Autodesk's Project Dragonfly graduates to 'Homestyler'
Some might have been aware of an innovative web application Autodesk had been working in its Labs called ‘Project Dragonfly’; the labs experiment with new approaches to CAD design on the ground as well as in the cloud, and Dragonfly was a ‘technology preview’ for quickly designing a floor-plan using only your browser.
Well I’m very excited that Autodesk has taken its training wheels off and renamed it : ‘Autodesk Homestyler’.
Homestyler is a very simple 3D home + garden design application all of which runs on your browser - meaning that it’s ‘cloud-based’, just like many of the services we use everyday like Gmail, Gdocs, Flickr, or Youtube, whethere you’re running Mac OS, Windows, or Linux.
At first the best things about Homestyler is that it’s free and there is no download or installation!
It’s very easy to create spaces and fill them with furniture, add doors + windows, rearrange layouts and add landscape without any CAD knowledge necessary - making it a great tool for CAD newbies or non-professionals, though architects and interior designers will find the ability to export to Autocad (.dwg) and Revit (.rvt) very useful, as this creates the ability to quickly conceptualise in Homestyler and then develop the design further in CAD + BIM apps.
The interface is beautiful and intuitive, allowing you to simply drag + drop walls, furniture, and other manufacturer items directly onto your floor plan. Powered by the realtime 3D engine for Flash ‘Away3D’ the interface features high quality interiors, thanks to a custom-built server rendering system that allowed the very detailed models to be directly rendered in to a 3D scene. You can work in 2D and then quickly switch to a 3D axonometric view to get a better feel of the space, though the lack of perspective viewing does create a bit confusion to people who cannot visualise themselves in the rooms - possibly this feature will be added as the beta stages develop.
At any stage you can save the design to your Homestyler account and share it on the public Homestyler Gallery, Facebook, Twitter or even email it and print it.
Another really cool feature which I nearly missed was that you can even embed the design in your blog.
Here’s a quick one I did a few minutes ago:
Autodesk Homestyler is currently in a public beta, definitely worth trying out.
You don’t even have to create an account as Homestyler has additional login options including Google, Facebook, Windows Live, and Yahoo.
So get to it and show off your designs!