BIM is a fantastic vector of communication, and BIM technologies combined with a real-time rendering solution is the most amazing way to present your architectural or construction projects.
This week, we have the pleasure to have an exciting conversation with one of the leading startup developing one the cutting-edge real-time rendering and VR plugins: Enscape based in Karlsruhe, Germany.
And it’s with great pleasure that we welcome Bjørn Wittenberg, Senior Manager Events and Education from his current home office in Munich, Germany.
Hello Bjørn, we’re honoured and glad to welcome you on ABCD Blog. Could you please introduce yourself briefly?
Hello Emmanuel, it’s a pleasure for me to be here. My name is Bjørn Wittenberg and I have been with Enscape since November last year, leading the Event and Education department.
What is your background, where did you study, and have you always been passionate about 3D and new technologies?
I studied architecture at the Hannover University of Applied Sciences in Germany. The possibility of using computers to support my ideas, was fascinating to me and unleashed my passion for CAD. AutoCAD 14 was the tool we used, and it was fun starting to design in 3D.
After my graduation, I had the opportunity to work in the Architecture Industry. For almost 10 years, I worked mainly in CAD-Admin and held several Architect roles. Of course, using CAD creatively was my focus. I always looked for the latest technologies and in 2006, I heard about Revit at an event and switched immediately to it. It was so much fun to work with a software in 3D and not only dream in 3D. That was a big step in my 3D experience.
Before entering Enscape, what did you do?
My work with Revit and my passion for 3D were the reasons why I had joined Autodesk in 2007. This was when a new education team was established for the European market. I was lucky enough to start a new chapter in my career, although I was aware that I would have to give up working as an architect.
For the first years, I taught Revit to students and educators in EMEA. It was amazing to work with such creative students. During my time at Autodesk, I developed a student and educator ambassador program, which gave the academic world the chance to connect with the industry and gain experiences early on. It is wonderful to see when these students end up working in the industry.
What is your role at Enscape, and could you please tell us about the Company: why, when and how it was created?
Enscape is a real-time rendering and virtual reality plugin for Revit, and similar CAD and BIM software. It plugs directly into your modeling software, giving you an integrated visualization and design workflow. It brings your designs to life and gives your clients a design experience like never before.
My role at Enscape is to coordinate our events during and after COVID. Hopefully, we can all meet at BIM World Paris either this or next year, Emmanuel.
Secondly, I am responsible for the education strategy. We offer free educational licences for students, educators and institutions. Not only is Enscape easy to use, but it is also easy get and use within academia. Students are the future!
You’re one of the leading “Real-time rendering solutions” but what does Enscape offer that other solutions don’t?
That’s right. The unique thing about Enscape is you’re not setting up an additional scene, your professional project is the scene. It’s a window with a high-quality interactive visualization, opened with the click of a button.
And it stays connected to your design application, so you can edit it on the fly and use your existing skills while presenting to an audience or generating content.
What are the key features of Enscape?
The main feature of Enscape is its great graphics combined with the ease of access. This allows you to generate beautiful still images, 360 panoramas or even standalone experiences to share, all with just one click of a button. You can even launch virtual reality with just one more click. You can set up and render a video flythrough in 10 Minutes. It’s all about accessing high quality visualization as easily and directly as possible.
To support that, we offer a 3D Asset library which currently has more than 2,400 assets, everything is included in every Enscape subscription. All rounded off with tools to elevate reviews and communications, like BIM Information, issue tracking, light analysis and more.
Which rendering engine are you using? Is it a proprietary solution?
Enscape is both the product and the engine. It was developed and is being refined in-house in our headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Is it possible to create our own panoramic environment to insert a project in its context?
Absolutely. You can load in panoramic images of any kind to use as a skybox in your scene. So, you can easily create your own using mobile phones, cameras, or drone footage to load in as environment.
Additionally, Enscape loads the sun settings from your CAD/BIM application and will display daylight correctly depending on time and location.
Who is it aimed at? Mainly Architects?
Enscape supports mainly the work of Architects during their design process. It gives them the opportunity to turn their ideas into a 3D experience.
Landscape and Interior designers can also benefit from this technology by starting a dialogue inside their teams about their concept and collect feedback from external team members.
By the way, many AEC Companies think it’s only for rendering and visualization. Is it true?
That can be true Emmanuel; some companies could think that. However, we just released our version 3.0 to change this assumption. Enscape is able to support the whole design process. It is possible to present concept studies, explore design decisions, and iterate effectively. It is easy to collaborate with clients, contractors, and other stakeholders. Users can evaluate ideas in real time and make better decisions faster.
How do you explain the success of your solution? What are the main reasons?
With Enscape, you can easily visualize your designs and ideas, it is always live. There is no need to switch to other programs or make any export. I also believe that our community/forum users and our friendly support team helps to make our customers happy.
What are your differentiators compared to other solutions?
The biggest differentiatior to our competitors is the direct access to your professional project and routines. With other software, you usually have to migrate your data and work on a visualization in a separate environment. With Enscape, everything stays connected throughout.
And that’s just Enscape compared to other real-time rendering software. With a traditional renderer, it would take hours to generate results that Enscape only takes seconds to generate.
Is the Enscape for Revit solution the most successful one?
Actually, Enscape for Revit is a very popular solution and it supports other design applications equally well. It was created first to support Revit, so we have the longest relationship.
What are the most prestigious Architectural or other companies which have use your solution?
Enscape is used by 85 of the top 100 architecture firms worldwide, Enscape empowers the design workflow, and you can find wonderful quotes and examples on our web site.
Which projects and associated images are the most incredible?
We have a wonderful collection from our customers. There are so many. You can also take a look on our inspiring blog, where we recently share a post about a small architectural firm using Enscape during the pandemic for outdoor COVID-compliant dining.
Is it hard to learn? How many days/months are needed to be efficient and productive?
Enscape is a plugin integrated into your CAD/BIM software. It helps you automatically visualize your ideas and you only have to make a few settings to see the results. There is no long training needed. We offer a 14-day trial to test at no cost, and you will see first results with our example projects in minutes.
Did the success of Enscape change anything in the AEC professionals’ practices?
We believe so 😉 As an architect, I personally like easy-to-use tools which support my design process. Today, the speed of real-time rendering and VR is becoming more and more important. We get wonderful projects and feedback from our clients and that drives us to make Enscape even better with each update.
What are the next evolutions of Enscape that you’re working on?
That is a good question. We are listening to our customers and their needs and we implement it into our roadmap. With the release of 3.0 we changed our UI to make the process more intuitive, which our customers asked for. Watch out for next releases, which are made available three times a year.
How important is the French market for you?
Enscape started by focusing on the English-speaking market, even as a German company. Today, you can select up to six languages. Of course, French is one of them.
How can we purchase Enscape in France and what is its business model and price?
We offer network or single-user licenses in a subscription model. This means you are always up to date and receive the latest features or software versions.
If you want to try Enscape first, you can download our 14-days trial version. With our learning material, you have enough time to feel the benefits right away and get hungry for more.
Do you have an Education version? If yes, how can we get access to it?
For enrolled students and educators, we offer free Education full versions for personal use. The licence is valid for 24 months and can be extended multiple times for 12 months during the time at university or school.
For the institutions, we offer free of charge floating or fixed-seats licences. These versions are valid for 12 months. All information can be found here: https://bit.ly/EnscapeEducation-fr
Bjørn, would you like to say something specific to our French readers?
Please stay safe and healthy during these COVID times. With everyone working mostly remote, the world is getting smaller. I would like to hear and read more stories from our French customers, like KeurK, which you find on our lovely success stories blog. We need inspiring stories from the industry or academic world. https://stories.enscape3d.com/designing-a-place-of-health-and-renewal-for-the-metropolis-of-lille
Bjørn, thanks a lot for your time and we wish you lots of success in the French Market.