A Guide to Comparing RT3D Engines in 2022

As Extended Reality technologies continue to evolve, becoming increasingly popular, business leaders, and developers are searching for new ways to create and share immersive content. RT3D engines have emerged as one of the most valuable tools for designing 3D experiences.

Defined as graphical tools capable of generating interactive content at a speed faster than human beings can perceive, RT3D engines could be the future of AR, VR, and MR. With the correct RT3D engine, business leaders can create digital twins of real-life products and assets, or design hyper-realistic avatars for individual users. Not only do these tools enhance the visuals available within immersive content, but they deliver better interactivity too.

With a powerful RT3D engine, companies can build digital representations of assets that look, behave, and act just like their physical twin. The challenge for today’s developers and market leaders lies in choosing the correct engine.

Step 1: Define the Elements of RT3D

The first step in comparing RT3D Engines is understanding what these tools can actually do.

RT3D engines optimize content processing times, and allow for hyper realistic animations and visuals within intensive XR workflows. Essentially, the engine is a software package built for simulating three-dimensional experiences. These solutions work by ingesting various types of existing content in the form of metadata and 3D geometry.

To get the most out of an RT3D engine, companies will need to ensure the software is capable of leveraging and optimizing the content they have available to them. One area where RT3D has grown particularly important is in the manufacturing and industrial landscape. According to Unity, around 55% of manufacturing and AEC companies were already planning on adopting real-time 3D engines by 2021.

These companies already leverage various tools crucial to RT3D workflows, such as 3D modeling meshes, CAD (Computer Aided Design) models, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) data. Making sure the RT3D engine can integrate seamlessly with these tools would be crucial to generating excellent results in the AEC space.

Step 2: Define RT3D Use Cases

Once a company understands the potential of RT3D engines, the next step is developing a strategy based on specific goals and use cases. The potential applications for real-time 3D technology are extremely varied. For instance, AEC companies have already started adopting RT3D engines to design blueprints and allow for the immersive review of building plans.

RT3D can help with gathering stakeholder feedback, by allowing companies to immerse crucial people in a 3D environment where they can interact with the digital twins of products, services, and even structures yet to be built. Other potential use cases include:

  • Collaborative design: RT3D solutions can help bring team members together throughout the globe for a more collaborative design experience. Various users can work on 3D models at the same time, gather instant feedback, and visualize outcomes.
  • Simulation: Via simulation, it is possible to use RT3D engines as a way of reducing risks and challenges in various environments. For instance, in the healthcare world, Mortenson gave medical stakeholders an opportunity to simulate different hospital designs to see which structure streamlined patient care and productivity.
  • Training: Because RT3D engines allow for the creation of interactive 3D models of complex tools and scenarios, they’re ideal for educational content. Users can implement VR or AR-based experiences into the onboarding experience for employees, to ensure they know how to avoid common risks in their specific workplace.

Step 3: Consider Ease of Use

Like many of the technical aspects of the XR landscape, RT3D solutions do require some technical expertise and specialist training to leverage correctly. However, there are vendors in the market today committed to making the use of this technology as streamlined as possible. For example, to ensure the best visual quality and experience when deploying 3D content, companies need to ensure their designs are effectively optimized for various scenarios.

Unity, one of the market leaders in RT3D technology, has a comprehensive kit of tools intended to assist businesses and developers in this optimization process. One-click solutions such as Unity Reflect automatically prepare data for real-time consumption in a 3D, interactive environment. There are also specialist tools available like Pixyz, which allow for more control when making complex 3D models more lightweight and reliable.

Asset stores where companies and developers can access pre-built solutions for their RT3D creations can also help to enhance ease-of-use. Many RT3D engine vendors come with libraries of available assets already built-in, with access to things like animations, audio and video snippets, environments, user interfaces, and more.

Step 4: Explore Elements for Interactivity

As mentioned above, RT3D Engines aren’t just software packages designed to make 3D content look good in a range of environments. The right tools also help to create highly immersive and interactive experiences, aligned with these three-dimensional assets. When comparing RT3D engines, business leaders should think about the various ways they might want to transform static images and videos into interactive experiences.

Some RT3D engines come with “interaction models” built in, which allow companies to immediately access ways of helping users connect with “live” applications. Other solutions come with in-depth documentation designed to guide users through the process of adding user interface elements, spatial audio, and other components that might boost interactivity.

When exploring the immersive capabilities of RT3D software, it’s worth considering the emerging technology in the XR space too. For example, it may be important for training solutions built in RT3D Engines to be compatible with haptic feedback devices, so users can actually “feel” the objects they’re touching, or the environments they’re in.

Comparing RT3D Engines

RT3D Engines are a natural evolution in the use of 3D assets to improve training, development, and production techniques. As we continue to learn more about these tools, we also discover new potential use cases for them, extending beyond the AEC and manufacturing world. In the years to come, Real-time 3D engines are likely to play a significant role in much of the immersive content we use.

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