When someone talks about how easy to create the 4D model by simply linking each 3D element with the relevant task in the schedule, the discussion always seems to turn to the 4D Dilemma.
The dilemma you say? Yes, dilemma, the 4D specialist skills, experience, knowledge, and responsibilities. I have tried to think of the 4D specialist job tasks that are truly a combination of five separate difficult areas of skill and expertise, the 4D requires very different five skillsets when we think of :
1- 4D Modeling: Creating, monitoring, and reviewing the 4D Simulation. 2- Coordination: Smoothly cooperation between the modeling team and the planning team 3- Planning: Scheduling - Reporting - Safety and layout planning 4- 3D modeler / VDC : 3D CAD applications. 5- Graphic Designer: Animation, rendering, and presentation.
What these very different and distinct five skill sets have in common? Nothing! That is until they are married at a shotgun wedding to produce a 4D animation.
Then that creates a bigger issue, who should be responsible to create, manage, update and own the 4D process? For example, is the raft going to be poured all at once or in many pours? Is the 3D model LOD matching with the schedule WBS?
Historically, firms have split the 3D modeling/scheduling between two different teams, modelers, and schedulers. However, both of them should be performed by one team. As a result, a very small number of people who can actually do both.
Now the question, to whom remains the responsibility of the 4D after its inception!
I contend it should be the scheduler working along with the 4D specialist to make it happen. The 4D specialist set the link of how the model can be modified to facilitate the scheduler plan.
In addition, technical requirements for large scale 4D models and animations are extremely high. Running complete 4D models in a live atmosphere is arguably confusing and once we start developing animations to show sequencing in 4D we end up involving the video editing.
My preference, keep the 4D animations simple and straight forward as much as you possible and applicable to field activities. Focus on the architectural model to show sequencing via color coding and do basic screenshots from complete coordination models with specific elements hidden to show the areas that are truly complex enough to require detailed 4D sequencing or admit that what you are creating is for marketing only and not for the benefit of the field.
The 4D modeling is simply taking scheduling to the next level of planning and communication, the 4D scheduling will change the way projects are won, planned, and monitored and will become the industry standard.
Finally, 4D simulation is like the movement of the human body, the brain is the schedule that has tasks linked to turning on the muscles which are the 3D model.