Explore, Interact, Collaborate: Real-time 3D Experiences for Design
We live in what gamers might call an “open world,” meaning that we can freely explore it and interact with anything in it in real time, limited only by the laws of physics. Countless other “characters” are in this world with us, both human and non-human, and we can interact and collaborate with them in infinite ways. We call this reality.
Digital worlds, historically, have provided far greater restrictions. You could often only see things in 2D or from a set angle, for example, and could only perform a set number of actions. Real-time 3D visualization (RT3D) technologies are changing that, enabling us to explore and interact with digital assets and environments in ways similar to reality—and the laws of physics are optional.
With RT3D, computers turn 3D models into photorealistic experiences with no discernable lag or delay—so you can go where you want to go, do what you want to do, and see what you want to see. Originally created for gaming, RT3D experiences are creating value in other industries—from architecture and construction to manufacturing and media. RT3D enables you to explore assets from any angle, intuitively understand the scale of an object, and even make changes in real time, whether you’re viewing through VR goggles for immersive design, using an AR experience on a tablet, or simply navigating on a flat screen. As Adam Horn said in the AU Theater, “We all naturally see the world in 3D. And now these new tools and workflows are allowing us to design in that way.”
RT3D experiences aren’t exactly new, but they used to take a lot of work and powerful (read: expensive) processors to create. Today, a new generation of 3D engines, new GPU processors, and cloud-based computing are changing the equation, enabling us to create real-time experiences with just a few clicks. The new partnership between Autodesk and Epic Games, announced at AU 2022, aims to make it easier than ever to convert Revit models into real-time 3D visualizations using Twinmotion—and every Revit user will get free access to Twinmotion included with their subscription. And the recent investment in Arcturus volumetric video technology could soon make nuanced character performance in RT3D as good as what you might see from a human actor.
“Real-time 3D has two fundamental characteristics which are going to become essential to people. One, it's interactive. And the other one, it's multi-user and therefore social and collaborative at the core.” –Marc Petit, VP of the Unreal Engine Ecosystem, Epic Games
RT3D will be foundational for the development of the metaverse—whatever shape that ends up taking. So now is the time to build your skills and your understanding of what’s possible. As Andy Pye of design firm Seymourpowell pointed out in his AU 2022 Theater talk, “With all the data that you likely already have or could easily acquire, there are all sorts of things you can be doing with the technologies that will underpin the metaverse to create really impactful new solutions, whether it's a new tool or a new experience, that can form that first step on an innovation roadmap and journey into the virtual.”
Build your skills with these AU 2022 sessions:
Architecture, engineering & construction sessions
The built world is a natural fit for RT3D. After all, showing not just the look of a building or bridge, but conveying what it’s like to be in it and around it, has been an eternal challenge for the industry.
- Sam Anderson of Epic Games shows you how to take your Revit model into Twinmotion for real-time visualization in just a few minutes using the Datasmith Direct Link. And she includes tips for enhancing realism with Quixel and Sketchfab.
- Want to create a virtual RT3D innovation lab to facilitate meetings, trainings, demos, and testing of other RT3D experiences? Talk about “meta.” Nimrod Friedman and Heiko Wenczel take you through the process they followed for Theia Interactive.
Product design & manufacturing sessions
Virtual 3D review caught on first in automotive design, but it’s spreading to other verticals where the ability to have a first-hand experience at life scale is helping designers create better products.
- Andy Pye takes the stage in the Theater to showcase how real-time 3D product experiences originally created as stop-gap measures in the lockdown have become go-to experiences for engineering and design firm Seymourpowell.
- Discover how to use Autodesk VRED to experience digital product prototypes in the 3D context of a kitchen, combining Fusion 360 and Revit models. Pascal Seifert and Lukas Faeth show you the process.
Media & entertainment sessions
RT3D was first adopted in gaming, allowing users to explore open game worlds and take a variety of actions with the objects and environments. Today, innovators are using the technology for virtual production—putting live actors in front of LED screens synched to real-time playback, to transport human actors anywhere the script needs them to go.
- Marc Petit of Epic Games gives a high-level overview of how media companies are using RT3D technologies for pre-visualization in animation and virtual production in the studio.
- Igor Macedo explains what you’ll need to do to build your own virtual production stage—from choosing equipment to developing workflows. And he shares how his company, IM Designs, is saving millions by not having to go on location.
Learn more about real-time 3D visualization anytime at Autodesk University.