It takes something special to lure you into an underground bunker filled with sharks. After a photo at the door (easier to ID the remains?) it was quite a trek, stopping to observe the Penguin Colony, to the Antarctic Hut and an auditorium lined tanks of huge stingray & fish.
No chance of a quick exit as it was guarded by sharks and, anyway, we were here to see design software: Salesoft CAD Solutions Autodesk 2012 launch!
Gary launched his presentation with a tour of AutoCAD 2012’s Content Explorer. He showed the new command line autocomplete, multifunction grips & nudge. A good demo of associative array functions completed the 2D feature demo.
The 3D portion began with a demo of new viewport features (controls) & UCS manipulation. Gary even showed how AutoCAD can do limited parametric 3D models using 2D parametrics to control the sections of 3D extruded elements.
AutoCAD 2012’s improved file format import and Fusion for direct modelling showed how working with other model types has improved. The new model view features make creating 2D documentation easier, literally drag n drop, with semi-associative update.
3DS Max & Matchmover
Gary took his 3D AutoCAD file into 3DS Max to showcase its new features. Max has also had a viewport makeover in the form of the new Nitrous Graphics Core bringing near render quality to your working viewport (if the hardware is up to scratch). Stylistic rendering brings a natural media (like pencil) appearance to the viewport & render output.
Also new is the Iray render engine which makes rendering simpler. There are few settings other than deciding how long 3DS Max should spend rendering (great for meeting that deadline). As always the more time the better but at least the application, and feedback while rendering, make it easier to make the quality/speed compromise.
He also demonstrated Autodesk Matchmover, part of the 2008 REALVIZ acquisition. Apart from seeing a link in my Subscription Site I was unaware of it, or what it did. Matchmover enables 2D video & 3D cad models to be merged with image tracking & camera path creation tools. Gary had a sculpture, created in AutoCAD & Imported to Max, & iPhone shot video of an Auckland location. Matchmover enabled you to see the CAD model in place as if there when the video was shot. Another sample showed Matchmover placing a Revit model in a video street scene. Definitely something to investigate further.
Revit 2012 Family
Rich, fighting a horrible cold, demonstrated the new features in Revit 2012. He showed assemblies & parts used in building and structural detailing but I can see potential for this feature in our retail work detailing special fittings/layouts. Tweaks to the UI include the improved grips, more flexible Type Selector location (on the Ribbon). The new work plane viewer emulates my much missed AutoCAD Architecture Isolate > “Edit in View” but seems rather less elegant in operation.
The new 3D lock view will aid model annotation, especially combined with the new Ghost display option which gives a translucent look to all model surfaces. It was also good to see Revit Purge now includes Materials which have been painful to clean up until now. Add to that platform enhancements like CITRIX certification, Revit Server and Vault integration and there is plenty to explore in Revit 2012.
Marinescape – Aquarium Information Modelling?
Marinescape is a New Zealand Company which specialises aquarium design & development. They are amongst the world leaders in developing aquaria, using an acrylic tunnel with moving walkway concept.
The venue, Kelly Tarltons Underwater World, was their first project & opened in 1985. It is a walk through aquarium built in a former sewage storage/discharge tank* under Auckland’s waterfront drive. They also have an Antarctic Display complete with penguins housed in an artificial frozen landscape.
Marinescape shared how, after trying other 3D solutions, they settled on Revit as their primary design platform. The models they showed had an impressive mix of terrain (both above & below water!), building and mechanical model detail. Revit is used for modelling & scheduling all the components, even providing manufacturing data for the acrylic. They also mentioned using 3DS Max for presentation and AutoCAD for modelling organic forms (rocks & reefscapes) which are used in the Revit models.
It was a fascinating look at Revit being used for more than design, true BIM 360.
Building Design Suite
Shane wrapped up the evening with an introduction to the Building Design Suite upgrade offer. Back in 2008 I was happy to see AutoCAD Architecture & Revit Architecture bundled. Now Autodesk have now gone bundle mad with Building Design Suites incorporating AutoCAD, ACA/AMEP, Revit (Arch, MEP & Structure), 3DS Max, Navisworks & even Inventor!
The deals vary but migration is free (for qualifying products) and if you already have more than one Suite application on subscription the slightly increased Suite Subscription (including a slew of other applications) will probably be cheaper. My former Revit Suite + Max subscription drops about 10% after migration to the Premium Suite which includes those apps & more!
Another benefit is for the small office it gives access to the full Revit Arch/MEP/structure Platform (which may make life easier collaborating) and for larger offices it avoids the pain of balancing AutoCAD, Revit, Max license mixes.
Have a look at http://www.autodesk.com/buildingdesignsuite for details
Thanks to Salesoft, Marinescape & Kelly Tarltons staff for a great evening.
PS: The post title is a rather weak pun of the film: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. If you haven’t seen this rather odd movie make the effort. It’s an experience not to be missed, possibly not to be repeated but certainly an experience
PPS: No sharks (not even Jaguar Sharks), penguins or stingray were harmed in the creation of this blog post and the Salesoft Team & Kelly Tarlton staff looked after the humans very well too
PPPS: I got this far without using the “sharks, as in fish not software resellers” line!
* The tanks date back to when Auckland’s “treatment system” for sewage was to store it and release into the harbour on the out going tide. Thankfully that ended back in the early 60s but the obsolete infrastructure remained.