New Asset Store Plugin helping developers to visualize BIM models in Unity
Tridify Convert has been designed specifically for developers who want to spend more time creating and less time importing. Bridging the gap between BIM and Unity, Tridify’s automation technology helps fast-track and streamline workflows.
There are two key elements: 1) an automatically scalable cloud service that enables the conversion of 3D BIM & CAD models to Unity with BIM data attached (in minutes, not hours), and 2) an expanding BIM toolset that allows for advanced search functions and other automated features such as material mapping, colliders, and lighting generation.
Converting architectural models to virtual models has previously been an uphill struggle and a process prone to errors. Tridify has developed an easy and fast workflow for developers to import BIM models and data to Unity for all kinds of use cases, from simulation to XR applications. Tridify Convert keeps all of the data connected to its geometry for easy manipulation through powerful search functions.
These tools are now ready to be released as a solid toolbox for the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) community. IFC format was selected as the input because of its open, standard, and global use across most AEC tools, including Revit and ArchiCAD.
Users have the ability to control how the geometry will be generated from the IFC-file.
When there are changes made to the BIM, the whole model must be reimported to Unity and all of the tasks previously made to the model must be redone. Difficult tasks like UV-generation and material mapping are automated in Tridify.
Last year, Tridify decided to release an in-house process as a service. When they started designing the service, they came up with the idea of a remote system, where users could continue working at their own workstations while the time-consuming conversion happened on a scalable AWS cloud service.
When users sign up and convert their IFC files through Tridify’s service, the resulting Collada files and BIM data stays attached to the appropriate items.
Tridify IFC Tools are now available in the Unity Asset Store as a plugin that takes advantage of BIM data.
Building models converted with Tridify are divided in the hierarchy so you can access individual types and items within the separate storeys.
The two-stage process starts from the web service where they first check that IFC format is valid. After the verification, the user can select different conversion options like ‘split by storeys’ or ‘export separate models’ from various IFC elements.
Some of the features that are very useful for creating architectural visualizations in Unity include the ability to filter specific object types and the option to separate the storeys as floorplans for further manipulation.
Together with the conversion service, the Unity plugin provides a full end to end workflow from IFC to the position where you can hit the build button from the Editor.
Select the building from your converted files list and import selected elements to your scene. Then select your favorite material mapping file from the project to replace all the materials at once. You can also create basic lighting with our lighting tool; it generates area lights and light probes automatically in a few simple steps.
In most use cases, it is important that the models are accurate and up to date. Therefore, updating models should be easy and robust. Anyone in your design team should have access to the latest plans and be able to update them. With this in mind, Tridify has separated the conversion process as a standalone web service which can also serve as a storage place for original IFC files.
When just the ‘IfcWindow’ checkbox is checked, only that type of element will be loaded to the scene.
What is cool with the BIM
The fundamental idea of the Tridify Convert service is to keep data connected to geometry and that is why a good search function is essential.
Unlike game objects that do not have data attached, you can now search IFC data types, attributes or properties. BIM data is not only accessible in Unity, but you can also access data in run-time. Here ’s a run-time example which hides all of the elements that are marked as the exterior of the building.
Tridify has a strong background in converting models to first generation tablets and phones, so they have lots of hands-on knowledge as to how to reduce geometry and get good frame rates on devices. The same optimization is also needed for current VR-devices for optimal user experience.