MEET OUR CODE_N CONTEST FINALISTS 2018: Tenebris Lab from South Africa
Never has it been easier to interact with graphics and communicate 3D designs more simply. Walk through your designs in virtual reality with LUX Walker, an interactive PC and VR application that instantly converts your 3D model into a fully immersive 3D true-to-life scale model. We recently spoke to founder and CEO Gerard Slee who introduced his team Tenebris Lab, the design thinkers behind this revolutionizing solution that allows users to walk around virtual buildings with other people, collaborate with team members during the development process, and present final designs to clients from anywhere in the world.
Iulia: What is Tenebris Lab all about?
Gerard: Tenebris Lab is a collaborative design and development studio with a focus on developing software and games based on virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). Since Tenebris Lab was founded in early 2017, we have primarily focused on the development of real-time VR architecture tools and a walkthrough tool for moving around and inside virtual buildings. Our team is made up of multidisciplinary experts who use design thinking. Because they have a background in architecture, engineering, and software development, they have formed a powerful team offering a broad skill set and the know-how it takes to solve complex problems. We aim to provide enhanced experiences through virtual reality by eradicating communication errors, improving workflows, and helping others to visualize complex data.
Iulia: How did you come up with the idea?
Gerard: With the traditional approach to showing people architectural plans, people inside and outside organizations – including clients – often misunderstand things. It was misunderstanding that fueled my motivation to develop a more immersive, effective way to share visions for a project. LUX Walker is the direct result of the first-hand experience and frustration felt by our founder Gerard Slee when he was trying to show 3D designs to lecturers while studying architecture. During his studies, it was clear that communication becomes progressively difficult when talking to people who do not work with 3D software or people with no training in deciphering 2D documents. The aspiration is clear: We want to create a tool that will resolve communication issues and render realistic, true-to-life scale representations of 3D models so that users can interact with graphics and use them to communicate 3D designs more simply.
Iulia: What are you trying to solve?
Gerard: Any architect will tell you that it’s incredibly difficult to communicate 3D features when all you have are 2D documents like plans or diagrams. If people have insufficient experience with reading detailed 2D drawings, it can be difficult to explain a design. We aim to solve problems caused by misunderstandings between architects and construction companies when talking about 3D models. We also want to reduce costs and simplify the construction and presentation process.
By offering our clients tools that are simple to use and information that is easy to understand, they will be in a position to make better decisions and make those decisions faster. We will simplify communication and support more effective discussion on 3D designs.
Lux Walker lowers barriers to entry and promises to make immersive experiences more accessible to any kind of design or architectural practice. It will no longer be necessary to invest huge levels of resources or big budgets just in order to impress clients.
Iulia: You describe LUX Walker as an interactive PC and VR application that instantly converts 3D concepts into a fully immersive, 3D, true-to-life scale model. Could you tell us more about your application, your target audience, and who your potential clients are?
Gerard: LUX Walker aims to change communication between architects, developers, and their clients – saving time and money in the design process. It will resolve the misunderstandings that arise with complex 3D designs. It will also allow anyone involved in a project to immediately understand all aspects relating to a development. Lux Walker allows you to explore your design in virtual reality. Users feel as if they are inside the built environment and able to interact with the space, moving around it freely. It’s a completely immersive experience which facilities effective communication, which in turn saves time, emotional energy and money.
LUX Walker is an interactive PC and VR application that instantly converts 3D models into a fully immersive, 3D, true-to-life scale model. It is compatible with the majority of 3D modeling software, opening 3D models at the click of a button. Data is stored in .WALK files for LUX Walker. The solution also allows users to walk around virtual buildings with other people, collaborate with team members during the design and development process, and present final designs to clients from anywhere in the world. The tools offered by the software are expanding continuously to allow users to discuss plans and develop their ideas in real time with other team members. You can draw content, add markups, position plants in buildings, change materials, and create a complete digital environment to present projects to clients or potential buyers.
Our target audience is anyone involved in a development – from architectural engineers and people in the construction industry to development companies and their clients. Potential clients include architects, engineers, interior designers, industrial designers, and developers working on construction projects.
Iulia: Thank you for the interview, Gerard!