A few weeks ago, I wrote about using the Unity3D game develop engine to import Revit Architecture models.  I’ve since upgraded to Unity Pro, opening  the doors to some even more powerful features.  I really haven’t had a lot of time to spend on this, but I couldn’t resist pulling up this early design iteration, and adding some lights to see how it would look.  Find the live updated build HERE.  I even stepped out my back door this morning and recorded an audio sample for some contextual ambiance (the sandhill cranes are back!).

Unity continues to amaze – especially with the new lighting options available, on top of the overall ease of use and simplicity of importing Revit models (or any AEC BIM / modeling app for that matter).

Since my last update, I’ve started contracting on several Unity projects, primarily developed in Maya – which obviously look much better than a model straight out of Revit Architecture, since they’ve been optimized specifically for deployment in a realtime game engine.  However, I still think Unity is an amazing compliment to Revit for architectural design visualization.  It enables a much more ‘experiential’ design process, where you’re able to test design ideas in a more immersive, realtime environment and at much higher framerates than you can get with draft renders or Revit’s ‘Walk’ tools.  I still use pen and trace paper to sketch out schematic design ideas, but when I want to test the idea – I first draft it in Revit to be sure the dimensions will actually work, then switch over to Unity to walk around inside of it and publish it to a website to share with others.

The added benefit of working with Unity is how easy it is to update the model to reflect revisions.  Even after materials are applied and lights have been place, changes made in Revit appear instantly upon export.

I will post another update soon with a more advanced design iteration and Unity build!

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