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Realizing Virtual Reality in Newbuild Process

Booth VR demonstration at SNAME 2019 (Photo: Robert Allan Ltd.)

Posted by Michelle Howard

Imagine exploring your vessel years before its keel is even laid. What was once a fantasy is now a possibility thanks to VR (virtual reality) technology.

How does one get the true sense of scale, perspective, and immersion inherent to being on board a 'real' vessel by looking at a 2D drawing or 3D CAD model? You simply can't. There's no substitute for the real thing but VR gets you as close as possible with little relative effort and a lot more flexibility. Now clients and designers can experience the vessel years before it is built.

VR is also proving to be a very powerful tool for design and marketing. It is especially valuable to evaluate complex areas, such as wheelhouses, control centers and machinery spaces where spatial aspects of the layout are difficult to capture in traditional media alone. Additionally, VR models are also being used to produce realistic renderings, interactive panoramas, walkthrough/flyover videos, and standalone virtual tours. All are easily accessible since they require no additional hardware apart from a relatively modern PC/laptop. As design/marketing work continues to trend toward 3D, we expect development in this area to further evolve along with new and novel uses for VR.

Although VR technology is still in its infancy, it has the potential to revolutionize in much the same way. The first-person perspective that VR offers of being 'on-board' our designs is something RAL is embracing to meet and exceed client's expectations. Robert Allan Ltd.'s integration of VR technology has just begun, but it's impact on improving both design and efficiency has been highly encouraging thus far.

Nov 26, 2019


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