The ARCH


Video Tutorials: How to Import Revit into Unity3D
November 29, 2010, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Unity3d | Tags: , , , , ,

This site has moved towww.archvirtual.com

This is a 2 part video tutorial series, providing an overview of the process involved with importing architectural models into Unity3d.  In this case, we’re using Revit Architecture 2009, but the process is relatively universal, and can be applied to just about any architectural CAD or BIM software.  After importing your model, try out our Architectural Beginner’s Kit, which enables you to quickly add operable doors, lights, material changers, orbiting cameras and more.  If you need some help, or would rather not tackle this on your own, I can also be brought in as a consultant to help with your project.



Using Unity3D to Access Second Life and OpenSim on the Web
November 29, 2010, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

This site has moved to www.archvirtual.com

 

A few weeks ago, I was given a demo of a project called ‘Canvas,’ by former Linden Lab manager Chris Collins (Tipodean Technologies).  After clicking a url he gave me and logging in, I was suddenly standing on Architecture Island (in Second Life) – yet I was in a web browser, seeing SL through the lens of  Unity-built viewer.  Surrounding the 3D view were various javascript widgets that Chris tells me can be customized – “there’s nothing stopping you from really going crazy with these.”  Imagine a custom Studio Wikitecture viewer with voting and commenting built into the window, instead of flipping back and forth between SL and the web.

I logged into SL through the standard viewer, and used that avatar to rez a prim – which then showed up within the Unity-built browser viewer.

This is an exciting step toward integrating the ‘worlds’ of Second Life and OpenSim with the power and sophistication of Unity3D.   Whereas Unity is superior in almost every way for creating the actual 3D online environment, its a bit lonely, and it doesn’t feature any ‘in-world’ modeling tools out-of-the-box (although it could be used to build that).  Its more like working in CAD or Photoshop, and I miss glancing up at the mini-map to see who’s nearby.  I’m always half-expecting a friend to fly in next to me, but Unity unity is an application, not a world (although it can be used to build one).

Seeing this glimpse of a potential future is very exciting, insofar as it can be seen as an eventual bridge between the sophistication and power of Unity with the world and social graphs of Second Life and OpenSim.

 



Introducing the Architectural Beginner’s Kit for Unity3d: Prefab Resources and Tutorial for Architecture and Design Visualization Projects

This site has moved to www.archvirtual.com

No doubt about it, Unity3D is a game changer for realtime, online architectural visualization.  Illustrations, animations and renderings are great, but online realtime 3D is better, and no other platform comes even remotely close to providing the level of flexibility, sophistication and ease of use that Unity offers.  Import your Revit model, publish the file to your website, and walk through the design in realtime from within your browser.  Its a killer app for architectural visualization, and best of all, its free.

You can download it HERE and start importing your models right away.  But if you’re an architect or designer with limited experience, even the simplest functions like doors, lights and cameras can be time consuming to master.  To help speed up your learning curve, we developed an ‘Architectural Beginner’s Kit’ designed specifically for architects and designers getting started with Unity3d.

This kit combines detailed tutorial documentation within a Unity package that contains some simple prefab items you can put to use right away.    You can drag and drop these items into your scene, but you also read the documentation to understand how they work, and how you might customize them to suit your project’s specific requirements.  Check out this preview build, showing off some of the kit’s elements.

This kit is only intended to serve as a beginner’s guide, to help get your architecture or design visualization project started with some very simple elements.  Some of the prefab elements included may be immediately useful in your projects, while others may require additional customization to suite your project’s specific needs.

Here are the elements you will receive with this kit:

  • Switch between lighting scenarios
    • Users click a button on the User Interface to switch tagged lights on and off
    • Example Use Case: Turn on or off different lighting scenarios – daytime, nighttime, etc.
  • Camera / Player Options
    • First Person Player – prefab and documentation describing how to setup a ‘player’ for your model, that visitors will use to explore the design
    • Click and Orbit Camera – allows visitor to click a button on the interface to get a distant, orbiting view of the design
  • Materials Changer –  2 setup options
    • Select an object, then click on different texture options displayed on the user interface.
    • Click on object -> Material Changes – multiple-clicks on the same object cycles through all textures
  • Doors
    • Door automatically opens whenever visitor approaches it – automatically closes when visitor leaves
    • 2 Door Types
      • hinged door – rotates 90 degrees
      • sliding door – slides X distance right or left
  • Crosshair setup
    • interaction with the design
    • Reticle setup – for highlighting objects
We’re really excited to make this kit available, and are already started on the next phase – which will include more advanced functionality.  If you have any questions, bug reports, or requests for functionality to include in future releases, please email info (at) archvirtual.com  Stay tuned!
The kit is available for $45.00, and can be downloaded here:

Unity3d architectural beginners kit