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The 3D Software Changing How Architects Present Visualisations

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More often than not, the process of creating presentations for architecture can be quite time consuming. The process not only involves preparing rendered images but also includes the dilemma about what to show in a project and which camera angles are important for the specific presentation. This is usually because architects want presentations to be:

  1. Short and to the point
  2. Capturing the most important design angles
  3. Showing as much information and views briefly as possible

All architects know that presentations take hours to prepare. One of the reasons why that happens is because of the time it takes to do and produce rendered images of the project. Some software take several minutes to hours rendering one angle of view for a project. What if you could take your perfectly done 3D model and present it in minutes without worrying about too many controls, the speed of your modelling computer, or doing perfect renders?

I am an architect in training and as you can imagine, I was excited at the request of the team over at Xuver to test out their platform and see how it works. Therefore, this post is published in collaboration with Xuver, a web-based viewer for 3D visualisations.

Xuver is a multi-user visualisation technology that enables architects to quickly present their 3D visuals without the fuss of preparing renders that takes hours to produce. They save architects endless hours spent to prepare presentations, instead encouraging the production of a well done 3D model capable to be presented. The Xuver experience for architects can be summed up as follows:

1. Easy Xuver Setup

To set up Xuver, you do not need to download and install heavy software. All you have to download is a plugin which you then add into your software libraries.

Xuver is compatible with IFC BIM, Sketch Up, Revit, and ArchiCad. It has plugins to convert IFC, SKP, PLN, and RVT files – the most common file types used by architects world wide.

2. Easy and Fast Conversion

Once you have your plugin is added into the modelling software libraries, you open the 3D model and save it as a Xuver file. The option to save as a file compatible with Xuver will automatically appear in the saving options.

After that, the file will be converted to a Xuver file in about a minute to 5 minutes depending on how heavy the 3D model is. You then upload this file to your Xuver account.

3. Web-based Viewing

Xuver runs on your laptop or PC and it allows you to access your 3D visualisations from anywhere around the world using your browser. Once the file is uploaded, you can open to view it on your web browser. You will be able to view the 3D model as a visualisation, panning through and scrolling to walk into rooms and outside. In future, the company is planning to bring this technology to mobiles and tablets.

A screenshot of the 3D web environment in a rendered model on Xuver

Xuver immerses you into an interactive 3D environment, allowing you and your client to experience the true feel of your project by seeing everything as if it were viewing on your 3D model without the heaviness overpowering your machine. It is so seamless you really don’t break a sweat.

4. Sharing

Once your 3D visualisation is active on Xuver, you can add and invite various contacts to view it from wherever they may be. It eliminates the need for everyone to be at a meeting. It ensures that your client can see the 3D visualisation, interact with it together with their team, and be able to get second and third opinions from everyone involved in the project.

If you were working on a residential home for your client for instance, Xuver would allow you to invite the client to view the home in 3D on their browser. The client would then easily open the link together with his or her family at home and discuss the project as they take a walk through the visualised and interactive project.

Xuver  is still quite fresh in development but it does what it set out to do. It has a lot of interactive features inside the 3D models including a voice module that allows all parties/users to discuss the model while doing a walkthrough. The laser pointer helpful for presentations and a distance measuring tool are necessary features for a visualisation software like Xuver.

It is made by a young software company based in The Netherlands and they have big goals for the visualisation space. You can test it out for free by grabbing your free trial on the official Xuver website. Let us know what you think in the comments section once you test it out.

Ian Mutuli is the Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He occasionally writes about startups and tech for The Press Farm. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.