Top 10 Virtual Reality Programs for Architects

Top 10 Virtual Reality Programs for Architects

It should come as no surprise that some of the largest names in architectural software are rushing to create apps for the virtual reality in architectural walkthrough that they believe will become the norm for these devices, given the explosive growth of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies in the AEC sector.

An overview of some of the software that architects can use to produce a very immersive virtual reality experience is provided below. These programs—which include ones that can instantly transform your 3-D models into virtual reality environments and potent game engines that can increase realism—are something that creative designers ought to look into.

Autodesk Live

With Autodesk LIVE, users may edit Revit models and enter their creations for sharing and presenting. Since its July 2016 launch, virtual reality capabilities have been introduced (see the icon in the upper right corner of the screenshot above). With just a single click, AEC professionals can publish interactive visualizations to mobile devices and upload BIM models to the cloud. This helps clients have a better idea of your design from the start, allowing for adjustments to be made with the least amount of inconvenience.

Autodesk Live Logo


With only one click, the Revit plug-in Enscape uses your BIM data to generate a virtual reality walkthrough. No additional software needs to be downloaded or learned how to use. You can modify all of the materials, geometry, and entourage in the VR simulation; they are all taken from your Revit project. This flexibility enables impromptu presentations within the architectural design workflow, with the real-time rendering quality you’re familiar with from contemporary games. Customers may virtually walk through your Enscape project and experience it as if it were already created when combined with the Oculus Rift.

Enscape Logo


Architects and interior designers can build physically correct web-based visualizations in real time with Shapespark, which makes them ideal for client presentations or meetings. The Oculus Rift virtual reality device is supported by the visualizations, which may be shared via connections and give users a stereoscopic 3-D experience. All current operating systems and browsers support WebGL by default, so Shapespark allows visualizations to be easily viewed in the browser without the need for plug-ins. Shapespark lets the user freely enter and navigate a space, scrutinizing every aspect, in contrast to static representations.

Shapespark Logo


It once required a significant amount of effort and programming expertise to convert CAD or BIM models into virtual reality experiences. Revit/3D models may now be easily integrated into virtual reality environments thanks to the Unity game engine. Any AEC expert can now use Unity to import their Revit model and create a VR experience. It is also possible to substantially tweak the VR models with a little programming skills. This robust, user-friendly, and adaptable technology guarantees quick iterations and a smooth workflow, enabling engineers and architects to produce breathtaking interactive walkthroughs and give clients a true sense of what it would be like to live in the simulated environment.

Unity Logo

Unreal Engine

The Unreal Engine was first created as a tool for creating video games, but it has since grown. The fact that it was used to create the most recent generation of VR video games demonstrates that it is currently among the greatest virtual reality design software packages available.

With the Unreal Engine, architects can produce incredibly lifelike models. You can utilize its robust editing toolkit to construct models with as much detail as you like. It also has a number of capabilities intended for world-building in virtual reality. Using the Unreal Engine, architects can produce some of the most lifelike models on the market. The best part is that Unreal Engine is a free virtual architectural program

Unreal Engine Logo

Autodesk Stingray

This technology, which was released in August 2015, provides AEC professionals with a straightforward one-button rendering in Revit at an enhanced degree of visualization. With Autodesk Stingray, AEC companies and their clients can collaborate in real time to produce 3D visualizations in 3ds Max that are informed by BIM. In an attempt to keep up with popular game engines Unity and Unreal, this tool is being developed.

Autodesk Stingray Logo


With over 3,500 titles available, Steam is an online community and entertainment platform. With two wand-shaped controllers and an HTC Vive headset, SteamVS is a fully functional, 360-degree virtual reality experience that was just published. The tracking system is quick and accurate, and it can be used to define the borders of a room so that the VR experience incorporates them. Haptic thumb pads, which can be divided into directional inputs or several “buttons,” are used by the controllers. AEC environments and material for SteamVR may soon be hosted on Steam.

Steam Logo


Russian software developer UNIGINE Corp. created the exclusive cross-platform game engine UNIGINE. In addition to being employed as a gaming engine, serious games, virtual reality systems, and visualization employ it. With its exact atmospheric model, advanced special effects, complex lighting and shading models, and lifelike post-processing, UNIGINE produces nearly photorealistic 3-D assets, making it the perfect tool for a variety of industries. Its sophisticated renderer is compatible with DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0.

Unigin Logo


SmartReality is compatible with a number of digital design software programs. For instance, it is compatible with Revit, one of the most widely used design programs on the market right now. With SmartReality, you can convert a 2D floor plan into a 3D model, much like with ARki. The models that are produced consider every aspect of your Building Information Modeling (BIM) and have direct consequences.

With a mobile device, like a tablet computer, you can view these models. The developers of the software have, nevertheless, also added virtual reality to the mix. The customers of 3d virtual house tours custom homes will be able to use a virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD), like the Oculus Rift, to explore your models.

Reality Smart

 Storyboard VR

You may create and visualize prototype models with Storyboard VR, another free virtual architectural software program. It can be used to experiment with simple 2D shapes. Using the program, you can arrange and animate the shapes to create simple structures that can serve as a foundation for more intricate models in the future. Originally, the program was an internal virtual reality tool. The tool was created by Artefact, but it quickly gained momentum and was made available for purchase.

In addition to making your own forms, Storyboard VR allows you to import artwork and environment maps. These might originate from a variety of drawing instruments. Then, all you need to do is use the components you import into the program to create your storyboard.


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