Stephenson Engineering Ltd: We’re Structural Engineers. There’s No Time To Render. But We Have Time for Enscape.
“Enscape has completely changed how we showcase our work.”
Kathy Kajaks | Associate, BIM-CAD Manager | Stephenson Engineering Ltd
Who’s Stephenson Engineering?
Stephenson Engineering is a 100+ strong Canadian structural engineering firm with offices in Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto. We started out as a small firm in Toronto in 1969. As of 2015 we have completed over 7,500 projects that represent some of the most complex structural projects in Canada.
Stephenson began using Revit Structure around 2006 and rapidly transitioned completely to Revit. Moving to Revit made complete sense to us as engineers in terms of collaboration, coordination and overall increase in productivity.
Our BIM development team at Stephenson was looking for a method to produce renderings of our structural models based on three parameters: the tool had to render quickly, someone outside of a drafting / engineering background had to be able to use it and the final product had to lend context to our work via realism.
In 2015 we brought Damian Mellin, Stephenson’s Communications Director into the BIM development team. With his creative background working with 3D design and pre-visualization software he understood that it was important to develop our own dynamic high quality images for our marketing, pursuit visualizations and creating presentation slides for PowerPoint.
When we looked into traditional rendering the processes take entirely too long. By the time you finish just a few project renderings the design changes and you have to re-render. We tried to speed up the process by exporting from Revit and rendering in Max but that just complicates the process even more.
When we discovered Brian Mackey raving about Enscape (enscape3d.com) on his blog (www.bdmackeyconsulting.com/blog) we were cautiously optimistic. It wasn’t long after we downloaded the trial and tested Enscape on a few of our projects that we purchased our first network license.
In the process we discovered Enscape motivates our design teams to do better work in Revit because any flaws are quickly discovered. You might think that it’s hard to get structural engineers excited about real-time visualization with Enscape. But you would be wrong! Enscape is user-friendly, fast and incredibly easy to use. It’s the first time we can remember our engineers being excited about rendering.
Even the principals of the firm are impressed. Their first question after seeing renderings we created was, “How long did this take?” Asking how long something took is a common question among engineers. So, when they found out each image took about 60 seconds they were amazed.
One of our first Enscape images ended up on the cover of our marketing brochure. We also showcase images from Enscape on the homepage of our company’s website. Enscape has completely changed the way we view real-time visualization and photorealistic renderings. This might be hard to imagine but our structural engineers are actually excited about making renderings in Enscape.
Enscape takes away all the stress from creating beautiful visualizations. We’re able to play with the time of day, materials and even reflections in real time. When we get everything in the view just right we export the image. There’s no guess work involved – and saving the high quality rendering takes about a minute. Once the rendering is complete there’s no Photoshop. Enscape produces beautiful renderings without the need for time-consuming postproduction.
Not only are we using Enscape to create practically all of our project renderings, we’ve begun using it to walk to through our projects in real time with the client, our contractors and our design partners.
Glad we were able to chat. Please keep Enscape beautiful and simple – and don’t get bought by you know who!