Three Types of Design Visualization to Reimagine Your Next Project
There are many different types of design visualization, but three stand out for their versatility and effectiveness in communicating project details. In Part 2 of our design visualization series, we’ll take a look at these three visualization types and how they can improve your next project.
Renderings are images that are static and can show different angles of a project. They can be images of full 3D models or they can by a hybrid of a photograph with a 3D image composited into it; these are called photo simulations.
Photo simulations are highly effective as they show the real-world context of where the project is located and really help the viewer understand scale and spatial relationships with places with which they are familiar. They are typically faster to complete than a full 3D model since the real-world context does not need to be modeled. Photo simulations are limited to the location and position that the photo was taken.
Full 3D models are versatile as any angle of the project can be obtained with the tradeoff of the time it takes to model everything. With a full 3D model, 360 Virtual Tours can be created where the user can pan around at specific locations and look in every direction see here.
Animations are full 3D models that are rendered with cameras moving around the project showing the location of the project and its overall size, as well as flying by areas that need to be highlighted. While time consuming to create because of the modeling, they are highly engaging as they incorporate music, motion graphics, and explanatory narration and/or text labels.
A 2.5D animation is similar to a photo simulation in that they are 3D models composited into a photograph, however if the 3D model is for example a road, vehicles and people are animated and exported out as a video. In a nutshell, this is an animated photo simulation.
Real-time visualizations enable the user to navigate a project with a keyboard and mouse, a game controller, or a virtual reality headset. The 3D environment can be interactive where the user can move around and control what color paint is on a wall, or what kind of material a road is made of, or turning on lights in a room; the possibilities are endless for the kinds of interactions.
The advantages of real-time visualizations are that once a 3D model has been created, you don’t have to wait for days or weeks of rendering time, it’s all done live, with a slight loss in overall quality relative to a full 3D model animation.
A virtual reality visualization is an experience unlike all the previously mentioned visualization types. With a VR headset on, you only can see the 3D world, its scale, and its sounds and this immersive experience is something you have to see to believe. In addition to being able to teleport around the 3D world instantly, you can also get a sense of scale as you can physically walk a few steps and see the ground in the virtual world move with you. We’ve learned that it is key to have a voice-guided tour incorporated into these VR experiences because people just want to explore this amazing new technology without proper focus on the project at hand.