(Source: Dmitry Molla at bdcnetwork.com)
As a designer at SRG, I’m used to looking at the world from above, at least the part architects get to design. I often help create site plans using satellite photos; I work with plans that are a top down view of a building; and I enjoy constructing physical models of our projects that allow me to see the building from any angle in its context, mainly from above. I have spent countless hours building digital 3D models, zooming around, not restrained by gravity or objects, and then using the same model to generate renderings, often from a bird’s eye perspective of the site, a building or a detail.
When I first discovered aerial video from UAV’s “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” or small drones, I was amazed, excited and overwhelmed by the possibilities that it created, especially for the architecture profession. I realized what I have been missing out on; the freedom and ability to view our project from any angle in beautiful sweeping views. Is this really possible? Can I actually fly one?
I was determined to learn how this new technology works and to reap the many benefits I thought it could bring to architecture. With a little luck and months of practice flying a $40 toy drone in my back yard, I finally purchased a larger UAV capable of filming video and shooting still photos from the air. My research also revealed that there are many more possible applications for our field than I first realized.
As I studied more about this technology, I discovered that every stage of a project could benefit from this technology.
Say you are interested in creating a high-rise with amazing views of the city. A drone can capture those exact views from any height and in any direction. It can capture high-resolution photos for a super detailed site plan. Using new photo-mapping software like Pix4D, you can create accurate 3D models of your existing site and the adjacent buildings. This model can then be used to extract contour maps, survey-grade orthomosaics site plans or an accurate 3D model imported into your preferred modeling software that you can use as a base for your concept models, renderings, 3D printing and countless other applications.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com