Tato, M., Papanikolaou, P., and Papagiannakis, G. 2012. From Real to Virtual Rapid Architectural Prototyping. Euromed2012, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 7616, 505–512 [FromRealToVirtualPrototyping-LNCS1-0]
Can greater visual realism of a real-time architectural virtual walkthrough achieve as high sensory impact, or qualia, as a physical 3D printed scale model of an urban landscape does? Our work aims to answer that question by allowing a real existing city landscape during a large urban planning project to be 3D modeled and subsequently be studied via a dual output: a real, physical scale model based on a latest high quality color 3D printer and a 3D virtual walkthrough of enhanced real-time visual realism based on a recent game engine. Conclusions of this experiment and user study suggest that a virtual, interactive simulation of high visual-realism based on specific latest real-time rendering algorithms can indeed convey a similar user experience and feeling of “presence” that an equivalent architectural scale model offers, regarding fast appreciation of both space and structure.