July 18, 2018

Virtual Reality in Architectural Visualization

Archviz / VR

Matthew Naj

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Virtual Reality in Architectural Visualization

Virtual Reality has been a concept as old as the genre of science fiction where the technology made its debut. Authors like Philip K Dick, Joe Halderman, and Arthur C Clarke merged the idea that technology could transport you to a new place without taking a step. From those early days virtual reality made its journey from fiction, like the Holodeck of Star Trek: The Next Generation, to movies like Tron and The Matrix, to the point now that, as it’s known in its colloquial form, VR, virtual reality has become a common and door-opening technology. While it’s mostly in the game world that VR is most used, with Batman, Resident Evil, and the latest Elder Scrolls games, virtual realty has more uses than merely recreational.

One of the most clever and useful ways that VR is being used is in the housing market, using architectural visualization. This practice goes both ways, in that it is just as useful to people looking for a new home as it does for the people creating them. With architectural visualization, the days of blueprints are gone. Thanks to the advances of mobile technology, especially in the last few years, the practical applications of virtual reality in architecture has grown exponentially.

Imagine for a minute what your dream house would be like. How many floors? How many bedrooms? Exposed brick or fancy wallpaper? Do you want a nursery, a man cave, or both? Framed posters or framed paintings. Before the use of VR all of these questions would be answer piece by piece over however long it would take to put the house together. Even with detailed blueprints, scale models, and 3D printing, you still don’t have the pleasure of walking around in your home until it’s finished. With architectural visualization, you can combine all of these questions of style, square footage, and what exactly your home will be full of by creating a virtual map of the house that you can explore using your VR headset. This isn’t just for people with a few bucks looking to build their dream home.

Architectural visualization is quickly becoming the go-to method of architects all over the world as they embrace this technology that allows them to do better work. With full VR headsets, architects can fully immerse themselves in a map of the building, using full room-scale renderings to walk the space and get a better feel for the work that needs to be done. An easily understandable example of how this works can be found using the planning stages of a film production. Like filmmaking, there is a level of pre-production that goes into building a house, and architectural visualization allows architects to better storyboard exactly what they want their project to look like. Through this visualization, they can plan the interiors of each room within the building with precision, even down to the position of the sun and the quality of light before a single brick has been laid. Through VR and 3D models, architects can also plan the optimum position of their product, like how a new house will fit into the neighborhood, our how something like a new concert hall will fit into a particular town or city.

Gone are the days in which the process of creating a house, or office building, or public building were painstakingly slow. With architectural visualization projects are better planned, provide more detail and that all important view of the finished product. Gone are the day where virtual reality was just for video games. Instead of pretending you’re hiding from a zombie in a darkened rundown house, use brilliant technology to create your own house.

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