Category Archives: Uncategorized

NaviSet Transfer Update

Minor/Major bug fixed. Owners can visit the download page to get it.

It was kinda dumb… basically the progress bar was getting overloaded on occasion. If you don’t want that, please update. I’ve tested this one a bit more and everything should be fine now.

New NaviSet Transfer Updates

NaviSetExport
The NaviSet Transfer plugin for Navisworks has been updated, correcting a set recording issue that I missed back in March.

The Timeliner Import/Export plugin and script is also now available to users, with basic support for the default Navisworks timeliner task types.

A Discussion on Blender at CGTalk

Someone asked the CGTalk community why more people in the computer graphics industry don’t use Blender. He made nice videos to go along with it. It’s definitely worth a watch at least.

The answers are really good and I agree with a lot of it. Thanks to my own trials with it, I had somethings to add to the discussion too.

In short, more people don’t use it because it isn’t good enough to replace what they already have. Usually, the cost of the software is no object. In fact, the price of 3d software today is substantially smaller than what it used to be. Even in my case, as a relative outsider, the cost of Autodesk’s software is not an issue because I just use the license purchased for me by the company I work for. The Architectural Suite has Max in it, the license permits home installations… so I effectively have Max. End of story. That’s the case for a lot of people.

So the fact that it’s free doesn’t really add enough incentive to combat the shortcomings.

Blender’s shortcomings are:

  • The UI is weird. * Though in my opinion its alright.
  • The features are unpolished or unfinished. Even simple stuff like layers and the application of materials and modifiers to multiple objects could use some serious work.
  • Everyone is trained to use established software, so companies look for people trained to use established software.

There’s much more in the actual thread itself, including a discussion over why does it matter?

As artists and professionals, we don’t particularly care to marry our software. We use whatever gets the job done. Some people use Blender for a particularly well done feature – like UV Unwrap. Some people use it for everything. Some people don’t use it for anything. Its no big deal, and I doubt the Blender Foundation itself really cares if the industry adopts it as some sort of standard tool or not.

UALR’s brand new Emerging Analytics Center

UALR finally has a use for the 4th floor of the EIT building. Within it they have setup the new Emerging Analytics Center (EAC for short). It’s all part of a push by the UALR administration to make the school a serious contender on the education front with respect to the studies of Information and Computer Science.

A Dassault Falcon Jet Model being displayed within the new CAVE at the EAC.

A Dassault Falcon Jet model being displayed within the new CAVE at the EAC.

I was at the opening and conference because of my involvement with a part of the new EAC. Before all this, UALR had the Virtual Reality Center. This labs focus was to find and research good uses for the technology. The lab is led by Dr. Mihail Eduard Tudoreanu (we call him Edi), and he’s done a lot of research and development in the VRC regarding user interfaces and data visualization.

I worked in the VRC at UALR between October 2006 and July 2012 as a student employee. A lot of my work had more to do with computer graphics from a more visual and artistic perspective – but I did develop a program that plays 3d video using dual streams of MP4s for all three screens of the old CAVE. CAVE stands for Cave Automatic Virtual Environment, this technology is the centerpiece of the Virtual Reality Center, and the new VRC that’s part of the Emerging Analytics Center.

A picture I took during a visit by the local Fox News affiliate of the old CAVE sometime in 2009.

A picture I took during a visit by the local Fox News affiliate of the old CAVE sometime in 2009.

On the visual side, I got my start with Building Information Modeling and Architectural Visualization by working with Nabholz Construction to translate existing architectural models of multiple projects into a form more ideal for real-time visualization in the CAVE. One of those models was shown again during the public event Monday. I currently work for their competition and I can’t do any work for them like that again, but it was pretty cool to see the model running on the new hardware. (And actually its not exactly the same model either, the one in the picture below was re-converted and optimized from the original architectural files by a technician sent from Mechdyne.)

Nabholz presenting their work at the EAC.

Nabholz presenting their work at the EAC.

Overall I’d have to say it was a pretty cool event. Quite a few companies presented at the EAC, below are some more photos and a link to the official article about the event.

A presentation by Dr. Phil Mui of Acxiom on the topic of graphical representation of massive datasets.

A presentation by Dr. Phil Mui of Acxiom on the topic of graphical representation of massive datasets.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe at the podium during the UALR EAC conference.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe at the podium during the UALR EAC conference.

Mini Cave

The portable Mini CAVE, designed and built by Mechdyne to Dr Edi’s specifications.

Behind the CAVE

A picture taken behind the folding panel of the new CAVE.

Debugging the new CAVE

A Mechdyne technician debugging the new CAVE. Notice that the right wall is now folded in to create a cube formation.

You can read more about the event and the technology by reading UALR’s article here:

http://ualr.edu/www/2013/06/03/emerging-analytics-center/