Visiting someone’s home in a maner that shows all possibledetails, without actually walking through the door is no news. The virtual tour is not quite as real as a photo, but it is filled with the personalized details of design and decor. Exploring several angles is simple, just like in a game, really. And so it is. Because the 3D real estate development has actually started thanks to the performances reached in the gaming industry.
Applying the gaming technology to an industry where digitally replicated locations would be a huge benefit: real estate was one of the best ideas of the last years. Whether it is done using a special 3D sensor software or simply by creating renders of the rooms, the feeling you get is as real as you can dream of.
Videogames were the inspiration for VR real estate
There are now quite a few companies that provide virtual tour services. Most of these companies’ employees worked on graphics engines at game developers or are 3D artists, in the past. The ideea is to walk that clear line of providing a program to clients that gives the perspective of a first person shooter, while actually serving people who don’t play videogames.
The exploration of spaces is indeed done like in a videogame, but the person taking the tour never feels like plying with a toy. The rendering style is totally based in reality. The biggest issue for the people who don’t play videogames is navigation. Should the user bump into objects? Should the user be able to walk through walls? Should the program incorporate gaming controllers?
With the virtual tour, plain rooms are simply brought to life: Surfaces are picked, with new materials getting added into the editor with proper lighting attributes. Then the lighting is placed, and objects inserted, from furniture to decorative objects. And the client can have everything tweaked on the fly, wood can be changed to metal, a light moved a few feet over, and a table placed elsewhere. Instantly, the 3D model updates, showing how the entire room feels different with new light sources and shifted shadows. All of the materials used in the virtual location are physically based, accurately interacting with light in the same way as they would in the real world.
The virtual tour serves various needs in real estate. Some real estate companies replace static computer graphics images or computer-rendered animations with the interactive buildings. Whether they are apartments or houses, retails spaces or restaurants, for sale, for rent, and even before construction has began. Afterall, it’s easier to make decisions in an artificial space before spending the money in the real world, isn’t it?