I need a software that simulates a 3d building environment such that i can show components to be installed inside the building, for a presentation
I would prefer something that runs on windows, and is free, though paid choices are also welcome.
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After using sketch up for a while I realized It does not offer the freedom I needed,such that to be able to properly view the inside of a building you have to cut out one wall. I found another program though, Sweet Home 3d which has the capability of staging virtual visit as well as drawing on predrawn picture layouts.
I would recommend Graphisoft Archicad. It has a free 30-day trial and for students (ie with enrollment at a highschool->post secondary level with any accredited institution anywhere in the world) it has a renewable one year free educational license. Otherwise it is quite expensive. It is the gold-standard of building design/rendering (though there are competing products that could probably be argued are as good). You can do photo-realist rendering (though I haven't advanced to that point - since I haven't needed that feature so I haven't bothered to learn it yet)
It has a large library of built in BIM Objects (ie bookcase, tables, chairs, plants, people etc) and there are a lots available for download elsewhere as well - for example BIMObject.
Check this out http://smartreality.co/
Its an Augmented Reality app that you can use with a tablet to visualise a 3d building over a blueprint. The coolest part is that they are also looking at implementing Oculus Rift and Leap Motion support so you can actually walk through a building and interact with stuff inside it like doors and windows.
In Sketchup you can access the inside of a building in a few ways:
Sketchup allows rendering of images over geometry too.
A feature of Sketchup is that you can record a series of transformations of so called 'scenes' (into a video). Your tour through a closed building can be made upfront and re-run at will.