Architecture is not just about designing buildings; it’s about creating spaces that are functional, aesthetic, and engaging.
Conveying complex architectural designs to clients and stakeholders can be a daunting task, especially when relying solely on 2D drawings and renderings. Animation has emerged as a powerful tool for architects to communicate their vision and bring designs to life.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of using animation in architecture and how it can help architects create engaging, immersive, and interactive presentations that effectively communicate their designs to clients and stakeholders.
Why Is Animation Important for Architects?
Animation is a crucial tool in modern architectural design that allows architects to create immersive and engaging visualizations of their projects.
One of the main benefits of animation is its ability to communicate complex designs to clients and stakeholders.
By providing a 3D perspective of the design, animation enables viewers to explore the space, understand the scale and proportions, and experience the design in a way that is not possible with static images.
Another advantage of animation is that it helps architects to identify design flaws and potential issues that may arise during construction.
Animation allows architects to simulate the building process. This gives architects the opportunity to identify any design errors, make necessary changes, and ensure that the final product meets the required standards.
Have you ever wanted to experiment with different colors, textures, and get more creative? Animation allows for that possibility.
For example, if you want to see if glass works better than wood in certain areas of a structure, you can run a simulation that shows how sunlight interacts with both materials. You’ll get more creative and see how your designs inspire and evoke the right emotions.
Tangible Benefits of Using Animation In Architectural Designs
There’s no doubt that animation play an important role in design and implementation of architectural projects.
The biggest stumbling block to implement the technology is the cost of animation. If you’re thinking about using animation, you’d want to know if it’s worth it or not. These are the benefits that have the most impact on your bottom line.
Win More Bids
Zaha Hadid Architects wins about 50% of their work through bidding competitions. They can’t lead on the name of the firm alone.
They rely on architectural animations to communicate their creativity and create an emotional impact. If animation could help your firm win even a small percentage of bid competition, it would well be worth it.
Trustworthiness and Credibility
Are referrals the backbone of your business? Animation is such a strong communication tool, it helps clients and builders see the finished project before ground breaks on the project.
Clients have more confidence in your work and builders will be able to take your vision and turn it into a reality.
This builds a tremendous amount of trust with clients when projects finish on time and under budget. They’ll be more than happy to refer your firm to others.
Project Cost Savings
One of the biggest challenges of using 2D renderings is that they don’t fully convey your intention or the design of the project.
This can turn into miscommunication, cost overruns, and project problems. Clients end up unhappy and that can cost more business in the future.
Animation plays a key role in project workflows because builders are able to visualize the project and ask questions before taking action. That prevents issues with you and your clients and it saves time and money.
The Cost of Using Animation
A cost-benefit analysis isn’t complete without fully understanding the costs of animation. The first step is to get animation software and ensure that your hardware is powerful enough to handle it.
Software and Hardware Requirements
To create animations in architecture, architects need specialized software and hardware. Some of the most commonly used software for animation in architecture include:
Unreal Game Engine: This software is a powerhouse for creating hyper-realistic visualizations and it is completely free for new companies wanting to give it a go. This platform can be complex to use without experience. There are a growing number of tutorials to get new users started on YouTube and other learning platforms, including the Unreal Training Centers. C++ is helpful but not required to get started.
Unity Game Engine: This is a free game-based rendering platform that is very powerful yet complex to get started with. Unity offers a great number of tutorials and is designed to be open with a lot of 3rd party applications. Understanding C# programming languages is helpful but not required.
SketchUp: This software is used for creating 3D models and is popular among architects. This costs about $639 annually.
Rhinoceros: Starting at $995 per year, this is a go-to platform for architects because of its ability to work with CAD-based data for visualization.
Cinema4D: A powerful motion graphics platform starting at about $719 per year. Complex, yet is an industry leader in motion graphics.
Blender: This is a free and open-source 3D modeling and animation software. Complex, yet powerful.
Lumion: This software is used for creating realistic 3D visualizations and animations. An annual subscription costs $649 for the standard version. The Pro version is $1,299 a year. Relatively simple to use.
No matter which software platform you use, you’ll need the hardware to match the power of the software. At minimum, you’ll need a computer with a 64-bit processor, 64GB of RAM, and a gaming-based graphics card.
Purchase something much more powerful than the minimum standard. Software programs get upgraded frequently. The investment will be able to keep up with the software upgrades for a longer period of time.
Maintenance and Upgrade Costs
Investing in powerful computing tools upfront will reduce your maintenance and upgrade costs. However, if you decide to get a barebones machine, you’ll have to upgrade parts or the entire machine soon after you purchase it.
How will you and your team use animation? How will you learn to use the software? These are the questions that get answered through proper training.
This is an investment of time and money. It’s often an overlooked cost when implementing the technology.
Time to Create Animations
How good are your technical skills? Even with training, you still might be a bit slow in creating the animations.
It normally takes a few days to create an animation. The time depends on the scope of the project and how much time you spend on creative experiments.
It can also take longer if you’re getting used to a new software platform. You’ll need to ask yourself if your time is better spent working on another project or on creating an animation. This is one reason why outsourcing animations makes sense for many architectural firms.
Leverage the Power of Animation in Architecture
Animation in architecture makes a tremendous difference in the way architects work. They’re able to win more bids, earn more referral business, and save time and money on projects. It’s an investment, and you now learned how to implement it in your business.
Do you need assistance with animation or 3D renderings on your architectural projects? Contact the ToPa 3D team today to find out how we can help.