Using my Model

BIM in architecture

Architecture Interactive has made the process of producing an immersive 3d walk-through from your BIM, CAD, or other tessellated 3D file as simple as addinga few tags to your design for our software to read. Take all the time or money you spent producing that BIM file and give it additional value by re-purposing the existing file for a full scale, immersive design review.  We take Revit, SketchUp, 3ds Max, and many other 3d modelling / BIM software files as a source.

Optimization Requirements

This is a guideline for what WorldViz/Architecture Interactive requires for a 3D model to be functional within a virtual reality application. These requirements are “standard” across any real-time application. If your 3D asset does not meet one or more of the requirements listed below, we can help you to get your model to a working state.

In general

Detail should be based on what can be seen on screen at 2 meters away with a 70 degree field of view. Detail that does not affect the silhouette of the model should be created through texture instead of geometry. Do not include any detail that is hidden inside walls or other objects (cars don’t need engines, etc.).


No more than 16 sides for most situations.


Use video game style plants instead of still render style plants. Polycount should be under 2500 triangles in most cases.


Polycount should be under 10,000 triangles in most cases.


Use models built for realtime applications. Polycount should be under 4,000 triangles.

File Format** Ideal – native formats: .max,.rvt
Less ideal – Transfer formats: .dae, .dwg, .lwo, .fbx
Number of polygons *** < 1.5 million
Surface area of model < 20,000 m2
Number of objects < 1,000
Materials Standard, Multi/Sub-Object, Shell
Lights Set up in VRAY
Grouping Intelligent grouping of objects
(e.g. wheels, body, steering wheel grouped as Car)
* This can be higher (or lower) depending on how many are used and if any are animated.
** If sending transfer format files, multiple formats are preferred as some things come through better in one format, and other things come through better in other formats.
*** Can be exceeded for certain applications.

Choose a rendering level that best suits your application

Rendered directly from your design program (e.g. REVIT)

  • Ideal for early phase geometric design reviews.
  • Pros:  low Budget; fastest turn-around; effective for low-detail geometric design decisions.
  • Cons:  lack of depth; lack of detail.

Rendered with Ambient Occlusion Bake

  • Ideal for early stage geometric design reviews.
  • Pros: additional depth and detail; low budget; quick turn-around.
  • Cons: lack of high detail.

Ambient Occlusion Bake + Basic Colors added to object groups

  • Ideal for early-to-mid-phase geometric design reviews.
  • Pros:  low budget; fast turn-around; effective for low-detail geometric design decisions; colors add serious aesthetic value.
  • Cons:  lack of depth; lack of detail; appearance and textures intentionally not accurate.

Textures added, Simple VRAY lights set up

  • Ideal for marketing, training, presentations, and detail orientated design reviews.
  • Pros:  pretty scenes; effective for higher-detail geometric design decisions; somewhat aesthetically accurate.
  • Cons:  additional art time invested; appearance isn’t completely accurate.

Custom/Complex V-RAY Lighting & Textures

  • Ideal for high-end marketing presentations, late stage geometric and aesthetic design reviews, branding, last minute details.
  • Pros: very realistic and immersive; high level of detail and photorealism; evaluate lighting and aesthetics. Greatest light, color, and shadow variation.
  • Cons: cost; longer turn-around time; high detail can distract from the design decision at hand.


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AI User Guide

A complete guide for AI. Walks you through all the important topics in one document.

revit3dsmax tutorial
Revit / 3ds Max / FBX model clean up for real-time use

Follow the instructions in this article to clean up FBX models imported into 3ds Max for export to Vizard.

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Vizard Inspector

Inspector is a visual tool for browsing the scene graph of any Vizard compatible 3d model.


Materials 3ds Max to AI

This article explains what materials in 3ds Max carry over into Vizard when using the OSG exporter.

Light Baking in 3ds Max for AI

In this article you’ll learn simple techniques for creating complete maps and light maps for your Vizard models.


Texturing an interior in 3ds Max

Use 3ds Max to create a simple model of the interior of a room that you can load in Vizard.


Exporting an Architectural Model from 3ds Max to Vizard 

The video tutorial will guide you through exporting an architectural model with various layers to the binary OSG format.


Stages of Asset Creation

Step-by-step guide for creating a 3D model.


Texturing – Flatiron

Flatiron is a 3ds Max plugin used for unwrapping and texture baking.


Misc – Unit Setup (obsolete)

Vizard requires models to be at the scale of 1 unit = 1 meter. Most models in max do not start out at this scale. Follow these steps to prepare the file for use in Vizard.


Architecture Interactive Tagging

AI square

AI – Tagging

Parameters tied to a specific object are often easier for an artist to set up through custom parameters than for a programmer to set up through an input file.

AI – Video Textures

Video textures are useful whenever you need the screen of a TV or Monitor to simply be active or display some kind of demo footage.


AI – Parenting

Creating a hierarchy in 3ds Max is useful for cases where you want to be able to grab an object and have the other objects sitting on top of it come with it.


AI – Multi Sampled Alpha

In many 3d applications, when transparent objects intersect each other, there can be problems with depth sorting – the 3d application becomes unable to tell which object is in front of another.


AI – JumpTo

How to create a JumpTo object for AI.


AI – Cameras

Flythrough camera animations are fairly simple to set up in Max. Due to way the cameras currently export, a small workaround is required to use them within Architecture Interactive.


AI – Alternates

Setting up alternates is a great way to demonstrate variations in design. Each variation is saved out to a separate file.

Model Optimization Tips


Drawable Budget

Rendering a scene 60 or more times per second comes with some limitations. One of these is a limit to the number of separate objects the graphics card can handle.


OSG Occluder

One way to improve the framerate in Vizard is to make use of the OSG Occluder helper

model optimizatoin

Polygon Budget

In realtime 3d applications, most of the graphics on screen are defined by a series of triangles connected together to form solid-looking objects.


Texture Budget

Keeping your texture budget under control is fairly simple. Check how much memory is on your graphics card, and aim for under 75% of that.



Sometimes models are too detailed for realtime use and need to be simplified.


GPU Budget Intro

The key to making impressive realtime graphics are learning the limitations of your system and being able to work economically within them. Distributing these limitations across your scene is referred to as budgeting.

Vizard Material Tips



Vizard Compatible Materials



Setting up glass is very similar to other transparent materials.



Reflective materials are created by using pre-made reflections stored in maps.



3ds Max Baking – General Workflow

Topics covered:

  • Render to texture
  • Complete maps
  • Light maps
  • Export settings
  • Vizard Inspector