Realtime rendering has moved on a long way in recent years – a prime example is Lumion® a real-time 3D visualisation tool for architects, urban planners and designers.
Suited for creating videos, still renderings and live demonstrations with a quick turnaround Lumion provides high quality output and best of all there is a free version, the movie below provides a look at version 1.0:
In terms of cityscapes Nano 3D Virtual Studio entered the Lumion architecture visualization competition 2011, the results are impressive:
Version 2 is incoming, take a look at http://lumion3d.com/ for full details, we may be including this as part of our MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation, its an interesting tie between Unity and Lumion. Thanks to Tom Vilans for sending in his thoughts on Lumion….