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November 13, 2011


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Hi Tom

Have you tried working with a dataset larger then 20mb in Showcase??

The killer is the files it can't handle anything larger then a dog kennel without significant performance drops, you can cleanup and spend time in max but not worth it when may other tools can do alot more.

Sure the examples are ok, but you miss alot of the basics (animation, lightmaps, particles, physics, sounds, noinstall/active X executables)say twinmotion, unity, UDK offers out of the box.

but file size is it. It's just really bad it can't handle anything medium size. Also changing your windows scheme to basic everytime you open it is annoying.

As Adam said, Showcase is useless for architects, which is not surprising coming from Autodesk. Project Newport would have been the solution, but as expected, never was released, even though many years have have past and countless promotions at AU has been done.

Thanks for the mention and links!

I have to say that the file size limitation is as much a challenge with using Unity (or any other game engine) for creating a realtime experience of a model generated in Revit. When a file is exported from Revit, the geometry is prohibitively high-poly, and contains multiple layers that aren't visible on the surface that really bog down the performance.

Also (I haven't attempted this myself), I've been told that exporting geometry from Revit to use in Unity became a much bigger challenge in versions after Revit 2010, because the FBX it produces is combined as one big polygon, or only has one material layer assigned, etc.

I'm sure there must be a secret sauce for getting exports to come out more optimally, but I haven't found it yet. The geometry Revit produces is high-poly for a good reason, so I think what we need is a way of intelligently minimizing geometry for use in realtime environments.

In the meantime, we've come up with a pretty efficient way of interpreting BIM models into realtime-friendly geometry. Unfortunately it doesn't have dynamic linkage back to the BIM, so if the design changes a lot, you're back to square one. But for designs that are nearing completion, this process is very cost effective and a pretty powerful way of experiencing a design before construction starts. Accessing a walk-through of an entire building from a simple web browser is pretty exciting to organizations that are about to invest in a new building.

For early stage schematic design, where collaboration and realtime design changes are beneficial, then a virtual world like Second Life or OpenSim are the way to go, as shown in our 'Customer-Created Design' you linked to. We're still working on distilling the right mix of end-user participation with traditional design process, but realtime modeling really does offer a unique way of shaping a design on-the-fly in a way that's difficult or impossible to achieve with any other medium.

Still a lot to learn, but these are exciting times on the virtual frontier! ;-)

File size reduction, Real time rendering, Unity gaming engine base walkthroughs, information rich models, multi type schedules, cost and quantity take-off schedules are provided by VIMTrek/SMARTBIM/EcoScorecard:

VimTrek Technical Presentation:

Information rich rendered virtual walkthroughs, Awesome :)

VIMTrek looks promising, but it's not real time rendering like twinmotion or lumion. Also it doesn't have any animations. In a competing economy, you can't afford to lose business cause a software like showcase or revit for that matter is extremely limited.

Take a look at Lumion. It is a RT gaming engine adapted for Architectural Visualization. They have just recently added artificial lighting, which was a major missing tool. It uses GPU to render; NOT Nvidia Cuda technology; it's more of a gamer-card app. Workflow is Revit>FBX>Max>OpenCollada>Lumion. Check out their website and gallery.

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