How 3D graphics and visualisation can support your next project

3D images, models, and videos can really bring a scheme to life, offering a chance to test and revise the design, as well as showing how the final scheme will look in a real-world context. Not only can this help you picture the project, but it can help sell the scheme to stakeholders, or provide slick marketing materials.

Chris MacDonald, Graphics and Visualisation Manager at Roberts Limbrick, answers some common questions about 3D graphics and how they can support your next project.

Firstly, what is visualisation?

Essentially, it’s a way to communicate ideas. Our team can turn a vision into a tangible asset so you can see how a scheme will look. We use an array of software that can produce images, videos, models, and virtual reality experiences. Whether it’s a full masterplan or a small detail of a building, you’ll be able to see an accurate representation of your project long before it makes it to site.

Housebuilder planning visualisation

What visualisation services can Roberts Limbrick offer?

We create 3D images as well as flythroughs so you can travel through a model, animations, and 3D panoramas. We even have a virtual reality set, so you can step foot into your new scheme before it’s built.

Our virtual reality set

The joy of working with 3D visualisation technology is that it’s always developing and improving, so we are always trying out new products and techniques. One particular technique our team has been experimenting with is photogrammetry; we use drone footage to obtain data and measurements from a building or site, and then generate an accurate and realistic 3D model.

How do 3D images and models support a project?

The main purpose of producing these images is to show clients how their finished project will look. However, we find that clients need visualisations for a range of purposes, from supporting planning applications and public consultations to producing marketing materials.

These visuals can come in all shapes and forms, depending on their intended audience. From loose conceptual sketch images right through to fully photorealistic visuals that show even the smallest of details.

A major project for the practice has been the new Cotswolds Designer Outlet at junction 9 on the M5. Our team supported this with still images, virtual reality, and a video animation that promoted the project to the public and potential retail unit leaseholders.

Cotswolds Designer Outlet

What makes a good visualisation?

This really depends on what the client needs, but we always consider composition, lighting, textures, and atmosphere. If we’re creating a 3D image of a building, we consider the building’s surroundings so it can be seen in context. It’s important to consider how a scheme will be used, so we add in people where relevant and think about what they should be doing, wearing, and holding. When creating the Cotswolds Designer Outlet video, we added in plenty of people moving around and holding shopping bags.

Warden Hill Primary School, Cheltenham

What’s next for the visualisation team?

We are always exploring new technologies. This year, we are aiming to improve our virtual reality capabilities to use on a range of projects. We have recently completed animations that include fully animated 4D CGI people. The people look highly realistic because they are made from real-life models who have been scanned in 360 degrees – a far cry from the wooden-looking CGI people of the past.

We are also looking into real-time computer game engine technologies that have come on leaps and bounds in recent years. This will give us the ability to produce fully interactive 3D models that can be explored and edited in real-time.

To find out more about our visualisation services and how we can support your next project, contact the team at or 03333 405500.

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