Architects are always trying to be more efficient and adding more value for clients. But with most software, rendering is very time-consuming, impairing efficiency significantly. It is exhausting for designers when the process of visual processing uses energy that would be better invested in design and architecture itself.
With the Enscape plugin, real-time rendering and virtual reality can help to remedy this situation. The plugin integrates as a toolbar in the popular design platforms Rhino, Revit and SketchUp, with a version for Archicad also currently in development. Because the software is a plugin for these popular programs, architects do not need to learn to use new software, but work in their familiar system with some additional features. And since the software runs on the local graphics card, projects do not have to be uploaded to the cloud.
Optimize Your Workflow
Imagine making a change to your design and almost instantly the fully-rendered view is updated. The advantages are clearly apparent: With real-time rendering in a second window, changes to the project and their effects can be examined immediately. In meetings with colleagues or at the customer’s site, adjustments can be made to the design with no extra time required to create renderings.
Designers around the world have found that these faster iterations massively accelerate their workflow. “Enscape has added significant value to our practice—we are now able to generate renderings, animations, and real-time walkthroughs straight from our Revit models,” states EYRC-designer Enoch Chow. Real-time rendering shows its relevance not only in the early design phase but in all stages of a project.
Reduce Time and Effort
Unlike other software that allows a user to alter rendering settings down to the smallest detail with thousands of options, Enscape specializes in those functions relevant to architecture. This makes it easier for architects to focus on the things that are most important for their performance.
It takes about the same amount of time to open a fully-rendered, navigable, real-time scene using Enscape as it does to open the same model by itself. Instead of handing data to the cloud or rendering agents, a designer can start the plugin with just one click. Seconds later the project can be explored on the screen. As a result, the time and costs usually spent on rendering are dramatically reduced.
“The ability to walkthrough BIM models and regenerate design changes without leaving Revit is a ‘real time’ saver,” affirms Jamie Casas, BIM Manager at Wood & Grieve Engineers. “This is especially important in our industry, where design changes require clear communication on the go!”
Improve Stakeholder Presentations
When presentations were limited to a few carefully picked static views, clients could only ever get a small glimpse of the real project. Now they can navigate through a real-time rendered model on a large screen in a conference room or immerse themselves in a Virtual Reality experience using the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Microsoft MR headset.
To further foster quality and realism, Enscape supports entourage, RPC content and proxy objects. The following image, for example, is LHB and USGBC-MN’s LEED Platinum Certified office in Minneapolis. The use of high-quality 3D elements and inhabitants, office items, and electric lighting create a more realistic representation of the proposed design and show how users can occupy the space. This support saves a lot of time often spent in post-production. All these props show consistently and from multiple perspectives with accurate shade, shadow and reflections to better compare between images.
Efficiency Leads to Effectiveness
These days, reducing the time and effort spent on rendering is not just an advantage, it’s a necessity. Due to the increasing expectations on the part of clients, the presentation must in turn become more impressive. Virtual Reality is where efficiency in workflow and effectiveness in presentation combine: “With Enscape being able to smoothly navigate even our largest models, we are able to experience any stage of design in real-time with stunning quality and realism,” says Paul Renner, BIM Practice Specialist at Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF). “The ability to give designers and clients an immersive experience with virtual reality in a single click has begun to shift our way of presenting and conveying ideas!” As a result, the acceptance rate for design proposals can be noticeably increased.
Furthermore, clients rarely have access to architecture software. This makes it difficult to inform them in a simple, immersive way about the current project status outside of presentations. However, they can easily view the fully rendered model, or take a walkthrough in VR, using an exported Enscape EXE file.
Efficiency is a concern for every architect and designer. Notable firms such as KPF, Foster + Partners, ARUP, LHB, and Hassell have chosen real-time rendering and virtual reality with the Enscape plugin to optimize their workflow. Results in rendering are achieved faster and better—without first having to spend a lot of time training their employees in new software. The Plugin for Revit, SketchUp, Rhino and (soon) Archicad is simple to use.