A powerful tool for creating 3D spaces like Unreal Engine is great for making games, but it has other purposes as well — and now Epic Games wants to emphasize this.
Epic revealed this week that it is planning a series of webinars that will demonstrate the Unreal Engine’s capabilities as a visualization tool for architects. When a structural designer comes up with an idea, it is often difficult to convey what the final product might look like to other people. In the past, architects have relied on drawings or small-scale models, but something like Unreal can bring a design to life and enable people to move around in a photorealistic setting with natural lighting at a variety of scales. And with virtual reality, something like Unreal could even make people feel like they are standing inside a building that does not yet exist.
The company is planning four free webinars with the first one kicking off April 2. That event will feature architect Fabrice Bourrelly, who will go over some of the reasons to use Unreal for architecture. Register for the webinar here.
“Using models of Philip Johnson’s Glass House and Tadao Ando’s Church of Light, Fabrice will illustrate how Unreal Engine brings the emotion, mood and atmosphere of offline-quality rendering to the real-time, immersive and interactive experience of virtual and augmented reality,” Unreal community representative Chris Ruffo wrote in a blog post. “Fabrice is an architect, artist, and 3D visualizer who has become a leading user and teacher of Unreal Engine over the past year. Fabrice’s client list includes Google, IDEO, Thomas Heatherwick, Anish Kapoor, Bentley Motors, and Philippe Starck.”
Bourrelly came to Unreal recently. He gave a lecture last year about visualization, and he found a huge number of people working in the space wanted to know more about Unreal and about exploring virtual reality models. That prompted him to download the software and try it out.
“I started off with a simple corridor lit from the exterior and one material,” Bourrelly said. “This enabled me to get a feel for how a single material would behave with reflections and lighting. I learned how to create soft lighting with Lightmass, [one of UE4’s global illumination features],which is something that is critical to building realistic architectural visualization.”
Bourrelly began uploading his Unreal models to YouTube, and now he has a dedicated following that tunes in to see what he is doing with visualization in Unreal.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go put on my Vive headset to design my dream house in Unreal’s VR editor: