This week Autodesk announced the release of LIVE, a visualization service that turns Revit models into fully interactive 3D models using the Stingray video-game engine.
The workflow looks similar to the one I tried out at the last Autodesk University, which sent a Revit model to a cloud service for processing into an interactive model. The result could be explored just like a video game.
Nicolas Fonta, senior product line manager at Autodesk explained to SPAR3D that the LIVE product is meant to “make interactive experiences available and accessible to users who are not visual artists.” For visual artists, Autodesk already offers more flexible (but more complex) visualization workflows using 3DS Max.
LIVE adds realism to the interactive experience through integration with photorealistic content, people models, and vegetation as well as environment terrain templates, which provide natural context around the model. Users can set the model to display as it would look at a specific time of day or year to show sun patterns. LIVE also brings in BIM data, which means that “LIVE knows a door is a door, and as such it will open and close as the user moves to and through the door.”
For now Autodesk LIVE doesn’t include direct virtual reality support. However, as Fonta told SPAR3D, “we strongly believe that VR will play a significant role in interactive and immersive storytelling, and so, we already have a lot of ongoing efforts around VR that will shortly translate into accessible capabilities in LIVE.”
He also noted that there are ways to get a LIVE visualization into a VR headset. One of those workflows involves opening the LIVE data within the Stingray video-game engine editor. From there, the interactive visualization can be processed for use in the leading VR tools, such as HTC’s Vive and the Oculus Rift.
As for the future of the Stingray engine under LIVE’s hood, Fonta told SPAR3D that it will continue to play a large part in Autodesk’s interactive storytelling plans, as it will “remain a key technology for our solutions in the LIVE Design family.”