At Autodesk University 2019, held in mid-late November, Autodesk and Unity announced that its partnership-based new real-time 3D product—Unity Reflect—would be available for purchase 2 December 2019. That’s today!
Unity Reflect—An AU Story
Last year at AU 2018, one of the biggest stories of the conference was the new strategic partnership between Autodesk and Unity. The goal of full data interoperability between many Autodesk products—but principally at first for the AEC market, Revit—was firmly set. At AU 2019 that commitment and promise was made good with the imminent release of Unity Reflect.
Unity Reflect is a new product for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry that integrates with Autodesk Revit, one of the global leading BIM softwares.
With Unity Reflect both partner companies are making real-time BIM a reality for all AEC stakeholders, through:
- Designers and engineers can transfer Revit models into real-time experiences, including in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
- Developers can create highly customized real-time 3D applications leveraging BIM data by building on top of Unity Reflect with the Unity Editor.
- Clients and collaborators can review projects in an immersive interactive way on an array of devices and platforms.
Unity Reflect enables AEC professionals, regardless of technical software skills to leverage real-time BIM model viewing complete with BIM metadata. With a live-link between Revit running on a computer, multiple client stakeholders on various devices, in the field or in the office, can conduct immersive design reviews, briding the gap between design and construction teams in particular.
Unity Reflect Today
Unity Reflect costs $690 USD annually and will require a license for every Revit user who uses the Unity Reflect plugin from within Revit. Autodesk notes that not every Revit user will need this plugin license to push out the live-sync model to the Unity Reflect viewers, which run free of charge across multiple devices.
Unity Reflect runs on Windows PCs, Apple iOS devices (including AR capabilities), and HTC Vive and there is no fee for these client versions. This enables Autodesk’s AEC customers to widely leverage the most popular platforms and devices used in the AECO markets worldwide. Support for other platforms and devices may be announced at a future time, including potential support for web browser based version.
Those AEC stakeholders who are currently macOS deviced based, as Autodesk will note, often already have iOS devices from which to utilize as access points. Additionally, although our discussions with Autodesk did not comment on this, Apple’s Project Marzipan, which is actually called Project Catalyst—an internal project at Apple to enable software developers to target their software projects to all of Apple’s platforms—means that future versions of Unity Reflect will most likely be super delivered to macOS through Apple’s future Xcode tools. In other words, Apple’s project to bring millions of iOS apps to macOS should mean, theoretically, creating a macOS version of Unity Reflect becomes a no-brainer.
While Unity Reflect’s final details were released at AU19, another key announcement was that Unity Reflect was being released for Autodesk BIM 360. Because BIM 360 is a web-browser based application, this truly liberates stakeholder engagement options. (Architosh will be following this particular development closely. More to report later.)
SHoP Architects and Unity Reflect
Autodesk has been working with many leading architects during the build-up and full release of Unity Reflect. One of those customers with an early access to Unity Reflect is SHoP Architects. Adam Chernick and Christopher Morse from SHoP Architects’ interactive visualization team has shared their experience with Unity Reflect in a story on Unity’s blog here.
To learn more about Unity Reflect in general visit here. https://unity.com/aec/reflect