When Architectural and Gaming Technologies Collide; AEC Will Be Transformed 

Posted by Kate Barlow on 12th March 2019

Many people are talking about the challenges facing the construction sector in 2019. The question is, are they right? They lament the limited adoption of BIM and worry about the barriers to collaboration but have they opened their eyes to the emerging opportunities?

At Tridify, we are driving the changes that will enable AEC to master these challenges. When you transfer your architectural 3D models into a game engine, you bring together two different worlds and spark a transformative change.

We’re excited by the way our clients are transforming their business models and design processes. They are streamlining their workflows and creating digital twins in a matter of minutes. We anticipate a great year ahead for AEC!

The AEC perspective on models

AEC professionals want data-rich architectural 3D models. These models must contain all the information that relates to a building. Unfortunately, these models can be hard to interpret and this creates barriers to understanding and collaboration.

Architects use specialist design software and each of these has to be learned separately. This software tends to demand high specification hardware so designs are hard to share and edit. It can take hours to render these designs into 3D.

Many people find it difficult to visualize professional designs as 3D. This makes it difficult for clients to appreciate the work you have invested or to imagine the finished result. In the worst case scenario, the client makes last minute changes after the construction phase has begun and this leads to expensive rework and delays.

Traditionally, it has been slow to create attractive models and this is a real barrier to incorporating models into the process for smaller projects and ones with tight timescales. Everyone knows the value of models but not everyone has been able to use them.

The Game Engine perspective on 3D models

Game engine designers need fast rendering and stylish models. They need to create realistic virtual worlds with a truly immersive experience. And this is also an ideal virtual environment for a client to understand an architect’s new design. When we combine both worlds – the architect’s detailed, technical models and the game designer’s realistic, fast rendering models – then we start to see a whole new way of working.

How Will Your Business Use Architectural Models in Game Engines?

There are innumerable benefits to adopting game engines and many different use cases too. You will be able to communicate your professional AEC plans to everyone involved, from clients to contractors and subcontractors. Your extended virtual team can quickly share ideas, collaborate and evolve the plans. The key is speed.

Now, when you talk about rendering models in 3 hours or less, it’s easy to test new ideas, explore how a design will work and create a virtual world that accelerates the entire construction process. It is clear that new technology has the potential to solve many of the major challenges facing AEC.

  • Your plans become an experience. You retain a robust, professional AEC model but people can explore your visual model. They are able to freely move around the model. Also the visualisation capabilities of game engines offer a far richer experience. Your clients can immerse themselves among the 3D textures, which inspire a greater feeling of reality than 2D materials.
  • You can simulate the passage of time through changing weather and sunlight conditions to create a strong sense of living in the building. You can also show traffic or any other object shifting. Your client can see how the project will work as a lived reality.
  • Game engine models can be interactive. This allows your client or team members to change elements of the model. For example, they can put furniture in place for space planning purposes and uncover fresh considerations, like allowing space for wheelchairs to pass in corridors.
  • A game engine lets you publish incredibly detailed interfaces for any purpose. This will make it easy for you to use virtual reality or augmented reality. VR and AR apps are an invaluable addition to any team that wants to allow everyone can run or interact with the model – this also breaks down technology barriers as game engines run on any mobile device. Furthermore, a game engine can also show ready-made fly throughs so you can guide the client towards the key areas of your project.
  • You can turn the notion of a digital twin of your project from a talking point to a reality that will bring vast benefits to your clients. You can then use your digital twin to save money through preventive action and you can explore opportunities for future developments to the building without disrupting a single aspect of the day-to-day functions.

From relatively straightforward interior designs projects to early sales of new residential and commercial developments; from planning major projects like hospitals and airports to urban planning; virtualisation has a wealth of applications and brings numerous opportunities to all sectors. Our clients extract designs with BIMs from software like ArchiCAD, Revit, Sketchup, Vectorworks, Autodesk or Bentley Microstation then our automated conversion service gives them ability to render their architectural 3D designs as stunning game engine visualisations. Whether they apply their visualisations as VR, AR, apps, video or online, they reap untold rewards in terms of efficiencies and client satisfaction.

The magic of game engines plus the rigour of architectural models has the power to streamline AEC industry workflows. When contractors, sub-contractors, architects and clients can share information and understand each other’s pinch points, collaboration becomes simpler and more effective. We are proud when our clients tell us that that we help them achieve this.

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