Real-Time Rendering: advanced visual technologies applied to engineering. Let’s find out what American and European architects think in the results of a survey
Real-time rendering is rapidly expanding into the AEC industry with more applications tuned to the workflows of architects, engineers and developers, offering tight integration with leading CAD / BIM tools.
Real-Time Rendering is made up of images or animations that are rendered at such a speed resulting imperceptible for the final user to realize that the computer actually takes some time to calculate them.
As a matter of fact, the biggest challenge for 3D visualization technologies has become making actions easier to generate and decisions faster to take.
Until recently, a simple image was sufficient to communicate an architectural project or a product. This would, however, preclude the many possibilities offered by Real-Time rendering technologies.
Architectural design and Real-Time rendering
Architectural renderings are based on images and videos that have reached full maturity: now it is time to achieve new goals.
The average visual quality is now accessible for almost all software and the software market is not willing to bear the costs of higher quality processing in order to achieve results that are perceived only by a few professionals.
As for the videos, given the sometimes-prohibitive costs, they never really managed to take off as a presentation or sales tool.
Here is the condition for a radical change: “Rendering 2.0”.
PCs, tablets and even smartphones’ performances allow today to develop and present projects in real time using software with features suitably dedicated to these functions.
The advantage is the possibility to provide customers with a model that can be explored and modified in real time. Moreover, Real-Time Rendering is visible in every possible light condition, with vegetation and realistic atmospheric elements, and where virtual characters can also be inserted to assess dimensions and proportions.
In a market where, traditional advertising is disappearing and where the importance of digital marketing grows exponentially, Real-Time Rendering is a formidable resource for creating engaging and potentially viral contents.
In fact, it is possible to produce an environment that can be explored by the customer on practically any type of platform or device at the same cost of a high-level traditional render, and even having the possibility to share it on its website or on social platforms.
Real-Time Rendering not only removes long waiting to achieve the result, but it allows, for example, architects to make assessments that were previously not feasible: meetings with stakeholders where they can modify projects on the fly, virtual reality tours, and various types of interactive presentations.
To better understand the ideas and decisions behind the Real-Time revolution, we will share a survey commissioned by Unreal Engine (a graphic engine developed by Epic Games) and carried out by
Forrester Consulting, a leading American consulting firm. AEC professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom were interviewed with regard to their attitude towards Real-Time Rendering.
The results produced by this survey were partly expected, but they were in part also surprising.
Survey on Real-Time Rendering
Among the architects that answered the questions relating to the design process:
- 95% claimed that they were interested in adopting Real-Time Rendering solutions as a way to get feedback and modify projects with real-time feedback from customers
- 30% said they would like to shorten the design process with Real-Time technology, making that a strong driver for its adoption.
- 81% declared an immediate interest in Real-Time Rendering.
- 59% said they plan to adopt real time technology within the next 12 months.
Why making real-time renderings?
Many respondents were worried about the hyper-competitive market, with 65% citing the need to reduce the time needed to create high-resolution photorealistic images.
And with the computing power now able to manage virtual reality and augmented reality, 83% are interested in searching for AR or VR solutions to solve problems.
Furthermore, Architectural Visualization professionals also see the need for Real-Time technology in managing Big Data for applications such as GIS mapping and cost analysis.
Obstacles in the adoption of Real-Time technology
The analysis of results suggests a surprising fact: according to 42% of respondents, the cost of software is an obstacle to the adoption of Real-Time technology
The answer seems to be based on a typical misunderstanding. Specifically, that the implementation of Real-Time Rendering requires expensive tools, while, on the contrary, the Real-Time is managed as an integration/function in a BIM architectural design software.
Another concern for the interviewees is relating to the time and costs of training of their collaborators on ‘real-time’ technologies, having 30% of them pointing at it as an inhibitor for the adoption of real-time rendering.
In addition to the evident benefits of faster design iteration and the ability to create engaging experiences for customers, the adoption of Real-Time technology has a hidden side effect: greater employee satisfaction.
According to 62% of respondents, the staff is even more creative, more satisfied and happy to be able to experiment the latest technologies while exploring new artistic possibilities.
The future is in Real-Time
With all the emerging trends and interest around the Real-Time Rendering, it will not take long before it will replace traditional rendering. It will most likely come the time when real-time design collaboration will become the norm, and customers will require a virtual reality experience before signing the project.
And with all the possibilities offered right now, it’s a great time to get started!