Industry Surveys

By Jeff Mottle

Survey Results: VR Usage in Arch Viz

In July 2016 we surveyed CGarchitect members across our sites, newsletters and social media to see how they were currently using VR in production and how they planned to use VR in 2016 and 2017.  We received responses from across the globe:

Europe: 40%
USA: 21%
Asia: 11%
South America: 9%
Oceania: 5%
Middle East: 3%
Canada: 3%
Africa: 3%
Mexico: 2%
Central America: 1% 

The majority of participants worked in Architectural Visualization studios and Architectural firms.

Architectural Visualization Studio: 43%
Architectural Firm: 22%
Freelancer 10%
Interior Design Firm: 4%
Software/Hardware/Content Manufacturer or Service Vendor: 4%
Advertising/Marketing/Creative Agency: 3%
Engineering Firm: 3%
Gaming/Film/Entertainment Company: 2%
Student: 2%
Building Contractor: 1%
Manufacturer: 1%
Industrial Design: 1%
Information Technology: 1%
Retail Designer: 1%
Academic (Teacher, Professor, Researcher, Lecturer): 1% 









We received many comments from participants, mostly overwealmingly positive on the potential of VR within the architecture industry:

"It will change the industry"

"Natural fit, Will usher in a new era for builders picking materials and finish options."

"it's the future"

"It will be a revolution!!"

"The hype is full on"

"The tech is adequate, but buy in by management and clients is problematic at best"

"Currently i don't feel like VR is needed in archviz industry."

"Its very exciting, we are now looking at it as a serious method of communication"

"i think VR /AR/MR will be a norm for clients to ask for presentations in the future"

"I think the VR is really your future, however the HMD's need to improve regarding motion sickness."

"This will definitely change the way people look into things." 

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Creating the 360 image is easy. The big questions is what platform are people using to display it and get it into the clients hands. I have all the 360 images for an interior rendered. What software are people using to create a nice walk through with hot spots. Do you have to download an app of does it work straight from the internet. I feel like I have been running in circles trying all the companies out. Anybody find one they really like?
Grant, there is a brazilian software called MeuPasseioVirtual (MyVirtualTour). The access is FREE! You just have create an account: www.meupasseiovirtual.com. Best Regards.
Could you tell me the exact question for the first set of answers (places)?
All of the questions are on the infographic.
This is great information! Is there going to be a link to the full document of results?
Those are all the results. The survey was only a few questions.
Hi Jeff, Could you tell me the exact question for the first set of answers (places)? Thanks in advance
Creating the 360 image is easy. The big questions is what platform are people using to display it and get it into the clients hands. I have all the 360 images for an interior rendered. What software are people using to create a nice walk through with hot spots. Do you have to download an app of does it work straight from the internet. I feel like I have been running in circles trying all the companies out. Anybody find one they really like?
nice
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It has a long way to go imo. The amount of labor involved to make the experience high quality will be a hard sell to anyone but the big players.
I'm stil going to experiment with static steroscopic vr tho, but only on portable devices. It's awesome during the design process I suppose, in architect offices. Way too cluncky for marketing right now imo.
Yea have to agree with Philippe on this one FOR NOW! Have posted the start of a guide to doing this with Unity if your just getting started with mobile. https://vrandarchitecture.com/2016/07/19/stereoscopic-renders-in-unity3d-for-gearvr/ Mobility and ease of use are not just important when presenting work to clients but they are essential! The VR experience is about much more than just the content inside the HMD!
I experimented with the vive and unreal engine and ended up selling the vive. Just for information, I own a small arch-viz studio. I find you have to cut too much on quality when doing a VR tour. Sure the immersion/presence is awesome but it's still too low resolution and it's easy to get nauseous. I'm not even talking about how not portable the whole thing is and how clunky it is. I don't see enough potential clients to justify spending more time on that FOR NOW! I'm stil going to experiment with static steroscopic vr tho, but only on portable devices. It's awesome during the design process I suppose, in architect offices. Way too cluncky for marketing right now imo.
I like what I've seen from Nozon. it allows for a more immersive experience without going full 3d and seems to be able to be shared easily. 100 mb/frame is a tad large to process though :/
It is nice to read about other's insights into how they are implementing VR into their process. We have been using VR as a supplement to traditional stills in early stages of design, typically providing both. Costs are negligible (machine time) since we do not flesh out the scenes any further unless the client asks and is willing to pay for it. In most cases additional set-up is unnecessary since the design subject is typically of narrow scope. We have not yet used VR beyond the design process, I think it will take a drastically different approach to make a success of it as a marketing and sales tool. Once a few more kinks in the Unreal workflow are addressed I think that will be the next big step for us to make.
Thanks for sharing this information. It is great to see the interest in VR. Regarding the comments about Head Mounted Displays, it will be interesting to see if the more recent interest in low cost HMD solutions sparks some renewed interest in more collaborative, projection-based VR systems, e.g., lower cost projection based immersive displays. While projection based approaches are much more expensive than the new HMDs, and they are not as immersive in most instances, they are typically much more comfortable and collaborative. We have been working with projection based VR for quite a while, and while I find the HMDs will have a very significant role in design visualization and I'm excited about the opportunities, I still feel that the projection based systems are extremely beneficial for allowing group discussion and decision making within a virtual model.
This are very impressive result in deed. Good to know how people are taking this 'new' tech. Regarding cost, I think this varies, for instance, doing static 360 cardboard images it is not more complicated than doing a regular rendering. It is a lot less work than animation for sure, but you still can create a similar feeling. You can add hot spots so the person can go to different areas. Now if you want a full blow Unreal experience, then your cost will grow exponentially. There is other tools that can give you high end results such Lumion or Stingray. and the production time can be shorter too. In my opinion I see a lot of opportunities not only on presentation time but also during design. Tools such Iris VR can become very useful for quick testing models and experience the design in early stages.
I'd like to start implementing VR asap, but I'm not sure my clients are going to pay higher fees (higher than the typical rendering). Clients are already squeezing my fees, I can't see how they'd be willing to pay more for VR technology. Personally, I see VR being used on more upper end large scale projects. I'd be interested to hear what others think....
Our clients see less value in it than typical renderings because they can't do anything with it outside of a headset and, frankly, most don't like them because they worry about it messing up their hair/makeup or not having it sterilized to surgical levels immediately after someone else uses it. If they can get 3 renderings for the price of a stereo pano, they choose the 3 renderings every time. There needs to be more to it than just strapping a mobile device to your face and it has to be a shareable experience outside of distorted mirrored displays.
All good points, John. These are some of the issues I've been thinking about. But at the same time, I do look forward to implementing the technology when the opportunity presents itself.
I'd like to start implementing VR asap, but I'm not sure my clients are going to pay higher fees (higher than the typical rendering). Clients are already squeezing my fees, I can't see how they'd be willing to pay more for VR technology. Personally, I see VR being used on more upper end large scale projects. I'd be interested to hear what others think....
Our clients see less value in it than typical renderings because they can't do anything with it outside of a headset and, frankly, most don't like them because they worry about it messing up their hair/makeup or not having it sterilized to surgical levels immediately after someone else uses it. If they can get 3 renderings for the price of a stereo pano, they choose the 3 renderings every time. There needs to be more to it than just strapping a mobile device to your face and it has to be a shareable experience outside of distorted mirrored displays.
This is great information! Is there going to be a link to the full document of results?
Those are all the results. The survey was only a few questions.
It's become surprisingly easy to implement VR in a static capacity. Software like Lumion 3D or VRay is what we use to export stereoscopic renderings for clients to look at as the design evolves. The workflow really isn't much longer (other than rendering time) and it has a lot of "Wow" factor to it. We've even printed custom cardboard viewers for ground breaking ceremonies for some clients. Its a slippery slope though, just like everything, once you've shown them a 360 VR rendering, the expectation is there to continue to do so... That's where you need to make sure you've got some fee built in.
I'd like to start implementing VR asap, but I'm not sure my clients are going to pay higher fees (higher than the typical rendering). Clients are already squeezing my fees, I can't see how they'd be willing to pay more for VR technology. Personally, I see VR being used on more upper end large scale projects. I'd be interested to hear what others think....
This is great information! Is there going to be a link to the full document of results?
even though its the future and all, personally I don't like the whole VR thing, especially those darn headsets!, i dunno its just a little too much
Thanks for sharing!

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2016 Architectural Visualization Industry Virtual Reality Survey - Infographic Volume 1

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About the author

Jeff Mottle

Founder at CGarchitect

placeCalgary, CA