Autodesk continues to push the envelope with its building information modeling (BIM) offerings for the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. In July 2016,it brought “on demand” interactivity to the industry with the introduction of Autodesk Revit Live (formerly Autodesk LIVE). Autodesk Revit Live is a cloud-based service that transforms a Revit model into an immersive experience, allowing you to do much more than just “see” your model in 3D. Then in October 2016, Autodesk announced that Revit Live would also support virtual reality gear for the HTCVive and Oculus Rift.
Autodesk moves into the new year with even more BIM updates. In February 2017,it announced the release of version 1.7 of Revit Live. The name changing to Autodesk Revit Live was to help reflect the integrated functionality within Revit and the ability to extend BIM to immersive visualization and virtual reality. Autodesk’s Revit LT users will be happy, as this is the first release that supports them—previously,this support was only available for users of full-blown Revit. The new release also boasts a 20 percent performance improvement for users when working with large models and virtual reality by improving the Level of Details geometry generation.Custom building materials are also now supported in Revit Live, which gives users greater flexibility to create unique visualizations based on their specifications.
Autodesk Revit Live editing tools. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
Communication is key to any successful project implementation. BIM brought a way to communicate project information across trades in the AEC industry. BIM is a 3D, model-based process that gives AEC professionals tools and information they can use to plan, design, construct and manage a building and its infrastructure efficiently. Although a lot of different project data is shared during any given BIM project, it’s the up-to-date accurate 3D model of the building itself that takes center stage in project communication. And although communicating a project using 3D models is far better than the days of only using 2D plan views and elevations vis paper plots, the 3D model is still more or less a “picture” of your project. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is something that’s more than a picture worth? Well, here’s what Amar Hanspal, senior vice president at Autodesk, had to say about that: “While a picture may say a thousand words, Autodesk believes that an immersive experience says everything. LIVE is a perfect example of how film and game development is influencing client expectations in the AEC world. Imagine the ability to step inside a building and experience everything well before it is real. With such simplicity, clients can do more than just see what a space looks like, they can better know what it feels like. Autodesk LIVE may forever change the way AEC professionals communicate with their clients.”
Autodesk Revit Live screenshot. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
Autodesk Revit Live allows users to:
- Create their designs in Revit—Current users don’t have to learn any new software.
- Transform their models into a LIVE experience—By uploading models to the LIVE cloud, LIVE helps automate and optimize the geometry of the BIM model in the cloud and sends you a fully interactive model within minutes.
- Customize the look and feel of the interactive visualization with editing tools that help you define navigation points, adjust location-based lighting or apply a unique render style.
- Present your finalized design to the client or let them explore it on their own with a portable, fully immersive experience.
The ability to enhance your BIM presentations with a fully interactive experience is an invaluable asset for your team members and clients. Being able to customize the navigation points, the render style and even the time of day go a long way to giving those involved in the project a true, realistic presentation of the project. Imagine being able to experience how sunlight shines at different times of the day or even throughout the four seasons virtually—or having doors that actually open and behave as they would in the real world. It is exciting to see how far BIM has come, and I’m excited to see where Autodesk continues to take its product offerings.
For more information on the latest Autodesk Live v1.7 enhancements, visit the release notes page.