Friday, 25 May 2012

123D Catch

Autodesk's new 123D Catch software allows us to take an array of simple photos of a space or object and then it does all the hard work of building up a 3D model for us. This tech isnt perfect yet by any means, but this is simple PC or iPad software that anyone can wield that creates an impressive mesh from just a handful of pics. This was photofly in previous incarnations, but lets see how time has improved things for us.

These images show my first experiment (my desk featuring Win7, Win8 and OSX machines). Because all the heavy lifting happens up in Autodeskland somewhere, I dont get to leverage my desktop firepower, though for many people that would be a good thing. Some of the interface is a little counter-intuitive strangely - having username boxes with NOT password boxes beneath them for example. A few times now trying to upgrade the mesh it does all the hard work then complains about file saving - oh well. Not sure how to get rid of the holes that the process creates with flat colour (white and grey in my case) or the nice melted look that I get - all fun though.

Anyhow, all up, really clever stuff and could actually be super useful to quickly generate geometry to bring into a real-time environment for visualisation, simulation or mock-ups of various sorts. The site also offers an easy way to get laser-cutting and 3D Printing which is clever.

--- EDIT ---

Just had to add this image of the interface with the polys showing - just so so groovy:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Towers and Generators

Two parts to this post, first looking at some of the amazing high-rise towers going up in Korea and then some cool software to generate design optimisation.

Yongsan International Business District
The Dezeen articles on this extravagant development in South Korea really show off the 'fun' Seoul will get by 2024 (not right around the corner). We get master planning by Daniel Libeskind backed by a flotilla of international architectural names like  MVRDV, BIG, Renzo Piano, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Dominique Perrault, SOM, Coop Himmelb(l)au, REX, Tange Associates, Murphy/Jahn, Asymptote Architecture, Riken Yamamoto & Fieldshop, 5+Design and Studio Daniel Libeskind for individual project wizardry.

This sort of development is dominated by the signature high-rise towers, allowing architects to work at this grand scale. There are certainly some interesting designs in the suite and even if as a collection it feels jumbled and disorganised/inharmonious, perhaps that is what cities are actually like. As long as each vast architectural statement is crafted with quality and care, I am hopeful that the whole would benefit. The comments on the site are pretty scathing, but maybe that is just what 'comments' are these days - people unloading with no attempt at middle ground. I like Perrault's Blade and R6 by REX is interesting.

One of the nice things about this is we get a whole host of visualisation imagery showing off the designs themselves and the talents of the CG wizards who get to do their thing. Here are a handful of images from the Dezeen articles - head over there for heaps more and as always plenty of info to boot:

[YIBD Architecture visualisations via Dezeen]

Galapagos Evolutionary Solver
Start with Rhino, add Grasshopper then supplement with Galapagos to do some pretty interesting problem solving. This teaser video shows how this toolset, a bunch of rules and the interface allow for some very complex resolutions of multiple criteria to be made by a designer.

I know this video frame doesnt look cool (but trust me - hit that play button and see how the software allows for the generation of complex optimised architecture).

[Sample Galapagos screen via the Grasshopper site]

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

CeBIT 2012

Sydney's Darling Harbour is a nice setting for CeBIT and the 2012 version is pretty neat. I havent been to a CeBIT for a few years now, but I was glad to see that we have some of the bigger hardware players back exhibiting again. Note I am referring to the Exhibition here and not the Conference, not sure what that is like.
Anyhow with bigger commercial groups like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Alienware to name a few we get a suite of digital eye-candy. Add to this a small army of booths either showcasing or using large screens and there is plenty to see.

I loved the large touch screens on show from folk like Samsung and eBoard. Seeing the Microsoft Surface 2.0 technology in action is great, all those touch points and now so neat and tidy with the LCD panels. eBoard's 82" beast just looks super, though the slightly smaller (attractively priced) non-glossy versions are actually very tempting (both in vertical and horizontal configs).

I always like the exhibits from the researchers like CSIRO and the universities. Shout out to Russell Lowe and the rest of the UNSW Realtime Porosity team for their exhibit featuring sensors on the model of central Sydney linked to the CryEngine simulation.
The CSIRO simulations and AR were fun as was the virtual open-cut mine using Unity.

Anyhow, well worth a visit if you have time in the next 2 days...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Rapoza Turtles

As soon as I saw Dave Rapoza's rendition of Raphael in ImagineFX 83 I knew I had to post here. Then when you find Dave's Deviant Art Gallery filled with the rest of the TMNT crew and rogues gallery we are treated to a real feast. Dave manages to retain a slight comic feel while showing characters with mass, age, emotion, texture and loads of cool. Dave's blog has WIP imagery, lucky for us he cant help but post, even when things arent done - plus he takes care during his work to grab things, so we get sequences like this for his Venom piece.

[Dave Rapoza Venom imagery via his Blog]

Here are some of his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pieces, check out his gallery for more, but I had to post the 4 main turtles to lure you over there to see April and the rest of the gang. I have very fond memories of the old Eastman and Laird comics and I do like these versions:

[Dave Rapoza TMNT imagery via his Deviant Art Gallery]