CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

id cf2011_p043
authors Boeykens, Stefan
year 2011
title Using 3D Design Software, BIM and Game Engines for Architectural Historical Reconstruction
source Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures 2011 [Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures / ISBN 9782874561429] Liege (Belgium) 4-8 July 2011, pp. 493-509.
summary The use of digital tools has become a tremendous aid in the creation of digital, historical reconstructions of architectural projects. Regular visualization techniques have been used for quite some time and they still pose interesting approaches, such as following cinematic techniques [1]. While common visualizations focus on pre-rendered graphics, it is possible to apply Game Engines [2] for real-time architectural visualization, as witnessed by [3] and [4]. In the course of our teaching and research efforts, we have collected experience with several visualization and modeling techniques, including the use of gaming engines. While the modeling of qualitative geometry for use in regular visualization already poses an elaborate effort, the preparation of models for different uses is often not trivial. Most modeling systems only support the creation of models for a single amount of detail, whereas an optimized model for a real-time system will have fairly different constraints when compared to non-real-time models for photorealistic rendering and animation. The use of parametric methods is one usable approach to tackle this complexity, as illustrated in [4]. One of the major advantages of using parametric approaches lies precisely in the possibility of using a single model to generate different geometry with control over the amount of detail. We explicitly tackle this in a Building Information Modeling (BIM) context, as to support much more than purely 3D geometry and visualization purposes. An integrated approach allows the same model to be used for technical drawings in 2D and an optimized 3D model in varying levels of detail for different visualization purposes. However, while most Building Information Modeling applications are targeted to current architectural practice, they seldom provide sufficient content for the recreation of historical models. This thus requires an extensive library of parametric, custom objects to be used and re-used for historically accurate models, which can serve multiple purposes. Finally, the approach towards the historical resources also poses interpretation problems, which we tackled using a reasonably straightforward set up of an information database, collecting facts and accuracies. This helps in the visualization of color-coded 3D models, depicting the accuracy of the model, which is a valuable graphical approach to discuss and communicate information about the historical study in an appealing format. This article will present the results of different reconstruction case studies, using a variety of design applications and discuss the inherent complexity and limitations in the process of translating an active, evolving model into an environment suitable for use in a real-time system. Especially workflow issues are identified, as the translation of the model into the game engine should be repeated several times, when the model is further refined and adapted. This used to involve a large amount of repetitive work, but the current crop of game engines have much better approaches to manage the updating of the geometry.
keywords Real-time architecture, game engines, cultural heritage, digital reconstruction, parametric modeling, Building Information Modeling
series CAAD Futures
email stefan.boeykens@asro.kuleuven.be
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