Best tools and software when it comes to architectural visualization

the intention of this topic is to outline what are the dominant toolsets, software or plugins architects use for visualization, presentation and client communication and why. Its interesting to discuss about size of the company, project size and also geography when it comes to choose a software.

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My previous company was 30 people, with 2 floating licenses of Enscape.

We produced most renders from here out of our Revit models, then added some detail/adjustment in photoshop. We tried to get the materials right in Revit to reduce the post processing needs.

Overall this worked quite well, but needed good templates and upfront investment time.

May I ask what type / size of project you were working on and how important was the quality of final output?

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Predominantly luxury residential apartments, 26 story, approx $300m.

Quality was very important as we did walkthroughs with clients present - detail/accuracy was key.

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What was the main reason you used Enscape? Ease of use or, quality was satisfactory?

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Price, ease of use and integration with Revit.

Other programs like Twinmotion/UE/Unity don’t facilitate a model hosted workflow very well - usually they rely on static export. Pace of model change would not have allowed for this.

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Have you used Datasmith to create a live connection btw Revit and UE4? It keeps the model hierarchy and will update the building model upon changes in source.

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Not yet, UE4 looked to need a lot of configuration so not sure of how easily teams would take to it.

I can be helpful here on UE4 if you are interested in. We can live export a model from Revit to UE4 in minutes. This could take days 2-3 years ago. Worth Looking into

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We are a small team of maximum 5 people depending on the project we are working on. The size and typology of the projects we work on vary a lot from huge mixed-use buildings to small residential units. There are no borders or limits in terms of geography for doing CGI business. 3ds Max and Autocad are our primary software for 3d modeling along with some 3rd party plugins. Adobe or CorelDraw is used for compositing.

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Thanks Denizhan for your input. My understanding is you will be handed the reference views and scattered technical documents like PDF of plan and elevations and you mostly re-create the building with your choice of software and then going for rendering? And, you work less with Revit files?

Yes, pretty much. It is quite seldom that we have to start off with a Revit file. For relatively small projects, transferring the model to a preferred software is not a problem, but modifying and optimizing it to suit your workflow might be painful. You might even consider modeling it from scratch.

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