Virtual reality research by PLP featured in The Economist’s Science and Technology Section
PLP is researching the next generation of technologies that allow us to visualise and experience our buildings. PLP Senior Associate Partner and Head of Visualisation Richard Woolsgrove recently spoke to The Economist about PLP’s work with virtual reality software and game engines. The article discusses the spread of video game technologies outside of that industry, moving into film, television, and architecture. Rather than traditional static images and pre-determined animations, game engines create opportunities for real-time immersive and interactive visualisations that offer a more direct and visceral encounter with our architectural ideas.
"PLP has been experimenting with two leading game engines, Unity (made by Unity Technologies, of San Francisco) and Unreal (made by Epic Games, of Cary, North Carolina). Architecture businesses have long used graphics to give their customers virtual tours of as-yet-unbuilt edifices. But, says Richard Woolsgrove, who is in charge of visualisation at PLP, these were often just pre-cooked animations. Game engines, by contrast, let clients wander wherever they like. Mr Woolsgrove’s group has created virtual versions of proposed buildings using one or other of the engines it is testing, and invited people to walk around and inside them, using a video-game controller to do so. The ability to explore a virtual building in this way, Mr Woolsgrove says, gets clients much more excited than they were by the old approach.”