So. Now you’ve done it. You’ve answered the pleading calls of your children or grandchildren for this crazy concept of Virtual Reality. They’re plastering these big goggles over their eyes that make them look like they are going scuba diving in the dark, to play video games. Those big goggles, are typically going to be either Oculus Rift or HTV Vive devices. In a nutshell, these electronics allow the user to immerse themselves in a digital environment; one that only exists in a software program. Now what if I told you that you could use these same goggles to help you not only win new business in construction, but also to provide services (and possible revenue streams) that you do not currently offer. What if I told you that you didn’t have to spend years learning complex new software to achieve this new, digitized reality? You can do that now with your existing Revit work flow and a little product that we like to call Revit Live.
Revit Live is purpose built to immerse the viewer in the Revit project, even if they have no model navigation experience or have ever even seen the construction drawings of your project. Consider the architectural renderings that you are used to providing your client. They might not fully appreciate the construction drawings, but they understand the image. Now multiply that still image by the entire project environment. You have the opportunity to lead your customer down design options that they didn’t know they had. You might even gain a better understanding of spatial relationships between your Revit components in the process! With Revit Live, you aren’t just giving your customer a pretty picture. You’re giving them a memorable experience with their project!
So how does all of this work?
Live comes in two forms. The plug-in Editor for Revit is one option. With a simple button press, you can upload your project to the Live Cloud Service, where it will then become active in the Live Editor. From there, you can create your own interactive or animated walkthroughs, or simply go ahead and publish it to the Live Viewer, a free downloadable app for the PC or mobile device. Due to the size of the files, I would recommend against using it on a smart phone.
Examples of interactive architectural models in the Autodesk Revit Live editing software.
The project file gets downloaded, and opened in the app by your viewer. How it gets controlled and exactly how they see it, depends on what sort of device the app is installed on. However, the basic commands carry across all platforms. Camera views can be imported, rearranged, or added to those that come straight out of Revit. Real-time solar studies can be performed using the sun positioning sliders. Also, upon selection of the element, it’s Revit properties are shown. This is single-handedly one of the best-selling points when you are communicating your material and assembly choices to customers!
It is also extremely useful for construction crews, as often the information they need is available at the touch of a finger. Literally! Imagine that your QA director or even a jobsite superintendent needs to verify what a ceiling height or angle is supposed to be. He can pull this up on his tablet, scroll to the location as though he were playing a video game, and select the ceiling. Everything he needs to know about that ceiling is right there in full context to its surrounding Revit elements. Maybe they need to know what is supposed to be in a conduit run? Done. Manufacturer’s cut sheet? Provided the manufacturer included that PDF as a property on their Revit element (and most do), that is also done. No more hunting down the correct document before walking the jobsite or coming back to the trailer to find it. Instant answers, when your construction personnel need them the most. If they have a VR station within the trailer, then any changes being made to the Revit model can be quickly viewed and the constructability confirmed by relevant personnel- as though they were testing it out with actual materials at the jobsite. Better understanding, reduction of jobsite waste, what’s not to love?
Even more, the Live Editor plugs right into Autodesk’s new gaming engine called Stingray. With Stingray, you can create interactive animations such as doors opening when you approach, vehicles operating on the jobsite, and more! Your imagination really is the only limit with it. You can even upgrade the default texture maps that Revit used to create an even more aesthetically pleasing environment. Once you are done, just toss it back into the Editor for publishing to the Viewer, and you’re ready!
With the pace of visual technology taking off within construction, you would be remiss to not give Autodesk Revit Live a try and see how it can add value to your business too!