Blog / BIM & Construction Management

What is Unreal Engine and why it is revolutionizing ArchVIZ (Architectural Visualization)

What is Unreal Engine? If you work in the Engineering & Construction (E&C) sector, you are probably starting to hear more and more about this video game engine created by Epic Games. The reason is that the use of this engine has begun to spread to a growing number of sectors, including architecture. Unreal Engine allows creating (for free!) hyper-realistic Virtual Reality projects by importing 3D models. All this, with minimum rendering times. Interesting, isn't it? We will cover all you need to know below.
Unreal Engine (UE) is a game engine created in 1998 by Epic Games, originally designed for the development of video games (like the case of Unreal, a shooter video game created that same year by the same company). Since 1998, 4 versions of this game engine have been released. Its latest version, which was released in 2015, was first made available for free. Unreal Engine offers all the necessary tools to create simulations, such as video editor, sound studio or animation rendering, among others. A potential that was quickly noticed by sectors outside the video game industry, such as Architecture.

Unreal Engine: exploring the potential of Virtual Reality for Architecture

Unreal Engine puts an end to the nightmare of eternal renderings (up to hours long) that has accompanied architects for so many years. Renders in which any slightest change required restarting the whole process. In this context, it stands as a real game-changer: it saves a lot of time when visualizing the final result of the projects, it allows to see in real time the changes made, as well as to make virtual tours through the design. According to the ArchVIZ and Virtual Reality studio Tres Sesenta Infografía, while the rendering time with a traditional engine such as Vray is 3 to 8 hours/image, with Unreal Engine it is 1 to 5 seconds/image. This engine allows importing model data from a wide variety of 3D, CAD and BIM applications (such as 3ds Max, Revit, SketchUp Pro or Rhino) and transforming them with a few clicks into hyper-realistic Virtual Reality visualizations. Thanks to Unreal Engine's Datasmith plugin it is possible to import complex compositions into the program easily, without the need to break them down into individual parts and pass them separately through the game engine. In addition, it allows the incorporation of changes made to the original material without losing the work done.Unreal Engine Image source: Neoscape creative agency project published by Unreal Engine.

Other advantages 

In addition to being free and its minimal rendering times, this real-time rendering engine (the most powerful on the market) has other advantages:
  • Engaging, hyper-realistic and compelling designs for customers: Unreal Engine enables the creation of immersive and interactive experiences, allowing customers to feel more engaged in projects.
  • Competitive advantage: Betting on Virtual Reality is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competitors in a disruptive way.
  • Anticipation to problems: In addition to a more continuous review of the projects, Unreal Engine allows to foresee more easily all the problems that may arise.
  • Programming without writing code: To use this engine, it is not necessary to be an expert programmer. On the contrary! You will be able to program in a very visual and intuitive way using nodes.
  • Possibility of training in record time: With just a few weeks of training you can become a real expert in using this engine. In addition, training with professionals will allow you to make the most of all its powerful features for project customization.

Get trained in Unreal Engine with the Postgraduate Program in Virtual Reality for Architecture

What if we told you that you could get trained in Unreal Engine in just 12 weeks? That's right: Zigurat has two postgraduate programs in Virtual Reality (one in English and another in Spanish) that will allow you to get the most out of this tool and start creating immersive and effective experiences. If you are interested in training in this powerful video game engine... you are still in time to enroll in one of our courses! Both editions kick off in October 2021.

Zigurat Global Institute of Technology