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Architectural Visualization: from representation to presentation

BIM for Architectural Visualization: from representation to presentation

Architectural Visualization: the new frontier of a BIM project’s presentation and representation delivered from the designer to the client

The term Architectural Visualization refers to the representation of the planned environment in an easy and comprehensible way, even before the start of execution and construction. Therefore, it can be defined as any technique used for creating images or animation and to communicate your design ideas with great realism.

Generally, architectural visualizations give designers, clients and contractors a truthful and realistic sneak preview of their vision represented by two-dimensional representations consisting of traditional plans, sections, elevations, axonometrics projections, photorealistic images (renderings) or even three-dimensional models.

Yesterday’s presentation of projects

Architectural Visualization has existed for centuries, with drawings and paintings representing finished structures before their construction.

The classical technical design drawings were generally presented on paper both to the client and to the construction company. Paper documents made up of sections, construction details, structural and technical installation drawings are a common element on architectural study tables, in surveyors offices and in dedicated areas of construction sites.

Architectural Visualization

Louis Isadore Kahn working on a drawing board

Thus, it is not a surprise that Architectural Visualization through visual imagery has been an effective way to communicate ideas and impress the client with special effects. In addition, it is the moment of technical verification where also the client evaluates the result, asks for changes or approves the choices made.

Today’s presentation of projects

Rendering and photorealistic animations

Video presentations play a big role in the industry providing general or detailed information to better explain your project. Drawing models, renderings, 3D animations and videos allow you to "explore" new environments from different perspectives.

As a matter of fact, these tools grant complex aspects analysis in a more effective manner and provide an objective assessment of the work to be carried out.

A realistic 3D representation of the project produced through materials, lights and shadows, cannot sometimes be distinguished from a photograph. Thus, resulting in something very close to the expected final outcome.

According to the results of a survey carried out among technical and marketing experts, a project presented through rendering is more effective and increases the project value perception, thus having more chances of being successful, than a project illustrated only through project drawings. The photorealistic rendering depicts, along with the geometries, everyday objects and human figures that interact with the new environments. This approach presents space in a more intelligible and emotional way.

Tomorrow’s presentation of projects

Augmented reality

While rendering is one of the most widely used representation techniques, there is still skepticism towards more recent presentation tools such as augmented reality.

However, when it comes to interior furnishings, augmented reality is also widely used in different apps on the market, since they allow you to choose a piece of furniture and place it directly in the room.

Being able to communicate the value of the project serves to highlight to the client what the specifications and characteristics are and to motivate the costs of planning and construction.

In fact, even though the rendering is somehow photorealistic, it remains a static representation and a drawing. Augmented reality is instead interactive: it allows the designer and the user to interact, to obtain different perspectives and to relate to the model to fully understand it in real time.

In summary, augmented reality reduces the gap between what is represented by the designer and what the client expects, thereby reducing the risks of misunderstandings, errors and changes.

A rendering is a very realistic image of the future, but it does not provide information on material specifications or the real dimensions of environments and / or objects. Augmented reality is a 3D model, that contains data regarding shape, geometry and materials, that can be verified by the client to get more information on the work and check for quick alternatives and that can protect the designer from possible misunderstandings.

Immersive virtual reality

BIM virtual reality workstation

BIM virtual reality workstation

Immersive virtual reality can reproduce an environment by introducing a user into a new, completely virtual scenario, through special viewers, earphones, gloves that isolate him from reality and allow him to see and interact with the simulated reality. This immersive experience is able to almost completely bridge the gap between reality and the client's imagination.

In short, these are the objectives to be achieved with the aid of software that applies BIM - Building Information Modelling technology to create a realistic project so as not to leave room for any misunderstandings with the client and the construction company.

Edificius allows you to take advantage of the full potential of Architectural Visualization through these functions:

  • BIM video studio: the movies generated with this environment will change automatically if any change is made to the model. 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 the graphic tables or photos;
  • VRiBIM:the first immersive virtual reality work environment dynamically connected to a BIM Authoring dedicated to architectural design. The integration between Edificius and VRiBIM allows you to create BIM models to explore and interact with using immersive virtual reality technology;
  • RTBIM (real time rendering): thanks to the integration between Edificius and the new RTBIM you can also have professional static renderings in real time. The real time rendering of the BIM model that allows you to travel dynamically in the project with materials, lights and effects can be stopped on any image to obtain a static photorealistic render.
  • Direct upload to the BIM collaborative platform usBIM.platform.