Revit and IFC in Unreal Engine, Unity, Oculus

The exponential growth of free game engine capabilities will change the visualization and design industry beyond recognition in the next few years. The work of the architect-visualizer and designer is simplified. Changing light, finishes, materials and geometry is now easy and the result is visible in the final quality. The customer to whom you are presenting the building will be able to walk around the building, turn lights on and off, move curtains and furniture

The engine is used to create meta universes. A 3D virtual world where millions meet online will become our key social hub. Unfortunately, the standard rendering of CAD programs does not allow the achievement of the desired visualization. Rendering speed compared to standard visualization tools in CAD products has increased by tens of thousands of times.

Top Rendering Engine Market Share Trends, Source:

Architectural design in the 21st century has moved almost completely into the field of 3D – the days of blueprints on wadman and cardboard layouts are long in the past. When working on large projects, architects and designers use tools such as 3D Max, Blender, ArchiCAD. Their capabilities are sufficient not only to create high quality visual models, but also to create videos or VR, AR applications that allow the customer to get acquainted with the future object in detail.

The engine is used to create meta universes. A 3D virtual world where millions meet online will become our key social hub. Unfortunately, the standard rendering of CAD programs does not allow the achievement of the desired visualization. Rendering speed compared to standard visualization tools in CAD products has increased by tens of thousands of times. 


  • For visualization or simulations, cars and people movements can be set up literally in a few clicks, weather and time are also easy to set up.
  • Free engines also allow you to connect the algorithms of artificial intelligence, which visually allow you to play the simulation not on paper but in real scenes. Using Unity and the ML-Agents toolkit, you can create AI environments that are physically, visually, and cognitively rich.
  • With Unity Machine Learning Agents, you are no longer “coding” emergent behaviours, but rather teaching intelligent agents to “learn” through a combination of deep reinforcement learning and imitation learning.
  • This bundle of software tools enables you to create interactive 3D, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications from 3D, industrial design data, including computer-aided drafting and design assets.

The built-in capabilities for rendering projects in CAD and BIM products are quite limited. Neither Revit, nor ArchiCAD, nor Blender, nor similar programs can achieve photorealistic image quality. Any video clips of CAD and BIM products show “plasticity” of objects and problems with illumination and ray tracing.

Building up CPU capacity in theory could solve the problem, but in practice it looks too impractical from the economic side. Developers of specialized software for many years could not accelerate the process of photorealistic rendering, without losing quality, but today the ideal engine for rendering 3D-projects found. Its name is Unreal Engine. Despite the fact that the engine developed by Epic Games was originally created for computer games, it gradually began to gain popularity outside of game development in the field of visualization of architecture and interiors.

The secret of Unreal Engine’s success as a renderer for architectural projects is simple: the engine designed to create computer games, due to its specifics, is simply required to render objects quickly and accurately, squeezing the maximum out of the “iron”. In order to be comfortable for the player, FPS in the game should be at least 30 frames per second, ie, the environment and objects with all the details, lighting, reflections and refraction of the rays should be calculated almost in real time. Any delays of a few minutes are out of the question.

The DAE ( Collada ) file extension is a digital asset exchange file used by many 3D software products as the primary file format for exchanging digital assets such as textures, geometries or simply raster images. The DAE file format is capable of storing multiple texture images with their associated texture coordinates, colour transparency and naming group hierarchy. Our DAE file converter OpenDataBIM, can process your Collada DAE files thanks to the OpenCOLLADA open platform, which allows us to read and write to Collada DAE.file format in an easy and efficient way.

Using the game engine accelerates the rendering of the project not by several times, not a few tens of times, but by thousands of times: if using standard tools for rendering a frame of video took at least a minute, thanks to UE5 for the same minute rendered 2,400 frames in the same resolution and with the same detail at FPS 40. At the same time the number of polygons of objects in the scene thanks to Nanite technology is no longer limited by anything. The new version of Unreal Engine can handle the most complex models without creating a huge load on the processor and graphics card, requiring neither manual revision, nor even an automatic retopology, which was almost impossible to do without before. Picture quality at the same time goes to a new level thanks to the lighting, which Lumen technology as close as possible to the live light in the real world.


The capabilities of Unreal Engine 5 allow not only to quickly create a high-quality video presentation, at first glance indistinguishable from live footage. Since it is primarily a game engine, it can be used to demonstrate the project in virtual reality, turning it into a kind of interactive scene, with which the client can interact. In order to get an accurate idea of the project, he will be able to walk around the room, looking at the interior from different angles, turn the lamps on and off, open and close the curtains, to see the interior in bright directional and in a dimly diffused light. Moreover, unlike most popular and widely used visualization engines for architects, such as V-Ray and Corona, the Unreal Engine with all its features can be used for free. The only thing you will have to invest in is the training: independent mastering of a powerful engine cannot be called a simple and quick task, so it makes sense to pay attention to training courses.

Inherent conservatism of domestic architects and designers, distrust of free software, snobbism, expressed in an unwillingness to get in touch with the field of game development and actively use its achievements not only binds them hand and foot, but also negatively affects the development of the sphere as a whole. Specialists find themselves out of demand, depriving themselves of the opportunity to reduce the project development time, simplify the process from the technical side and show the potential client impressive results of their work close to what it would look like in real life. It is hard to say what can end this unhurried stagnation and make sluggish local architects look at the calendar and realize that it is no longer 1982, which means it is time to pay attention to all those innovations which 2022 offers them.


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