Visual Effects — Faster, Better, Cheaper

With technology’s ability to generate high quality graphics on everything from movie screens to smart phones, clients are expecting design concepts to be delivered in impressive graphics—often early in the design phase. In fact, 3D renderings and fly-throughs are effective in many situations. They enable a more thorough review of the facility or campus, help promote the project, support fundraising and groundbreakings, and build consensus within the organization. In addition to being a powerful tool for envisioning the big picture, photo-realistic renderings help users evaluate lighting, color / materials schemes, and understand more clearly the relationships between different areas.

Despite the value of these lifelike representations, creating them was, until recently, often cost prohibitive. The modeling done at the design stage was used to generate construction documents and, as such, did not include the level of detail needed to create the realism the client now expects.

Using current technology, we can now enhance our model visually without deterring from our construction document process. And the client is able to have quality imagery in the proposal and schematic phases, well before our construction drawings. Our new workflow allows us to create both outputs when they are needed.

“SSOE’s model brought the project to life. With very little information, SSOE was able to take our general written concept and virtually represent the project in a manner that the entire team could understand. It was an incredible tool where we could visualize the interior, exterior, and functionality of the facility. We fully intend to utilize this tool with SSOE on all future projects.” – Chet Nadolski, Executive Vice President – Yates Construction

SSOE’s software of choice for these outputs is Lumion, a real-time 3D architectural visualization tool made for architects and designers. It is flexible, works with multiple file formats, and allows SSOE to take a model from BIM software and create impressive, high quality images and videos much faster than the traditional visualization software. With the improved workflows in Lumion 3D, we are outputting complex animation and digital scenes in half the time, resulting in cost savings to the owner. Our clients are impressed with the results.

We are also finding these visualizations valuable in the proposal phase to help potential clients better evaluate our preliminary designs and ideas.

To see a few examples of what this software can do, visit