This past August, we hosted a webinar where Chaos’ Director of Corporate Development, Roderick Bates, and Architizer’s Editor in Chief, Paul Keskeys, provided a rare, detailed view of the current and planned use of architectural visualization tools.
The webinar discussion was based on findings from a survey we conducted earlier this year, where over 2,000 architects and designers participated. The survey provided insights into visualization trends, the impact of real-time rendering, and the rise of AI in the competitive architectural design landscape.
This blog post highlights the topics explored in the webinar.
Who are the 2,000 survey respondents?
[00:05:00] The survey respondents are made up of professionals from large firms, small firms, and independent and freelance workers. Having a large perspective was important for diversity in responses, however, there was a North American bias in terms of where the firms were located.
Regarding firm specialization, the major stakeholders represented in the building design process were covered: architecture, interior design, engineering, master planning, and landscape architecture. This was valuable because it validates visualization as an important design communication tool between the various parties involved in the actual design itself and not just between a project and the client group.
Saving time and improving communication
[00:13:00] If you look at the benefits respondents stated, it ultimately came down to two things: saving time and improving communication. In a service-based industry like the AEC, saving time is huge, and communicating more effectively saves time as well. For example, suppose you show someone a piece of information. In that case, they’re able to interpret it, act upon it, make a decision, and move forward, as opposed to requiring additional information and multiple iterative review cycles. So, the idea of saving time and improving communication come together in many ways.
A significant percentage of the respondents use real-time visualization software to review materials and to create 3D immersive walkthroughs for project stakeholders. By showing clients and stakeholders an intuitive sense of space, you can create an exceptionally curated experience that allows them to understand the relative proportions of rooms, the flow of spaces, and what the views might be outside of the windows. And with real-time rendering, they are effortless to generate.
How people fall in love with the space
[00:16:00] An interesting application of real-time visualization that Roderick discussed was the idea that people can view or use visualization to bring in all the atmospheric conditions, like clouds and sun, to reflect a particular location of the project and be able to understand what it looks like during different times of the day.
This is a powerful tool because it shows how people experience a space. It shows how light moves through your space, and it’s an integral part of how people fall in love with the design.
A solution to implementation challenges
[00:21:00] Implementation of real-time visualization technology was one of the biggest challenges faced by survey respondents. Roderick shared that people experienced difficulty implementing real-time visualization technology with their design modeling software.
Chaos Enscape software integrates directly into popular design modeling software. What this means is that it’s completely live. The visualization software can’t function outside of the content of your design platform. It creates a tight connection between the two, and it reduces the amount of back-and-forth data transfer that may be required.
Enscape and V-Ray compatibility
[00:24:00] Thanks to the multiple software available, Chaos offers a workflow that allows a user to go from real-time visualization in Enscape to photoreal in V-Ray. The workflow pushes data via a proprietary file format that is called VR scene; then, you can push your geometry, material, data, and assets into V-Ray and continue working there. It is a reasonably well-codified workflow that we are constantly working to improve further. License holders for both Enscape and V-Ray are recommended to take advantage of this.
V-Ray on the left. Enscape on the right.
AXYZ design acquisition
[00:26:00] Roderick acknowledges that when it comes to visual quality, it’s not always about making something look photo-real. Sometimes, it’s about having the right assets and access to them in your visualization, which is why Chaos welcomed AXYZ design earlier this year to the corporate umbrella.
The Italy-based company is a leading developer of 3D/4D animation software designed to add realistic people and crowds to architectural visualizations. Featuring over 2,500 scanned characters, its anima 5 software is one of the fastest ways to bring dynamic 3D/4D people into a visualization.
Real-time visualization and AI
[00:38:00] As a global leader in visualization technology, we have to think about the ideal way to combine the traditional visualization processes we provide with AI to deliver the best outcome. 68% of the survey respondents either embrace or experiment with AI as part of their actual visualization workflows. So, seeing that such a large percentage are getting into AI and using it as part of the workflow tells us that the time is now to truly start thinking about how we can incorporate it into our products.
And what could be the best way to achieve the optimum visualization output? The survey respondents gave us a hint that 18% of them say they believe AI-assisted/AI-generated visualizations will become prevalent in architects’ workflows in the near future.
Questions and live chat
[00:43:00] Throughout the webinar, viewers could submit questions for Roderick to answer. The most popular question was how Enscape and V-Ray compare to competitors such as Twinmotion regarding tools and use. Other questions that Roderick addressed were about Enscape’s future plans, AXYZ’s role in creating intuitive and powerful workflows across the design spectrum, VR hardware support, and the question in almost everyone’s minds, ‘Will AI replace the need for visualizers in the future?’
Watch the webinar recording now
The webinar recording is available for you to watch on-demand. Click on the button below to learn more about the current and future use of architectural visualization tools from two experts in the industry.
Read the full report
If you’re interested in exploring the trends and key topics discussed in the webinar further, you can dive into the comprehensive report by Chaos and Architizer for an in-depth look at the findings and insights.