A Project Photofly 2.1 update has just been released. This update is a minor release update to improve based on feedback and testing since release of 2.0 a month ago.
Project Photofly allows anyone with a common point and shoot digital camera to create near accurate 3D models from photographs using the power of cloud computing, for free. The 3D models can be used in CAD and 3D applications, shared with others through YouTube, and viewed in IPM format by Autodesk's free Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer application for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android devices.
Some of the highlights in 2.1:
To install the new Photo Scene Editor if you already have 2.0 installed, when you run the old version you will be prompted to download the new 2.1 version.
If you do not have installed or tried Photofly, why not?
Project Photofly allows anyone with a common point and shoot digital camera to create near accurate 3D models from photographs using the power of cloud computing. Creating 3D models is almost as simple as snapping the photos.
Here are some of the 3D Photo Scenes I have created, and a brief background on each of them. The first image is a photo of the actual object while the following image is a screenshot of the 3D model in the Project Photofly’s desktop Photo Scene Editor.
Pueblo Kiva Ruin located in the Cedar Mesa area near four corners Utah. Photofly can export an automatically created video to your computer or YouTube. Here is the YouTube video of the Kiva model: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeHLEWae35c
The 1000+ year old kiva might not even be noticed while standing next to it if it were not in a 3D context of seeing it as a whole with depth and virtually walking around, and above it. The export of this kiva and many other ancient pueblo ruins as a LAS point cloud in AutoCAD are very valuable as the mesh is nice not only for visualization but the geometry in a point cloud for analysis, documentation, and study is the most valuable result.
Brock Sisson - Fossil Jawbone YouTube video http://youtu.be/Jg86-17Y970
Brock Sisson is a fossil reconstruction expert restoring fossils and building some of the world's most famous dinosaur and fossil exhibits in the world. Brock lives in Utah a real hotbed of fossil finds so I visited him and captured some of his fossils in 3D.
This model is the jaw is from a Tarbosaurus bataar, which is a tyrannosaurid.
The Juggler Petroglyph YouTube video http://youtu.be/cVz9eqS5MC8
This is a petroglyph I hiked into a few weeks ago. This ancient artwork could be 800-1500 years old. Seeing 2D photos of this hidden gem is nice, but seeing it in 3D blew people's minds without them having to make the hot desert hike and potentially disturb the location and rare art. Within Photofly a person can look around the scene anywhere they want not just the single perspective of a 2d photo is shot at. Here is another petroglyph named Cowboy’s Secret http://youtu.be/YMgrwhs8D0k.
Independence Hall Stairs - YouTube video http://youtu.be/q9E4FiOm5fM and a video showing the mode and export to AutoCAD http://youtu.be/9wUg9c3s69w.
This model was created from photos at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. When I was there the main entrances were always packed with people so I was unable to shoot the photos. I then saw the side door steps of Independence Hall and thought that entrance or exit from the building may have more interesting stories than the main entrance to the historic building.
Ant Hill - YouTube video http://youtu.be/q9E4FiOm5fM
This model speaks for itself. The randomness of all the small pebbles is great for Photofly to recognize unique calibration points. This is one of those reality capture projects you can capture in 3D without the laborious measurements to manually create a 3D model, and of course being bitten by the angry ants.
Pueblo ruin named "Doll House"is in pristine condition complete with corn cobs remaining from 1280AD. I visited this location with archeologist last month. Here is the video animation as a work in progress http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgkR_gCEjFk. Some government archeologist will be using Photofly for monitoring remote locations for preserving digital records of the locations and objects as well as the human and environmental degradation over time by comparing point clouds from different points in time.
I have literally hundreds of favorites in shared videos on YouTube from people experimenting with Photofly including my favorite from yesterday a human head anatomy model http://youtu.be/1eo1vmYwzMo which we have now added to our Photofly gallery page. You can also search “Photofly” on YouTube to see hundreds of videos created by people testing Photofly.
Imagine trying to model many objects around you in any 3D modeling tool accurately in the same time it takes you to generate a 3D model with your camera and Project Photofly.
Some Photofly Tips and Tricks Link
The most important advice is to have fun and just try capturing new things around you in 3D.
I have recently been experimenting with Google+ and the Hangout feature where up to 10 people can use their webcam and microphone to live chat. So far I have held several of these including one with Curt Moreno aka Kung Fu Drafter where I was even able to joke around with wearing a cowboy hat. Last week I asked for people to join a Hangout through Twitter and hung out with Jim LaPier an AutoCAD for Mac user in Baltimore.
I am thinking of setting up an a series of Hangouts with people a few times a month to discuss technology, Autodesk, Autodesk products, and what's going on out in your part of the world and building some customer councils for Autodesk Labs.
There is nothing like a real discussion seeing and hearing multiple people just as if we were sitting in a casual lounge somewhere.
What do you think?
Longtime AutoCAD book author Ellen Finkelstein has just released her new AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD 2012 Bible. Ellen’s style is very easy to follow for the beginner to advanced AutoCAD users to get up and running on the latest release whether you use 2D or 3D. Behind Ellen who is an advanced AutoCAD user in her own right, are some of the most experienced AutoCAD users technical reviewing and editing the book so that it is top quality.
The new book is available in both print and electronically for the Kindle reader which is what I read many books on my iPad with.
Congratulations Ellen and to all the behind the scenes people involved in the new AutoCAD 2012 book.
AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible
by Ellen Finkelstein (July, 2011)
I love authors so if you publish Autodesk related books let me know and I will give you a shout out as everyone needs resources to learn.
Being a recovering plant and piping designer myself I wanted to share with you some social media resources for those active in the plant industry. There are now even more simple ways for you to keep track of what’s new on AutoCAD Plant Exchange and Autodesk Plant Solutions. Autodesk Plant Solutions has created and reinstated some of the social media tools out there to keep you informed. The advantage to you of engaging with these social media tools is that you get “live” updates to what’s new.
“Like” AutoCAD Plant Exchange on Facebook to see what’s new on the site. You do NOT have to have a Facebook account to view the page.
AutoCAD Plant Exchange
Recently they created an AutoCAD Plant Exchange page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/autocadplantexchange). The page highlights all new activity that’s happening on the AutoCAD Plant Exchange website (www.autodesk.com/plantexchange).
Join the AutoCAD Plant Exchange group on LinkedIn.
AutoCAD Plant Exchange
There is also an AutoCAD Plant Exchange group on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2136134&trk=hb_side_g). This group provides the same information as the Facebook page, but to people who prefer LinkedIn to Facebook. It also streams the Autodesk discussion forums, so you can keep up-to-date there, too.
Follow us on Twitter @PlantExchange
AutoCAD Plant Exchange
I love to see what others are doing with Project Photofly, please contact me with examples of yours to share with everyone. Jamie Gwilliam, of Autodesk UK is an Autodesk 3ds Max master and has wrote a very detailed blog post on his blog Jamies Jewels on using the two products together and the process.
If you use Max or Photofly or both check this post out.
A look at 3ds Max and Autodesk Project Photofly 2.0
Just remember my post (Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) - Hear Me Roar on App Compatibility) that not all hardware or software is yet ready for the new Mac Operating System including the AutoCAD for Mac which is planning a compatibility update soon.
I am experimenting on one of my MacBooks today. Have you installed your OS X Lion yet, what do you think?
The AutoCAD Team is planning series of user research validations (usability studies) between July 18 and July 22, 2011. All sessions will be remote (using the GoToMeeting and the phone). We will compensate your time with $30 Amazon Gift Certificate.
Topic of this study is working with point cloud data in AutoCAD.
Who Should Participate?
We are looking for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Civil and/or any other application users with experience and need for working with Point Cloud data in their design process.
How is the Study Conducted?
Remotely; an individual 60 min remote session will be conducted via the internet (GoToMeeting) and phone.
The study will be conducted between July 18 and July 22, 2011.
How To Sign Up?
Please submit qualification data and indicate your availability here:
Note: This research requires a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Thanks for your help!
AutoCAD User Experience Team
I must confess that I am old school with many of my AutoCAD habits going back to my days using AutoCAD in design production as a customer. We get set in our ways and tend to not let go of them for better or worse. I was reminded of my old school habits again today when I was drawing up something and being a diehard AutoCAD keyboard commandline user and was using the old “dd” prefixed commands like DDMODIFY, DDATTE, DDUNITS and good old DDIM. I type those commands subliminally even though I know they were retired (deprecated) after AutoCAD R14 and redirected to the new command aliases.
We tend to keep habits good or bad as it is a known level of productivity, and perhaps technical comfort. Think about how many releases of any software are released and you use the same commands and workflow just to get things done, even though there may be new faster methods of accomplishing things. Old School is not always a bad thing but we need to make the effort to look and continuously learn and add to our knowledge and skills to be at peak performance.
So what habits good or bad do you keep using in AutoCAD from many releases back? Do you set your cursor still to 100% use a digitizer, side menu? Share yours in the comments to this post.
For those that live and thrive on the leading edge of technology which can also be the bleeding edge at times, if you are considering upgrading your Apple Mac to impending OS X Lion update you should first research if your applications and hardware are ready. It takes some time for software developers to fully test for compatibility in a new Operating Systems changes and then update their code to support the new OS. While OS X Lion looks like a good update to OS X for Mac users including many long needed new shiny bells and improvements, you need to remember to do your research before installing any new OS on your machine regardless if it is Mac or Windows OS updates.
When you upgrade your OS make sure your hardware and software are ready for it, or you may be the defenseless squealing little animal on the digital savannah with a hungry Lion quickly approaching to eat your productivity and happiness for a snack.
AutoCAD for the Mac OS X Lion Compatibility:
In the case of AutoCAD for Mac the Product Support issued a nice statement that there will be an update released to address some Lion specific issues found during testing. Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) support for AutoCAD for Mac
Other day to day tools I use such as the ones from my friends at TechSmith and their SnagIt and Camtasia. They sent out an email last week on their Mac OS X Lion testing and indicating they will be releasing an update to address compatibility issues found in testing.
A new version of Apple's operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), has been announced and will be coming soon!
To update your TechSmith software for use with Mac OS X 10.7, open it and go to Help -> Check for Upgrade and follow the instructions for download.
Just returning from a week long vacation although you may have noticed in social media, the blog, and on email I failed in remaining disconnected during the week long wind down.
Here is the list of things I did over the course of the week off:
Spent quality time with the family including the July Fourth holiday and defended my house from all the newly legalized aerial fireworks coming in from other neighbors.
Mowed the lawn a few times, edged the yard, weeded the garden, spruced up the fish pond.
|Climbed up Bells Canyon with my oldest son.|
|Hiked the San Rafael desert in South Eastern Utah photographing thousands of years old petroglyphs and pictographs.|
Got my Google+ account, explored it and gave away several Google+ accounts, and still have a couple invites left to give out. Google+ is the new social networking hub for Google that combines Facebook and Twitter into one. Very interesting product but what I find best is the Hangout video chatting with up to 10 people. In fact I had a Hangout chat with Curt Moreno aka Kung Fu Drafter for an article he is wrinting. We need to hold a Hangout chat among 10 bloggers or geeks every two weeks and discuss what's going on out there and new technology.
Will Google+ succeed, only time will tell but in reality I did not need another social network to keep active in. It is definitely a work in progress and working on plumbing, API, and other network integrations completed. Perhaps the bigger question is will Google pull a Buzz or Wave (RIP) by not establishing this social network option clearly defined and unique and a standard worth peoples time instead of just another friend feed aggregator. How do I get my Facebook and Twitter photos and updates linked instead of posting by copy paste to each also how do I use my Flickr within Google+ Picasa instead of having to use another hosted photo solution just to use Google+.
Now I need a good caffeinated nudge to get me going and thought I would play on that with explaining the new AutoCAD 2012 Nudge feature as well as drinking a strong iced coffee.
In AutoCAD 2012 there was a new Nudge feature added. Some used to raster editing applications may recognize this Nudge ability, but AutoCAD users have always asked the AutoCAD Team why they could not move an object simply using their arrow keys. Well now you can do just that in AutoCAD 2012. Use the Ctrl key and the arrow key to nudge a selected object a few pixels at a time. Since it uses the arrow keys it is limited to orthogonal moves. Give Nudge a try!
I am watching the live video feeds from http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts135/status.html and NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/) of this historic moment for the final launch of the space shuttle STS-135 scheduled for a little under an hour from now at 11:26am EST. Having attended launches the most recent being STS-133, know several involved in the space shuttle programs, and worked on parts of the space program over the years it is a personal moment.
With only 145 days until Autodesk University 2011 in Las Vegas, I thought I would provide some unofficial Autodesk University history for remembering and perhaps for those that participate in those super geeky CAD trivia games.
Here are the past Autodesk University locations including the international event locations:
And for the current 2011 Autodesk University locations:
This year I plan on adding AU number 18+ to my list of attended and presented at events and perhaps the possibility of number 19 & 20.
If you want to change you AutoCAD Layout background color from the defaults go to Options>Display. Now uncheck the first four Layout Elements.
Now select the Color button to change the AutoCAD UI element colors.
1. Select Sheet Layout
2. Select Uniform Background
3. Select Color Black or whatever color you want the entire Layout background color to be. In my case I am setting it to black like Modelspace.
Select Apply & Close and you are done.
Now you have a complete single color background Layout.