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Architectural Visualizations

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Sparrow is redefining the real estate space by merging the projections of real estate developers and the aspirations of a home buyer through new age technology. A home buyer no longer needs to go through endless brochures of images of the new project, but can virtually walk-through the project via immersive curved theaters examining each detail of the project. Rashmi Kohli, Founder & Director, Sparrow elucidates.

The marketing material needs to carry the visuals of property interiors and exteriors. Each property is sold on certain USPs and these are best highlighted using the 3D visual imagery

Sparrow works with real estate companies on their architectural visualization and experiential marketing needs. The offerings include:

  • Architectural 3D – walkthrough animations and films, still perspective views, 3d plans
  • Interactive Scale Models – to the scale precision models of upcoming properties made with high quality acrylic, automotive paints and near real landscape elements. Interactive lighting to various zones of the models is controlled by iPad/ tab driven app.
  • Multi-touch Solution Deployments – DIY engagement apps for large sized touch tables giving complete information on property, immersive panoramic views of interiors and exteriors, interactive master plans, floor plans etc. in a multi touch environment. The hardware is from 42” to 84” display size.
  • Cinematic Curved Screen Viewing Experiences – Extra-large curved screen setups with seamless multi projection viewing starting from 20 feet and going up to 45 feet.
  • Holographic Imagery Displays – Creating a magical experience in thin air by displaying floating images in volumetric format.

Reasons for growing use of 3d visualization in building sector

In metro cities, demand V/s supply of real estate is the primary factor. With growing competition the developers need to show what they have on offer in a best possible way as also to give an idea of how the property will look. 3D animation is the only way to do so. Similarly, all press ads/ communication needs some visual representation in the form of an interior or an elevation shot to creates the magic and differentiation. Secondly, investors and home buyers now have the need to know what kind of living experience they would get. A 3D walkthrough gives them an exact idea of spaces, materials and finishing of apartments They also come to know on the architectural aspects and amenities offered in visual story.

Importance of technical, architectural and photography aspects for architectural 3D

Architectural 3D is primarily for marketing purpose of the property that is the hero of 3D. Therefore, it needs to be shown in the best possible angles to do justice to the project. We need to make sure what we present is accurate which requires understanding of architectural files in CAD and intent of the designer. We model as per CAD files so understanding technical aspects is important. Next, the 3D has to be appealing for which an in-depth understanding of landscape elements, materials, textures and their behavior in various lighting conditions is essential. Last but not the least, for the architectural 3D to be enticing, knowledge of camera and filters plays a major role.

Brief on Architectural visualization design methodology

The primary software used for 3D development is Autodesk 3D studio Max. Post production is done on Adobe after Effects and Adobe Premiere. In addition lot of plugins are used.

We work on a project as per CAD files. The aim is to reproduce an exact photorealistic replica of the property using computer graphics and then show it in form of a story that is in line with the branding and positioning of the project. Using the right camera angles to highlight USPs, including mood shots to create a wow experience and packaging the product with nice motion graphics to produce a piece of art. Work is divided into following stages

a. Concept, Script and Storyboarding

b. 3D Modeling

c. Texturing

d. Lighting

e. Camera Animation

f. Rendering

g. Post production

The need and benefit of Physical scale models

Physical scale models create an experience of viewing the project in miniature format in exactly the same materials, colors, finishes, landscape, fixtures etc. These are an aid to the sales team as a prospect is able to visualize and appreciate the usage of spaces all across the property. With interactive scale models coming in the models aid the sales process by allowing people to understand the property aspects, design and amenities using a touch pad that controls the lighting to these zones. These are further integrated to large format TV screens to show visuals in form of 3D plans, interiors etc., in case they can’t be seen on the model.

The challenges of this segment

The biggest challenge is faced in terms of ever changing architectural files. Unlike CG where changes can be made at any stage, here we are dealing with a delicate physical product. Even a small change at times calls for recreating the whole model or part of it which is a very time consuming process involving multiple kinds of expertise.

Other challenges are faced in form of huge variations both in costs and quality which are hard to explain to the developers who often fall prey to lower costs and get a solution which actually could have done a lot more in aiding them in their sales process and marketing initiatives.

Are the lines blurring between 3D rendering & photo imagery and walkthrough & video gaming

Yes very much. The lines are blurring and these are kind of converging onto a single point. Experience is what a customer remembers and slowly the demand is rising for interactive walkthrough experiences where a customer can control what he wants to see, which part of the property he wants to go to and have an immersive 3D viewing experience like we have in 3D games. Though technology poses few challenges in terms of getting photo real imagery however, with advancement in design tools this should soon be addressed.

The future of architectural visualization

The real estate industry has evolved and now the developers want to show what they are going to build. From the minutest details of buildings to the kind of colors, materials, plantation and finishing in interiors – everything is pre decided and we reproduce just the same. With increasing urbanization, inflow of funds in infrastructure segment and lot of re-development happening in the country, the architectural visualizations will remain an important part of any development. As the time passes the packaging may change however visualization is here for good.

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