There are a number of real-time 3D visualization tools for SketchUp.  I believe this is a very important direction that 3D software is taking us.  I’m calling it Immersive Landscape Design.  It gives clients the ability to interact with the design prior to its construction.  They are experiencing the work in a three dimensional world rather than as flat images.  And it gives you the ability to communicate more effectively with your client.

I think this is a natural progression, or application, of gaming technology.  It’s been known as FPS (First Person Shooter), but now it is much more than science fiction worlds.  It is applying the technology in a real way – to test out design environments and to allow for more input before building.

Lumion, a full-blown real-time 3D visualization engine.  It produces video animations, still images, and presentations (when the software is loaded on the computer).  There is a limited free version, a € 1499.- version, and a Pro version at € 2999.-.

Another real-time 3D visualization engine is NeutronE GDC 2010 DirectX 11 Trailer.  Not much is available on it at this time…

3Dvia Scenes will take in your model and post it online to create virtual walkthroughs.  The features are interesting but some costs may occur when using their cloud hosting service.

SightSpace, a 3D phone App, allows one to create 3D Augmented Reality by combining your geo-located model (.kmz) and your phone’s camera.  This is interesting because the person can view or move through the model in real space.

Spread3D is an online model viewer that can let your clients or constituents walk around in the model.  The advantage is its ease of use, customization, and you can easily post the files on your own website so you stay in control of the work.  It is as easy to use as SketchUp itself.

I’m really impressed with Spread3D and will review it in detail very soon.