The challenge for this project was to create a fully interactive experience from basic 2D blueprint designs. The client is renovating an existing building, Ellesmere Port Library, by modifying the internal walling, adding a kitchen, fancy toilets, and outfitting the new energy saving lighting throughout the complex.
The strategy was quite different from ordinary projects due to the CAD designs still being generated during the development of the project. We worked closely with the client to understand a new domain.
The approach was simple; split tasks into small sections, having each stage signed off by the client.
Task 1: Extrude the building sides, place doorways, windows, and inner walls.
Task 2: Create the specific room design with skylights in the correct position.
Task 3: Place lights within the scene
Task 4: Create 3D models of the kitchen, the toilets, and many other artefacts dotted around the environment.
Task 5: Add the interactive controllable character. Add functionality to allow users to change the colours of the walls within the scene.
2D CAD to 3D Environments
The client is a quantity surveyor. His work is mostly 2D CAD designs and on sight building management. We took those 2D designs and generated a fully interactable 3D scene capable of renders, fly-throughs and character movements.
The positioning of the lights was a specific focus of the client’s. The designs of the strip lights and point lights needed to be 3D modelled and created for this project. We utilised the latest in Unreal Engine 4 lighting calculations to generate realistic visuals.
Changing colours of walls
To add flare to the project, we added the ability to change the colour of the walls within the hallways to allow the client’s clients to interact with the scene and make a more informed decision about the final paint colour. A simple menu click interaction is all the user needed.
A controllable 3D character could be swapped between first person camera (see through the eyes of the character) and a 3rd person camera position (camera behind the character). This allowed the user to get a better feel for the design, the new height of the room, and the spacing between key pillars within the environment.