FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ – FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) of Archviz 3D. A lot of important information to help you with your interactive 3D App.

How do you calculate the price of a project?

Pricing is based on working hours and is €50/h +VAT for 2018. The final price mainly depends on the complexity of the project. You can keep the price lower by providing 3D models for your scene if available.

We are working in 3Ds Max (or other 3D application), is it compatible with what you do?

Yes, however, there are some steps that needs to be done before handing over 3D files, which are the following:

1. Convert all bump maps in the scene to normal maps either with the CrazyBump plugin for 3Ds Max or with an online converter (for any kind of 3D application). Remove bump maps from your materials and plug in the newly generated normal maps.

2. Convert all VRay (or other advanced render engine) materials to standard materials with this plugin.(or create new standard materials and plug in color and normal map channels with its textures)

3. Make sure that all normals in the scene are facing outwards, facing the viewer (flipped normals will generate unwanted see-through issues).

4. Clear object transformations so every object selected will be 0,0,0 in XYZ coordinates (don’t move the objects, reset their world coordinates).

5. Make sure that every object’s UV map fits in the 1/1 UV space without overlapping and leave some padding from the edges of the UV map.

6. Export all 3D models in .fbx format. Don’t export it in one file, every individual object has to have its own fbx file (eg. 6 of the same type of dining chairs has to be 6 separate files, even if they share the same material) Every object that has more than one material needs to be exported in separate fbx files (eg. a table that has different material on its top surface and on its legs should be exported as tabletop and legs) To make it a bit easier, objects that share the same material and when selected together there are still no overlapping UVs, are fine to export in one file.

Following these steps will significantly shorten the project setup time for interactive 3D.

Important to avoid any misunderstandings: 3D files prepared with the steps mentioned above are only basic exporting steps. Materials, lighting and render setup will be rebuilt to get the best possible result and meet Archviz 3D’s quality standards. 

Will I be able to interact with lights (switch on/off), materials (change color) and objects (open/close door) in the scene?

These features are planned to be implemented in the Archviz 3D workflow in the near future/upcoming months. Currently, these interactions are in the testing phase and are not available options to include.

Can we change the time of the day?

Yes and no. It is possible to include different lighting setups in one project and as an added option will be available from the menu to choose from. However, it is not going to be a real-time change in the scene (like a time-lapse video). The computing power of today’s PCs can’t handle real-time raytracing which is a necessity to achieve photorealistic results, so Archviz 3D’s current workflow is primarily based on baked lighting mixed with real-time reflections and various material attributes which only allows static lighting setup for a single loaded scene. As soon as a real-time ray tracing will be available as an option for regular computers, this feature will be implemented.

 

Visualization Sneak Peek: The Future of Realtime 3D Environments

3D Visualization has improved quite a bit in the past few years. There are lots of professionals out there who have learned it the hard way in the past, including me. I’ve started exploring 3D visualization way before youtube came into existence, my only tool was a damn heavy book about Autodesk Maya. Outdated as well. I was reading it and trying to hunt down a button that’s been renamed or moved somewhere else after the book was released. Right now you only need three things: internet access, time and interest in the topic. Well, in my opinion, that is true for a lot of professions in 2018.

The Past of Visualization

Back in 2004, when I’ve opened that heavy Maya book for the first time, photorealism was pretty rare, even in 3D visualization. As far as I remember. Mostly the privilege of the big film production companies. I’m really happy seeing that as technology evolved, lots of artists have the tool now to create mind-blowing visualizations with 3D apps. I don’t feel nostalgic at all, it was a huge pain in the ass. Waiting for hours to finally see the render has some weird issues, so I can start to render it all over again… After adjusting a slider or two. For days that became weeks. Well, at least on an average pc. Hoping for the best that I have fixed the issue… and most likely I didn’t. Thanks but never again.

Visualization Archviz 3D Kitchen before Archviz 3D
My first visualization from 2006ish

The learning curve was extremely long for visualization with the lack of youtube videos to watch for free. When I’ve first seen real-time rendering, I think it was Octane and iRay, I was hoping for that to be implemented in Maya. Maybe I’ve missed something but it never happened. Not as a default render engine, that’s for sure.

The Past of REAL-TIME VISUALIZATION

I’ve never worked in production with real-time render engines for offline apps. The reason is, that when I’ve tried one or two of the few that were available a few years ago, I was pretty disappointed. I’ve switched to Mac for graphic design reasons and I’ve found myself in a desert when it came to 3D visualization. Most of these first tries of real-time rendering engines weren’t available for Mac, or Maya, or both.

So my options were pretty limited, and when I’ve tried one, I’ve realized that it’s not much faster when you wait for the final result. It is even harder to decide if the render was finished. On a slower machine, you won’t see a decent result in the first hour if the scene is complex. Oh! and you have to learn a lot of new things. After I’ve mastered mental ray I found myself knowing nothing about a new engines material and lighting system.

This convinced me that I should wait till real-time rendering becomes a useful tool, not a drawback.

The PRESENT of Visualization

A few years passed by and I’ve seen a video on youtube about how cool is Unreal Engine is. I was thinking that how lucky are the people who can do coding and boring stuff. They can use any kind of application and get super cool results with it. Like a game engine. That would be really cool for visualization. But I don’t do coding. Bad luck for me.

I had some time to experiment with a few things for my skateboard brand which actually never opened it’s doors to the public. I was thinking of some cool ideas for promotion and did some research. That was the point when I’ve realized that knowledge is all around the internet and you have learning material on anything you want to be. Except maybe doctor and lawyer… ok, there are a lot more that you can’t learn from youtube videos and forums.

Nothing to lose (just time), I’ve tried if I can do something with Unity 3D.
With all the tutorial videos and forum help, I was able to put together a pretty simple augmented reality iPhone app. In a few days. So I’ve tried other tools as well. And what I’ve realized on the way is that today, theres zero need for coding in many areas of technology. OK, sometimes a tiny bit of copy paste and common sense. There is a way to make everything work if you have the dedication.

After experimenting with different applications we have arrived at where we are today. Archviz 3D established on an amazing foundation laid down by those people who can really do that boring coding. So creative people don’t have to.

The FUTURE of Visualization

What I didn’t see coming is real-time raytracing. Epic Games announced that they are experimenting with it, and I can say it is pretty amazing. Today, a real-time rendered scene means that the lights and shadows are baked in the scene so you wait a few hours till it finishes rendering and you get a 3D space to explore instead of a single image. Which is amazing. Really.

3D visualization with real-time raytracing is still a bit in the distant future. However, we are not there yet to use it on an average computer.

But… There are some weaknesses, which can be pretty much covered up or faked to look as close to reality as possible, but let’s be honest, it is missing some key elements which comes from ray tracing. eg. Glass material’s caustic shadow/light transforming effect, or human skin’s in-depth rendering of subsurface scattering – when the light hits the surface, bounces a bit inside of the material and comes back out to the viewer.

There are a decent amount of materials in the real world that have this type of effect, which is natural to the eye, but if something missing from a render, it shows. Something feels off. These calculations are real-time and computing power consuming in a conventional 3D application.

Conclusion

Real-time raytracing will be the next step in interactive 3D visualization, which will put on its crown for good. There is nowhere from there to evolve to. Maybe in future devices. Every 3D visualization will be photorealistic by default. There’s one thing we can be afraid of regarding the future. Sooner or later there’s gonna be minimal to no need for an artist. Putting together a photorealistic visualization will be a simple AI task. Most likely.

Well, this is my opinion, but who knows?

Thanks for reading my article about the future of visualization.

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Archviz 3D Blog – Step in a New Reality with Archviz 3D Services

Welcome!

Read about new Archviz 3D projects, watch cinematic videos, explore virtual reality, read news from the 3D industry and more coming soon. Feel free to pop an email if you need a realistic 3D environment for your project.

A few words about Archviz 3D’s services

ARCHVIZ 3D First Person 3D

Experience a new way of presenting your design with an explorable 3D scene – suitable for many professions (not just for architects and interior designers). Every detail is important in real-time 3D as the viewer can take a decent amount of time exploring, so Archviz 3D takes extreme attention to make every part of the scene believable and realistic. It is certainly a great way to show the work that you are most proud of. Download the demo for windows and mac.

Virtual Reality

An exciting platform that was built to entertain with 3D. VR has a lot of potential in visualization. Explore it with Archviz 3D VR, every new scene will be a new experience. VR devices fall into 2 categories. On the cheaper end of the price spectrum, there’s Google Cardboard and similar style products, where you simply insert your smartphone into the headset(or cardboard box in Google’s case). These are available from a few dollars. The more expensive devices are starting at 200 dollars (like the new oculus go). These products usually require a decent amount of room space to use and also a powerful pc to plug it into. (Oculus Go is an exception, that is wireless). Archviz 3D offers solutions for both of the VR device classes.

Archviz 3D Cinematic

Offering outstanding quality videos for your project. With resolution up to 4K and 60 fps frame rate, your video will be as smooth as if it was shot in real life environments. With all the added extra effects that mimic real-world camera imperfections, your video will be as close to reality as possible. Check out the latest cinematic.

This was a brief introduction to Archviz 3D services.
More articles coming soon.