7 Ways 3D Visualization Help Architects & Designers with New Construction and Remodeling

Embarking on a home remodelling project is not a simple task. There is always the possibility of design corrections and rework due to a variety of causes. Some could be avoided prior to construction through careful planning. Others however can be attributable to issues which were only recognized well into the design process. To minimize these costly home remodelling mistakes, more architects and designers are turning to 3D visualization use.

This form of virtual prototyping not only helps architects and designers but their homeowner clients as well. It facilitates the communication of each other’s vision by providing an accurate representation of the intended use of the space. The following presents some ways this indispensable tool can help.

#1 Define the vision with greater clarity 

It is difficult to explain a home remodelling concept in words alone. Even a well drawn sketch might be insufficient. You need to show it in as much detail as possible. It not only has to contain specific lines and colors of the actual deliverable. This must also be presented in different points of view as well.

Using 3D visualization makes it possible to do this efficiently.

Its robust software provides you with the flexibility to map out the imagined space in greater detail. You are able to input specific measurements and select your desired color schemes to match what you have in mind. It even allows you to create well-placed lighting effects to make your 3D rendering more realistic. Once these are all set up, there is even an animation feature that can provide a virtual tour around the space. 

This type of simulation is crucial to visualization. It takes simple 3D computer graphics to another level by providing a more interactive space for the user. The same cannot be achieved through sketches and construction drawings alone. Even though these 2D graphics designs already take a home remodelling concept beyond the abstract, it is still open to misinterpretation. A 3D visualization model on the other hand concretizes the imagined design as close as possible to the intended deliverable.

#2 Craft distinct design ideas 

A home remodelling project proposal should go beyond just one design. It is preferable to present at least three design concepts to the client. Of course, this should not include something that you do not want them to choose. A bad idea is something to be avoided altogether. You only risk being identified with a poor proposal should the client decide to push through with it.  

In any case, try shooting for the “rule of three”:

  • Give what the client asked for
  • Present a well-balanced design of your own choosing
  • Offer something that goes beyond the ordinary

As tempting as it may be however, this should not be all about aesthetics. Show the client that you understand their home remodelling problem by addressing it squarely in your presentation. Discuss the reasoning behind the reallocation of space and certain tweaks which need to be performed to improve it. This should be your proposal’s primary concern. It will demonstrate that you are both on the same page and instills confidence to approve your concept.

Use 3D visualization to effortlessly present the spatial differences through before and after examples in your home remodelling designs. This will help the client gain a better appreciation on how you intend to maximize their space. It is recommended to fully establish this first before introducing any cosmetic changes.

#3 Expand on proposed concepts

You can use the software to create interchangeable digital art ideas to present to the client. This could be implemented by switching color schemes within each of the three designs discussed above, for example. It can appeal to their emotions by influencing their moods or thoughts. The possibilities go beyond properties illustrated through hues, tints, shades and brightness however. You can incorporate the type of materials to be installed as well.

At any rate, it will allow you to see various visualization options. You can switch between an authentic looking photorealistic render or a nicely shaded color view. Material maps and color studies can also be utilized to get a better appreciation of the expected output. Lighting and special effects as well as virtual product placements will provide a richer simulation.

Try playing around with wood panels designs for instance. It has made a comeback since its heyday during the 1950s to 1970s. Some of its variants are fiberboard, veneer wood, iconic and reclaimed solid wood panels. They create a warm and inviting effect though still carries with it an unmistakably modern appeal. Gone is the stuffy stereotype it had while it was out of style. 

You might also want to hold off presenting different design options until the client chooses a particular concept. This gives you more time to focus your efforts on its basic structural merits. You can then “accessorize” the concept after the client selects it. Either way, 3D visualization will come in handy in creating options or refining the approved proposal. 

#4 Seamless planning 

Coming up with a general concept is one thing, filling it with particulars in order to make it feasible is quite another. Home remodelling projects, especially large ones require meticulous preparation. This is where technical drawings come into the picture. It is the bare bones of the project and will ultimately dictate whether a design can realistically push through. They set forth accurate measurements as well as mechanics and can be categorized under the following diagrams:

  • Structural
  • How-to-use
  • Functional
  • Motion

These were all previously done through 2D hand sketches though the arrival of CAD drawing capabilities tremendously helped in drafting them. The advent of AutoCAD allowed another dimension to be added. It expanded the range of visual communication to 3D modelling, 3D designs and 3D rendering. These tools can now all be merged through the use of 3D visualization.

Imagine having to sift through page after page of 2D technical drawings. It would tend to be pretty confusing after awhile especially if you need to backtrack to make sense of it all. The different views of a home remodelling project however can all be merged together with 3D visualization. Seeing the measurements of your floor plan, unit layout and even installations are now possible. It makes it easier to accurately assess whether these projected designs will make a precise fit into the actual space.

#5 Corrections before construction 

A selected concept is by no means perfect. As previously discussed, you can still introduce aesthetic enhancements to the final design. Note however that these improvements are coming from your side. The client may very well have other ideas deserving of consideration. There might also be some spatial adjustments that need to be carried out. 

Up until this stage, the images should preferably be at a low resolution. More texturing and refinements will be performed only after the client’s final approval.

In any case, seeing the planned project in a 3D visualization format allows either side to communicate any changes efficiently. They can view the model as a whole and detect inaccuracies to their envisioned design. Adjustments are also easier to implement. Nothing needs to be redrawn from scratch and the edits can viewed almost instantaneously. 

Immediately addressing these preconstruction modifications are absolutely necessary. It will save a lot of time and money as well as headaches along the way. Nobody wants to be faced with avoidable mistakes in the middle of a project’s actual construction. Neither should there be any claims of misunderstanding about an accepted design once the physical model is nearing completion. Such instances will certainly be minimized if not eliminated through the aid of 3D visualization tools.

#6 Makes different types of 3D renderings possible 

With the measurements in place and the basic design approved, it is time to polish the envisioned home remodelling concept. This can be done through 3D rendering, which is essentially the concluding but decidedly pivotal step to the entire process. It is the stage where you will be able to produce the most realistic images. This must closely match what you and the client have agreed upon.

The 3D artist can now lay down final touches to the design.

There should be more texturing added to the images through the use of matte or glossy effects. More definite lighting and shadow perspectives could also be inputted. The resulting output should now be at a higher resolution to provide the client with the closest realism possible. These 3D designs will be printed out or uploaded as 2D images. It should be available in every possible perspective, depending on the scope or type of the home remodelling project.

Among these 3D rendering types are:

  • 3D floor plan – for large home remodelling projects which provide the layout of an entire floor or from room to room to see how removal or addition of walls will look like
  • Exterior – gives an up close view of how the home appears from the outdoors with its proposed design
  • Aerial – a bird’s eye view of the project to see not only how the home itself will come out when renovations are complete but also take into consideration its landscaping
  • Interior – appropriate for a per room basis to see how lighting, textures and materials will affect the final outcome

These images should virtually confirm that your intended vision for the space and that of the client’s, match.

#7 Use of appropriate remodelling software 

There are plenty of powerful 3D visualization tools that are available in the market today. Each has their own forté. For home remodelling purposes however, there are some that are more fitting to use than others. Below are a few of them.

Cedreo can create realistic home renderings within two hours. Users will have access to over 7,000 time saving customizable 3D objects. This includes interior and exterior 3D renderings as well as 2D and 3D floor plans. It can be used not only for design purposes but also as a sales tool. This web based product is suitable for architects, home designers and interior designers. 

A good choice for beginners is SketchUp. It is user friendly and has a simple 3D modeling process. The software provides you with a guide during the creative process. You just have to connect your lines together and the program will help you along the way.

Last on the list is the easy to use Chief Architect architectural home design software. It has a library of over 4,000 individual items to select from. There are also around 1,500 home plans available for your visualization requirements. No need to be an expert since you can go about the program instinctively. There is also a customer support feature should you encounter any difficulties.

Get better results
Utilizing 3D visualization techniques undoubtedly increases the chances that a home remodelling project will produce the intended outcome. It makes your operations more efficient, aligns visions and solves problems. Make this a part of your architecture services or design firm as soon as possible. The benefits in terms of time, money and goodwill far outweigh the costs.

To learn more, click here.

About the Author
Angelo Tan is an SEO copywriter and social media manager who’s been providing online content since 2014. He’s studied information management as well as law and is currently working toward a MBA. Angelo began as a freelance copywriter working remotely for clients in various fields such as law, finance, digital marketing and real estate. His interest in the vast potential of cyberspace led him to upgrade his skills to better serve clients and their diverse needs.

About MG Shlachter
MG Shlachter is a built environment and architectural consulting firm with an in-house production team. It delivers architecture support services in the retail and hospitality industries for leading brands and publicly traded companies worldwide.

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