Architecture has moved forward in leaps and bounds since the turn of the century. So where could 3D rendering take us in the next few years?
Since the invention of CAD in the mid 1970s, the world of architectural visualisation has become a very different place. Photo-realism is now at an unprecedented level, with illustrators able to map almost every aspect of a building. So now the question surely has to be: where do we go from here?
Although as an industry we have brought a sense of reality to our work, it is perhaps still only a sense. The next logical step seems to be the inclusion of the human experience into each project. In other words, we need to feel like we are actually exploring these buildings. There could be a number of ways of doing this, but, for now, let’s take a look at the most promising.
There’s nothing that quite compares to walking through the front door of a new building. With a fixed rendering the rooms can sometimes feel a little lifeless, but traveling from one floor to the next can give you the sensation of actually being there.
Current walkthroughs allow the audience to drift around a building, almost as if they were flying. Although this enables the architect to demonstrate the key aspects of the design, it doesn’t allow the viewer to stop, look around and fully engage in what they are seeing.
Creating this kind of immersive experience would open up a whole new perspective for the customer. It may even be possible to design a space where the viewer can interact with their surroundings and discover them first hand, much like a video game. In this way, the aesthetic of a building wouldn’t be its only presentable attribute. An architect could also demonstrate how the building uses energy, how it is affected by a large flow of people or what would happen to the building over time.
Another intriguing concept is the use of holographic visualisation. These designs are in their infancy, but the ones currently on the market suggest their future is very bright indeed.
These holograms enable you to display your CAD files directly to your customer, needing only a light source to bring them to life. Laid on a flat surface, the holograms present a bird’s eye view of the building, but reveal more of the design as the panel is tilted. Being able to create such portable visualisations could make sales pitches a far easier affair and would allow the customer a more tactile experience.