Our technology preview of the MEP Analysis Extension for AutoCAD MEP/Revit MEP has run its course. The add-in no longer executes after December 31, 2008. Your feedback was both helpful and voluminous. You were bursting with ideas when we first launched the preview on the Autodesk Labs site in July:
It's been a great 6 months. Thanks to all those from the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing disciplines who provided feedback during the technology preview.
Without question, your feedback will be considered in planning the future of this technology.
At AU, we billed Project Newport as a game engine for architects. Our Discovery Space was constantly buzzing with visitors who wanted to navigate Revit models using game controllers, Wiimotes, or the KOMME®Z table. Even though it is not available yet, interest in Project Newport is so strong that we already have an Autodesk Labs page for it:
We recently got some feedback from Swift Horsman. Swift Horsman is a construction fit-out specialist contractor dealing mainly with building interiors, especially reception areas, toilets / washrooms and drying / interior doors. They told us a little about themselves:
Does this sound like your firm? If so, Project Newport may be just right for you. Like many others, you can sign up to be notified when Project Newport is available on Autodesk Labs.
Sign up today!
At Autodesk University we had the Perceptive Pixel Multi-touch Wall in the exhibit hall. Though I have not blogged about multi-touch in a while, this sparked renewed interest in this topic. A Mr. Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey wrote in:
I am working on an interactive application using multi touch screen technology. I am interested to know what kind of software packages or software development kits are available for the touch screen technology interface? I want to find an open source piece of software in this area to test some ideas out on. I am interested in smaller multi touch screens if you are aware of any.
Autodesk Labs Human Computer Interface Software Developer, Eddy Kuo, and Geospatial Senior Systems Developer, Hans Kellner, had immediate answers:
For a broad overview of this topic, you may wish to look at Dan Saffer's Book Designing Gestural Interfaces:
Thinking about using just our fingers to tell a computer what to do is alive in the lab.
I got this from the Project Newport team. I thought I would share:
We wish you a wonderful holiday and a happy 2009!
We want to take this opportunity to thank you warmly for your collaboration and insights. We look forward to working together to create a great product!
The Newport Team
Thanks to everyone who gave us feedback at AU and for those who signed up to be on the mailing list.
On the heels of AU, Autodesk Labs Marketing Manager, Amanda Collins, filed this report. All Amanda really wants for Christmas is customer feedback from experts like you.
Autodesk Labs at AU 2008 and Beyond!
Think about the excitement that keeps Autodesk University going from start to finish. It’s generated by experts, like you. This year, you felt that excitement the moment you entered the Discovery Space in the AU 2008 Exhibit Hall.
We’ll try to capture a bit of that excitement in the copy and pictures below. If you like what you learn, we hope you’ll become a post-show early adopter and join the Autodesk Labs community.
AU 2008 Discovery Space
The hands-on Discovery Space in the AU Exhibit Hall was bursting with innovative ideas and new approaches to design technology. You could try your hand at a multi-touch wall. Use a Wii remote or a game controller to zoom into a building in Project Newport. Configure a photorealistic living space, online. Watch virtual reality buildings come to life - no headgear required. And talk with the engineers who are making it happen, perhaps to understand how and why Autodesk is developing software to take advantage of different interfaces and how those interfaces can be applied to 3D design.
The Discovery Space highlighted several tools and technology previews. Click below to find out more.
At the AU 2008 Exhibit Hall Opening Reception, more than 1000 experts, like you visited the Discovery Space. Over the next two days, thousands of you tried out the tools and technology previews. Hundreds of you stayed to talk with us and share ideas. We enjoyed every minute. Thank you.
Take a moment to flip through photos from the Autodesk Labs Discovery Space album.
What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Have to Stay in Vegas
The Autodesk Labs team had such a ball at AU 2008 we’d like to extend you another invitation: Please join our community.
Would you like updates on all the exciting happenings in design technology from Autodesk - while they’re still in the concept phase? Join the community and you’ll stay plugged into fun and exciting new ideas.
Preview a free drawing tool over the Web. Learn how to use it without ever having to download any software. Discover free* utilities that Autodesk posts online for its products and why they’re valuable to you. Take a look into our crystal ball to see what technology Autodesk is exploring for the future.
Download our tools and technology previews at no charge, and send us your input. Your feedback helps us make better products.
It’s our way of saying thanks for stopping by… and be sure to visit us any time.
In my haste of blogging while at Autodesk University, I did not post YouTube alternatives for the videos I created using my FlipCam. Since some of your companies block YouTube access, I am now providing alternative locations. I set some of videos to music using YouTube's AudioSwap capability. Hence the non-YouTube versions do not have this accompaniment.
|AU Registration is as easy as 1-2-3||AU_registration_Sunday.mp4 (6867.7K)||01:05||81|
|Bellagio Dancing Waters||au_dancing_waters.mp4 (15605.8K)||02:26||152|
|Construction site on Las Vegas strip||au_construction.mp4 (6620.6K)||01:02||100|
|Software as a Service at AU||au_saas.mp4 (3323.5K)||00:42||153|
|AU Autodesk Labs Exhibit Hall Wii Winner||au_labs_winner.mp4 (7065.0K)||01:27||120|
3D Printing / Augmented Reality
|excerpt of Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski from AU||au_jeff_augmented_reality.mp4 (39354.7K)||07:31||60|
|Autodesk Labs: Augmented Reality - 3D motorcycle||through_the_screen.mp4 (2940.1K)||00:45||56|
|Full Scale 3D Printed Motorcycle from Inventor||raising_motorcycle.mp4 (10245.5K)||01:36||713|
|Autodesk Gallery: Augmented Reality||Autodesk_Gallery_2008_Pene.mp4 (44320.6K)||01:53||new|
Perceptive Pixel Multi-touch Device
|Assembling the Multi-touch Wall for AU||assembling_touchwall.mp4 (15224.4K)||02:13||681|
|AU Exhibit Hall Opening Night: Perceptive Pixel Multi-touch Wall||au_scott_multitouch.avi (21147.6K)||00:38||244|
Microsoft Surface Device
|Unpacking and setting up the Microsoft Surface at AU||au_surface_setup.mp4 (10177.4K)||02:02||155|
|Microsoft Surface device in Autodesk Labs booth at Autodesk University||au_surface.mp4 (11857.5K)||02:18||204|
Recapping AU is alive in the lab.
Autodesk Labs Software Developer, Eddy Kuo, and Technical Evangelist from the office of the CTO, Brian Pene, have been working on augmented reality. Augmented reality is the ability to add 3D computer models to real world scenes. This is typically made possible by inserting a marker into a scene, viewing the scene with a video camera, and using computer software to replace the marker with an image of the model. As the marker is moved, the computer model is correspondingly moved, and the streaming video is updated. All of this happens in real time. By now you've all seen the motorcycle demo from AU:
Prior to AU, Brian Pene filmed an architectural-based demo of this at our Customer Briefing Center at One Market Street in San Francisco. I placed a low quality version of his video on YouTube:
For you non-YouTubers or those who want a higher quality movie, you can see the view as:
Exploring another way to experience a design before it is real is alive in the lab.
I went to De La Salle High School in New Orleans. I am a computer scientist today because I took a BASIC programming class in high school. It was taught by our math teacher. I saved my programs as holes punched on paper tape. While on the computer, time flew by. I knew this would be a good way to spend 8 hours a day. Little did I dream it would some day become 13. :-)
I got this email today:
Last week we tried the Wii remote in class here at Wheeler High School. I got it installed, tried it out ahead of time, and then let the students use it to show off their creations. Everyone thought it was cool, but it did tend to crash if they moved too fast. I put some photos of us using it at
Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading about the things y'all are doing in the lab. When I can, I add it to the class.
Engineering Drawing and Design
Wheeler High School, Room 002
High schools have advanced way beyond paper tape. What a great gift for the Labs team. Thanks for your feedback Jack. I am delighted that potential computer scientists of tomorrow are getting exposure to new technologies today. Autodesk Labs is proud to do its part.
You can see from the press releases that IBM has announced its new Jazz technology:
On Thursday the 11th I attended a briefing on this technology. At Autodesk Labs, we follow an Agile methodology. We're all about quickly developing prototypes that we can place on Labs for your feedback. Ideas whose time has not yet come are quickly killed. Those that garner positive feedback continue on. Many eventually graduate into our products and services.
The Jazz technology allows development organizations to integrate disparate systems. We use a combination of Microsoft Project (milestone scheduling), Confluence Wiki (technical info), Perforce (source code control), Jira (task management), and Clarify (defect tracking) in our rapid prototyping development. The problems that Jazz is intended to resolve really exist; however, many organizations like us have developed our own practices to integrate our systems. The process we already have in place is music to our ears. It will be interesting to see if companies continue with their home grown solutions or adopt this new technology?
Many of the readers of this blog are Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) members? Are you jazzed about this IBM announcement? Please share your experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Showroom is a technology preview for Autodesk's vision of a new web-based home decorating tool. It allows you to browse product selections from leading manufacturers, and get a feel for how those products will look in real-world settings. You can try your hand at home decorating at:
In preparation for Autodesk University, we released Project Showroom 1,0.11 on November 20. Visitors to the Autodesk Labs Discovery Space gave us positive feedback on our efforts. In a short time, we had come a long way since version 1.0.1. Now just in time for our holiday break, I placed release 1.0.12 on the Project Showroom servers. Based on some feedback we received at AU, this release includes improvements to the user interface:
Spruced Up Toolbar
Our Product Designer, Mark Anderson, spruced up our toolbar. By the way, Mark just became a proud father. Congratulations Mark. Now he'll have more than Project Showroom to keep him up at night. In addition, the words appear as text instead of being part of the image in case we ever want to localize Project Showroom into other languages.
After you make your choices for a room that you like, you can get your friends' opinions on how you've done. You can do this by sharing your room on Facebook. At this point, the technology preview requires a few simple steps:
It's easy and fun. There may even be fewer steps in the future. When you do this your Facebook friends get a message that includes a thumbnail of your room. When they click on the thumbnail, it takes them to Project Showroom where the see the room configured with your choices. Here's a crude video of an example:
YouTube: Sharing personalized rooms configured with Project Showroom using Facebook
non-YouTube: Download showroom_facebook.mp4 (3948.7K)
Simpler Detailed Info Pop ups
Our original pop up had hyperlinks all over the place. Some went to other parts of Project Showroom. Others went to the manufacturer's home page while still others went to specific product info. You told us that this was too much. We listened. Now the pop up has been simplified.
Custom Room Name
You work had to make your choices and get your room to look just right. You save it so you can show it to your friends later. You come back to the site and load your saved room. Rather than show you the room's original name, we show you the name you have saved it as. It seems only fair. For example, I created a room and called it "blue wall, dark appliances." We also gave you the ability to Rename or Delete a room you have saved. By the way, you didn't the . Saved Rooms are now displayed with a icon to indicate this is a room you have saved.
These used to be tabs. You preferred a list. Your wish is our command. Actually this allows you to get to all of the items more easily without having to switch between Products and Finishes.
To provide more space where you can see content, we updated "More rooms" and "List contents" to be full HTML pages instead of pop-ups.
Advancing Project Showroom in response to your feedback is alive in the lab.
The AliasStudio Direct Reader Add-in for Inventor provides the ability to communicate effectively between industrial design and engineering by directly reading a native AliasStudio wire file into Autodesk Inventor.
Recently the team provided me with a white paper containing great information about the add-in. I added the white paper to the Labs site:
This makes great holiday reading!
MapGuide has a public Wiki:
On May 16, 2007 I asked the question:
I guess the answer is yes.
Manager of AU Program Development, Joseph Wurcher, has given the AU site and his blog a new look:
There are videos plus speaker and class spotlights. Check it out.
Reflecting on his AU experience, Autodesk Labs Software Architect, Ben Cochran, filed this report.
Technology in isolation can be fun to play with and can inspire additionally development and new business ideas. But, a new technology in isolation does not immediately help users. Multi-touch is a good example of this. Prototype versions of multi-touch have been around for more than a decade, but how does this help end users? The truth is that it does not. An extremely expensive one of a kind multi-touch device has no direct effect on end CAD users' day to day activities. This is an example of technology in isolation.
It takes multiple technologies coming together before change happens. At Autodesk® University this year, Autodesk® Labs® demoed multi-touch using a modified version of Autodesk® Mudbox® using the Windows® 7 multi-touch API running on an HP® TouchSmart®. While the modified version of Autodesk® Mudbox® and Windows® 7 are not shipping software, we can all see how multi-touch technology will change the way we all interface with the computer. Multi-touch is moving from a technology in isolation towards a common fully supported technology.
Multi-touch still has a way to go, the same way the mouse has gone through many changes to get to the two-button plus wheel that we all use today. This is the mission of Autodesk Labs, to validate new technologies. Labs does not do this in isolation, but instead we work with users. We rarely invent new technologies but instead we find new technologies that may currently be isolated and have potential to change the way users work. Labs works with these technologies to move them out of isolation towards a common fully supported technology.
Involving users to get feedback is alive in the lab. Your experience results in our innovation.
Autodesk Labs Marketing Manager, Amanda Collins, sent me a nice recap of coverage of Autodesk Labs at AU. I thought I would share it with you.
Event Report: Autodesk University 2008, Part 1
December 10, 2008
Event Report: Autodesk University 2008, Part 2
December 10, 2008
Autodesk University 2008
December 9, 2008
Autodesk University 2008 Report
December 8, 2008
AU2008 Video Update
December 8, 2008
Autodesk University 2008 - The Rest of the Trip
Tamagini Design Blog
December 7, 2008
AU 2008 - Day Two
Develop 3D blog
December 4, 2008
AU 2008: Tippu Sashi
December 4, 2008 Blog by Tippu Sashi from the University of Cincinnati
"Into Tomorrow" is in Las Vegas!
Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline radio program
December 4, 2008
AUTODESK University - Media and Entertainment Highlights
Rand IMAGINiT blog
December 3, 2008
AUTODESK U: CAD Software Company Eyes The Cloud
it World Canada
December 3, 2008
Are You Ready for Autodesk University 2008?
December 2, 2008
Sharks, Robots and Cars: Just a Glimpse of Autodesk University 2008
December 1, 2008
Autodesk University - Design Slam
November 26, 2008
Autodesk IT and Worldwide Marketing are coordinating separate, parallel system maintenance tasks this weekend for the community sites and discussion groups.
A maintenance page will be posted during the downtime from 11pm Friday Dec 12 to 11am Saturday Dec 13.
Yesterday I showed Jeff Kowalski's main stage presentation that features the 3D motorcycle; however, before this presentation came to life, Eddy Kuo and Brian Pene had it working at the San Francisco office.
A lot of work goes into making Autodesk University happen, but we get so much out of it.
Celebrating the completion of another successful AU is alive in the lab.
Director of Marketing for TurboSquid, Michele Bousquet, sent me the following note:
In partnership with Autodesk, TurboSquid has just opened up Revit Market, a marketplace especially for user-generated Revit families. Revit Market is designed to complement Autodesk Seek.
To encourage users to publish Revit families for sale, TurboSquid is holding a Revit Contest with cash prizes up to $2500. Deadline is Jan. 31, 2009.
Serendipitously I also got a note from our own Product Marketing Manager Jim Wilson:
In collaboration with Autodesk® Seek, the online source for building product design information, TurboSquid, the largest online marketplace of 3D assets, has just launched Revit Market, a marketplace for users of the Autodesk Revit applications to browse, buy and sell user-generated Revit® content through TurboSquid.
Complementing the Autodesk Seek web service, which gives architects and engineers access to a breadth of manufacturers’ product design information, Revit Market will focus on models developed and sold by users working in Revit and related design applications. Revit Market opens a new opportunity for content developers and sellers to reach the growing market of Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP users.
As part of the official Revit Market launch on December 2nd during AU in Las Vegas, TurboSquid and Autodesk kicked off a contest to encourage content developers to create and upload Revit models to Revit Market. The contest, which runs through January 31st, will reward the most compelling content published to Revit Market. A variety of cash and prizes will be awarded. More information can be found at http://www.turbosquid.com/Revit-Contest.
I got the same story from both the Autodesk and TurboSquid sides. Someone must be telling the truth. :-) Recall that Autodesk Seek started out on Labs as "Content Search alpha." This technology has evolved quite quickly. Good luck with the contest!
Fresh from his stint at AU, Interaction Designer, Ian Hooper, filed this report on Project Newport.
Architecture has always had a role in storytelling, from the library that hold the books to the created space for drama, sports, commerce, and community. Theme parks go beyond providing the setting for the creation of stories and consciously builds upon well known stories or genre traditions, allowing visitors to enter physically into spaces they have visited many times before in their imagination. In more traditional architecture, spatial and social narrative are fundamental to the ways in which buildings are shaped, used and perceived. Building these evocative spaces is one thing, but selling the idea and communicating the story before it is built is a challenge architects face.
image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dgphilli/51563395/sizes/m/
There are many ways to build a story, but first let's take a look at what a story is. A story is a narrative which describes a sequence of events. This is different from a historical account where the goal is to provide the best possible interpretation of past events given the available evidence. A story willfully tries to create a particular vision or perspective from which to understand the meaning of the tale. Storytelling is the act of performing a structured narrative for a live audience with (one of) the goals being to share and create a common experience.
When architects present their design, they are looking to express the story of how the building will be built, lived in, and talked about. They are trying to share their design intent by creating a common experience. Another way to say this is that they are walking the client through their thought process; however, both in traditional contexts and in modern digital incarnations, storytelling is often very interactive. The storyteller must react and temper the tale based on the reactions and feedback from the audience. In the same way, an architect can gauge the mood of the client and make on-the-fly adjustments to the presentation.
image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhikku/41659000/sizes/m/
Today’s architecture demands going beyond reading the mood of the audience. Looking ahead, we are seeing the end of the passive consumer. Increasingly we live in a participatory culture where we see ourselves as active creators. Whether that is in the form of editing family photos, making a video for YouTube, or designing a dream kitchen on a retailer’s web site, the effect is the same: the creative act is no longer the exclusive domain of master artisans. The lay person may not necessarily produce quality results, but it changes the nature of the interaction between the designer and their clients.
Clients want and expect to have more input in design decisions. In this context, a static presentation board is inadequate at facilitating a rich two-way dialog. Now the storyteller must adapt the narration in real-time to the inquiries and inspirations of their audience. It is the difference between reading the text of a book to someone who quietly listens and telling someone a story as they interject with questions and clarifications.
As much as clients are getting more engaged in designing, they do not really want to stand over the shoulder of the architect as they work out the design details in Revit, and the architects most certainly don’t want that. So what is needed is a tool that allows for the right amount of interaction. Again, to draw upon the storytelling metaphor, an audience member might ask the storyteller to tell them more about the dragon that has just entered the tale. The storyteller may even improvise and make some adjustments to the story to lengthen the role of the dragon; however, the overall story arc and central plot remains the same. The storyteller is not engaged in a story writing workshop. They are not looking to the audience to help them come up with a good ending. The narrative is known, even if the details are worked out in real time.
We have designed Project Newport to give architects the modern tools they need to present an appropriate amount of interaction with their designs. Presentations can be tightly controlled and scripted slideshows or a free-ranging exploration of materials, spaces and lighting. Through rich storybuilding tools Project Newport provides the means to react and engage with a more participatory audience in the creation of evocative, meaningful architecture.
Thanks Ian. Project Newport is alive in the lab. You can sign up to be notified when Project Newport is available on Autodesk Labs at:
Thanks for your interest in Project Newport.
Our Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Kowalski, talked about 3D printing and augmented reality as part of his main stage presentation at Autodesk University. I was in attendance with a FlipCam and recorded a few minutes.
Autodesk Labs own Eddy Kuo and Brian Pene from the office of the CTO worked on the augmented reality portion. Way to go guys!
Getting designs out of the computer and into the real world, via 3D printing or virtual reality, is alive in the lab.
Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist, Kevin Wittkopf, took some photos of people experiencing multi-touch using Autodesk Mudbox on an HP TouchSmart device running Microsoft Windows 7.
All but one include Autodesk Labs own John Schmier. Check them out! Thanks Kevin.
Our technology preview of the Inventor Plastic Features has run its course. I have placed an entry on the graduates page.
Your feedback was both helpful and voluminous. You were bursting with ideas when we first launched the preview on the Autodesk Labs site in August:
Thanks to all those who provided feedback during the technology preview.
Without question, your feedback will be considered in planning the future of this technology.
Autodesk Labs Software Developer, John Schmier, took several photos at AU. I placed them on my flickr account.
Check them out!
Our friend, Ramtin Attar, of the Autodesk Research group was kind enough to share some of his AU photos with us.
Check them out!
The Autodesk Research team helped us with the Discovery Space at Autodesk University. Autodesk Research team members, Alex Tessier and Mike Glueck, received a shiny new Microsoft Surface for the Autodesk Labs booth. They unpacked it and in only a few hours, placed some content on it.
After it was all set up, I experimented with it briefly.
Even while holding the FlipCam in one hand and using the other to interact with the device, I was able to conduct a brief demo while filming - sorry for the unsteadiness. :-)
Walking and chewing gum is alive in the lab.
Since we are showing Project Freewheel in the Autodesk Labs booth at AU, a Frequently Asked Question I get is:
What are the differences between the two Freewheels?
Yes there are two Freewheels. Although we at Labs work very diligently to ensure that Project Freewheel is always available, some customers had angst over basing their businesses on someone's "science project." So we set up an instance of Freewheel that has 24/7 monitoring by the same team who ensures Buzzsaw up time.
|Name||Project Freewheel®||Autodesk® Freewheel®|
|Strategy||exposure of viewing and other technologies that may or may not eventually be incorporated into Autodesk® Freewheel®||reliable DWF-based viewing without the need to install additional software|
|Monitoring||monitored by the Autodesk Labs team||monitored by the Autodesk IT Operations team|
|Emphasis||exploration of sharing design data over the web to a variety of platforms||software as a service - in this case, a free service|
|Features||Upload via ShareNow,
File Open (DWF, DWFx), Email, Print,
My Designs (view, delete), My Sessions,
Zoom (In, Out, Fit), Pan, Full Screen/Restore,
3D Orbit (improved feedback cube),
Navigation Wheels (3D and 2D),
Collaboration (Share, Join, Markup List)
Markup (Sketch, Highlight, Callout),
DIV-based mashup, watermark,
Customize UI (mode, CSS, UI, TOOL),
Project Draw integration
|File Open (DWF), Email, Print,|
Zoom (In, Out, Fit), Pan, 3D Orbit
|Blog||It's Alive in the Lab
|Beyond the Paper |
The original Freewheel focused on viewing. To collect feedback from you on aspects other than viewing, we added functionality.
We support design upload via the 3D/2D ShareNow add-into make it one-click simple to see your designs go from AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, or Design Review to Project Freewheel. The thinking is that once you have your design in Project Freewheel, you can start a collaboration session with others. You and the other people will only need to use their browsers. Is this a useful idea? Let us know at email@example.com.
We support use of the Autodesk login to track your designs and electronic review sessions as via My Designs and My Sessions. This gives you the power to manage your data. For example, you can delete your designs when they are no longer needed. Is file management something you need? firstname.lastname@example.org
You can hold electronic review sessions with sharing in real time. People can join and participate interactively or add markup comments using sketch, highlight, and callout on their own time. Either way, the review session stays on the web much like a wiki. Is the real time approach beneficial? This differs from the time honored Design Review-based process.
To provide more flexible ways to integrate your designs into other technologies, we removed the IFRAME requirement and allowed DIV-based mashup. Towards this end, we provided ways to customize the UI and work with an API. Do you have some examples you would like to share? email@example.com
For situations where you wish to create new designs using your existing designs as a base, we provided Project Draw Integration. What do you think about using Project Draw as a review tool? firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing to look for your feedback (in person this week!) is alive in the lab.
This week in the Autodesk Labs Discovery Space in the Exhibit Hall, Autodesk University attendees could enter their names for a drawing to win a Nintendo Wii system. One of our Autodesk Labs software developers from our Shanghai office, Jay Gao, has been helping man the booths. When we asked him to pick a winner, at first Jay thought we wanted him to enter. Jay then randomly drew a card from the container. We have our winner:
pick a winner
Congratulations to Nauman Mysorewala of GBBN Architects in Ohio. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to see:
You guys made AU a blast!
Previous I posted about
showing how downloads of 32-bit was very popular but 64-bit usage is on the upswing. Although the analysis extension has been downloaded by users in over 120 different countries, as one would not find surprising, our highest downloads come from the United States. But looking at the next top 10 next countries from where the
has been downloaded from shows the global appeal of this bundle of 25 utilities for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing industry:
There are a lot of people here at AU who want to talk about MEP and sustainability. Appreciating the global reach of Autodesk Labs technology previews is alive in the lab.
We love our Perceptive Pixel Multi-touch Wall. Last night Ben Cochran, John Schmier, and I manned the device as part of the Exhibit Hall opening. We allowed AU attendees to interact with the wall to experience the gestures software developer, Eddy Kuo, programmed our copy of Autodesk Design Review to recognize.
|2D||1 finger||pan (move with finger)|
|2 fingers||zoom in (fingers move apart)|
zoom out (fingers move closer)
pan (move both fingers) - The guiding principle is that the two points under your fingers stay there.
|3D||1 finger||rotate (move with finger)|
|2 fingers||zoom in (fingers move apart)|
zoom out (fingers move closer)
pan/zoom/roll (move both fingers) - The guiding principle is that pan, zoom, and roll all happen at the same time so that the object “held” under the two fingers says under the two fingers as they are moved.
|3 fingers||orbit (two fixed fingers define axis, third moving finger rotates about that axis)|
|6 fingers||enter pull apart mode (grab the model with one hand (5 fingers); then use 6th finger to pull apart)|
|10 fingers||reset the model - very convenient for demos|
The Perceptive Pixel Multi-Touch Wall is leading the way in the advancement of multi-touch devices. With Microsoft Windows 7 being multi-touch enabled, in the not-so-distant future it is quite possible that other form factors, e.g. surface computing, may provide multi-touch capabilities at different price points in a vast array of sizes. For example, the Apple iPhone is two-finger touch-enabled today at a reasonable cost, and we hope to see design-capable sized displays in the not too distant future
Demoing multi-touch is alive in the lab.
While John Schmier and I set up the Perceptive Pixel Multi-touch Wall, Gyorgy Ordody set up Project Newport. David Falck and Jay Gao set up our software as a service stations. I snapped a few seconds of this set up process:
Our software as a service exhibits at AU include:
Project Freewheel is our technology preview to experiment with the idea of design visualization. We allow customers to post their 2D and 3D designs to our server. They view their designs using a browser. Other colleagues or customers can freely view and comment on the designs – so it is a powerful tool for collaboration.
Project Draw is our technology preview for 2D design creation. Again this uses just the browser. Anyone can sign in and create a vector-based drawing. This could be especially helpful to a designer who frequently works with colleagues or clients who are not well-versed in CAD. They can sketch their ideas, and you as the designer can bring those ideas into a drawing. A picture is worth a thousand words. It can also save time and rework.
Project Showroom is our technology preview for realistic rendering using real products in realistic settings. This experiment allows users to customize a kitchen or bathroom and see their choices rendered in real time. Our aim is to make the rendering look more and more realistic as advances in hardware and rendering technology advance.
Demonstrating software as a service is alive in the lab.
3D printing is one of the ways Autodesk customers can experience their designs before they are real. One of the highlights of this morning's main stage presentation at Autodesk University was the unveiling of a full scale motorcycle that had been printed from Inventor using a 3D printer. After the main stage presentation, the model was brought to the Exhibit Hall. The AutoCAD booth is right next to the Autodesk Labs Discovery space. Being in such close proximity, I got to watch them raise the motorcycle into position.
Some of you might be familiar with the movie, Raising Arizona. Well this is raising the bar of 3D printing in more ways than one. It's incredible what 3D printing technology can do.
AU is in full swing and is alive in the lab.
Today the Autodesk Labs team spent the day setting up our Discovery Space in the Exhibit Hall. I helped John Schmier assemble the Perceptive Pixel Multi-touch Wall. Although this was my second time assisting with this task, this was the fourteenth time for John. Our multi-touch wall really gets around, e.g. Civic Center North in San Rafael, Customer Briefing Center at One Market in San Francisco, TED Conference in Monterey, and Autodesk University in Las Vegas. I filmed snippets of our work.
We look forward to showing off Autodesk Design Review and Autodesk Mudbox running on the multi-touch wall. The gesture-based updates we have made to these applications specific to multi-touch interaction demonstrate different and better ways to work with design data.
Multi-touch is alive in the lab.
Once AU really starts, none of us will have any time to leave the Venetian. It's a whirlwind like that every year. With this in mind, Autodesk Labs software developers John Schmier, Gyorgy Ordody, and I took a walk along the Las Vegas strip last night. John took a picture of Gyorgy and I next to one of those fancy cars you can rent by the hour. As our colleague, Jay Gao will be joining us today from Shanghai, we joked that we should rent one to pick him up at the airport. That would definitely not fly on any expense report as we do try to be prudent with our spending.
While we were out, we did see the dancing waters show outside the Bellagio. I thought I'd share a few minutes of that.
Although the economy is not currently at its most vibrant, on our walk I also noticed lots of construction along the Las Vegas strip. This is welcome news to us since these projects need solutions like AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, and 3DS Max.
From here on out, the rest of my AU reporting will all be indoors.
Today we will set up our Discovery Space in the Exhibit Hall for AU. We also have a briefing on Project Newport - a technology that we did not have in our space last year. Project Newport is a 3D story building technology for architectural visualization and presentation. Its goal is to allow architects to convey their design intent.
Project Newport provides story building tools, for engaging an audience in an interactive presentation with high quality real-time 3D Revit models. As a Revit-based solution, Project Newport understands native Revit metadata, and keeps in synch with changes to Revit files. Project Newport uses one set of physically-based materials for viewport display, Mental Ray rendering, and non-photorealistic ‘sketch’ effects.
From our briefing kit:
With breakthrough game-engine technology, Project Newport is easy to use and enables architects to show their designs in context. They can explore design options, visualize changes instantly, and create vivid, immersive 3D presentations. Project Newport brings architectural designs to life and dramatically improves the ability to convey design intent to stakeholders - throughout the entire design process.
Project Newport is just one of the many things we will enjoy showing in our Autodesk Labs booth at AU. Design visualization has always been near and dear to our hearts. Project Newport is alive in the lab.