This is a Building Information Model from a survey of an existing mall. The video starts with a photo taken on site. It fades to a rendered model using camera matching. The model cycles through rendered, shaded, hidden line, wireframe and finally the floor plan. The model and rendering was created on Revit. Apple Motion was used for video editing.
The Autodesk Cloud Rendering service now allows you to render a panorama rendering. Something that cannot be accomplished with stand-alone Revit. The results are quite good and it would be great to use with your clients so that they can see and understand your design.
Autodesk Cloud does not allow users to share, embed on a website or export the panorama. I suspect that there are a number of reasons why we are not able to do this at this time, including viewer licensing restrictions, software development and security concerns. In time, I’m sure that users will be able to take better control of their renderings, until then I hope to offer a solution.
Unfortunately, this article will only cover getting the panoramic out of Autodesk Cloud and putting it into a format that can be imported into Autodesk Stitcher and other panoramic software. It is beyond the scope of this article to explain how to host or install viewers on a website. This is due to the vast amounts of options out there. I can offer product and service suggestions at the end of the article. Feel free to contact us if you would like AEC Communications to assist you in setting up a way to host your renderings.
The panorama image viewer in Autodesk Cloud seems to differ depending on the browser, however all of the viewers use a cubical panorama to view the rendering. In short, there are six images. One image for each side of the cube. Autodesk Cloud Rendering places each side of the cube stacked into one image.
The easiest way to download the rendering, on Windows and Mac, is using Google Chrome. Log into your Autodesk Cloud Rendering gallery and select the panorama to be exported. This will load the panoramic rendering into the current session of Chrome. Choose File > Developer > Developer Tools from the pull down menus. This will open the Developer Tools window. Select the Resources tab, Expand Frames > (mygallery.aspx) > Images. Look down the list of images for DataProxy.aspx and click on it. This will reveal the rendering in the preview pane to the right. Drag and drop it from the preview pane to your desktop.
To get the rendering using Internet Explorer, you’ll need to look in the browser cache. Get to the Cache by selecting Tools > Options. In the General Tab, select Settings under “Browser History”. Click “View Files”. It’s best to clear your browser cache before hand and look for a .jpg image starting with DataProxy.
The rendering consists of six 700×700 pixel images combined into one image. They are arranged in this order, starting from top image to the bottom image: Right, Left, Up, Down, Back and Front. If we slice these images into individual images and rename them correctly then Autodesk Stitcher will open them as a panorama. You can export the image into a number of different formats, resolutions and tag them as well.
For example the images will need to be renamed from the top image to the bottom image: xxxxxx_R.jpg, xxxxxx_L.jpg, xxxxxx_U.jpg, xxxxxx_D.jpg, xxxxxx_B.jpg, and xxxxxx_F.jpg.
For Windows users, slicing the images can be done in any number of programs including Adobe Photoshop. Renaming the files can be done by hand. I’m not aware of any automation tool that can do this on the Windows platform.
For Mac OS X Lion users, I use a free app from the Mac App Store named Tilen to slice the image into 6 separate images. Tilen is easy to use, just be sure to select a tile size of 700×700. I’ve created an Automator application that renames the tiled images so that they can be imported into Autodesk Stitcher. Download it here. Just drop the tiles onto the Automator application icon.
Opening the panoramic in Stitcher Unlimited is a breeze. Just choose ‘File > Load Panorama’ inside Stitcher. Then select the first file in the panorama.
Stitcher exports a cubical panorama to Cubic QTVR, Cubic/Spherical Pure Player, Spherical Image and VRML. The Cubical Pure Player is being used to view the panorama below.
An example of using Google Street View API to view this in a spherical export, here.
If you have ever done panoramic images by hand then you know what a headache stitching them together can be. Most of the time Autodesk Stitcher can stitch them seamlessly, but at times parallax errors can be time consuming to resolve.
Occipital’s 360 Panorama is an iPhone and Android app that allows you to create a panoramic image with your phone. The app uses the gyroscope in your phone to position the images. The images are automatically stitched and closed. More often than not the results are stunning; without all the work of stitching it by hand.
Occipital has an impressive HTML5 viewer on their website to view the images. The viewer offers a flattened version of the panoramic image for download. If you use the iPhone viewer you are able to view areas above and below, but the flattened image only has a cropped cylinder version. My desire was to download the full image and use it in other applications, viewers and different formats.
To achieve up and down viewing, Occipital’s backend servers create a cubical panorama that has an image for each side of the cube; they are numbered 0-5. These images are number as 0 Back, 1 Left, 2 Front, 3 Right, 4 Up, 5 Down. If you download these images and rename them correctly then Autodesk Stitcher will open the panorama. You can export the image into a number of different formats, resolutions and tag them as well.
For example the image of the front view would be named xxxxxx2.jpg. To import it into Stitcher you would rename the image to xxxxxx_F.jpg. Images 0-5 would be named respectively: xxxxxx_B.jpg, xxxxxx_L.jpg, xxxxxx_F.jpg, xxxxxx_R.jpg, xxxxxx_U.jpg, and xxxxxx_D.jpg.
For Mac OS X Lion users, I’ve created an Automator application that downloads these images from the current panoramic being viewed in Safari and saves them into a folder named “Panoramic” on your desktop. Download it here.
Opening the panoramic in Stitcher Unlimited is a breeze. Just choose ‘File > Load Panorama’ inside Stitcher. Then select the first file in the panorama downloaded from Occipital.
Stitcher exports a cubical panorama to Cubic QTVR, Cubic/Spherical Pure Player, Spherical Image and VRML.
Compare the flattened images below. The flatten panorama from Occipital:
The flattened panorama rendered from Stitcher Unlimited:
Visit our project database to see the Stitcher version of the panorama, here.
Note: 360 Panorama is not a replacement for using a still camera and tripod. The quality does not compare. For example, we routinely create 134 megapixel images, the app produces about a 2 megapixel image. However, it’s up to the task if you want a quick and stunning 360. The only complaint that I have is the app has been crashy after updating to iOS 5.
If you want to see my panoramas at Occipital, here.
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AEC Communications, Inc. releases a Free-for-Use structural shape library for products based on core Autocad 12 through Autocad 2009. STRUCT parametrically draws shapes in section, plan view and elevation using property libraries and user defined layers. Struct also provides quick access to shape dimensional properties for reference. Shapes included are Wide Flange (W, M, S), Angles (L), Channels (C), Pipes, Tubes (HSS), Tees (WT, MT, ST), Lumber and Concrete Masonry Units (CMU).
The intent of this series is to explain the Technical Illustration process so illustrations can be produced that meet one’s desired expectations and clearly communicate our ideas. Typical concerns for our consideration include budget and deadlines within a project, and the quality and effectiveness of the media itself. Our previous article on the Technical Illustration process served as an introduction to the craft, as an explanation for the necessity of this media in today’s corporate world, and as an orientation to the variety of Technical Illustration options available. This article serves as a guide for the process, and lists the information needed to produce illustrations or renderings.
The Technical Illustration process constitutes a small percentage in the project’s overall design process, but it is an important component. This process can begin during any stage of the project’s design schedule. The level of effort required to produce a rendering varies, depending upon the stage in which it is produced. For example, producing renderings during the concept stage of a project requires more interaction with project team members than producing illustrations once the final design of a project is complete. Renderings developed “early on” offer assistance in the development of a concept, where those developed after the design stage reflect the completed design. Regardless of when a renderings is produced, the process seems to follow the same routine-information gathering, model development, scene creation, pre-final rendering, final rendering and post production. (more…)
Technical Illustrations provide a powerful form of communication, allowing both the technically and non-technically minded to appreciate and understand the basis of design. They present a realistic image prompting discussion of various aspects of the project, rather than a mere description of it. Illustrations play an important role throughout the project life-cycle: the proposal, feasibility study, conceptual design, public hearings, garnering support, preliminary design, funding and final design. Additionally, these illustrations become quite nostalgic once the project is completed and archived.
Familiarity with the Technical Illustration process enables us to produce images that not only meet our expectations, but accurately communicate our ideas. This is the first of a series of articles on Technical Illustrations that will provide a walk-through of the genre, its necessity in today’s industry, the variety it offers, and the tools with which to incorporate this technology into our everyday approach to securing new projects and planning those we may already manage.
While there are many free resources on the Internet there is nothing like finding fully digital and searchable versions of printed resources. Google Book Seach Beta is one such place. The search engine allows users to perform a text search on their growing list of digitized books. In most cases the search will return a ‘Limited Preview’ or ‘Snippet View’; with some creative search strings it is possible to find exact information. However, there is also a ‘Full View Only’ category that will only return books with full text available for free.