New forms of architectural design presentation for an interactive communication: how to develop a video for an architectural project

Representing a project means translating design ideas in the mind of the designer while describing formal, material and construction aspects of the imagined object. An architectural design presentation might not be the core of the project, but it surely influences the viewer.

Therefore, a representation is a composition tool that highlights project ideas in a space close to reality, both in terms of size and materials.

Architectural Visualization

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Drawing of the Church of San Lorenzo facade in Florence

Architectural visualization: the evolution of project representation

Since the end of the 1980s of the XX century, a project representation has evolved, especially after the development of personal computers and software for designing and editing images. From sketch / drawing or manual rendering – perspective and axonometric views – up to three-dimensional modelling – models of various materials and dimensions – architectural design presentation has been transformed thanks to new technologies and tools.

In the nineties, the introduction of digital graphic systems and the birth of new tools and techniques, allowed to establish a new conceptual processing of the project different from the traditional one.
In fact, today photorealistic virtual images are used on a daily base while animated environments, connected to the cinema, television or video-games, have been from quite some time proposing quality results that would make you hardly distinguish a real image from a virtual reconstruction.

Furthermore, video games players, combining realism of movements to an incredible photorealistic quality of settings and characters, not only seek the best experience in terms of aesthetics, visual and acoustic, but also the maximum degree of interactivity.

Architectural Visualization

Le Corbusier | Presentation of the model of a Unitè d’habitation

Architectural visualization: a project representation

Returning to the technical aspects, the standard relating to the presentation of a project in the past expected technical and non-technical paper documents production, that would not include  photorealistic images.

Communication distance between a designer and a non-technical audience has been overcome when a project idea started to be presented through detailed images and drawings of furnishing elements or rendering of the planned environment.

A traditional project representation

Engineers working with blueprints and discussing the project together

The technical gap has been reduced when certain aspects have improved. These aspects particularly regard:

  • photorealistic quality of the environments;
  • accuracy of morphological, dimensional and material characteristics;
  • effective experience of perceptive and visual quality.

These aspects can be obtained immediately thanks to software that, in the course of an architectural visualization, can enhance general and detailed aspects of the work to be carried out, making the client’s experience more involving.

Architectural design presentation: project communication through interactive videos

Everyone can appreciate the possibility of interacting with the surrounding environment, even a virtual one. A client could, for example, approve design choices with total freedom.

Some software solutions, similarly to gaming, allow users to navigate in virtual environments using viewers and controller commands.

What used to be a futuristic vision is now reality to all effects!

Thanks to new technologies, the client can directly guide the eye of the camera within the project to be implemented, indicating any possible change and addition to be made. All aspects that the designer can perform and verify in real time.

Architectural visualization

BIM VIDEO studio | Screenshot of an interactive video presentation

From an operational point of view, this type of program is destined to take on an absolutely central role in the entire creative / production process.

Furthermore, these software and tools can be used not only to communicate an idea to the client, but also for the analysis and technical- interactive verifications of the various alternative solutions by the designer.

It is actually a real revolution, similar to the one introduced by the use of CAD in design. Just as the CAD had provided the maximum freedom to make changes to the project with extreme ease, reversibility and immediacy, this new type of program allows the designer to generate a visual analysis and a flexible and changeable real-time project communication.

These software that typically operate in a BIM environment, such as Edificius, allow multimedia presentations of the project, working as if the user would be on a virtual movie set where the 3D BIM model is integrated with:

  • texts, images and design graphics insertion;
  • simulation of atmospheric effects, natural and artificial lighting;
  • view only of certain environments and model objects;
  • movie recording.

All the representation material can be easily mounted in a time-line by establishing the succession or overlap of texts, static or dynamic images relating to project drawings, videos or photos.

The most relevant aspect of these applications is represented by the production of  movies related to the 3D BIM model in a dynamic way, exactly as happens with floor plans, cross-sections, axonometric views and other representations of the 3D model, since they will change automatically when changes are applied to the model.