Real-Time in Construction and Planning



Computer Generated Real-Time Visuals have thier origins in flight simulation and have been in common use for many years within this industry. In the early days of production, models were very costly and the hardware that ran the visuals cost millions of pounds.

The quality of the visual model has improved steadily over many years, but has taken a great leap forward in the last few years with the introduction of photographic texture. Together with this and the dramatic decrease in cost of hardware and increase in processing power, Real-Time Visual Models can now be utilised in many new commercial sectors.

The advantages over the traditional forms of visualisation are quite extensive and I hope to outline just a few in this short introduction

 The 3D Real-Time model above was created utilising AutoCad plans and elevations and has unique photo-texture. The model contains a highly detailed apartment block with all surrounding buildings. There is a photo-realistic view from all balconies and this was achieved by obtaining real photographic images of the surrounding terrain and placing it seamlessly into the 3D model.

What is Real-Time?

Once a visual model has been constructed you may traverse round the visual in 'Real-Time', as if you were in the real world i.e. the scene is refreshed automatically - upto 60 Hz. You may fly, walk or drive around your scene with complete freedom and it is all updated seamlessly as you move around your development. There is no need to re-render for every different view-point as with traditional pre-recorded scenarios.

As the user you have complete freedom to move in x,y,z axis and view the model from any attitude you wish. Several methods of traversal are available - constrained to the ground as a pedestrian or car, free movement such as helicopter or aircraft, all giving the ultimate flexibility to view your development as your needs demand.

The technology runs on a standard PC platform with a high end 'GeForce' compatible graphics card. In many industries this is hardware that is already available or if needs be can be purchased for a few hundred pounds.

How is the model created?

The visual model is constructed in a specialist 3D package to highly accurate 1:1 scale. The model is built up of simple flat surfaces sculpted in to the complex form of any building or construction desired. This provides a highly accurate model and together with unique photo-texture applied to the surfaces gives a true real world appearance to buildings, bridges, roads and almost any construction imaginable.

Any updates to the model can be changed extremely easily and be viewed instantly without many hours of re-rendering. The reason for this is because the changes, once updated in the database, are implemented as you traverse around the scene in 'Real-Time'. Changing the colour of a building for example can be implemented and viewed in minutes, enabling the model to evolve along side actual project development.

 This 3D model of a sports stadium was created to assist with a planning application and a series of public consultations. The client wanted the flexibility for the model to evolve with the architects design and adapt to the needs of building regulations and public opinion. The model will continue to show further enhancements such as disabled access and transport issues.

What else can Real-Time offer?

Scenes commonly contain lampposts, trees, pavements and cars, in fact anything that is required in a scene can be modelled to suit the development and requirements. The system allows full interaction in many different forms. In the house building and construction industries, varying design options can be changed at will, interior flooring, wall coverings and kitchen options may be cycled through to show the range of finishing touches available to purchasers.

Environmental impact and road studies can show before and after development at the touch of a button, landscaping options can be viewed and line of site studies can be carried out as and when the user requires. Scenes can contain moving vehicles, people and can even be viewed at varying times of day and night. The visual even gives the ability to apply fog to the scene and a whole host of user defined effects.

Viewing the proposed development in a 3D environment can offer benefits to experts in the field and non-technical people alike. Planning proposals and public consultations become far more interactive when separate issues can be addressed whilst looking at specific areas of a model from the perspective of a resident, road user or prospective purchaser.

The modelling software can import/export, a wide variety of formats including Autocad 'DXF' and VRML, giving immense flexibility to the overall system.

The range of models that can be constructed are almost limitless - from an individual house to a complete apartment complex, a town centre road to a motorway by-pass and to projects as diverse as an oil-rig platform to a city centre re-generation scheme. Together with the ability to visualise interiors and with the flexibility of Real-Time technology the benefits and potential uses are vast.

Click the 'NEXT' button for more information and to see the range of projects that can be undertaken

 Contact Visualise Modelling to discuss your requirements