I stumbled across this completely by accident. I was looking at some very cool ideas for creating furniture from shipping pallets (my lovely wife’s new obsession), and I saw that one person had done a mock-up of what she wanted her living room to look like. Then I saw the little “Autodesk Homestyler” branding on the bottom of the image and gave an audible “Heyyyyyyyyyy!”
What followed wasn’t pretty. Picture me — or yourself, if you don’t happen to know what I look like — wandering about my house with a tape measure, measuring every wall, window, doorframe, article of furniture, you name it. I was approximating angles, imagining what changes I might like, and constantly running back to my laptop so I could re-create — and then improve upon — my living space. It was obsessive, it was zen-like, and it was surprisingly effective.
Sure, sure, there were a few little glitches, like, in the panoramic or high definition snapshot 3D rendering of my living room, dining room, and kitchen, things like tables and desks — and my stove — liked to turn invisible. There were conflicts with some of the models, too — my TV sitting inside my TV-stand, for example, or things just refusing to sit over or near each other, even when I had the placement rules disabled. Also, there is simply no way to change the dimensions of some of the models, or (most annoyingly) the height of the walls. (See images, below.)
These things created a need for that special sort of approximation creativity that we all sometimes have to draw on, but the end result was more than adequate for me to see what it would look like if my living room had a sectional couch, and maybe a mirror on the wall (the mirror even reflects when the panorama is rendered!). I now have a reasonable working model of my living space that I can go to and mess with before trying or buying anything — and it was all free! Free, dammit! Even if the entire app is in Flash, and there is no iPad app, I’m completely down with Homestyler. Once you try it, I bet you’ll love it too.
Here’s a few shots of me working on my place — all done within a few hours of mucking about:
And here’s a link to my panorama (no iframes hereabouts, sorry).
What are your thoughts on Autodesk Homestyler? If you know of anything comparable, tell us about it in the comments!