Yesterday we held a live Google+ Hangout with Autodesk's Project Chronicle Product Manager Eric Stover and myself. It was a casual and fun time with Eric and I in the Office of the CTO brainstorm room complete with lawn chairs on fake grass, but there was one big issue. We had over 50 people wanting to attend but found Google+ Hangouts have a limit of ~10. We want to thank everyone that was able to attend from as far as New Zealand and interact and ask questions, but also those that tried to attend.
Some of the highlights of the Hangout:
Most of you trying to attend seen this ominous message that the Hangout was full.
We will hold another live event in the very near future but will use the On Air YouTube method which will allow everyone to attend without a limit and also give us a recorded version on YouTube for those to watch later. In the meantime please give Project Chronicle (https://chronicle.autodesk.com/) a try either watching some of the available Chronicles or making some and posting to your blog or email me your Chronicles on Autodesk products to publish in a blog post with credit.
I will begin planning to host several other Hangout sessions with various Autodesk teams.
Autodesk Labs had another great year of technology previews in 2013. As you may know the technologies on Autodesk Labs are not yet features or products not even a beta and not guaranteed to become one, but they just might be someday like 123D Catch, Revit LT, Inventor Fusion, Project Vasari and several more successful Autodesk Labs graduates. Your feedback shapes and provides the valuable direction on what the technology previews become.
Here are the Top 10 Autodesk Labs Projects by download from Autodesk Labs for 2013:
6. Project Basejump for AutoCAD Map 3D / AutoCAD Civil 3D >>> Graduated to the Geolocation feature in AutoCAD family of products
10. Project Miller
A sincere thank you from all of us to all of you for your participation and feedback on Autodesk Labs technology previews.
If you have never tried any of the Autodesk Labs technology previews, please make it your New Years resolution to give them a try and lets us know what you think.
Project Chronicle is a free technology preview that makes it simple for you to record, video, audio, and all software actions like commands or settings so you can easily share your knowledge with everyone.
Project Chronicle's Product Manager is Eric Stover and he provided a great overview of the latest update is included below. Eric also graciously agreed to participate in a Google Hangout with me on January 30th at 3pm PST. More details on the Project Chronicle Hangout to follow.
Chronicle consists of a recording utility to capture recordings, and a website that displays the recordings as Chronicles, interactive video tutorials. The videos can be shared publically or set to private, so that they can be used as internal training materials for a private office or classroom. In essence, Project Chronicle will allow software experts to showcase their expertise and will allow other users to view and learn from their real-world expert examples.
The Chronicle Recording Utility allows users to capture workflows from within Autodesk products. The utility records a continuous video screen capture and optionally voice narration. What makes Chronicle unique is that is also records the timing and details of workflow information, such as the commands, tools, settings, and dialog boxes that are used during the workflow. Captured data is then uploaded to the Chronicle Website. An author can then publish the Chronicle as either public or private, so that the desired user group can view a video of the workflow. Additionally, the captured workflow events are displayed on an interactive timeline, enhancing the viewing and learning experience.
Here’s what’s new in the latest release:
• Custom recording region, monitor recording, and screenshots.
• Specifying the language of the recording.
• Automatic publishing and sharing from the Recorder application.
• Option of key input capture.
• Option to disable mouse visualization in the video.
Beta is pre-release testing where you signup to participate and test the early version products before they are released and report your feedback so we can improve them before the final release to customers.
It only takes a couple minutes to sign up and tell us about you which will determine what betas you could be recruited to participate in when the product teams go searching for more beta testers. When accepted, you will have to agree to a NDA testing agreement not tell other people about the new beta product or its features until the end of the beta. Yes it can be hard to keep the secret of the cool new features, but keep it you must.
This is one of the best ways to work with the actual products teams and let them know what you like or help us find the rough spots of the products by testing and reporting defects.
Please join the 70,000 members of the Feedback Community for beta testing and Autodesk Labs projects (which do not require a NDA):
The main goal is active feedback and participation with a result of better products for our customers.
Project Shapeshifter allows you to create geometry easily in your web browser using base shapes and sliders to manipulate the geometry to something unique. After you are done you can export as OBJ file to use in another application or 3D print. It is seriously easy and fun.
Project Shapeshifter: http://www.shapeshifter.io
Here is a quick creation of mine from Project Shapeshifter exported into the Autodesk 3D Print Utility to send the print to Objet or MakerBot 3D Printers. I could also use Project Memento in the Autodesk Labs to further refine and fix the 3D mesh.
I also designed a cool light diffusing lens hood for my camera, and I will be 3D printing it out.
Check out Scott's blog post on Project Shapeshifter:
Project Shapeshifter Now Available via Autodesk Labs
Project Shapeshifter runs in your browser so there is nothing to install. So go give it a try and let us know your feedback.
Have you ever had to train someone else on how to do something in software using text, images, or even video? I bet the majority of you have, and while videos with narrations are a great way to train someone especially over the web the actual details and technical steps of what you are doing are sometimes not included in the narration or clear enough in the video or text instructions.
With Autodesk Project Chronicle currently on Autodesk Labs you get the best of all worlds with an interactive video, narration and the actual indexed steps from the actual Autodesk product Project Chronicle helps you create & share your own free interactive video training materials for AutoCAD, Revit, and Inventor. You can choose to make them private for internal training or share with the world.
Check out Project Chronicle and capture, share or learn some knowledge: http://autode.sk/17CdN1X
Project Chronicle Website:https://chronicle.autodesk.com where there are many Chronicle lesson captures available to view and learn in your browser.
Project Memento is a new and technologically advanced application to visualize large 3D meshes in the hundreds of millions of polygons from laser scans, photos, or models like a FBX or OBJ file. It was designed to be fast and analyzes the mesh for errors and allows you to fix issues so that you can go from a messy perhaps problem laden model to a healthy one for use in any downstream application.
Project Memento makes it a breeze to work with and fix large data sets that with other tools takes a great deal of knowledge and multiple tools to fix complex topology issues, splitting meshes into smaller parts, or solving texture problems. This technology preview is a first attempt at a solution to a long standing problem people face when working with 3D data.
We want you to give it a try and let us know what you think and how we can improve this early version. Your feedback will determine whether this technology preview graduates to a real product or goes onto a digital shelf.
As I mentioned on my Twitter account (@ShaanHurley) Friday, Autodesk’s own digital mad scientist or researcher in the Office of the CTO Brian Pene created a 3D rigged character using the new Project Pinocchio technology preview from Autodesk Labs and stepped it up a few levels. He took the rigged character he created and using a Xbox 360 Kinect & FaceShift was able to control the character in Autodesk Maya live in real-time.
What a great way to read bedtime stories to your young kids and give them a deep dark nightmare experience. Imagine setting the screen to your Skype call for a live business meeting or call home while traveling. Of course for those in the animation business there are more practical applications than my two examples, but I just like to warp the use of technologies just like my humor.
“Project Pinocchio is a free technology preview that leverages Autodesk's powerful 3D design and animation tools to provide you with a web-based laboratory where you can create fully-rigged custom 3D characters. Design a creation of your own or modify existing stock characters using a variety of pre-defined body types, facial features, and clothing styles for inclusion in 3D games, animations, and scenes.”
Brian also tested out controlling a character using the upcoming hardware LeapMotion:
Autodesk Labs: Project Pinocchio character controlled by LeapMotion in Maya
If you work in 3D animation you know that character creation and rigging is not easy. Currently in Autodesk Labs we have a new technology preview that helps you create and rig characters that you can use for free.
You start from some basic ancestral models and then you can change most of the characteristics, or start from scratch.
From the face, body types, clothes right down to the shoes.
I created my own character and exported the fully rigged character into 3ds Max.
Learn more and watch the videos at:
Please provide feedback on the project’s feedback links to help determine the future of this technology preview.
More concrete proof that the Autodesk Labs project feedback you provide feedback on can propel them into a real product, feature, or technology. Autodesk Labs Project Geppetto from last year that was a really huge hit and great to demo is making it into the core 3ds Max product as it is shown in a 3ds Max 2014 sneak peek video. It has evolved even more than the Autodesk Labs project and now named 3ds Max Populate feature. You can create autonomous random characters to populate your 3ds Max animation scene providing much more realism by having natural acting crowds following paths and interacting.
So the former Autodesk Labs Project Geppetto makes it in the Autodesk circle of life from Autodesk Labs technology preview to Beta in 3ds Max 2014 and soon as a full feature in the upcoming 3ds Max 2014 product. 3ds Max 2014 is not shipping just yet, and will be coming out after customer beta testing is wrapped up soon.
For those that love to participate in providing early feedback that helps shape the future of Autodesk products and technologies, there are several great options to get involved. You don’t have to be on the bleeding edge or the top Autodesk product user in the universe as all skill and experience levels are encouraged and needed.
Both Autodesk Labs and Autodesk Feedback Community are now managed under the Autodesk Office of the CTO. Both of these valuable future product and technological incubators are vital to Autodesk and of course benefit our customers.
Autodesk Labs is where several Autodesk teams post research and future technologies to get feedback on them. The technology previews are not products yet, but are early concepts. The goal is to find what technology previews are useful or need improvement from those that people have little interest for. Several current Autodesk products like Autodesk Inventor Fusion, Autodesk Revit LT, and Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler have successfully graduated from Autodesk Labs to be come real Autodesk products.
Go to: http://labs.autodesk.com/
Autodesk Feedback community is the center of the Autodesk product universe for future versions. This is where you can sign up to be a part of the early discussions in product futures, early alpha and beta versions of the Autodesk software you use or wish to use. The goal is to get early user feedback on the new releases and of course send in bug reports to improve the products before the new releases are released to the general public.
Go to: http://beta.autodesk.com/
Autodesk User Research is where you sign up to participate in in studies on how Autodesk products and technologies are used. Things like workflow where the product team or product design may want to know how a conceptual or current feature is discovered and used are studied remote, at events, or in person visits.
Get involved and help shape future Autodesk products and technologies today.
Autodesk Labs continues to grow from its humble beginnings as an idea and a small webpage wrote over a weekend in 2006 to now being a mature valuable method to provide early technology for people to try for free in return for feedback. As you may know the technologies on Autodesk Labs are not yet features or products not even a beta and not guaranteed to become one, but they just might be someday like 123D Catch, Revit LT, Inventor Fusion, Project Vasari and several more successful Autodesk Labs graduates. Your feedback shapes and provides the valuable direction on what the technology previews and plugins become.
The Top Ten Autodesk Labs Downloaded Technology Previews for 2012
Note: Not all technology previews are currently active at the present time and may have retired or like Project Vasari graduated.
Top Ten ADN Plugins of the Month
Thank you sincerely for all your participation in Autodesk Labs and we hope you find more on Labs in 2013 and provide the valued feedback we need. If you have never tried any of the Autodesk Labs technology previews, please make it your New Years resolution to give them a try and lets us know what you think as we read an listen to all submitted feedback.
I presented to an Inventor User Group organized by CADPro Systems last night in Christchurch New Zealand, but I never left my house, dealt with the security & customs checkpoints, or the long flight with the standard baby with an earache crying with an unchanged diaper on the 15 hours of flights each way. I used my webcam and GoToMeeting web conference software to present to the user group virtually where I could see and hear the attendees and they could see and hear me.
It was 10:30 pm time Wednesday (Halloween and wearing my Zombie Food shirt) and 5:30pm Thursday for them, so technically I was presenting into the future.
I placed my webcam upside down for a couple minutes just to have some down under Southern hemisphere fun.
I spoke about Autodesk Labs, the importance of sending in the CER reports each time and that they do not go into a black hole, and the recent Kenya research with 3d capture techniques and flying the Octo Copter in remote Northern Kenya to test capturing high resolution imagery to locate rare fossils faster and more accurately than just walking the desert.
During Q&A there was a common request to get the Autodesk Labs technology preview for the 3D Annotation in Inventor back or in Autodesk Inventor as a core feature. Here is s small webcam image of a small portion of the room when asked who not just wanted that feature, but who needed it. Scott Sheppard posted the feedback results of the 3D Annotation tool :
I stayed around for a Power Inventor user named Jason Dent of 4th Dimensional Façade Solutions Ltd to present on a mind blowing method of designing the exterior of a complex building using Inventor. Jason said: "Without Inventor, this job would have been absolutely impossible.”
It was a great treat on Halloween as I love speaking to customers and also seeing how they use our software and their feedback. Thanks to the user group members I attendance and Peter Crawley and Gavin Bath of CADPro Systems for making this happen. If you would like me to speak to your user group just send me an email request with details on the group, proposed date and topics.
Do I wish I was really in Christchurch and New Zealand, absolutely as I have been to New Zealand a couple times and loved every minute of it with the landscapes and people.
Are you expert enough for an early version of DesignScript?
DesignScript is a language intended to help designers build and analyze complex geometric models that would be difficult to model with interactive techniques. It includes a scripting language for exploratory programming. DesignScript is intended to be used by designers with little previous programming experience.
Please give it a try.
Users running AutoCAD 2013 on a 64-bit Windows 7 system can provide feedback in a variety of ways.
This technology and possibilities is amazing. DesignScript is a mathematical geometry programming environment for computational design of complex geometric designs and exploring several concepts for design and analysis.
This is not a replacement programming language for AutoLISP or any other Autodesk supported scripting and programming languages.
Download DesignScript today!
Autodesk Labs has been busy with updates and posting new technology previews this week. Autodesk Labs is where we can post emerging technologies in a pre-beta technology previews. If you have not visited the Autodesk Labs website recently and browsed what is available, take a few minutes and you might find something like the following preview technologies that may peak your interest. All Autodesk Labs technologies are free, all we ask is you provide feedback on them so they can either evolve and graduate as real Autodesk products and solutions or perhaps let us know they are not of interest and why. Each Autodesk Labs posted project has feedback links on them.
Visualize Showcase Models in the Real-World through your web cam. This is a plugin for Autodesk Showcase 2013 where you can mix your digital designs with a real environment also known as Augmented Reality.
This is not a replacement programming language for AutoLISP or any other Autodesk supported scripting and programming languages. DesignScript is a mathematical geometry programming environment for computational design of complex geometric designs and exploring several concepts for design and analysis.
Extend BIM into building operations and building lifecycle.
Project Geppetto is our free technology preview for easily adding realistic autonomous crowds to 3ds Max animation and scenes. Project Geppetto helps bring your designs to life. This is definitely one of the more funs things to come alive in the Autodesk Labs.
They appeared like zombies to me in the last Project Geppetto Labs technology preview release as the characters were limited and a default gray scale with rough edges, Now there is a nice textured display mode for the characters - no melting flesh, and do not feed on brains, so technically they are not zombies.
This update includes:
Project Geppetto Technology Preview
Project Geppetto Quick Start Guide
Project Geppetto technology can currently solve some of the following problems:
Path following: Real-time steering of physically correct walking and running motion that follows a specified path.
Agile responses: Real-time triggering of physically believable agile motions, such as quick turns. This is required for collision avoidance and navigation.
Object interaction: Seamless and natural real-time interaction with objects in the environment, such as sitting in chairs, or stepping up to climb stairs
Intelligent "human-like" dynamic obstacle avoidance: The perception of potential collisions and subsequent evasive actions must mimic the response times and behavior of real human beings.
Intuitive crowd orchestration: New methods will be introduced that allow artists to directly control the flow and interaction of traffic patterns.
Project Geppetto is awesome and not only fun but practical for autonomous human figures in your animations. Give it a try and also take my tips to hack it detailed in my blog post “Creating an Animated 3D Crowd Animation Hacking It” to make your own characters, even an army of your bosses.
Make sure you have the latest 3ds Max 2013 updates installed or you may experience issues with Project Geppetto.
Send us feedback otherwise we will not know you like it and it will go to the vault of unloved technologies firstname.lastname@example.org also tell us how you are using Project Geppetto by contributing to our Autodesk AREA Project Geppetto Forum.
If you want early access and input on Autodesk products and technologies there are a couple of great and free methods.
If you want to get early access and participate in the feedback process of a beta program for existing products such as AutoCAD, Revit, Autodesk Inventor, 3ds Max, Maya etc. then you should definitely get involved in the Autodesk Customer Feedback Programs https://beta.autodesk.com/.
Both of these programs rely on your feedback and active participation so go ahead get involved and help shape the future of Autodesk products and technologies to be the best tools for you.
Many have been waiting to get their hands on a Mac version of Autodesk Inventor Fusion since the news started circulating with MacRumors publishing an article from Macworld 2012 in January where Autodesk’s Inventor Fusion maestro Kevin Schneider discussed and showed that Autodesk Inventor Fusion was indeed coming to the Mac platform. Macworld 2012: Autodesk Inventor Fusion for Mac Coming
Autodesk Inventor Fusion is a 3D direct modeling solution that provides a full design modeling environment from 2D sketching with geometric constraints up to the creation and modifying of 3D solids. You can easily import many file formats such as DWG, SAT, STEP, as well as Autodesk Inventor parts and assembly files and modify the solids with simple press pull operations to explore different design options fast and easy. The Windows version of Autodesk Inventor Fusion is now included with several shipping Autodesk products including AutoCAD 2013 and several Autodesk Suites after going from technology preview and several iterations on Autodesk Labs and now the Inventor Fusion for Mac version starts the journey.
Check out the YouTube video of Autodesk Technical Evangelist Rob Cohee and Senior Product Line Manager Kevin Schneider discussing Inventor Fusion (aka “Sexy Technology”): Autodesk Digital Prototyping 2012 - Inventor Fusion
The time has come and you can now download your free technology preview of Inventor Fusion for Mac just make certain to review the system requirements and please provide us feedback on your experience to email@example.com.
It is not only simple to use but simple to install with a single DMG file download then drag and drop to the apps icon and voilà you are ready to go.
Need more help, just check out the Inventor Fusion Technology for Mac – WikiHelp
You can the use simple 2D sketches using many of the familiar methods like circle rectangle trim etc. to build 3D geometry using extrude loft and other 3D methods with preview before committing.
And easily modify existing 3D parts and assemblies.
FYI: BOTH Windows and Mac versions of Inventor Fusion are available on the download page after completing the short and pain free Autodesk Labs web form.
Keep Inventor Solids Simple (KISS) when exporting.
This new & free technology preview for Autodesk Inventor 2013 named Inventor Simplification has just been posted on Autodesk Labs allowing you to reduce models, include or exclude parts and remove IP before exporting for use in a Revit BIM model using the .adsk file format. In the past there has been the shrink wrap feature but that has now been expanded with more abilities to control what is exported.
For example you may have a large assembly of a elevator (a lift for my friends outside the US) and do not need to send the new elevator mechanical design to be used the in Revit model the architect is building. You could shrink-wrap, fill holes, and export only the minimum parts required of the elevator in the Revit model. You could also be exporting a crane or cooling tower design for use in a large Revit BIM model as seen below. For a BIM model all the gears, motors and other contents inside a crane.
If you are exporting your mechanical designs for use in BIM models you should definitely check this technology preview out.You can also export out the models as DWG or SAT for use in other applications.
Inventor Simplification for Autodesk Inventor 2013
You can try the brand spanking new AutoCAD LT 2013 Online Trial without having to download or installing anything. No, this is not a late April Fools joke. The AutoCAD LT 2013 is running on our servers allowing you a fast, free, and effortless way to check out the new release. You may only see the download trial option if the online trial is too popular or your connection is not fast enough.
Also checkout the Project Vasari Community: http://projectvasari.com/
Project Vasari is an AEC conceptual design and analysis software that has been getting accolades since it was first launched on Autodesk Labs. Now there is a new updated Project Vasari 2.5 coming very soon.
Project Vasari 2.5 adds some features that many of you have asked for such as:
The Project Vasari 2.5 Preview Video:
Check out more details on David Light’s excellent blog post:
As you may already know, the main reason we post technology previews on Autodesk Labs is to get your feedback. As you provide feedback on a technology preview it lets us know what you like, do not like, as well as what you want or need in the future. Technology previews are not yet products or beta they are early technology previews incubating on Autodesk Labs.
Give the Autodesk Labs technology previews like Project Vasari a try and let us know what you think.
Project Falcon is a free technology preview on Autodesk Labs. Project Falcon standalone version allows you to import a STL file and subject it to digital wind tunnel simulation testing to better understand the structure, topology, or a design and improve it. Most Autodesk and applications that work with 3D geometry can export a STL mesh file to be used in Project Falcon. You can also output.AVI format video of the simulation.
Flow and wind pressure results including:
So why does Autodesk post great technology for free on Autodesk Labs? The answer is quite simple, we want your feedback to see if the technology preview can be improved and should be a future product or service for Autodesk. Your feedback is critical to the future of the technology previews.
Give Project Falcon a try today as it is not only informative, but fun.