Virtual reality is changing the design industry, expanding the range of tools available to professionals. The ability to design in VR is a real breakthrough that opens up completely new perspectives. From the first stage of work, we can see the body of the building both inside and outside, check dimensions and make changes. It is also an ideal tool for interior architects, who can offer a virtual tour of their future apartment.
Recently, virtual reality was associated with games. For several years it has also been used in many industries: medicine, science, health and safety, marketing, industry, film and many others. What is the reason for this change and the great interest in VR technology, especially in the architectural industry?
The simulation we are able to find ourselves in the created world and perceive it in the same way as reality, and even interact with it. That is why we create simulations of cranes, ships, complex production lines, historical events or risk situations, which allows us to learn or analyse more effectively.
Nowadays, almost every project is first created in a digitalized form. It is much easier to simply see such a project on the right scale instead of reading complex documentation or even 3D models.
VR has introduced a new way of presenting the architecture and cooperating with the investor, which is easier to understand and thus to accept the project. It also gives the possibility to carry out preliminary technical and quality inspections to avoid mistakes at the implementation stage.
What’s more, the end customer can find himself in a finished, furnished apartment or house, evaluate and modify it before construction even begins. In the case of large buildings, however, the investor can check the ergonomics of the designed production hall, factory or shopping centre at VR and offer a virtual walk to potential customers during the construction phase.
The concept of immersion in a virtual world, is closely related to VR. The user is supposed to have the impression of being in another place, e.g. inside the designed building or garden. But is the image alone enough to achieve such an effect?
We can assume that the more senses are used to perceive the model, the better. In addition to the image, you also get a sense of space thanks to an appropriate tracking system, the use of three-dimensional sound and a wireless connection to a computer. All this creates a very realistic impression, which makes it easier to evoke an appropriate emotional response, which translates into a positive reception of the presentation by the investor.
The sets for virtual reality are already available to the public. The number of tools that can be used in project work is also growing. Allows you to analyze our 3D model without the need for special preparation for VR. What we have designed on your computer is available immediately on glasses. This is a huge time saving.
This technology is inextricably linked to design and architecture, and we can observe the continuous development of tools designed for these purposes. By using VR, the designer can test design solutions and eliminate possible errors or collisions.
The presentation of work is an important stage in the implementation of the investment. Rendering engines such as V-Ray, cooperating with many leading design platforms, allows, among others, to prepare photorealistic 360° visualization reflecting all details of the interior, building or urban space.
There is no denying that a powerful computer has a significant impact on the optimal use of VR. The system recognizes the area where the user focuses their eyesight and renders only the observed part of the image in high resolution. The remaining parts, which are not covered by the eye, are simplified and do not require high computing power. This lowers the entry threshold for VR technology.
The key to using VR in architecture, however, is the fact that most often do not have architectural experience, and the idea of a 1:1 scale design, understanding spatial relationships is often a serious problem for them. In such cases, virtual reality can be used as a solid sales argument in presenting the project to the investor and convincing him of solutions.