Friday, 1 June 2007

Day148 RoboRedCentre and tech discussions

Red Centre Modelling in RoboBlitz (Unreal3)
Russ has been carrying the flag here with getting geometry into the Unreal3 engine via Roboblitz. A graduate has been working on a Max model of the foyer of the Red Centre here and Russ has brought that into Roboblitz and with the collisions set to 'line' we get the result below. This is a demostration really that the process for UT2004 (with known tweaks) works well through into the new editor and engine. Next step will be to grab the textures and setup some nicer lighting etc. Note that the image below shows the material changed to all metal rather than the default gray and white squares. YAY.

[screengrab of the roboblitz Unreal3 engine with the Red Centre Model]

Tech discussions
Today saw a series of conversations/meetings covering quite a bit of tech ground in relation to Architectural education. Some covered the wonder that is Sketchup - this little piece of software now handed to the world with the might of Google behind it is just such a joy to use that it makes all the might of other applications look plain silly. Sketchup is a revelation and is finding its way into all manner of places - I will have to play with it some more and check out the plugin options (like vray) that it supports now.
Large format touch screens and the Microsoft Surface (http://emumail.fbe.unsw.edu.au/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.microsoft.com/surface/) tech took up lots of time. My feeling is that the Surface tech is too stripped back (to realise the clean interface) that it looks to lack functionality we would crave. If it were to be used in tutorial/crit sessions with staff and students huddled around it easily exchanging ideas - this would be great. But if the interface cant give us Sketchup, Google Earth, Browsers, HL2 etc then it wont really cut it for our needs. All they have to do though is give us a way to bring up the normal Windows interface to do all the rest :-) Having huge touchscreens for presentations was covered and desired several times today again and is some thing we will persue. With simple out-of-the-box solutions from say Panasonic that deliver 50" touch-screen HD plasma - there are plenty of options. Rear projection to much bigger sizes may be even better. Architectural education is crying out for a big change here - a leap in the display and interface side that will lure tech takeup throughout the rest of a students works.

[super huge Panasonic interactive screen setup - drool]
The iBar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaKehq6qsdY) is another sexy touchscreen interface showing where this tech can go.

[Promo image from the iBar site]

Warcraft tabletop
But lets bring out the firepower of the multitouch tabletop again and add some voice recognition logic and you can have something like this:


Today the falling water HL2 model got nice oohs and aahs, as it should from those I showed it off to - super!

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