VIRTUAL & AUGMENTED REALITY IN ARCHITECTURE
Article by Ar.M.Tariq
Lecturer Architecture department
CECOS University Peshawar
There was a time when designers used only 2d drawings to show their ideas, then the kings & supremacy of ancient people had dreams to visualize their habitats before it built. Perspective and many manual 3d making techniques were developed which was appreciated by that time.
Then the CAD & CAM made it possible to visualize it more easily by screen.
People love 3d images especially rendered with beautiful lighting and unique materials applied, every client has dreamed and forcefully did that by their architects.
Thinking in three dimensional not only help architects in designing process but also shown them new forms by experimenting. The architects, designers & client all had took much benefit from this stuff. Then came the animations which is a movie of their projects actually combining many clips and show every corner of their home or any6 building. From main entrance to the kitchen and bathroom interior designer and client both seeing what will be executed. That advent has very merits but also had some demerits.
As an architect I noticed many buildings which are not the same as designed and visualized in 3d. I call it as a deception. 3d maker apply materials which are not available and the perspective way is actually even not possible what it looks like in images.
The designer of a particular building when totally rely on 3d got a complete different product.
One of the drawback is that in 3d a building cannot be perceive spatially but rather still a 2d image on the screen or print.
Secondly a client cannot see what actually he wants but only see what the designer want to show him.
Now is the era of virtual and augmented reality. These two technologies have totally changed the perception of visualization in many field but especially in architecture.
Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person.
How it works.
There are many head mounted displays (HMD’S) available in market from different price range.
Chinese HMDS are also available which cost only 1500 PKR but the quality of virtual environments is not very good.
First the 3d is made by the designers and then that 3d is exported through a free plugin in to different freely available software to visualize their buildings virtually and interact.
In virtual reality you will get a complete virtual tour and you will perceive spaces, its size, shape as it will be in realities and interact with them.
You can open a door, move a bed from its location and see the ceiling height while feel it in real life. You can hear the water splashing when enter in to washroom and hear the sounds of fallen utensils if touch. That’s the real tour.
It’s like a computer game in which you can interact with every stuff you see and feel it spatially.
In Virtual reality user completely immersed in virtual context while in augmented reality information and virtual objects are overplayed in real-time.
Augmented Reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.
Architecture student can make 2d prints and so with the help of their smart phone and installed software like Arki and many free applications from play store show their jurors the 3d by minimizing time of physical model making.
Augmented reality plays a vital role in providing real time information and interactive in which client, designers, students can take many advantages.
Microsoft & Google are working very creatively on this technology to provide new versions of google glasses and Microsoft Hololens.
Although the prices are high on this stage but soon it will go down and will be available cheap.