Realizing Virtual Reality

November 25, 2019

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. Traditional media have served the industry well in the past but have distinct shortcomings in this regard. 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. Users who have experienced VR at our office have been amazed by the new-found sense of ‘reality’ that the VR environment brings. 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, our 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. Overall, integrating VR into our design process adds considerable value but with relatively minimal time and effort. 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.

The advent of CAD technology (both 2D and 3D) transformed the vessel design process and in turn the entire marine industry. 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 we are embracing to meet and exceed our client’s expectations. Robert Allan Ltd.’s integration of VR technology has only just begun, but it’s impact on improving both design and efficiency has been highly encouraging thus far.


You can also access the panoramas using the following links: Aft Deck | Conference Room | Wheelhouse | Engine Room | Foredeck