The City of Vail, Colorado offers an example of 3D visualization tools being used to improve the design review process. The city requires developers to submit a 3D model preferably a virtual model for design review. The virtual model is then placed in a 3D model, created by Winston Associates (www.winstonassociates.com), of the mountains, roads and ground plain to make it possible to explore the impacts of new buildings in the context of their surroundings. This technique was beneficial in getting an initially wary community behind a recent affordable housing project. Winston Associates worked with the developers to generate a 3-D model in 3ds max (formerly known as 3D Studio Max) and then placed the housing model into the site model. Using the model they demonstrated how the housing development would look from different vantage points such as the highway. In addition, the model proved to concerned neighbors that the development could not been seen from their homes. The project is currently under construction.
The following images show the site before construction, with 3D simulation, and what is being built today.