Yes – it’s now available for free download – the latest Game Engine graphics development kit. It comes with a sample Forest environment to experience in sight and sound.
What does this mean for the Architectural Visualization community. I think it needs serious consideration for the next generation of visual effects we produce for our clients.
Arch. Viz. artists can produce immersive interactive experiences for clients within game engines rather than costly traditional linear animations. It is cost prohibitive currently to purchase licenses for game engine technologies, but different
development companies are working on pricing structures for Architects who want to export environments to clients for real-time walk through simulations. The possibilities I think will be tremendous.
Until this point in Architectural history, design concepts were sold to clients from sketches, cardboard models, and recently – 3D renderings. The cost for Archtitects has been prohibitive and therefore design solutions have met many a fate on the chopping block of “value engineering”. What if we could give clients an “experience” – like test driving a car before you buy. We have, at best, tried to sell design concepts with pictures not able to give clients something to actually walk around in at a photorealistic level.
Sure we charge tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce short linear animations which are all of forgotten minutes after viewing. But what if we could export a 3D world that clients could walk through at leisure and experience our proposed design solutions. I think clients would see and want to pay for Architectural solutions proposed at the onset of a project rather than cut them out. Just think how different the world would look if Architects actually had their visions built, and clients would gladly pay for them. And why not – they are always willing to pay for expensive luxury items like cars, boats, clothing etc. – and it is because they see and experience them first before buying. With Architecture it’s not possible – you can’t put a building on a retail store shelf and sell it – until perhaps now. We can export a game environment with the new graphic technologies as a product to clients including their buildings that they can experience even on mobile devices.
It is all in the design concept sale to the client where they want to spend the money to purchase the design concepts. It is what Architects have never been able to achieve on level par with the advertising or retail world. The feature film industry has been, of recently using game engine environments for creating environments impossible to actually build. Special effect shots have also been used within game engines. It’s time for the Architectural community to include the game industry just as they have done with movie industry in creating another level of the way clients can experience future projects.