View Full Version : Lightwave with a game engine for architectural exploration?

01-20-2005, 05:31 PM
Hey, I do some architectural work here and there with putting CG elements into a live-action background.

What I was thinking is, I'd probably be able to sell game levels to architects too. Take the interior of a building, make a Lightwave scene with proper lighting and textures then bake the texture in and export it to a game model. From there the client could walk through the building to get an idea of how it would be in real life.

Now I'm sure this isn't a remarkably original idea. And I'd say there's a few out there already doing this type of thing. So I was wanting to see if I could get any tips on what game engine would be ideal or if there are any stand alone systems that already does this well? Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

01-20-2005, 05:47 PM
I have some experience with this. I can tell you it's not as easy as it seems. Game engines are of a considderably different nature than a lw model that has been exported. I have been able to port a baked model into the Unreal 2 editor, but man, it is a serious pain actually getting anything properly done. there is no advantage to using a game engine, I have found out, compared to a good VRML2 viewer. You will not get reflections of anything in that order easily, in fact, it is **** hard.

Using VRML2 you are able to set up viewpoints in lightwave using different camera's, make objects that move about (not recommended), basically do everything you need. Also VRML2 can use a rediculous poly count and still be smooth. Good viewers like Blaxxun contact offer anti aliasing, proper mip mapping, texture maps up to 4096 resolution and so forth.

I have also tried the Quest3d engine, which might be good for you if you like programming a lot. In general I find the program confusing and to contain a lot of stuff that is unneccesary.

there actually really isnt a good real time visualisation method for architecture yet. A friend of mine is developing one in his spare time, but its taking a long time to finish.

My method is
model in LW > Lightscape for GI > Lightwave for bumps, details and baking > VRML
But because modeler has a bug in the UV mapping system that doesnt allow the mapping of large models, I have been stuck in this pipeline for a while.

01-20-2005, 06:08 PM
I've found Demicron's Wirefusion to be really good for this. It runs on java, so the client only needs a java enabled browser to view it.