Architectural 3D Design Visualization - Then & Now

Since the time when buildings started getting designed and constructed, the concept of architectural design, visualization and communication came into existence.

Architects always devised the best ways to communicate designs to the client – via drafts, blueprints, concept drawings, 3D cardboard models, manufactured prototypes and more.

However all this changed, when the architectural design industry experienced the digital revolution. Unlike most of the industries, the AEC industry was receptive to technology adoption and is so even today. Let’s see how Architectural visualization services evolved and transitioned.

CAD – computer aided design

It all started with 2D CAD drafting. Instead of the handmade blueprints, architects started creating design specifications on computers. Soon as CAD software advanced, it was possible to convert these 2D drafts into 3D geometries and view the elevations, demarcations and buildings in 3 dimensional and isometric views.

3D modelling and rendering

Visualization then moved a step ahead as not just 3D viewing but, also viewing a well rendered model that gave a complete idea of all the geometry, textures and materials for a design became possible.

Virtual reality

As software tools like 3D max and Maya came into existence architects stated using 3D modelling, rendering and creating walkthroughs for buildings and the interiors. Software tools and technology like BIM also allows architects and contractors to see how buildings are constructed in a virtual environment.

Augmented reality

Now this is the age of augmented reality - just like virtual reality has become commonplace, augmented reality too will soon be used across the industry for design communication.  Now what is augmented reality? It takes you a step ahead of the virtual environment. It makes the viewer feel like a part of the 3D environment.

Architectural visualization has evolved and improved the way designs are communicated and is continually empowering the architectural design industry. Now it remains to be seen how this transition from 2D hand drawings to augmented reality will further transform the industry and generate new avenues for design communication and understanding.

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