CFX Podcast 01 – Understanding Project Visualization

Rendering CAD data. 3D simulation. Project Visualization. It is called a bunch of things, but this is how I best explain it.

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The phrase ‘project visualization’ has between seven and eight syllables, depending on how you say it. Still, the phrase seems to be the best and most appropriate descriptor for modeling civil engineering data in 3D and then outputting in either still renders or video. Other terms in the industry I’ve heard include 3D visualization, conceptual rendering, 3D simulation, or project modeling but just because the terms are used doesn’t necessarily mean they are completely accurate. For example, I used to call the process 3D simulation but I’ve since learned that simulation is usually reserved for traffic modeling so it just created confusion when I used it in the place of visualization.

In this episode of the Civil FX podcast I break down what project visualization is, why we need it and who it is for. I also try to give it the term ‘ProVis’ to cut down on syllables, but we will see if it sticks.

For the most part, civil engineering design is a ‘representative’ design. This means that you can call out a curb ramp to be at an intersection with a simple note rather than modeling the entire thing in 3D. The architecture industry is much less representative as they often model the entire building in 3D as part of the design process.

Also, project visualization is essentially communication. This is a powerful and fundemental concept and I dive into it deeper in the episode.

There are no specific notes on this episode… just thoughts comin’ out of my head!

What did I miss? Let us know in the show notes!

Image credit is my senior design project created in Revit.