3d Architectural Modelling – Interiors

June 15th, 2011

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The new office block extension to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre is a seven-story building but also has three sub-zero levels. These connect through to the new atrium extension next door and ultimately to the EICC itself. It took me some time to get to grips with the architects’ drawings but once I had an understanding of the floorplans and all the associated information I started building the 3d model from the inside out.

This sequence dispensed with the usual 3d flythrough procedure of a single camera perspective, instead opting for a multi-camera edit. It’s difficult to create internal and external lighting in the same scene but that’s what was called for, as well as 3d figures to populate the scene. We rendered the animations in HD, which certainly kept them crisp, and the result was projected onto a huge screen in the EICC.

It will be very strange for me once the building is complete and I visit for the first time.

See also 3d Architectural Modelling – Exteriors.

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3d Architectural Modelling – Exteriors

June 1st, 2011

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This is an architectural rendering of the new extensions to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, currently under construction in Scotland’s capital and due to be unveiled in 2013.

Building the 3d models in itself was quite a challenge. The glass atrium building connects directly to the existing round-turreted EICC, but the seven-story office block to the right of it also connects to both buildings through a complex series of underground corridors and halls. (I’ll upload the interiors in a seperate posting.)

These exterior scenes try to illustrate the level of detail that the architectural plans demanded. Even once the modelling was completed, there was still the lighting and texturing to work on in order to try and replicate what the architects had in mind. Not to mention rendering. (The completed piece is 5 minutes long.) Every time I thought I’d cracked it, it turned out there was another corner or nook that I hadn’t noticed. Like the roof garden for example. Oh yeah, then there was a little thing called Edinburgh Castle in the background..

See also 3d Architectural Modelling – Interiors.

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Sky Nebula HD

January 5th, 2011

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This animation piece was commissioned by Sky Television for a management conference and was screened at the massive O2 Cineworld in London. The video above shows the rushes I created for them and the video below shows how these were used in the overall presentation by Edinburgh’s LA Media.

The idea was to illustrate the communication process between customers, engineers and sales staff and the fibre optic line effect connected the various satellite points in the galaxy.

It wasn’t the simplest of tasks, most notably because of the very short timeframe involved. It’s not every day you get asked ‘can you build us an inter-connecting galaxy by next week?’

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Connoisseurs Scotland 3d Maps

December 17th, 2010

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I’ve created a lot of 3d maps over the years and it’s always difficult thinking up fresh ways of presenting them. This one for Connoisseurs Scotland uses a similar technique to the one I built for Cairn Energy earlier this year, complete with fluffy clouds.

The idea was to present a selection of venues represented by Connoisseurs Scotland as the finest luxury spots Scotland has to offer, and locate them generally on the map.

This was used as part of an overall presentation for the group to promote Scottish hospitality. Which actually does exist.

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How Do I Make My Videos Html5 Compliant?

September 11th, 2010

If you’re reading this two years from now, you might be wondering what the fuss is about. Html5 is standard isn’t it? Well at the time of writing, Html5 is far from standard. It’s brand new and still has lots of issues. And one of the biggest is – how does Html5 handle video?

An explanation for non-techies. To date, video on the web has been dominated by Flash. But with Apple’s announcement that Flash would not be supported on the Ipad, it became clear they are trying to force the issue on the idea of an alternative.

For people like me who produce a lot of web video, there’s no simple answer as to how to encode clips that will satisfy both the older browsers like Internet Explorer and newer ones like Chrome. At this point, both support Flash but only the newer ones can handle Html5. So you could carry on using Flash for a while, but once they start actively dropping support for it, as in the case of the Ipad, you need to start looking at alternatives.

So the unusual thing about the video above is not its content, but the fact that it will play in any browser you choose, including the Ipad. The way that you see it is dependent on the browser you’re using. If I’m wrong and it doesn’t work for you, please let me know. And let’s see where we are in two years time.

To see how the video plays on your mobile, scan the image below to view this post in your smartphone:
Mobile-friendly website video html5

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3d Accident Reconstruction Night Scene

July 23rd, 2010

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This is a 3d reconstruction based on a court report into a road traffic accident. The details of the accident itself have been omitted.

The scene clearly demonstrates the power of 3d animation in conveying a large amount of information in a short space of time. Court reports are generally commissioned by solicitors or insurance companies and can be forty pages long or more. They are based on many documents including witness statements, physical evidence, terrain maps as well as weather conditions, lighting conditions, road surface and visibility information. Calculations and analysis are made based on the laws of physics and applied mathematics. It is the job of the 3d animator to portray this analysis as accurately as possible.

The ability to place multiple cameras in the scene is a huge advantage of 3d accident reconstruction. Once the mechanics of the scene have been built, driver’s eye views, witness views, overhead views, moving cameras can all help to illuminate the situation.

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Cairn Energy 3d Maps

March 26th, 2010

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Cairn Energy held their Annual General Meeting this week and had been looking for ways of spicing up their annual reports. As the reports detailed their oil and gas exploration work in the Indian subcontinent and in Greenland, it made sense to illustrate these areas with maps.

There are a hundred ways of making maps, and apparently last year they did it with Powerpoint slides, but this year I created these animated 3d flythroughs for them, complete with fluffy clouds.

Overnight their share price soared by 8%. I reckon it was the clouds that did it.

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Goal Line Technology 3d Animation

February 19th, 2010

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Goal line technology is a hot topic in sports circles as accuracy in goal decisions is vital. This simple animation illustrates a not-so-simple piece of electronic gadgetry that could make any such difficult decisions a thing of the past.

Bob Jamieson developed the ‘Superpuck’, an ice hockey puck with a tiny electronic chip inside (currently shortlisted for a John Logie Baird Award for innovation). The technology clearly had implications for other sports and is now attracting interest from FIFA, the international governing body of football. See the Superpuck website for the full story on Goal Line Technology.

The idea of the 3d animation was to show in under a minute what it could take ten minutes to communicate verbally, and to a potentially non-English speaking audience. The three elements involved are clear – the electronic chip, the sensor strip around the goal and the decoder box. Watch this space.

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