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Thread: Team : MG2

  1. #1
    Member dawerner's Avatar
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    Default Team : MG2

    Hello, everyone!

    We are a group of 7 architects, graduates, and interns from the Washington DC office of MG2 Corporation, a commercial and retail design firm. Many of us have seen what Unreal and real-time rendering has to offer and we're very excited to explore the future of rendering and a merging of architectural visualization and interactivity. This is our first competition at Ronen Beckerman's website, our first visualization-based competition, and, for most of the team, our first time using Unreal.

    Some of us have master planning and site design experience from several previous projects, including heritage centers, towns, developments, and even theme parks. We will certainly be focusing on the vineyard grounds, site, and building massing as a major part of our entry. Our first team meeting was yesterday, where we discussed the overall direction we'd like to take for the competition and what we'd like to get out of the experience.

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    MG2 (formerly MulvannyG2 Architecture) partners with businesses around the world to create meaningful transformation through architectural services, planning, interior design, brand strategy, and consulting services. MG2 is consistently ranked among the largest architecture firms in the nation and among the top retail design firms in the world. MG2 serves clients around the globe from four offices: Seattle, WA; Irvine, CA; Washington, DC and Shanghai.
    Last edited by dawerner; 06-26-2015 at 06:14 PM. Reason: Changing logo to one within company brand standards

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  3. #2
    Member dawerner's Avatar
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    On a more personal level, I have quite a bit of experience with using video game engines for architectural visualization. I initially started using a certain other video game engine to walk around Revit models, then began experimenting a bit with UDK (Unreal 3) a couple years ago.

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    More recently, I took the Revit model from the office we moved into last year and brought it into Unreal 4 (via 3DS Max) in order to demonstrate the potential that using game engines for architectural visualization offers.

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    If anyone is looking for help on how to get models into UE4 (especially Revit), or some tips on how to best prepare them, I am more than willing to answer any questions posted in the thread. There are a lot of little, seemingly innocent things which can potentially present major issues further down the line, and diagnosing what's causing them can take up a lot of time if you don't know what to look for.

    EDIT: Also, as someone who has a background in both game design as well as architecture I really hope we get the option to submit an Unreal scene for our entry rather than just a few images and a video. A playable scene provides a much richer, more immersive experience and is the main reason for using something like Unreal.
    Last edited by dawerner; 06-25-2015 at 01:13 PM.

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    Member dawerner's Avatar
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    Over the past week, we've had a couple more meetings to finalize the team and develop our design concept for the winery. There's been a lot of research, a lot of sketching, and a lot of working late into the evening. We also had an Introduction to Unreal educational session and will have another on our Revit-Max-Unreal pipeline.

    [Edit: Roster updated 8/6/15]
    The Team:

    David Werner (Team Lead)
    Cindy Rohrer
    Matt Luongo

    We will also be occasionally assisted by: Tyler Jenkins, Haley Maguire, Di Meng, and Walt Geiger.

    Our Concept:
    One of the main principles behind Challenge IV – The Vineyard is a look towards the future of architectural visualization. We decided to take that idea further and imagine what kinds of buildings architects and artists may be visualizing in the future. Our vision for the vineyard calls for a futuristic intervention into a site desperately in need of revitalization: downtown Detroit, Michigan.

    Home to hundreds of abandoned buildings, Detroit provides plenty of potential space for hosting the vineyard grounds. We will be looking to utilize these existing building as a part of our design, rather than create the winery complex completely from the ground up. Much of our focus will be on the dichotomy between the old, dirty, brick/concrete walls and our new, green, pristine “Wine City”, providing new life and new opportunities to the residents around our complex.

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    The new central tower will serve as a landmark for the complex, as well as housing most of the harvesting and fermentation equipment.

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    Meanwhile, the surrounding buildings will host the hotel and spa.

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    All of the grape vines will be located on elevated gardens spanning between the surrounding buildings and our new tower. These gardens will be wide enough for a harvester, allowing it to start at one end, then harvest until it reaches the tower where it drops its load of grapes.

    We are currently in the process of selecting a site and finding where exactly we will house all of the winery functions. Next, we will start modeling the building massing and putting our project in Unreal.
    Last edited by dawerner; 08-16-2015 at 10:17 PM.

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    Junior Member jamesvr's Avatar
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    I love the idea, using abandon building in Detroit is really interesting. Look forward to seeing more.

    James

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    I love the concept you have in mind, can not wait to see more!

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    Member dawerner's Avatar
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    Over the past week, we've chosen our site and begun laying out where each part of the complex will be located. Our winery will be located at Michigan Central Station, an abandoned railway station located just outside of downtown Detroit.

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    Photo by Martin Gonzalez via Wikimedia

    We will be locating most of our major functions inside of the former station, including the restaurant and tasting rooms, visitor's center, fermentation and aging areas, hotel reception, and some of the hotel rooms. Existing elevator shafts on either end of the upper floor plan will easily serve as endpoints for our elevated vineyards.

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    Several nearby buildings (also abandoned) will house parking, a couple additional wings of the hotel, the spa, and garages for the wine harvesters when not in use.

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    This week began our modeling of the site and existing buildings. We're using a CAD plan from USGS combined with aerial imagery from AutoCAD 2015 and a Revit plugin called CADtoEarth to get us started. We will probably be working on the existing model for a while as we finalize the design of the winery complex.

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    A very important precedent to our project is Urban Outfitters Headquarters by Meyer, Scherer, and Rockcastle. MSR's design does an incredible job blending the old and rusty building with the new, clean offices and meeting rooms. We hope to accomplish this same effect through our design.

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    Last edited by dawerner; 07-13-2015 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Attachments disappeared for some reason

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    Junior Member jamesvr's Avatar
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    Nice precedent, look forward to see how it evolves. I would really like to see your guys work flow through revit - 3dsmax - UE4. My experience is that once you got that great revit model, it needs a lot of optimizing especially if there are curves, to the extent you will be remaking it. Maybe there's no way round it, but if your doing auto cad plans and you build straight off them in 3ds max it might save doing the job twice. What are your thoughts?

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    Member dawerner's Avatar
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    Autodesk did a pretty decent job improving the Revit link tool in 2014 and 2015 to the point where optimization isn't necessary anymore. It's still not perfect and has some issues with 3D curves, but 2D curves work fine and for 3D ones the ProOptimizer tool can take care of it. Here's an example, shown from the underside:

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    The curve on the bottom is a floor made with arcs. The one in the middle is made with splines. The one on the top is an in-place component using a sweep and an arc profile. The bottom 2 have no issues I can see, and the top one is good enough that I wouldn't have an issue bringing it into Unreal. What this means is that we can take advantage of the modeling shortcuts Revit provides (e.g. parametric modeling, removing walls when placing doors and windows, the pick line and pick face tools, easy access to model dimensions) and only need to be mindful in a few circumstances.
    Last edited by dawerner; 07-12-2015 at 12:30 AM.

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    Administrator bakbek's Avatar
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    UV Mapping is taken care of automatically via Revit for such modeling?

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    Member dawerner's Avatar
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    Sort of. Revit's UV mapping tools are very limited and essentially akin to using a UVW box map modifier in 3DS max, with control over scaling, offset, and rotation. The mapping does link into 3DS just fine, but the scaling gets lost during the FBX import out of max and I've ended up having to use some rather strange UV coordinate values in the Unreal materials (0.0125 for the tile floor in my second post) to compensate when using this workflow. I'd recommend re-mapping in max if possible.

    Things like the metal wall in my second post were done with UV unwrapping in 3DS Max, which Revit can't do.

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    Junior Member jamesvr's Avatar
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    Hey dawnerner, thanks for the detail in your message. The meshes you showed above still have plenty or verts that can go in optimizing or just remaking. I say this because it will make your seen run so much faster. I can understand for time constraints using pro-optimize its a good way round. For instance I had a revit model made very professionally and I had to get it in the game engine. Only problem was it was 60 million polygons and this was a square building. Needless to say It didn't run above 2 fps. After optimizing the mesh to what it should look like it was 400 thousand polys. There is more to it then optimizing the mesh but its a good place to start with a revit model.

    Thanks

  13. #12
    Member dawerner's Avatar
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    Did you have furniture/equipment and MEP as part of the model? Or did it just have a lot of rounded details?

    For the former, I usually create a 3D view in Revit with all of the furniture, equipment, high-detail components, and objects which won't be seen turned off, leaving only the simple meshes for a "building" 3DS Max scene. I then export the furniture separately by creating a second Max scene with one copy of each component, exporting that, then recopying/repositioning the furniture in Unreal.

    For the latter, this usually does require recreating some of the profiles but I recommend staying in Revit for that if you have the option so you can still use the parametric modeling features and have Revit update things like sweeps automatically when you change the profile.

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