Architecture and Virtual Reality… @Vectorworks mentioned

The faithful readers will know that in a previous life I’ve done a stack of other stuff as well as running an architectural practice. I wrote THIS POST last year for #ArchiTalks on this work on what I was doing ‘Then’ and what I am doing ‘Now’.

Rendered 3D View from 1995

As well as the QuickTime VR production, we always did 3D models of our buildings (see left) and the software we use (VectorWorks) has always included the creation, viewing and exploration of 3D models.

Let’s have a look at a potted history of Virtual Reality and where we’re at now…:

• My first experience of Virtual Reality would have been as a small boy with my ‘View-Master’ viewer. Kept safely and in still working order – incredibly patented in 1939 by William Gruber. Below is me now viewing ‘Batman and Robin’:

The principle of these glasses is that: “[the] brain processes the different two-dimensional images from each eye into a single object of three dimensions.” (

• I worked with Virtus Walkthrough for a while (see demo YouTube below):

• This essentially was a lower cost version (that worked on Macs & PC’s) of the bigger systems such as that by Division but without headsets and gloves:

(original promo showreel from 1991!)

We then worked with photography and QuickTimeVR technologies to produce photographic and 3D rendered virtual reality scenes:

This brings us full circle back to where we once started, creating 3D models using Vectorworks CAD/BIM software for viewing by clients.

Next post charts how I went from 3D modeling using computers that were size of room to exploring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House on a computer that could fit on a desktop. PLUS – exciting news of what we’re doing now with Vectorworks and Virtual Reality!

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