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Unity for Architectural Visualization

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Stefan Boeykens

For architects the walk-around 3D computer visualization is a fantastic marketing tool. This tutorial shows you how to use Unity to achieve modeling skills through step-by-step examples. You’ll find the acquired expertise invaluable.
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Book Details

ISBN 139781783559060
Paperback144 pages

About This Book

  • Simple instructions to help you set up an interactive and real-time scene
  • Excellent tips on making your presentations attractive by creating interactive designs
  • Most important features of computer games covered, to develop compelling, interactive scenes for so-called “serious games”

Who This Book Is For

This book is written for students and professional architects who know how to model buildings in 3D and have a need to turn their design into an interactive model, even if you have never used Unity before. Experience with visualization and programming will be helpful, but is not required to follow along. You will learn all the basics throughout with the help of step-by-step examples. The majority of the examples work fine in any recent version of the Unity software, on Windows or Mac, but occasionally features of the Pro version are required.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: An Integrated Unity Workflow
Assets and the Unity workflow
CAD or 3D modeling software
Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software
Updating the scene when changes occur
Summary
Chapter 2: Quick Walk Around Your Design
Setting up an (almost) empty Unity project
Loading up a CAD model
Meshes and materials, or Shaders
Adding sun light
Adding navigation using a first person controller
Minding the gap
Summary
Chapter 3: Let There be Light!
Basic light sources
Shadows
Lightmapping
Pre-rendered models
Summary
Chapter 4: Promenade Architecturale
First Person versus Third Person Controller
Loading a custom third person character
Adding a live minimap
Displaying basic text/information on the screen
Summary
Chapter 5: Models and Environment
Loading 3D Warehouse models
Setting up a basic landscape
Creating a custom Skybox
Optimizing scenes and models
Summary
Chapter 6: Shaders and Textures
Adjusting basic textured materials
Using advanced textured materials
Using procedural materials
Learning further material techniques
Summary
Chapter 7: Full Control with Scripting
Scripting crash course
Triggering doors and elevators
Basic heads-up-display with a custom GUI
Switching between cameras
Switching between materials
Further interactions
Some additional Asset Store tips
Summary

What You Will Learn

  • Convert CAD or BIM models into Unity-compatible formats
  • Use the default Character Controllers to walk around your design
  • Configure light sources and use Lightmapping to bake lights and shadows into your model
  • Add a mini-map to display an overview of the design
  • Tweak the model import and other settings to improve performance
  • Use a shader to simulate a simple and convincing glass
  • Write scripts to open doors, move platforms, and display model information
  • Allow the users to switch cameras and materials using a GUI

In Detail

Architects have always relied on drawings, renderings, and sometimes even movies to present their design concepts to clients, contractors, and other stakeholders. The accessibility of current game engines provides new and exciting possibilities to turn any design into an interactive model that anyone can experience at their own pace.

"Unity for Architectural Visualization" explains how you can create compelling, real-time models from your 3D architectural project. Filled with practical tips and in-depth information, this book explains every step in the process, starting from the very basics up to custom scripts that will get you up to the next level.

This book begins with a general overview of the Unity workflow for architectural models. You will start with a simple project that lets you walk around in your design using basic Unity tools and methods. You will then learn how to easily get convincing lightning effects on your scene. You will then set up a basic navigation system in your project, and not only this; you will also cover some tips and tricks to take navigation to the next level. You will quickly learn how to fine-tune the shaders and how to set up materials that are a bit more advanced. Even when you finish Unity for Architectural Visualization, this book will make scripting easier with reusable examples of scripts that can be applied in most projects. After reading this book, you will be comfortable enough to tackle new projects and develop your own.

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