3D Architectural Visualization is the process of creating/displaying virtual world imagery as an accurate reflection of current/planned real-world development.
3D Architectural Models (aka 3D Models) are virtual world building blocks – existing in a variety of file types and viewable in a variety of environments.
While 3D has created great opportunities in the mobile Building Information Modeling (BIM) industry – (check out GRAPHISOFT BIMx for iOS and Autodesk AutoCAD WS) – I will keep my focus to 3D Architectural Visualization Apps specific to Commercial Real Estate Marketing.
The file type associated with lightweight 3D Models used in the marketing of commercial real estate is primarily .KMZ (aka Collada).
Recommended 3D Architectural (.KMZ) Viewers
Cubits (App Store: $4.99) | lets you download, view, and save 3D models from Google 3D Warehouse, or load your own KMZ files exported from SketchUp. Explore the thousands of high-quality models, including those from the Google Earth building layer, or show off your own projects. Easily share via dropbox. CRE Uses: Marketing – 3D Models display in “free-orbit”. I recommend you buy this one and use it as your main iOS 3D Model viewer.
SightSpace 3D (App Store: $14.99) | similar to Cubits with the addition of Augmented Reality to virtually walkthrough and explore your model by aiming your device and moving. In the field or with a client, SightSpace 3D can accurately display your designs on-site and help you convey your ideas.CRE Uses: Marketing – 3D Models displayed onsite to scale in the “real-world”. I’m not sure if most people will find a need for this.
3DVIA Mobile (App Store: $1.99) | Used in conjunction with online membership at 3dvia.com. Cloud management/showcasing solution – over 200,000 contributors. CRE Uses: Marketing – create, collaborate, custom apps. I like the community aspect, but uploading/viewing through the site can be cumbersome.
Google Earth (App Store: Free) | Explore your 3D Models alongside the same global satellite and aerial imagery available in the desktop version of Google Earth. CRE Uses: Marketing/Research – Geospatial, site selection, convey surrounding geography. The price is right and the ability to display a model on a map is unique.
If you download one of the above to your iPad or iPhone, your new app should recognize the below as a .KMZ file and open it immediately via dropbox….