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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Project Photofly at TED - It is Alive in the Lab

Is this BIM related?  Just think about your next retrofit project...


 by Scott Sheppard
Fotolia_619129_XS TED is a Technology, Education, and Design conference that is held all over the world. Today through March 4, one of the conferences is being held in Long Beach California. TED's tag line is "ideas worth sharing" and in my opinion, they are not kidding. The presentations are terrific.
Project Photofly is our technology preview of a service that creates 3D models from photographs. It is quite handy for using a simple digital camera to create models of buildings prior to renovation or mechanical parts so the designs can be modified using a CAD application like Inventor Fusion.
Autodesk is a sponsor of TED, so some of the exhibits from our Autodesk Gallery at One Market will be on display at TED. In addition, Brian Mathews, VP of Autodesk Labs, will be showcasing Project Photofly. When we demonstrated Project Photofly at Autodesk University, we had attendees sit in a chair while a team member took pictures. We then used Project Photofly to create 3D models of their heads. While this approach reinforced the idea that Project Photofly could be used by anyone without special equipment, it did require that the person sit completely still while the team member took about 14 pictures.
And now for something completely different. At TED we are trying a more automated approach. We have 14 cameras attached to a rig that we constructed. The workflow is:
  1. The user types in his email address.
  2. The user clicks a button.
  3. 14 pictures get taken simultaneously.
  4. The pictures are sent to a Project Photofly server.
  5. The server creates a 3D model from the pictures.
  6. The 3D model is emailed to the attendee's email address.
This demonstration uses the Inventor Publisher 3D format so the attendee can view the 3D model of his head using the Inventor Publisher Viewer freely available in the App Store for the Apple iPhone (or iPad).
After TED, our plan is to relocate this exhibit to the Autodesk Gallery at One Market. The gallery is open to the public on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 5 pm, and admission is free. Visit us.
Putting the D in TED is alive in the lab.

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