Virtual Project Spaces enable you to explore design on a whole new level. These multi-user, online, collaborative environments offer a unique blend of features that cannot be found in any other application. Just like websites, Project Spaces are hosted on servers, and you (and anyone you invite to join you!) can access these worlds by using a free browser, or ‘viewer’ designed specifically for running 3D environments on your computer.
Project Space hosting works just like web hosting, but there are 3 main decisions to make. What size? Which platform, and Public of Private?
Public or Private?
- Private: You can choose to host a full-size Project Space and have it remain totally private, accessible only by you and people you provide passwords to.
- Public: Or, you can rent a smaller parcel within the public AEC Project Spaces community, where you will have neighbors working on their own AEC-related projects.
We currently offer 2 primary kinds of Virtual Project Spaces – one is powered by Second Life, the other is powered by Visibuild. On the surface, the two platforms look and function very similarly, but there are key differences to consider before ordering your Project Space. Here’s how they compare:
Project Spaces powered by Visibuild:
- Early-phase, public alpha
- Import full 3D models from external apps like Revit, 3DS, ArchiCAD – any industry-standard application.
- Primarily AEC community. While wider diversity will soon be accessible to Visibuild users, it will primarily be a place where you can network with other AEC professionals. For example, if you’re a student, you will soon be able to network with professionals. If you’re a professional, you’ll be able to network with potential clients, product vendors and more. As the community grows, so too will the opportunities for networking and collaboration.
- Ability to backup your work to your own hard drive.
- Privacy – if you need to keep your project top secret, your Project Space can be hosted in a private and secure region.
- No prim size restrictions (objects can be stretched and built as large as needed)
- More prims per square meter rented. Visibuild offers the ability to have many more prims installed on a site.
- Cost considerably less.
Project Spaces powered by Second Life:
- Diversity and size of the community. These spaces will work well for you if you want to share your work with lots of people from a wide variety of disciplines.
- Thorough documentation and support. Because it has been around longer, there is a larger pool of resources available both in-world and on the web.
- Does not allow import of full models from external 3D apps like Revit, 3DS, ArchiCAD, etc.
- Less control over your content. It cannot easily be exported, and your content remains under the control/ownership of Second Life servers.
- Primitive object (prim) size limitation. When using the in-world modeling tools, objects cannot be stretched larger than 10 meters in any direction. To make larger objects, multiple prims are required.
- Fewer prims per square meter of space rented. This is a limitation Second Life places on the number of objects you can have installed on a site at one time.
After you’ve chosen the size, platform and placed your order, you will be given a landmark to your Project Space location. Assuming you already have an account, and have downloaded and installed the platform of your choice, you can log in and visit your new Project Space. You can either use the simple in-world building tools within the ‘edit’ menu, or if you’ve chosen to work on the Visibuild platform, you can learn how to import your 3D models (tutorials coming soon!).
If you need some training, or would like to attend a workshop, visit this page to learn more. Here are some images to give you a sense of the Project Space sizes.
4,000 square meter parcel:
- Project Space powered by Second Life = $25/month
- Project Space powered by Visibuild = $19/month
8,100 square meter parcel:
- Project Space powered by Second Life = $50/month
- Project Space powered by Visibuild = $37/month
16,300 square meter parcel:
- Project Space powered by Second Life = $100/month
- Project Space powered by Visibuild = $75/month
32,768 square meter parcel:
- Project Space powered by Second Life = $200/month
- Project Space powered by Visibuild = $150/month
65,537 square meter parcel (full region):
- Architecture Island powered by Second Life = $400/month
- Architecture Island powered by Visibuild = $300/month
To get started, click HERE or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org describing the parcel size and platform you wish to secure, and we will get back to you within 24 hours. If you’re not sure, please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail, and we will guide you through the decisions to be sure you’re set up with just the right parcel size and platform.
- SL: Keystone Bouchard
- Skype: keystone1111
- Twitter: ARCHNetwork
- LinkedIn: Jon Brouchoud