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Zaha Hadid Architects' Twinmotion project

Build: Architecture 2021 online event to explore frontiers of real-time 3D rendering

Dezeen promotion: Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, HOK and Foster + Partners are among the architectural practices giving presentations at Build: Architecture 2021, an event exploring innovative uses of real-time rendering.

Build: Architecture 2021 is a two-hour showcase of projects that will launch on 2 November 2021, demonstrating how some of the world's leading architecture firms are using real-time technology to create and present their work.

Zaha Hadid Architects' Twinmotion project
Zaha Hadid Architects is among the firms using Twinmotion to create 3D renderings. Photo by Zaha Hadid Architects

The event is being put on by Epic Games, the creator of Twinmotion and Unreal Engine – the two most popular real-time rendering tools for architectural visualisation, according to the 2020 CGarchitect survey.

Initially built for video games, Unreal Engine has been increasingly adopted by architecture firms for 3D visualisation in recent years, with high-end features including real-time ray tracing, high-resolution textures and automatable optimisation.

Its follow-up, Twinmotion, has a more easy-to-use interface and faster workflow and has been favoured by BIG for some of the practice's large projects.

Mass rapid transit 3D model for Wellington by Buildmedia
The tools allow for the creation of digital twins, for modelling data in the virtual world. Photo by Buildmedia

These real-time technologies open the door to new kinds of architectural visualisation, because traditional 3D rendering has typically taken hours, days, or even weeks of processing time.

With real-time tools, creations such as interactive virtual-reality experiences are possible, because when the user wearing VR goggles turns their head in a new direction, the newly visible area of the 3D model can be rendered in milliseconds. This allows clients to visit buildings in virtual reality during the design phase.

Unreal Engine and Twinmotion also enable the creation of digital twins – virtual representations of real-world buildings and even entire cities.

In this fast-growing arena, data from sensors in the real world provides a way to analyse elements such as traffic flow, movement patterns and comfortable environments via the virtual model.

HOK architects' Twinmotion project
Architecture firm HOK is among the users of Twinmotion for real-time renderings. Photo by CENTRUS

Another use is product configurators, where, for instance, sofas are changed from red to blue at the click of a button. While this is usually done on a product level, Zaha Hadid Architects is one of the practices applying it on rooms and buildings too for real estate sales.

On the development side, these tools allow for collaborative real-time design.

Zaha Hadid Architects' Twinmotion project
Zaha Hadid Architects will present their real-time rendering projects at Build: Architecture 2021. Photo by Zaha Hadid Architects

In addition to ZHA, HOK, Foster + Partners and BIG, Build: Architecture 2021 will feature presentations from Pawel Rymsza, 3D Repo, Buildmedia, Cannondesign, Pureblink, Vectorworks and Vouse.

These will be followed by virtual "dev lounges" where the audience can ask questions of Epic Games' experts and the presenters.

Registration for Build: Architecture 2021 is via the Unreal Engine website.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Build: Architecture as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.