Category Archives: Landscape Architects

From Photomontage to Videomontage!

New media does not stand still for long.

In order to support the move from photography to video in engagement and communication, Linknode are launching our unique TrueViewVisuals Videomontage service.

We know that in the future, immersive realities will have a significant impact on our lives, augmenting our world with information curated for us by Artificial Intelligence focused on interests, time and location.  Our professional tools for understanding change through planning are in for the journey, but for communication and sharing of plans and designs we realised we need to provide something more, something unique and engaging.

Our social communication is a benchmark for what is expected in 2017.  Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are increasingly video focused, supported by new standards in camera recording, broadband capacity and user expectations.

As a case study, earlier this month we took a road trip up to the North East of Scotland and captured some imagery of a planned project.

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“The videomontages produced by TrueViewVisuals are not only innovative, but look stunning also. The HD video allows for a greater appreciation of a development site, giving new perspectives and a realism that cannot be paralleled with static photography.” 

Alasdair Warnock, Green Cat Renewables

This builds on our strengths and capabilities, tested and used for five years in landscape assessment.  Using real-world video as the basis of our production we can deliver more realistic, faster and easier to update video for use in public engagement, campaigns and sales.

If you have any queries regarding these new features, or you would like to chat further about how we can help create amazing videomontages, please give us a call on 0141 374 2741 or email hello@trueviewvisuals.com

Conductor Line Sag in Grid Projects

One of the features we  added recently is drawing realistic looking Conductor lines between towers on our Grid projects.

Prior to VentusAR 5.4 we drew straight lines between the connector points on the tower models. This had the effect of fairly unrealistic looking conductor lines as even across the shortest distance the conductor lines sag slightly due to gravity.

This post shows some examples of the line sag development and adds some more detail on how the line sag is calculated.

Catenary Formula

The line sag formula we use when displaying the conductor lines on a transmission project is based on a generalisation of the catenary formula. To calculate the sag at a given point we use the following formula:

LineSag_Formula

Where:

  • a is half the distance between towers (in meters)
  • y is the drop at that point in the conductor (in meters)

Maths Example

Lets take a worked example, if the towers were 200m apart, then the variable a would be 100. We can calculate the value at three sample points:

  • at x = 0 the sag due is calculated as 0m – which would make sense – it is at the top of the tower
  • at x = 200 the sag is calculated as 0m – it also makes sense as it at the top of the other tower
  • at x= 100, the sag calculated is 10.033m – this is the bottom of the catenary curve

This is easiest shown with a graph. Below is a screenshot (with slight optical illusion):

LineSag_Graph

Visual Example

When drawing the line sag, we calculate thirty points along the wire and work out the sag between each of those points  – we then draw a series of straight lines between each point.  Our curve is actually a series straight lines between each of these points, but as you can see the visual impact is effective.

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Line sag modelling has been added to all Grid projects that use conductor lines.

Limitations

This is only an approximation of how line sag works, I have asked an engineer how line sag is actually calculated and discovered it is far more complicated than I wanted to represent in a generic Visual Assessment tool like VentusAR.

This formula could cause conductor lines to be drawn underground – it is up to the person who set up the model to ensure that the span between towers is reasonable.  Custom modelling is, of course, available on any project where additional detail is required.

More Information

For more information about line sag and how we can help you visualise and assess your Grid projects, tower and conductor lines, give us a shout at hello@ventusar.com

New SNH Visualisation Guidance Published (Lighting)

We were reminded today that the latest version of the SNH “Visual Representation of Wind Farms” came out of draft and was published last month (February 2017).

Version 2.2 of the guidance is an iterative update following the major release update (v2.0) in summer 2014 and the v2.1 revisions in December the same year.

A summary document of changes has been published as a separate download and provides practitioners and interested parties a rapid insight into the changes without the need to compare paragraph by paragraph.  The major change, impacting visual assessment and output for new developments is in paragraphs 174-177:

Turbine Lighting

For turbines in excess of 150m, the need to consult on new lighting visuals is now required.  Although future technical mitigation may help here, there is currently the recommendation to capture images at dusk and create a photomontage based on existing lighting (static streets, moving vehicles, other aviation lighting).
The visualisation should use photographs taken in low light conditions, preferably when other artificial lighting (such as street lights and lights on buildings) are on, to show how the wind farm lighting will look compared to the existing baseline at night.

NOT the Way to Visualise Wind Turbine Lighting!

Specifically the guidance makes reference to innovation in that SNH “encourage applicants to explore new techniques to do this, and emphasise the importance of early dialogue

We are looking for someone who will be creating night light visualisations to ensure that our upcoming night light features being built into VentusAR will work. If you have a project at the right stage, get in touch!

Animation

As we have experienced with the difference between animated wind turbines when compared against static imagery, there is a big difference between views of lighting where all the turbines are at a “maximum visibility” (worst case scenario) visibility and a more normalised situation with different wind directions and rotation occluding lights at certain times.  The more realistic effect can create a fairy lights twinkling effect, but is more representative.

For any clients, landscape assessors, planners or developers interested in exploring new ways to communicate, please contact us at hello@ventusar.com

VentusAR welcomes Gillespies Landscape Architects

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We are delighted that Gillespies, a forward thinking, UK based Landscape Architect practice, have signed up to use VentusAR within their organisation.

After an evaluation of the tools on the market, Gillespies selected VentusAR as a suitable addition to their tools for landscape assessment and visualisation. This software will particularly help with the Grid and Building projects work they are currently undertaking.

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About VentusAR

VentusAR is the only mobile visualisation tool to provide real world visualisations from where you are. Take the iPad or Android tablet any where and it will show how the view will be affected by the building of a project. Use it to inform assessment, produce high quality visualisation and better engage the public. To find out more about how VentusAR can save you time and money on landscape assessment project contact hello@ventusar.com

Assessing and Visualising Buildings in VentusAR

To effectively assess a new buildings project, developers and landscape architects must be able to see and understand a 3D model within the landscape.  VentusAR provides a simple but effective workflow of converting 2D CAD designs into 3D easy to understand visualisations.

  • Fly Through provides an overview of the area around the project.
  • My View shows what the development looks like while on site and the Gallery mode stores photography and allows render and PDF production.

Model the Site in CAD

Layouts for building developments are created in CAD software.
Here, a selection of different types of buildings have been added as blocks in AutoCAD.  The scale and rotation angle of the block is used to define the size and orientation of the building.

modelsiteincad

Export from CAD and Import to VentusAR

Simply use built-in CAD commands (or custom scripts) to extract the location and orientation directly from the drawing.
Create a project in the VentusAR portal and efficiently import the file containing the building locations and dimensions.autocadtovar

Understand Context Using Fly Through

Opening the project in the VentusAR solution synchronises all data for offline use, automatically loading in the background terrain and mapping data.
The Fly Through mode provides an interactive project overview to communicate footprint and context in the landscape.  Navigation uses a combination of physical device orientation and intuitive screen gestures.

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Preview Visuals Onsite and Take Pictures

On-site visuals can be previewed from any location.  From pre-planned viewpoints to ad-hoc locations such as households and road junctions; VentusAR shows what a development will look like from wherever you are.
Photos are captured and stored in the Gallery, allowing layout revisions to be subsequently previewed without the requirement to return to site. Handheld-iPad

Produce Output Images and PDF Files

To share and communicate the visuals in scoping and feasibility reports, renders may be produced from the Gallery.
Different project presentation options include transparency, wireline, outline, lighting and masking.
Renders may be inserted into PDF templates with custom logos for presentation quality download.

Mark

VentusAR has been designed to integrate seamlessly into existing CAD design processes.  Utilising the same data for layouts and enabling rapid, yet powerful visuals extends the value of the design, allows for more iterative development and delivers higher value, higher quality visual communication with stakeholders.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your needs for assessing and visualising buildings using VentusAR. Call us on 0141 559 6170 or email hello@ventusar.com