Last week, Autodesk released Autodesk LIVE, a new cloud-based visualization service. It quickly transforms a building information model (BIM) into an interactive, rendered, 3D environment that can be navigated in real-time. Amar Hanspal, Autodesk Senior Vice President, describes LIVE as “dynamic visualization” because it allows designers, collaborators and clients to move through digital models as they choose and it creates these immersive experiences without long lead times.
The conversion process takes a five or six minutes for smaller models, with processing time increasing for larger and more complex files. Materials, terrain, landscapes, figures, and furniture can be incorporated to add provide context and scale. A number of rendering styles are available, time of day and year can be selected to simulate lighting conditions, and custom navigation points can be placed to highlight specific spaces or paths. Once these options are set, the model can be published for viewing on a free Autodesk LIVE Viewer app for Windows desktops or Apple iOS mobile devices.
LIVE relies on Stingray, Autodesk’s 3-D gaming engine, to generate interactive environments from Revit BIM data. For example, doors are opened automatically as the camera travels from room to room.
Combining data-rich digital models and interactive visualizations is a direction Autodesk has been moving in over the last few years. LIVE continues this trend, joining Stingray, Revit, and 3DS Max, one of Autodesk’s modeling and animation programs, to form a suite of compatible programs for modeling and visualization.
Stereoscopic or virtual reality (VR) viewers, such as Google Cardboard or Oculus Rift, are not currently supported in LIVE. Instead, Autodesk is betting that LIVE’s point-of-view gaming environment will prove attractive to users. However, VR capabilities are in development for LIVE and could be launched in the near future, says Joel Pennington, Autodesk principal designer.
LIVE is a subscription service that costs $30 per month for unlimited use. For more information, click here.
Autodesk LIVE Tour
Video courtesy Autodesk