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Workflows and Design: How Real-Time Rendering is Crucial to the VR Experience


🕑 4 minute read

In a post on BRIOVR, we touched on how VR and AR will change automotive manufacturing. Among other things, both innovations can streamline workflows by omitting unnecessary, redundant, or time-consuming steps in various processes. Take for instance brainstorming, where in the past, designs were sketched in 2D. Changes mean new sketches take up a lot of time, especially when more than two drafts were required. But with VR rendering software, that repetitive process is effectively bypassed, with designers able to share and adjust their ideas instantly. BRIOVR’s VR rendering solutions for the automotive industry are therefore perfect in this regard, as it is easy to use and offers limitless customization. 

Real-Time VR Rendering: An Introduction

Real-time rendering saves time and money by rendering frames at 60 frames per second (fps) which the human eye perceives as continuous live motion. Traditional rendering can range from a few minutes per frame to 30+ hours per frame. 

Customization is a vital aspect of VR, and it works best with real-time rendering. This capability, as its name suggests, renders animations extremely fast. Engineering.com explains that real-time rendering technology is now rivaling traditional render engines, and its progression to other industries was a logical next step. Nowadays, companies use it for a range of purposes, with Audi, McLaren, and Ferrari even setting up an event in 2017 to discuss the benefits. 

Real-time rendering increases efficiency, especially in processes that use VR as a presentation or design medium. Often, the process of implementing changes entails making alterations using one type of software, and then transferring these modifications to another software to re-render the updated design. Depending on the complexity of the render, this process could take several costly hours to complete. Real-time 3D rendering, however, makes the process instantaneous, which means that editing a complex, heavy 3D design could be as quick and easy as editing a Powerpoint file.

A Boon to Other Industries

The automotive industry is not the only one benefiting from VR. Agents and developers in real estate are also seeing their workflows disrupted in a good way by VR 3D rendering. The 360-degree virtual home tour, for instance, has become a game-changer in real estate, as discussed in a 2018 post here. Such tours make it easier to attract potential clients, and are becoming vital for developers whose properties have not been fully built just yet. Simply put, 360 tours are second only to actual property visits in giving prospective buyers a sense of what the property offers. The best part is that BRIOVR has 3D rendering software that makes it easy to create these virtual tours. The software, in fact, allows for real-time VR rendering, as well as real-time AR rendering, which means that the advantages outlined in the previous section are available. 

Agents and developers can involve potential clients even more through real-time rendering. To this end, they can ask what changes the buyers want. Agents and developers can then render these changes in real-time, and present them immediately to prospective buyers. RT rendering increases the number of design decisions that can be made per day. Allows the audience to autonomously navigate scenes on their own giving the best possible interaction with a brand, product or space.

Real-time rendering is a boon to architecture too through 3D architectural rendering. As an Arch Daily article on real-time rendering explains, the traditional rendering process can be time-consuming, thereby impairing efficiency. But again, this is not the case with real-time rendering. With this innovation, architects can make changes to their designs and instantly see them fully rendered. They can then examine these alterations more closely, and make more changes as necessary. 

VR: An Evolving Technology

Virtual reality has come a long way from its Sensorama days, where the filmmaker Morton Heilig attempted to “combine multiple technologies” to give as many as four people “the illusion of being in a fully 3D immersive world — complete with smell, stereo sound, vibrations, and even atmospheric effects like wind in the hair.” Heilig’s ideas didn’t exactly pan out, but they arguably laid the groundwork for the eventual future of VR. Since then, the technology has evolved, eventually making its way to the gaming industry by way of Sega, which attempted to launch what would have been one of the first VR headsets in history. Ultimately, it has evolved enough to be used by other industries for practical purposes (other than design). VR technology is making an impact in sports with Formula 1 drivers using it as a training tool. The technology gives drivers the opportunity to visualize the track they will drive on in the build-up to a race. NFL quarterbacks are using VR too, in order to get more practice time without the need to be physically on a pitch. These VR applications, plus the ones in automotive, real estate, and architecture underscore not only how far VR has come, but also its seemingly limitless use in the future. 

There is no question that VR is disrupting more and more industries, and it will continue doing so as the underlying technology improves. Real-time rendering is a step in the right direction, along with other emerging innovations like foveated rendering and eye-tracking technologies. All of these aim to improve the AR/VR experience — an accomplishment that will make this technology even more widely used. 

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