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Viability of Architectural Visualization on Android/iOS powered devices using Unreal Engine

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    Viability of Architectural Visualization on Android/iOS powered devices using Unreal Engine

    Almost every client that I am coming across is demanding real time architectural visualization for android or iOS , which I personally think is not practical. There are very limited and less diversified clientele for this type of technology. Either they are large scale developers with million dollar budget or small scale architecture firms with keen eye on future technology for product marketing. There is always a dilemma for price quotation and end product delivery method. So here I’m trying to present my perception regarding this paradoxical problem that I’m facing now days.

    There was a time when people were thinking about future of PC gaming when XBOX and Playstation started to dominate the gaming market (still is a very debatable issue) but PC gaming is still surviving or I can say thriving. Then came the age of Mobile gaming, everybody got their views and predictions about how it will going to change the future of gaming (it sure did, now we can play angry birds and candy crush using our smart phones).


    What I am trying to imply here is that not everything is meant to ultimately go down smart phone or tablet friendly path. There may be certain amount of flexibility or usability involved but developing everything according to mobility is not conducive to creativity.

    Smartphone and tablets are there for us to provide second best option when we are away from home or office. They never were intended to replace our primary hardware. Who wants to watch their favorite Hollywood flick on a 5.5 inch display? And who will not choose to play Battlefield on their 4K UHD monitor? I know these are tailor made examples of things Smartphone and tablets are not meant for, but certainly Real Time Architectural Visualization is not for these inferior devices as of now.

    For real estate developers who are funding super expensive advertisements containing walkthroughs and animations in traditional 3D packages, Unreal Engine real time visualization can certainly cut overall cost with better experience of the actual property.

    Why a million dollar house buyer would want to see his/ her property in substandard quality? I think the best place for real time visualization is in the real estate advertising agency’s office or on the actual ongoing construction site where potential clients can see the actual physical place and experience their soon to be constructed house in virtual reality and other option which may or may not be viable because of hardware constraint is availability of interactive file on cloud so anybody can download and play. Investing something around thousand dollars for decent graphic card with VR device is a meager amount compared to traditional VRAY animations and renders.


    Here I ‘m not implying that unreal engine can replace 3ds Max and Vray but they both have their advantages to live and flourish alongside.

    There are other options which I think are more viable for end point delivery than android or iOS some of them are as follows:


    360 panoramic renders
    Amazon web services and similar ones
    HTML 5


    Your critics and comments are welcome. Need your esteemed views regarding the same.
    Raghu
    http://rag3dviz.com
    HDRI Lighting Tutorial
    Basic UVW Workflow Tutorial

    #2
    Your thoughts are basically the same ones I encountered while thinking about the best approach to ArchViz without having too much to downgrade.

    First thought was to go with GearVR mostly because of the wifi possibilities, but current limitations are too much and the results, in terms of quality and performance, are too much to get a stunning visual feedback, which is one of the strongest point in the end, because the customer don't care about polys and shader optimization, they want to see how things will look so they can have the possibility to see/change/modify/remove/add whatever they want and have a visual feedback almost as real as the real thing itself.
    Currently the technology is not developed enough to have a scene like the ones floating on this forum to run as good on a smartphone ( and needs to be rendered twice! ) and it'll be a couple of years since the hardware will be good enough, but it'll also be always behind a Desktop PC.

    The DK2 and HTC Vive currently are the strongest devices you can use to get the best results, but you're tied to the cables and tracking camera...so what's the catch?

    I already did lots of 360° photos using my DSLR, PTGui and PanoTour, but that is something which can be done for existing places...so what I was also doing was to get 360° images within Maya from a project to get "virtual apartments" to be viewed in a 360° picture with some interactive elements ( very few ).

    Right now available on UE4 the 360° panoramic exporter is freaking cool and could be a temporarely solution...

    I would say that 360° pictures may do the job right, but can't be compared with a UE4 scene combined with the DK2, which is top notch right now...

    Point is that if you're working on something which doesn't currently existing but its just an architectural project, you steel need to do modeling, UVs, shading, animations so if you're using Maya or UE4 80% of the job needs to be done for both of them, then you can choose to create 360° photos in Maya and create a (limited ) virtual walkthrough or go full VR with DK2/Vive.
    Considering the amount of work you put in to create everything I will say that the DK2 solution is the most elegant and worthy thing to do in order to have a visual feedback that can't be compared to a static render or a 360° photo.

    I hope to blow your mind in 1-2 months showing the project I'm currently working on
    ENTER REALITY

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      #3
      Consumers are infatuated with mobiles and tablets... and mobiles and tablets have superceded desktops and laptops.

      There's a lot of "dumbing down" we have to do as PC/Console develoepers. But with iOS Metal, and the latest mobile chips, one can deliver a lot of rich graphics for mobile and tablet.

      Personally I avoid mobile and tablet as far as possible.

      But depending on the industry it may be absolutely unavoidable.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Nicolas3D View Post
        Your thoughts are basically the same ones I encountered while thinking about the best approach to ArchViz without having too much to downgrade.

        First thought was to go with GearVR mostly because of the wifi possibilities, but current limitations are too much and the results, in terms of quality and performance, are too much to get a stunning visual feedback, which is one of the strongest point in the end, because the customer don't care about polys and shader optimization, they want to see how things will look so they can have the possibility to see/change/modify/remove/add whatever they want and have a visual feedback almost as real as the real thing itself.
        Currently the technology is not developed enough to have a scene like the ones floating on this forum to run as good on a smartphone ( and needs to be rendered twice! ) and it'll be a couple of years since the hardware will be good enough, but it'll also be always behind a Desktop PC.

        The DK2 and HTC Vive currently are the strongest devices you can use to get the best results, but you're tied to the cables and tracking camera...so what's the catch?

        I already did lots of 360° photos using my DSLR, PTGui and PanoTour, but that is something which can be done for existing places...so what I was also doing was to get 360° images within Maya from a project to get "virtual apartments" to be viewed in a 360° picture with some interactive elements ( very few ).

        Right now available on UE4 the 360° panoramic exporter is freaking cool and could be a temporarely solution...

        I would say that 360° pictures may do the job right, but can't be compared with a UE4 scene combined with the DK2, which is top notch right now...

        Point is that if you're working on something which doesn't currently existing but its just an architectural project, you steel need to do modeling, UVs, shading, animations so if you're using Maya or UE4 80% of the job needs to be done for both of them, then you can choose to create 360° photos in Maya and create a (limited ) virtual walkthrough or go full VR with DK2/Vive.
        Considering the amount of work you put in to create everything I will say that the DK2 solution is the most elegant and worthy thing to do in order to have a visual feedback that can't be compared to a static render or a 360° photo.

        I hope to blow your mind in 1-2 months showing the project I'm currently working on
        I am ready for my mind to be blown away...

        Very well said. VR is something to look forward here.
        Raghu
        http://rag3dviz.com
        HDRI Lighting Tutorial
        Basic UVW Workflow Tutorial

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by srmojuze View Post
          Consumers are infatuated with mobiles and tablets... and mobiles and tablets have superceded desktops and laptops.

          There's a lot of "dumbing down" we have to do as PC/Console develoepers. But with iOS Metal, and the latest mobile chips, one can deliver a lot of rich graphics for mobile and tablet.

          Personally I avoid mobile and tablet as far as possible.

          But depending on the industry it may be absolutely unavoidable.
          Yes I 100% agree. It is just that the downgrade in quality which is unacceptable for me. But if clients insists, we have to deliver. It's really a pain to make them understand that there will be a difference in quality.
          Raghu
          http://rag3dviz.com
          HDRI Lighting Tutorial
          Basic UVW Workflow Tutorial

          Comment


            #6
            The solution has to be streaming. It will remove the problem of cluncky hardware and also having to dumb down everything. I think streaming solutions are going to become mainstream but we just have to wait a little more (and it sucks).

            Like Raghu, I also don't want to make sub-par ''experiences'' because of cellphone and tablets hardware. It just sucks.

            with a good streaming it could be a very high quality VR experience delivered on a portable device like a gearVR. That would be the ideal solution I think. (or a vive/rift plugged on ANY laptop).

            Comment


              #7
              Hi Raghu, i agree with heartlessphil. I did a lot of demo with appstream, while its still not ideal, it is something to look forward to if the technology and attention on it picks up. Archviz projects does not have to be re-optimized for the tablet hardware, which is a time saver. The only additional thing would be to add navigation based on touch instead of keyboard and mouse.

              As for VR on gear vr.....hmm......one day.....one day i hope.

              Comment


                #8
                I think X.io is even better. To quickly see how powerful it is, go to https://home.otoy.com/ and at the top right click on octane render 3 demo. It will open a streamed instance of octane render instantly. It's quick, simple and works pretty well. Running on nvidia grid k520. This is middle range hardware since all these services are in beta, but imagine when you'll be able to scale it to use a lot of gpus at once...it's going to be limitless basically.

                The biggest problem I faced with X.io and probably appstream is that you can't go fullscreen and if you navigate a scene and you turn and your mouse cursor leave the windowed app, you lose control of what you were doing in your scene. Kills the immersion. But it's possible to always show the cursor and click+drag to move in unreal. That would remove that window's boundary problem.

                That octane render 3 demo...when you think about it...is pretty **** nice!

                Comment


                  #9
                  I guess another possibility would be to develop for ps4/xbox one... they have capable hardware with a relatively low cost compared to a high end pc. VR headsets are coming for next gen consoles too!!! Every architect, designer or developper could easily borrow the kids console to check out their brand new arch viz I guess! hehe

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by heartlessphil View Post
                    The solution has to be streaming. It will remove the problem of cluncky hardware and also having to dumb down everything. I think streaming solutions are going to become mainstream but we just have to wait a little more (and it sucks).

                    Like Raghu, I also don't want to make sub-par ''experiences'' because of cellphone and tablets hardware. It just sucks.

                    With a good streaming it could be a very high quality VR experience delivered on a portable device like a gearVR. That would be the ideal solution I think. (or a vive/rift plugged on ANY laptop).
                    I can't see the streaming solution working for VR the way it works right now... VR is a very latency-sensitive application and people are struggling to reduce small amounts of latency even on local rendering (to reduce sickness problems). If you bring cloud rendering to that pipeline right now, you'll be adding at least unavoidable latency due to server distance (if you ignore Internet connection issues). Actually eve the WiFi streaming of local rendering to the VR device adds too much latency to be considered viable to VR (that's way the VR headsets are all cabled).

                    The only way that cloud computing could help in this case is if there is an alternative solution to the video streaming where the client device can local render in real time (with low latency) some pre-rendered content received from the cloud (like sharing the rendering task between both client and server). And I don't think a solution like that will appear before VR and ordinary cloud rendered 3D apps leave the hype zone and become viable tech...
                    Last edited by rabellogp; 09-22-2015, 07:17 AM.
                    Guilherme Rabello Co-founder, Sureale
                    Artstation | Behance | Youtube | Instagram

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yeah you are right. I would use cloud for regular realtime app but that's pretty much it. VR isn't even there yet so it's not going to be adopted by the mass anytime soon anyway. I would see using the cloud for streaming regular real-time app tho.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by heartlessphil View Post
                        Yeah you are right. I would use cloud for regular realtime app but that's pretty much it. VR isn't even there yet so it's not going to be adopted by the mass anytime soon anyway. I would see using the cloud for streaming regular real-time app tho.
                        Yep, VR needs to be more consumer friendly (Low res screen and high system demand, When I first tested my DK2 I was like - it's not going to impress quality freaks, resolution is too low). Mobile platforms was the main concern and I think that is totally out of question then?
                        Raghu
                        http://rag3dviz.com
                        HDRI Lighting Tutorial
                        Basic UVW Workflow Tutorial

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Future is looking promising

                          Raghu
                          http://rag3dviz.com
                          HDRI Lighting Tutorial
                          Basic UVW Workflow Tutorial

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Can those streaming solutions cache the data onto the iPad? That would solve the "PC-Quality ArchiViz on tablet" issue.

                            Other than that if the infrastructure and server reliability is good enough, cloud gaming, app streaming etc. could really give tablets "PC-Quality" abilities.

                            Currently cloud in general is great... except when it (that particular service you really need) is down.
                            Last edited by srmojuze; 09-23-2015, 05:53 AM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Unfortunately streaming capability is not good at the moment, so I honestly will avoid that solution for now.

                              The new MSI with the 980GTX will probably be my choice in the near future, it looks like finally there is a laptop capable of running VR properly
                              ENTER REALITY

                              VR Solutions

                              Contact us for more informations

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