Spherical Rendering, The Picture That’s Worth a Thousand Words

By Derek Cerciello, Architectural Technologist

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If you do not know already, every home that currently goes through the drafting department is drawn in full 3D. This includes everything from walls and roof’s to plugs and switches. This means every customer potentially has the option to do a walkthrough of their home the moment their working drawings are complete. The first step we have taken in the drafting department to explore this possibility is with Spherical Renderings!

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A spherical rendering is 6 rendered images that are stitched together to give you a full 360 degree image. It is a great way to get an idea of the space in a room and could help a customer realize their pool table just won’t fit, or that they need a bigger nook. This is something that the average customer might not be able to visualize with a standard 2D set of working drawings. I believe it could one day be a set standard to get a spherical rendering of every room in your home.

So how do you create a spherical rendering?

It may seem simple as we already have all our homes created in 3D, but there is a lot of work behind the scenes that we have to do in order to get the final product. We use 3 separate programs when we create a spherical rendering. It starts in Revit, then 3ds Max, and ends with an image editor.

Revit:

We take the already created Revit model and add all the 3D aspects of the Spherical rendering. This includes all the furniture, cabinetry, baseboards, appliances, hardware etc. Once we feel we have almost all the furniture in the model we export the file and send it to 3ds Max.

3ds Max:

After we get the Revit model into 3ds Max we have to set up the scene that we are going to render. This means adding a camera, all the lights, giving every single piece of furniture its own material and adding accessories like throw rugs and coffee makers. This is by far the most time consuming part of the process. Every material has to be made individually, and every light needs to be tweaked so that we get the highest and most realistic quality. Once all this is done to our highest standards we use the 3ds Max panorama software to render our final 6 images in the cloud. (This is done in the cloud so that we don’t have to wait 12 hours for it to be completed).

Image editor:

After we get our 6 rendered images from the cloud we have to stitch them together, and we do this with an image editor. Then we designate which rendered image goes where (top, bottom, left, right, front, back) and generate our final product which is a Spherical Rendering. We can also link from one Spherical Rendering to another which was done in the Wembley and Cayley models you saw last week. We then upload this to a website and create a QR code. Now anyone with a mobile device can scan the QR code and view the wonderfully detailed Spherical Rendering.

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If you haven’t already check out our 2 Spherical Renderings, the Cayley and Wembley, I encourage you to do so. I’m certain they will simply blow you away!

Have a great weekend!

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