“Enscape could replace any rendering engine for interiors visualization.”
Nick Craver | WGM Design | Charlotte, NC
I’m an architect and 3D BIM specialist with WGM Design in Charlotte, North Carolina (www.wgmdesign.com). I graduated from the University of North Carolina Charlotte with a degree in architecture in 2001. Initially I went into graphic design but soon after moved into construction. I was hired by WGM 2004 and started using Revit in 2007.
During my time at UNCC I started working in 3D with Form*Z. Since then have learned to use a number of 3D modeling tools. To me, all the various 3D tools are pretty much the same. The advantage with Revit is that I also get control the final product and documentation at the same time as I’m modeling the building.
As I mentioned before, WGM began using Revit in 2007. We do a wide array of projects. Our present focus is on commercial interior up-fits, private educational and religious projects. We’re not a very large firm – but I don’t consider this a disadvantage. Think of it this way: every large firm is really made of small teams, just like us. But our size gives us the advantage of being flexible when it comes to experimenting with and using new technology. Our fast adoption of Enscape (enscape3d.com) immediately helped our clients schedules by significantly reducing rendering times.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that it can take a large firm two weeks just to install a new application that someone wants to try out on a project. It’s almost like large firms have meetings just to schedule meetings! On the other hand, we’re encouraged to try new things. We can discover a new technology on Friday and begin using it on Monday. This is exactly what happened when we first saw Enscape.
Within the first day of using Enscape, I was publishing images from a university project to be used by the project manager for presentation with a client. I believe this kind of agility and attention to detail is what gives WGM an enormous competitive advantage over firms literally hundreds of times our size. When clients call us they’re immediately talking to the person working on their project. This kind of client focus is our key value – we don’t have all the layers and politics.
Clients love our ability to use Revit from the earliest point in design and Enscape helps us communicate and experience our designs like never before. We like to model everything the camera sees – even down to detailed fixtures and light switches. This attention to detail really brings the project to life.
With Enscape, we’re not doing anything different. We’re basically using Revit like we’ve always used Revit as if we were going to create still image renderings. If anything, I’m using Revit better than before because I’m more aware of how materials and lighting will look when the project is built and finished. But instead of waiting 8 to 10 hours for a 4K rendering to complete in Revit, I’m able to produce a better quality image in under five minutes with Enscape.
With the typical rendering process in Revit, you set up your camera along with all the other settings, while trying to “imagine” what the final product will look like. But with Enscape, you can see the final rendering before you create the image. You can even tweak the image settings in the live view and get an immediate feedback before saving the image. This advantage alone completely side steps time-consuming postproduction in Photoshop.
I’ve used a lot of rendering tools – including 3ds Max. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Enscape could replace any rendering engine for interiors visualization. But with Enscape you have the advantage of actually being able to explore your project from any angle and lighting condition.
To be honest, I really don’t like a lot of the materials that come out of the box with Revit. So I typically modify and customize my materials. And this is what gives Enscape powerful simplicity. When I’m changing materials lighting in Revit I can immediately see the results in Enscape. No more pushing the rendering button and waiting to see if I’ve made the right decision.
I really like Enscape’s simplicity with navigation. The PC game-like controls make it so easy to navigate the design model.
Glad we were able to talk about our experience with using Enscape. Let’s keep in touch and I’ll be sure to send over some more images from time to time for you guys to post on Twitter. Just don’t forget to mention where they came from – WGM Design in Charlotte, NC!