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Interactive home design in a virtual environment

Kitchens, K. and Shiratuddin, M.F. (2007) Interactive home design in a virtual environment. In: 7th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality CONVR 2007, 22 - 23 October, Pennsylvania, USA



In today’s residential market, clients are often faced with many challenges when designing and buying their own home. Most clients find it difficult to visualize exactly what they need by simply going through two dimensional (2D) blueprints or floor plans. Study shows that 2D visualization has a much steeper learning curve because human naturally sees three-dimensionally. Common tools used to create 2D plans such as AutoCAD have certain advantages in home design, but it may be complex for average users to visualize exactly what has been created. 3D modeling addresses the third dimension (i.e. depth) that is not present in 2D CAD drawings. It allows for better visualization and understanding of designs. For architects, this is a leap from traditional method whereby clients are presented with numerous 2D drawings. The use of 3D modeling can improve precision and speed of the design process and eliminates potential costly errors. However, current 3D modeling software provides limited realtime 3D interactions for users. This paper presents an interactive home design application in a virtual environment. We developed a prototype using a next-generation 3D game engine known as the C4Engine. This paper also describes the development process of the prototype application, its components and features.

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