Publish your own 3D+ RPCs!

Quite a while in the making, we’ve launched a new RPC Creator service that supports the creation of what we refer to as 3D+ RPCs. A 3D+ RPC means the RPC contains both texture and underlying geometry data. You’ve been experiencing 3D+ RPCs in the form of the RPC Automobiles we’ve been publishing for many years. More recently we began partnering with companies like AXYZ Design to publish their incredible people models as 3D+ RPCs. This new RPC Creator service is still in beta and can be found at labs.archvision.com.

Now you can convert your own geometric models into RPCs ready to place in your favorite modeling/visualization app such as Revit!

In order to make your own 3D+ RPCs using the new service you need to supply 3 essential pieces of information 1) geometry in the .obj format, 2) a master texture as a .jpg or .png, and 3) a 124 x 98 pixel preview image. That’s all you need. Upload each to the service and you’re handed back an RPC file in less than a minute.

Why?

In the early days of ArchVision we were in the visualization services business. One of the lessons I learned was that if you’re going for realism, the best visualizations were the ones with an inordinate amount of “detail”. For interior visualizations it was a very “inward” challenge in providing all the “stuff” other than the building itself that were needed to make the scene come alive and look “real”. For exterior scenes it was the opposite; you’d model the hell out of your building but when it came to visualizing it creating the “rest of the world” around it became a headache. Enter RPCs. RPC People were a great addition to those interiors. RPC Trees were great for creating a boundary for that exterior world (or hiding mediocre architecture 🙂 ) and RPC Automobiles helped fill those parking lots.

RPCs have some unique characteristics that have made them a popular way to add entourage and other “stuff” to your designs and improving your visualizations.

1) Convenient – with an RPC you never get a “missing texture” warning. All of the data required to render are included in the .rpc file.

2) Fast – RPCs can be optimized to carry just the right amount of geometry and texture data to make your visualizations standout without bogging down your model. In some implementation such as 3dsMax, textures contained within RPCs dynamically scale themselves when loaded which optimizes the memory footprint required to load those RPCs (ie. you can efficiently stuff more into your scene)

3) Temporal – Context matters but has always been difficult in content creation. With the new 3D+ RPC Creator service you can designate separate geometry (referred to as the “Icon”) which is placed in the model and “swapped” out at render time with the full Mesh contained in the RPC. Internally we refer to these as the “Preview Mesh” and the “Render Mesh”. This dynamic swapping of data helps optimize what you see and when you see it and challenges the “one model suits all needs” mindset of content creation. This can be especially important in workflows like Revit > Visualization where the underlying model is important for one purpose (eg. documentation) but not well suited for another (eg. visualization)

4) Versatile – RPCs are supported by the world’s leading modeling and visualization platforms: Revit, 3dsMax, Autocad, Civil3D, SketchUp, FormZ, Modo, Rhino, Photoshop and more. Publish your content as an RPC and it’s ready-to-use on any of those platforms.

We look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing your results. You can even share your RPCs with the rest of the community in Stash!

Randall

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.

2 Responses to Publish your own 3D+ RPCs!

  1. Bill Gilliss says:

    Randall — This is quite fascinating, but short on the detail needed to accomplish it. For instance, for an AutoCAD and Revit user, which apps create the OBJ files and accompanying master textures in a format compatible with 3D+ RPC Creator? Are some more reliable or more versatile than others? Are transparency, reflection-mapping, and bump-mapping preserved in the master texture? Is there a FAQ or how-to with more detail? Thanks!

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