Why Architects Hate Entourage

Most arch visualization folks hate entourage. They hate seeing people in their renderings. They hate that they have to try to reproduce the world “around” their structures. They hate anything that breaks the realm of photorealism. They hate having to painstakingly place individual people in their scenes. They hate that the model of car they personally drive isn’t readily available to drop into their model. Haters gonna hate.

But you know who loves entourage? Clients! They love seeing their mall parking lot full of cars (customers!). They love seeing rows of semi trucks docked behind their warehouse (customers!). They love seeing life brimming in their restaurants, concert halls, sports venues and retail shops (customers!). We can talk about how entourage helps communicate scale; blah, blah, blah. In the end, customers want to feel great about their new project. Anything you can do to convey warm, happy thoughts about how well the project is going to be received transmits those happy thoughts. Architectural entourage can help.

In late 2013 I wrote a post titled Rendering vs Presentation that outlined our view of the changing visualization workflow in the design industry. The democratization of visualization is changing who is creating the communication work-product, what tools they’re using, and the usefulness in various parts of the design/customer-interaction process. No longer is visualization relegated to “that guy in the corner” who is the only one with the tenacity (read crazy enough) to master the tools used to create photorealistic renderings. Rather, visuals generated from 3D models are being used to convey design intent in presentations at key points throughout the design process.  A new generation or two of new hires joining the workforce with 3D skills combined with less costly software solutions translates into  value understood by practitioner and client alike.

Entourage WorkshopOne of our goals in 2014 was to increase the usefulness of RPCs within Revit by providing users with the tools they need to customize the look and feel of the RPCs in their scenes. Entourage Workshop was born. Entourage Workshop is a Revit add-in that lets you create and apply Styles to RPC people and trees in your model. These Styles control the type of geometry and appearance (color, transparency and brightness) of the RPCs in your model allowing you to achieve photorealistic and non-photorealistic presentation results.

Entourage Workshop lets you create reusable Styles for achieving silhouettes of people or trees, control the model-view geometry of the RPCs in your scene including removal of the “base” and fine-tune the brightness of the RPCs to better match your scene in the various rendering modes.

There’s a love/hate relationship with entourage. We’ve heard thousands of stories over the years. The goal of RPC and Entourage Workshop is to help you learn to love entourage. Give your clients visuals, chocked-full of entourage, with your own personal Style. What’s not to love!

About Randall Stevens
Randall is a serial entrepreneur with more than 25 years of software development, sales and management experience. Randall founded ArchVision in 1991, co-founded Mersive Technologies in 2004, Punndit in 2010 and AVAIL in 2016. In 2015, Randall helped bring the new Building Content Summit (BCS) to life, an industry gathering of BIM content professionals representing AECO, Building Product Manufacturers and Software/Service Providers. Randall offers a unique combination of expertise in software and graphics technology, coupled with a background and degree in architecture. Randall is the owner of ArchVision, a software development firm specializing in 3D graphics and content management technology for the design industry. In the late nineties, he successfully led the company in the development of software based on the emerging field of Image-Based Rendering (IBR) and launched the software technology Rich Photorealistic Content (RPC) currently being used by customers in more than 100 countries. Through ArchVision, Randall built relationships with the industry's leading design visualization software companies including Autodesk and Bentley Systems. Randall received his B.A. from the University Of Kentucky College Of Architecture and served as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Design at the University of Kentucky from 1991-2007. He currently teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Kentucky College of Business. Randall serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Kentucky Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking (iNET) and the Kentucky Governor's School for Entrepreneurs. Randall owns and operates Base163 and Base110, co-working office space housing small tech and creative companies in Lexington, Kentucky. He is a frequent lecturer on technology and entrepreneurship.

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