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The Ultimate Virtual Reality Walkthrough for Architecture

Mar 28, 2022

Virtual reality (VR) is an incredible new technology that has revolutionized many aspects of life, including architecture. VR allows architects to create immersive environments without the added difficulty of building physical models. Let’s look at how VR can be used for architectural walkthroughs and other areas.

Uses of VR Walkthrough Software in Architecture

Architectural VR walkthrough software enables architects to take people through a virtual walkthrough of their buildings. These inspections allow them to create efficient and accurate plans since they do not have to redraw any single representation multiple times.

When construction time comes, builders can use the building plan replicas to generate detailed blueprints. And since you can share information easily between models and blueprints, contractors and building owners save time and money.

Apart from creating blueprints fast, the software also allows builders to virtually check the finished product to ensure everything is up to standard. That reduces efforts and costs that could stem from future problems like water damage or electrical shortages.

Clients and their investors get the same benefit, seeing the building before its actual completion and determining if it meets their expectations.

VR walkthroughs are, however, not only helpful in the preconstruction and construction phases. They are also widely used for virtual tours that let future homeowners check out properties they are looking to purchase. For example, furniture sellers, most notably IKEA, have also been using the application to show buyers how the furniture they are eyeing would look in their homes.

Many museums and popular tourist spots also employed the technology to generate income at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when governments implemented strict travel restrictions.

Although still in its infancy, some firms like Merriman Anderson/Architects and HMC Architects have begun using VR walkthrough software. And given the ease it brings to the table, the technology is bound to improve and gain mainstream adoption over time.

Note that VR walkthroughs only become compelling when they consider functionality. Your walkthrough should not only show but also let participants experience. Users should gain complete control over the virtual space, including opening and closing doors and windows, turning lights on and off, and moving furniture around. A VR walkthrough should thus be intuitive.

The VR walkthrough software you use needs an efficient navigation tool that lets people move around and explore the space, including making changes should they wish to.

How to Make an Architectural VR Walkthrough

An excellent architectural VR walkthrough should espouse usability above all. It should work on multiple devices, regardless of operating system (e.g., Android, iOS, Windows, etc.). To get the most out of the experience, it is also vital to ensure that participants can interact with the space in every possible way.

To ensure functionality, use the best software available in the market. Creating architectural VR walkthroughs requires utilizing a combination of three types of programs—computer-aided design (CAD) software, a VR publisher and viewer, and a 3D rendering application.

Depending on your firm’s requirements and budget, you can choose any CAD program. Start by reading up on what the market has to offer.

Ensuring that you meet all requirements can be very tricky and hard to accomplish. That is where Plus Render comes in handy. We are a 3D rendering service with the best technology and talents to make your architectural VR walkthroughs worth viewing.

VR publishing is not exactly rocket science, but it can be tricky. For instance, you will need to determine the file format for publishing the VR walkthrough. That gets more complicated if it involves multiple files, such as when videos and still images are captured from different perspectives that need to be combined to form a single space.

Our experts will walk you through the creation process to ensure you are as involved as possible in every step. We will give you the tools and training to make your 3D model perfect.

360-Degree Rendering

VR walkthroughs typically begin in 2D. And the process of transforming spaces into 3D is technically complex, especially since VR and augmented reality (AR) applications usually require high interactivity.

It is necessary to use 360-degree rendering to provide the most immersive experience possible. The result is a 3D environment where viewers can fully view the subject as if they were there.

Our team will create the full spherical panorama or representation of the area in its entirety of your interior or exterior space. Once that is done, we will render the space in 3D. After that, we will add the required interactivity (e.g., people) and publish the file for you.

Compatibility

Our VR walkthroughs are multi-device-friendly. You can view them on mobile phones, tablets, or computers with a VR headset. We will keep your end product in mind and even customize it to meet your needs during the process.

How Does a VR Walkthrough Work?

VR walkthroughs enable people to look around as if they were actually in the area. For example, they can move around the virtual environment using a joystick controller (e.g., a gamepad), a keyboard, a mouse, or a head-mounted display touchpad.

The technology creates an accurate virtual replica of any building, down to the smallest detail. It lets users interact with the objects and elements around them to change the model. It works on the same concept as technology-enabled museum experiences or virtual tours.

Benefits of VR Walkthroughs

The technology has tremendous potential for building developers and designers, allowing them to test their spaces before spending money on decorating and furnishing them. They can also show off their latest projects to give people a chance to make changes if they are not happy with the result.

Marketing a property is also much easier and more efficient with VR technology. Creating an immersive virtual experience makes it possible for people to experience your building before it is actually built. That way, they can gain a much better understanding of its design and functionality and its location, size, and more.

Here are other benefits of VR walkthroughs:

  • In addition to being efficient, VR walkthroughs are highly interactive. They offer a total 3D experience, enabling users to interact with objects by clicking, dragging, or pinching them.
  • VR walkthroughs allow you to test your designs before they get built. You can use the products to show clients the end results so you can make changes (e.g., adding or removing furniture and other elements) until the client is satisfied.
  • VR walkthroughs are also helpful for presentations. You can showcase your designs to clients and potential customers in the most realistic way possible. They allow you to get feedback before you even start building.
  • A VR walkthrough is a great way to advertise your firm to potential customers. You can collate walkthroughs of your past projects, so instead of an image-based portfolio, you have videos, and ones they can interact with at that.

What Does a VR Walkthrough Include?

Streamlining is one of the most critical aspects of creating a VR walkthrough. That is especially important for contemporary projects since completing them fast is crucial. You may not have the luxury of waiting days or even weeks for your design to get built, so you need a way to get started quickly. That is precisely what VR walkthroughs offer.

A VR walkthrough is a fantastic way to illustrate an interior or exterior space, allowing you to showcase your design in its most realistic form.

Let us take a look at an example. Imagine you are going to sell a building. You want potential buyers to see how it will look from every angle before the project even breaks ground. Think it is impossible? It is not because you can use a VR walkthrough to get that done.

Conclusion

Creating a virtual walkthrough is one of the best ways to achieve realistic results, even if the actual house or building has yet to be built. As you have seen, in architecture, it can spell the difference between achieving perfection and wasting resources. And it is easier to do than you think.

Are you ready to create your own VR walkthrough? Share links to your Sketchfab creations in the comments section. We would love to see your portfolio so we can help you turn your dream walkthrough into reality.