Future Visualization Tool

We have been evaluating UE4 for visualization at work.

We are a Architecture Firm that develops destinations. The work we produce is similar in scope to Disney Imagineering, so the end product is painterly and fantastic. Upon my evaluation of UE4, I was able to import all my 3DS max assets from an existing animation and create something that truly made me consider UE4 as unifying tool for our studio. What we achieved in a few days has everyone around here very excited. I will add that I am a veteran game developer, so understanding the game development pipeline certainly helped.

What am missing? Currently, I am preparing for a meeting with the CEO to share my findings. Anything you can add in terms of a discussion would help.

The only issue as far as archviz goes is that usually something that’s designed for that purpose isn’t designed to work well in a game engine. if you’re doing still renders, it’s not a bit deal because even though it’s not efficient then it’s still pretty fast. If you’re doing walkthroughs or something like that that needs to play in real-time then you’d have to make sure that your assets are optimized. That can be a big difference in workflow if you’re used to doing renders in 3ds Max where you don’t have to worry so much about poly count or lightmap UV’s and things like that.

Have you thought about how VR solutions like the Occulus Rift might benefit visualization of your work? Being able to actually walk the property and “see” it in real 3D might be a benefit to your clients…

I’m more of a CG artist who generalizes than someone interested just in games development and what I find exciting is just how much tech going into UE4 that aligns with the ideals of 3d design in general.

The main consideration as to UE4 being a unifying tool is the introduction of strong FBX support with both import as well as export features that allows for UE4 to be introduced into any pipeline in parallel with out having to fully commit to the development demands of a priority based application. As part of a top down process you could still do things the way that you know works but at the same time fork work already done down the UE4 pathway and if it does not work so what as you have lost neither time or effort.

The only requirement from management is if they are willing to allow their employes to try different things that does not effect their day to day business and UE4 fits well as to this requirement.

Other considerations there are already what use to be very expensive real world models that are either free or next to nothing cheap that can be introduced into UE4 as a plug in, an area which has always been rather lacking in an engine designed for video game design, and it’s just a matter of time before much more advanced applications will be introduced that goes just beyond making a video game.

As an example as to architecture design would be a crowd simulator using real world human behavior. Great for visualization but how much more valuable would the visualization be if you could show the client what would happen if a fire breaks out on the tenth floor of the building design.

The selling point if uncomfortable with calling UE4 a video game engine is to refer to it as a real time driven sub-system and at some point an application that could be used to make a game.

Thanks for your input. Very well said. I find the possibilities to be very exciting. One issue I am trying to tackle is the idea of what the deliverable might be. Matinee capture or some type of multiplay streaming method.