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An Architectural Walkthrough Using 3 D Game Engine

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Instructional Innovations in AEC Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.173.1 - 13.173.10

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Paper Authors

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Mohammed Haque Texas A&M University


Pallab Dasgupta Texas A&M University

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Mr. Pallab Dasgupta is a graduate student of the Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Architectural Walkthrough using 3D Game Engine


Today’s 3D game engines have long been used by game developers to create dazzling worlds with the finest details—allowing users to immerse themselves in the alternate worlds provided. With the availability of the “Unreal Engine” these same 3D engines can now provide a similar experience for those working in the field of architecture. The rapid rendering quality and multi- user interactivity of these engines have given architects an edge over the past traditional 3D pre- rendered and non-interactive visualization tools. This paper describes an approach for developing realistic 3D architectural walkthroughs using the “Unreal Engine 2”. The Engine based walkthrough allows users to navigate virtual environments from an ultra-realistic first person vantage point, creating the illusion of actually seeing the environment from the character’s point of view. For architecture students the added realism of these models can enhance understanding of their own design in relation to time, space, environment, and scale. Add interactive elements like lighting, sound, triggered events, animations, and artificial intelligence and the realism of the 3D model can be enhanced even further. Walkthrough visualizations using 3D Game Engines provide better and broader understanding of architectural planning and conceptual design, interior and exterior feel, and the aesthetic appeal of construction compared to the typical “paper based models” currently used by most architectural students.

Introduction and Background

“Animation/visualization techniques provide virtual experiential learning when combined with interactive design animation and virtual design navigation. These activities are self-directed, experiential, and personalized for the autonomous self-directed distance learner. Web based teaching and learning has potential advantages compared to traditional education since it is less expensive, easy-to-access, easy-to-update and platform independent. Although multimedia is generally considered as an individual pursuit, authors' study suggests that its use in classes with a large audience can be accommodated, provided that it is linked directly to the achievement of a specific group of learning objectives.”1

Recent developments in the field of graphic processing units and the availability of breath taking rendering capabilities on computers systems form gaming companies provides a ready made solution and keeps us from reinventing the wheel.2

With the rapid development and implementing of new visualization by the Gaming industry many previous versions of game engine and game related libraries are available for free or almost no cost. Game engines can be used to give our clients a tour of the project rather than making them mere spectators of a predetermined view.3

Harrison 4 states that a game engine is normally designed for a particular game such as first personal shooters, real-time strategy and vehicle simulations. One advantage of a game engine is that it can be reused to the development of many different kinds of games, in an automated way,

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