in this emerging field: the integration of various technologies to serve a wide variety of workflows.
Every firm has different needs for compatibility with their chosen CAD programs. No one wants to learn a new process from scratch when they've already spent countless months setting up a design-to-presentation process that works for them.
Every year we see new tools and techniques for better, faster architectural visualization. The last few years have been a particularly exciting time because of advances in real-time rendering applications. When coupled with supporting technology like virtual reality headsets, projectors, and graphics cards, real-time photoreal rendering is putting stunning, dynamic visualization media within reach—mixed and augmented reality worlds, interactive configurators, game-like presentations—so architects and designers can truly tell their stories.
When you see new software that can speed up your workflow, it’s fun to imagine what you can do with it. But in reality, many of us don’t want to be among the first to try it out, especially if documentation is lacking. No one wants to spend countless hours fighting with mysterious features only to go back to the old workflow because you just need to get things done.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about trying out photoreal real-time rendering for your workflow, but you’re concerned that that on-ramp is too steep. Real-time rendering requires you to import your CAD scene into a game engine, and anytime you import to a new piece of software, there are going to be issues to solve. If you have to figure it out on your own, it’s going to be a long, hard road.
Are architects really turning to real-time rendering for visualization? Epic Games, the creators of Unreal Engine, decided to find out with an independent survey.
The results confirmed what many of us have suspected—real-time rendering is on the rise in architecture, media and entertainment, and manufacturing. But the survey also revealed a few surprising details about real-time rendering and its uses.
Design visualization just keeps reaching new heights. While renderings remain a common part of design presentation, advances in technology have made new types of media not only possible but within the reach of even small teams and firms. These newer types of media require a change in workflow. Is it worth it?
A recent independent survey of more than 2000 architectural visualization professionals revealed an intriguing trend. More than 20% of these designers and architects are using real-time rendering as part of their presentation workflows right now, with another 40% trying it out for adoption.
REinVR, Real Estate in Virtual Reality, is a Canadian company that uses advanced video game technology to create photo-realistic visuals and animation to beautifully showcase real estate projects that have not yet been built. REinVR is a industry leader in the Virtual Reality industry and is regarded as having the highest quality visuals of any company working in Virtual Reality. We spoke to founder Nathan Nasseri about the success of his firm, and his unique background in video game design and new home sales.
In the 1990s, the field of architectural design was transformed by the widespread adoption of computers and CAD programs. This revolution affected the entire design process from start to finish, including presentation techniques. Traditional watercolor paintings were replaced by computer-generated images that could show the design from multiple angles. A virtual camera could even fly through the design and produce a video tour of the yet-to-be-built concept.
In recent years, we've reached a point where visualizations have become all-prevalent in the architectural profession. Whether we like it or not, stylized imagery is seen as a commodity, and ultimately, renderings win competitions and commissions. Architects have become enamored with beautiful renderings because clients understand pictures better than plans, and yet, the tools used to produce these glitzy images are changing faster than our industry can keep up. But with technology constantly evolving, we may face a new wave of visualization techniques, as the same render engines used to produce the tantalizingly realistic visuals in movies and video games are, for the first time, easily within our reach.
The lines across industries are blurring and companies behind the rendering engines for the most popular video games are now marketing their software directly to architects. This year, the original developers of the game Gears of War have made their proprietary rendering software Unreal Engine 4 free to architects, and many other video game render engines are available for less than the cost of those used by architects. Founder Tim Sweeney believes that the world of visualization is changing, telling The Verge "We’re realizing now that Unreal Engine 4 is a common language between all these common fields." Creating a common language between the presently disparate fields of architecture, film, and video games, for example, suggests that the industries themselves may begin to hybridize and learn from one another. For instance, video game developers may look to architects to understand how to construct 3D buildings, while architects may learn from the navigable virtual environment of video games in order to discover new means of representation. Add to this the fact that these software packages are capable of producing lifelike animated walkthroughs and we are left wondering, why is this not an industry standard? Read on after the break for the pros and cons of being an early adopter.