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Gaming tech can be used to walk through buildings before they’re even constructed

Gaming tech can be used to walk through buildings before they’re even constructed


Autodesk and Epic Games join forces to bring more immersion to architecture tools

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Epic Games is partnering with industry design software giant Autodesk to bring game-like graphics to architecture tools in order to visualize design concepts and plans as more immersive environments. 

While Autodesk architecture software such as Revit is capable of creating 3D design plans, the partnership will introduce easy-to-use tools to designers, with features typically seen more often in game development, such as Unreal Engine, ray tracing, and a huge library of 3D assets to populate environments. 

A building plan created using Revit
An environment created using Twinmotion
A design plan created using Revit compared to a more realistic scene created in Twinmotion.
Image: Autodesk and Image: Epic Games

Anyone subscribed to Autodesk Revit (a building information modeling solution for architects) will now get free access to Epic Game’s Twinmotion, an Unreal Engine-powered real-time visualization tool that’s already being used within the urban planning and construction industry. Twinmotion is available as a free trial for education and noncommercial applications, but this subscription benefit will save Revit subscribers $499 for a perpetual commercial license.

Projects made in Twinmotion can allow for more interactive experiences

Autodesk design software such as AutoCAD and Revit are used extensively within architecture and construction planning, from early concept sketches to 3D renders and documents to help aid in the actual building process. While models created in these applications can be highly detailed, projects created through Twinmotion can allow for more interactive experiences, such as realistic still imagery, environmental animations, and even VR integration that could be used for digital tours. The pitch is that clients will be able to communicate changes with architects and designers in real time, allowing them to see requested alterations much faster than when using more traditional developmental tools.

Twinmotion textures being altered
Twinmotion is easy to use, allowing designers to simply drag and drop what they want from a huge library of 3D assets.
Image: Epic Games

“By tapping into Epic’s ecosystem of real-time 3D tools and libraries, users can spend more time bringing their designs to life and less time handling complex data and technical workflows,” said Marc Petit, Epic Games’ vice president.

This isn’t the first time that Epic and Autodesk have teamed up. Autodesk joined Epic Games’ Integrated Partners Program back in 2008, and in 2021, Epic and Autodesk collaborated to offer a new Unreal Live Link for Maya plug-in, enabling creators to stream data from Autodesk Maya (an interactive 3D graphics creation tool) to Unreal in real time. This likely isn’t the end of the partnership, either, as Epic Games said that there are plans for the two companies to “jointly develop experiences for customers in M&E and manufacturing” further down the line.