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Visualizing Your Design – From Animated Sequences to Real-Time Interactive Rendering By Steven Schain Visualization has come a long way from the early days when 3D designs for manufacturing and production were created right in the design software itself. A little history 3D computer visualization did not become mainstream until the late 1980s, when general purpose 3D design software became available. Prior to mainstream software availability, animation design was done on expensive proprietary systems. The primary software used for the visualization of complex designs was the design software itself. Programs like Pro/ENGINEER and CATIA in the 1980s could be used to create 3D designs for manufacturing and production. At the same time, Autodesk AutoCAD, with its easy- to-use 3D design capabilities, became the tool of choice for architects and designers. With the advent of advanced design and 3D rendering software, it’s become commonplace to see even small companies visualizing their designs. And, those designs have increased in both quality and scope. Today’s visualizations are no longer confined to the flat, static images of the past. Designers and animators have a deep palette of output possibilities, and are willing to push the boundaries. Early 3D architectural visualization. While 3D design software was being developed, highly capable 3D animation software was 6 3D hand drawn rendering