Utilizing a 3D Game Engine to Develop a Virtual Design Review System
Shiratuddin, Mohd Fairuz
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A design review process is where information is exchanged between the designers and design reviewers to resolve any potential design related issues, and to ensure that the interests and goals of the owner are met. The effective execution of design review will minimize potential errors or conflicts, reduce the time for review, shorten the project life-cycle, allow for earlier occupancy, and ultimately translate into significant total project savings to the owner. However, the current methods of design review are still heavily relying on 2D paper-based format, sequential and lack central and integrated information base for efficient exchange and flow of information. There is thus a need for the use of a new medium that allow for 3D visualization of designs, collaboration among designers and design reviewers, and early and easy access to design review information. This paper documents the innovative utilization of a 3D game engine, the Torque Game Engine as the underlying tool and enabling technology for a design review system, the Virtual Design Review System for architectural designs. Two major elements are incorporated; 1) a 3D game engine as the driving tool for the development and implementation of design review processes, and 2) a virtual environment as the medium for design review, where visualization of design and design review information is based on sound principles of GUI design. The development of the VDRS involves two major phases; firstly, the creation of the assets and the assembly of the virtual environment, and secondly, the modification of existing functions or introducing new functionality through programming of the 3D game engine in order to support design review in a virtual environment. The features that are included in the VDRS are support for database, real-time collaboration across network, viewing and navigation modes, 3D object manipulation, parametric input, GUI, and organization for 3D objects.