Architectural Virtual Reality

The best virtual reality architecture solution for Revit, Sketchup, Rhino and ArchiCAD

by Aaronyee

VR Architecture with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive

Virtual reality (VR) is a hot topic in architecture and for good reason. Many Enscape users are experimenting with virtual reality in architecture design and are already using it in their daily business. A VR architectural presentation provides you with a full 360 view – enabling you to get a feeling for space and design and perceive the actual scale of a project. We started Enscape in 2013 with the vision that one day every architectural project can be experienced in virtual reality.

With virtual reality, you create an immersive 3D experience that touches clients emotionally and presents architectural ideas in the best way possible. Since everyone gets to engage and experience a model in a life-like simulation, it‘s easier to discuss details that may not be so easy to see and comprehend in another format. It’s simple to use as well – just one click, and the VR headset will start displaying your model in Enscape, allowing everyone to experience a building before it’s built.

As the cost of headsets such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Microsoft Mixed Reality have dropped significantly, virtual reality is now a feasible option for all modern architects and designers. Find out more about Enscape-supported headsets for VR architecture here, and all you need to know about virtual reality headsets on our Knowledge Base.

SketchUp, Revit, Rhino & ArchiCAD, VR with Just One Click!

Start virtual reality architecture directly from your project in RevitSketchUpRhino, or ArchiCAD without changing your workflow.

Architects and designers get a better feel of a  project and enhance their productivity and iteration process. Navigating through your model is easy. Select view from favorites and take screenshots from within virtual reality. Presenting and reviewing projects has never been easier. Explore use cases of virtual reality in architecture here.

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Works With

Virtual Architecture, Your Live Link from BIM

Modern and innovative architects always try to add more value for clients. Virtual reality is the key for more immersive and interactive experiences. How else can customers perceive their projects up close, feel changes in spatial planning immediately, and walk through projects themselves?

Even though virtual reality has been around for some years, it was video gaming that pushed it as a mainstream option. Notable firms such as KPFFoster + PartnersARUPLHB, and Hassell have chosen virtual reality architecture with the Enscape plug-in to optimize their workflow and presentations.

Agile and adaptive

Design is always an iterative process, but Enscape has made it a dynamic one at Turner Fleischer: the tools we use can now keep-up with our creativity, allowing quick decision making and letting our clients instantly see the impact of their choices.
Steve Nonis | Principal
Turner Fleischer Architects Inc.

Impress clients

Now, with Enscape, our clients are amazed with what we show them. They are able to actually experience their project before it is even built. Enscape helps us to do a better job.
Devin Canton | Associate and BIM Manager ​
HMFH Architects​

Use of Virtual Reality in Architecture

9 out of the 20 major architectural companies worldwide use VR in test cases or even in their daily business, and 83% of the top 100 architectural firms are using Enscape for virtual reality architecture rendering.

  • Customer VR architecture presentation
    • An architectural virtual reality experience amazes your clients. Being able to present the project in client meetings to emotionally impress customers is therefore the main use case of virtual reality. Virtual architecture gives your clients a better understanding of the design, and emotionally involves them in the project.
  • Internal VR presentations
    • Showing the design to colleagues or supervisors in VR leads to faster and sounder discussions—even critics of the technology admit that. Architects who get the chance to experience their project in VR are believers from that day on.
  • Virtual reality can also be used for internal design reviews
    • Details like balustrades or stairs become much clearer if viewed in virtual reality and this offers the architect a way to experience his work in a more realistic way.

VR Architecture Rendering Software & Solutions

Direct VR integration into CAD software

Enscape is the only one that is directly integrated into the CAD software. The integration enables a direct experience of the CAD model with only one click. Virtual reality application delivers the best results without additional effort, and it is the preferred solution for all use cases, where you need only a computer. You do not have to wait several weeks and do not have to spend a five-figure amount to create a walk-through. Additionally, the ease of use marks the integrated visualization, like Enscape, as the solution with the greatest potential for the future.

VR with a game engine

CAD models can also be exported into rendering engines that are known from the computer games industry. The advantage of this solution is the quality, which comes close to the quality of a photorealistic rendering. However, the process of creating such a virtual reality walk-through demands skill and effort as well as time. This results in much higher prices.

360° panorama picture

Some VR users are interested in sending high-quality images to their clients. To do this, the best option is to export the CAD model into a 360° panorama. Enscape allows you to generate 360° panoramas both in stereo and mono. They can be saved to a file or uploaded into the cloud where they are accessible via a web link. The panoramas can then be viewed using devices such as Google Cardboard and the Samsung Gear VR.

VR Devices with Enscape

Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift is the head-mounted display (HMD) that is currently supported by Enscape. The Oculus is one of the first and most widely used HMDs worldwide. The final version runs with a resolution of 2160×1200 pixels. This is the preferred Enscape solution as it runs in similar quality as the Vive at a lower price.

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive is also supported in Enscape. The resolution of the screens is comparable to the Oculus Rift. The Vive comes with great positional tracking, meaning that the user can move naturally in an area of 15 feet by 15 feet (5 m × 5 m). This is a great advantage and at the same time a disadvantage as it needs to be installed in a certain area to get the most out of this technology.

Google Cardboard and Gear VR

With Enscape, you can export Panoramas which run on Google Cardboard or Gear VR. They can easily be opened using a web browser. Enscape does the hosting and uploading for you automatically.

Using Virtual Reality for Project Presentations

Give your customers, employees or important stakeholders with a successful virtual reality experience. Check on how you can explore virtual reality in Revit and how easy it is to navigate in the model.

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Real-Time Rendering and Virtual Reality with Rhino

Visualize your Rhino design in real-time. See how to use Enscape during the design process or in front of a client; let them navigate their model, survey static images, or dive into virtual reality.

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