Unreal Engine 4 + ArchVIZ by Koola

Today I stumbled upon these Drop Dead Gorgeous Unreal Engine 4 Architectural Visualization tests by koola which immediately reminds one of Alex Roman’s “The Third & The Seventh” project but this time in REALTIME. Most of the content on Koola’s thread on the Unreal Engine Forums is like Chinese to me but he sure did captured my attention with this! Take a look too.

Done on an i7-3770 with GTX670 running at 50-60FPS


Checkout the original Unreal Engine forum thread – ArchViz / Lighting by Koola

Some stills too…




This work went into my Architectural Visualization board on Pinterest. I invite you to follow me and see what other great things I’ve curated there for some time now.

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67 replies
  1. Michael Forster
    Michael Forster says:

    I have to admit I never really liked real-time stuff because it always looked like a computer game. But that really changed my mind. Ronen, do you think you could make an introduction sometimes to real-time? How does it work? How do I get objects out of 3DS Max? How can you guys think this can be used in the future? Do we have to start thinking of learning all of this? With Oculus etc. coming in the near future?

  2. Ronen Bekerman – 3D Architectural Visualization Bl
    Ronen Bekerman – 3D Architectural Visualization Bl says:

    For sure this is a field to explore more by any CG Artist looking to keep up with the advancements of technology. I will surly cover this area more on the blog 😉

  3. ZahirOuld-hocine
    ZahirOuld-hocine says:

    Very nice job!
    I allready started to do some UE4 tests, hope to reach this level 🙂


    Trasladaremos tu petición al coordinador del área de Infoarquitectura y a la Dirección de la escuela…a ver qué se puede hacer 😉

    THINKTANK says:

    It looks great but please don’t say this is close to being an industry standard in anyway shape or form basically what is in the render is some hallway walls with some plastic chairs in. Give me a 140MB Sketchup file from an architect which is a few squares miles of offsite and a large scheme and tell me it works great then. THEN i’ll be interested… I’m sure it’ll have it’s uses for tiny building’s and interiors but for most this is years away before being able to work with the files we have to work with, which will only get harder with the likes of Revit trying to be the norm (over bloated files)…

  6. ronenbekerman
    ronenbekerman says:

    THINKTANK Not today, but further down the road it could be as both paths head towards convergences. As for the tiny buildings comment, just have a look at what’s being done in the gaming industry today – these engines are pretty capable. I see many pros in going real-time as it is now vs. what we define as the gold standard for archviz  today. As always – it is project depended.

    THINKTANK says:

    Yea further down the road defiantly, I mean I am already waiting for my Dev kit for the Oculus 🙂 I just think it will require very optimized models for the foreseeable future, along with completely different library assets and textures, it’ll defiantly be a different way of working for us Visual artists. Part of me doesn’t want it to change but I guess nothing can stay the same for ever!

  8. NikolayAtanasov
    NikolayAtanasov says:

    I had a look at it a few times and though many things are not perfect..the reflections /bump/displacement look amazing..hard to believe

  9. RettLongmore
    RettLongmore says:

    I really can’t decide what direction to pursue for this type of viz.  I had almost just settled on going with Unity and then I saw this stunning work.  I think with UE you have to be more of a skilled programmer?

  10. ronenbekerman
    ronenbekerman says:

    RettLongmore I can’t really comment on that at this stage, but if you look at it from the side of what’s being developed and how it looks + considering what engine is used, then UE4 seems like a good choice. I would also add to that the amount of platforms it supports and what that allows to to do with it.

  11. mindflux
    mindflux says:

    RettLongmore No, thanks to UE’s very intuitive toolset you don’t really have to possess any programming skills whatsoever to produce stuff like above. Additionally, implementing any kind of user interactivity is also pretty easy using the visual Blueprint engine.

    If you’d like to test drive the engine you can subscribe for 20€ a month with a possibility to cancel your subscription at any given time – the best part is that you can still continue to use the engine after canceling, you will just miss the updates.

  12. mindflux
    mindflux says:

    Importing assets to UE4 is almost as easy as it can get, simply export as FBX and import. Afterwards you will need to assign the materials using UE4’s built-in material editor – which is all physically based, by the way.

  13. mindflux
    mindflux says:

    Importing assets to UE4 is almost as easy as it can get, simply export as FBX and import. Afterwards you will need to assign the materials using UE4’s built-in material editor – which is all physically based, by the way.

  14. RettLongmore
    RettLongmore says:

    mindflux ronenbekerman
    Thanks for the input guys.  I guess we will have to see how Unity 5 looks when it comes out.  I am very excited about exploring this type of work.  I did one visualization in Unity using their “Beast” Light Mapper with “ok” results.  I set it up with the “first person shooter” controls and then included a couple of “cut scenes” where it would play short movies rendered with c4d + vray.  It seems most of my clients are currently satisfied with several still shots and an occasional camera fly through but I would love to do more realtime interactive work.

    THINKTANK says:

    mindflux RettLongmore We are waiting for the Oculus Dev Kit (in Sept fingers crossed), the main reason we are going for Unity is because of the support they have for Oculus. what is the support if any for it in UE? I think it’s important to think of the broader picture, real time walk through’s is great on a TV but what would beat that? Oculus! if it’s as good as people are saying it is, people will want this I think, imagine your client / project director team all wired in using the OR headsets walking around like a team death match game but enjoying the building from an actual eye level experience you just can’t get from a TV or monitor.

    It’ll be a game changer I think in terms of how things are designed and developed…A huge problem I see in architecture at the moment is buildings being designed on the technical ability of someone’s sketchup skills which shocks me to the core! But if they could see there design in this new way it might make them think again! Future is looking bright either way!

  16. lasse1309
    lasse1309 says:

    this is the future – i am certain. Of course this will not replace still imagery; but at least the animation part – which is still super optimized. why not render real-time when with similar optimaziation efforts you would have to render for days/weeks?

    the UVW/lightmap/baking wf is still a bit geeky, but this will be over soon, i am sure.

  17. DraganMiokovic
    DraganMiokovic says:

    THINKTANK mindflux RettLongmore Oculus is fully supported in UE. They have really good relationship.  Most of demos that Oculus is showing at boots are demos done in UE (Valkyrie and Couch Knights)

  18. peachbb2048
    peachbb2048 says:

    If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. // If you tell a
    lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to
    believe it. // If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.
    // If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes truth. // If you repeat a
    lie many times, people are bound to start believing it.

  19. lasse1309
    lasse1309 says:

    DraganMiokovic peachbb2048 a guerilla-marketing hoax by epic to boost arch-viz use for UE? I doubt that, sounds lot like conspiracy-theory. just because someone is not mingling all the the time with the “community” makes him not less credible.

  20. RettLongmore
    RettLongmore says:

    lasse1309 DraganMiokovic peachbb2048 I don’t see the problem.  It seems like on the link peachbb2048 has provided Koola says he just doing tests to learn blueprint. So he is building a simple game with simple lighting and some primitives.  If you are just testing basic gameplay you wouldn’t spend a ton of time working on the lighting, textures and environments.

  21. cg24a3
    cg24a3 says:

    I saw them around the net already, I realize it’s not viz but check out the infiltrator demo of this engine it’s amazing.

    Somehow I have a feeling that in the near future there will be much more demand for real-time visualization experience than for just plain stills. Think about it stills and animations are already nearly flawless not much is missing to perfection so next logical step would be the real-time!

  22. cg24a3
    cg24a3 says:

    I saw them around the net already, I realize it’s not viz but check out the infiltrator demo of this engine it’s amazing.

    Somehow I have a feeling that in the near future there will be much more demand for real-time visualization experience than for just plain stills. Think about it stills and animations are already nearly flawless not much is missing to perfection so next logical step would be the real-time!

  23. Charli3D
    Charli3D says:

    peachbb2048 the unreal forums aren’t the only forums around.  i’ve seen the dude posting here and there on polycount.

  24. ronenbekerman
    ronenbekerman says:

    HeliosDoubleSix Yea!! That’s the spirit 😉

    Great read on your side… right up top I see a reference to the use of Quixel’s painting tools and UE4. I think I’ve seen this first when Juraj Talcik mentioned their MEGASCANS product. This is becoming a crazy itch to scratch.

  25. mindflux
    mindflux says:

    HeliosDoubleSix HD6, is that you?

    I haven’t really looked into Unity for quite some time now, didn’t they have their own (third-party?) GI solution Enlighten? How do you think it compares?

    ronenbekerman Incidentally, those pieces were put together by the same guy, Wiktor Öhman. Here’s one more from him, in CryEngine as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2gOlFa99lE
    And here’s a Polycount thread about the demonstration with some WIP material as well: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=124123

  26. HeliosDoubleSix
    HeliosDoubleSix says:

    mindflux I am HD6 yes 😛

    It is Unity with Enlighten that I am using in my example / blog post / ramble
    And it is great progress over Unity 4, but it can’t touch the UE4 system for quality, but then targets different requirements with different tradeoffs. 

    Also SpectraGI is coming to Unity with a realtime GI of sorts soon, but no examples yet and people are screaming it cannot be done and that they are liars 😛

  27. mindflux
    mindflux says:

    HeliosDoubleSix Damn, it’s been a while 😀 Great seeing you here.

    Yep, just watched your video – like you said it’s not really UE4 quality but even so it does look pretty great especially considering the target they’re aiming for. Is it really realtime? Interesting if so, since in UE4 GI is implement via pre-baked lightmaps and CE is moving away from a realtime solution. I’m really looking forward to realtime pathtracers like Brigade, but obviously they’re still out of our reach for some time.

  28. HeliosDoubleSix
    HeliosDoubleSix says:

    mindflux yah realtime-ish is the term ( after it has precomputed for a few minutes ) (   and some things cannot change during gameplay, though turning on and off a light in a room will work and such, changing a floors colour works in realtime, and some examples show whole walls being knocked down and then light repropogating I presume by marking the wall with a special attribute so it calculates lighting with and without the wall in question ) The UE4 can do realtime also but it is a work in progress and disabled by default I think, and unlike Unity / Enlighten will not work on mobile devices 🙂 

    Where did I know you from, real name / nickname changed? 🙂

  29. mindflux
    mindflux says:

    HeliosDoubleSix Ha, ENB forum ring any bell? 😀

    I’m not sure what’s the current status of ‘dynamic’ GI (via light propagation volumes (so spherical harmonics) in UE, but I heard they’re working on it and it’s already partly implemented, at least to some extent. It’s realtime in the sense that’s it’s calculated per-frame as far I know, but it’s of course a heavy approximation and cannot match in quality Sparse Voxel Octotree GI which they sadly dropped because of performance reasons.

  30. ronenbekerman
    ronenbekerman says:

    It’s great seeing the Unreal Engine being tested so much lately – here’s the Berlin Flat project by Lasse fro XOIO Studio : http://www.ronenbekerman.com/forums/finished-work/5422-berlin-flat-flat-happy-new-year.html#post24872

  31. jslvault
    jslvault says:

    I believe that the global illumination is pre-rendered in vray/mentalray and then baked to the textures, then brought into UE4?
    SInce light Mass(GI calculator in UE4) is pretty bad I heard.. but this is just my speculation..correct me if I am wrong. Super fabulous animations btw!

  32. lasse1309
    lasse1309 says:

    jslvault the lighmass GI is pretty fine 😀 you just have to “hack” the values in the .ini file to make it look good. so no baking in 3dsmax required, you only have to apply two UV channels to store the GI into.

  33. jslvault
    jslvault says:

    lasse1309 jslvault Thanks Lasse, UE4 is truly amazing tool..yet hard to get used to. Looking forward to seeing more from you! Thanks a lot.

  34. MartinMorenoJr
    MartinMorenoJr says:

    THINKTANK This is would only be industry standard ONLY for presentations, not workflow.  Imagine being able to walk through an environment.  Some, not most, but some architects really love to make their clients feel immersed during presentations. This would help a lot.

  35. MartinMorenoJr
    MartinMorenoJr says:

    lasse1309 jslvault pssst.  hey, so, that hack… in the .ini file…   where can i find this? 🙂

  36. themaxxer
    themaxxer says:

    Hi all
    for an urgent project I need someone who can make the unreal coding. the client wishes to walk trough a quite big floor…
    is anybody interested?
    best regards

  37. cg24a3
    cg24a3 says:

    Now this looks excellent, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKiy2Pwp8Ek better than anything so far

  38. VladV
    VladV says:

    Hi guys!
    We have created a community guide to using Unreal Engine 4 for architectural visualization. http://collidervisuals.com/guide
    The goal is for us to build the most comprehensive archviz guide online that doesn’t need periodic reposts as it is updated in real-time!
    To comment, select a piece of text or a pic, right click, and click comment. Text with comments will be highlighted.
    To suggest changes or add new content simply edit the document. The font for suggestions is green. We will frequently add content to the guide and we hope that you will too.  This document is public, so share the knowledge and play nice!

  39. Kiana Mousavi
    Kiana Mousavi says:

    I have a question , Do we need to know scripting for  UE4 ? cause someone told me it’s not like other rendering engines ! How hard it is to learn ?

  40. cg24a3
    cg24a3 says:

    I haven’t personally learn scripting in ue4 yet but what I have seen so far from their videos, “blueprint” that’s what they call it looks quite easy and user friendly. You can do a lot in ue4 without scripting. Most of the work koola done doesn’t require it.

  41. Kiana Mousavi
    Kiana Mousavi says:

    cg24a3 Oh thank you so much for answering me , so is it possible to learn how to work with it through youtube tutorials ? I haven’t check them yet I was totally freaked out about the scripting

  42. SergeyTulyakov
    SergeyTulyakov says:

    MartinMorenoJr lasse1309 jslvault yep, me very interested in finding some info on this too

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  1. […] A sample of Unreal Engine 4 architectural visualizations by Koola; images courtesy Ronen Bekerman […]

  2. […] toegenomen, worden ze tegenwoordig ook gebruikt voor architectuurvisualisatie. Bekijk bijvoorbeeld deze video’s eens voor een […]

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