Category Archives: VentusAR

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.

z drone

“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

Tom Na Clach Windfarm Grid Connection Planning Application

VentusAR visualisations have been used on the Tom Na Clach windfarm Grid connection! The landscape and visual assessment for this project was completed by one of our clients who were keen to try out VentusAR on a planning application.

Tom Na Clach Grid connection is a project to connect the consented Tom Na Clach wind farm to the national grid. It is proposed to be a wood pole connection of approximately 15km of wood pole supporting a 132kV circuit. It has been submitted to Highland council and has planning application notice of 16/05709/S37.

Visualisations

Visualisations have been created to Highland Council Standards using VentusAR. Below are some examples of the visualisations submitted – for Viewpoint 1 there is an example of the baseline panorama, matching wireline and photomontage.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 16.52.36


Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 16.56.50
The full PDF for the viewpoint can be downloaded below.

pdficon_large16_05709_S37-ENVIRONMENTAL_APPRAISAL_-_FIGURE_7.6_-_VIEWPOINT_1__PLAN_AND_PHOTOMONTAGES_-1119608

To find out more about how VentusAR can help produce visualisations for planning applications, get in touch hello@ventusar.com

Visualisation for the Next Generation of Power Engineers

I watched a webcast and was struck by the amount of work and systems involved in creating a “real world” 3D model.

The webcast was an Autodesk webcast called Visualisation for the Next Generation of Power Engineers. I’ve embedded it below if you fancy a watch.

This webcast takes the watcher through the process of creating a visually rich 3D model of a Grid project. It incorporates loading data from lots of sources and creating a 3D visualisation to explain the design of the electrical system.

Autodesk highlight their value proposition as:

  • leveraging enterprise GIS and Design model information to enhance collaboration and project insight.
  • 3D models can be used as a means of communication for public outreach.

Building a model vs Using the Real World

My thought was that Autodesk spent a long time modelling the world. They loaded LiDAR data into Civils3D to provide a baseline, added new changes to the earthworks, add the new project before finally creating a visualisation. This all takes time, expertise and equipment to do. Could it be done quicker and cheaper any other way?

We use the real world as the basis of our visualisation solution. Our solutions allow us to place any 3D model at any location in the landscape. We have successfully added many different types of models ranging from 13m wood poles to 50m towers to new substations – all visualised in the real world – not a virtual world.

AllfiveTransmisison
Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 16.56.50For more information about how VentusAR can be used to visualise Grid projects for design and stakeholder engagement get in touch: hello@ventusar.com or 0141 374 2741

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.

IMG_0172

IMG_0203

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 included in 3D Technology in Planning Report

This week the research report “USE OF DIGITAL AND 3D VISUALISATION TECHNOLOGY IN PLANNING FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT” was published by the Scottish Government.Planning_Report

This independent report examines the role and potential of digital imagery and 3D visualisation in the planning process in Scotland. Produced by the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, it was commissioned to inform the review of the planning system.

The report makes reference to the work of Linknode in the use, acceptance and value of 3D visualisation in planning, especially for real-time, in-situ visualisations for better contextual understanding of change and development (George – our technical director – was especially pleased as the report includes a photo of him using VentusAR at Clyde Wind Farm).

GBIt details the importance of digital equivalence in planning and how future advances in 3D visualisations should be embraced by local authorities and developers at earlier stages in the planning process to improve engagement and understanding.

Linknode entirely support this direction and look forward to on-going participation in the development of 3D visualisation in planning & development in Scotland and beyond. To be involved further, review the “Places, People and Planning” consultation of the future of the Scottish Planning System with opportunities to respond.

Report History and Scottish Planning Review

As previously blogged, this is part of the Scottish Planning Review that started with a call for evidence in September 2015.  The response to this was published in July 2016 (our comments here), leading to the commissioning of a report in October 2016 into the use of 3D visualisation technology in planning for new development.  This was funded by the Planning & Architecture Division of the Scottish Government.

Case Study: VentusAR

Out of the 44 bits of technology mentioned in the the report, our VentusAR and UrbanPlanAR solutions for delivering visualisations is noted as the only mobile augmented reality tool (see Annex A for full list).  Of course, we are also based in Glasgow making our contributions innovative, relevant and local!

The report provides a case study on VentusAR for providing in-field Augmented Reality for Agri-Renewables. The key benefits highlighted in this case study are:

  • The use of real world imagery (still or animated) provides high levels of realism for use at early stages of a project.
  • A low cost and level of risk associated with the investment in the visual representations.
  • The incorporation of real-world video enables the representation of movement in the landscape (e.g. swaying trees, vehicles) […] and thus important in coherent representation of a scene of proposed change.
  • Coherence supports the impression of credibility of visualisations.

About VentusAR

We are already providing our clients with the tools to better visualise and communicate their developments. Our online case studies include:

Green Cat Renewables

Greencat Solar visualisationWhen using VentusAR, GreenCat Renewables estimate they save 30% of the time required to visualise and assess Solar and Wind projects. Read the full case study.

 

LDA Design

VentusAR - Wind Turbine Visualisation LDALDA Design benefits from being able to rapidly evaluate projects early on in the development lifecycle and being able to clearly communicate information to clients and consultees. Read the full case study.

Hoolan Energy

Aerial photography of the Hesta Project

Hoolan Energy used VentusAR to do better public engagement for the Costa and Hesta wind projects in Orkney.   Read the full case study or watch the videos: Costa and Hesta.

 

Find out More

You can read more about VentusAR (our product for delivering visualisations in a rural environment) and UrbanPlanAR (for creating visualisations in an urban environment).

If you would like to know more about our visualisation processes and how we can help you communicate your project to stakeholders and the public, drop us a line: hello@linknode.co.uk

Happy New Year: Top five posts from 2016

Happy New Year from everyone at Linknode. We thought this would be a good time to review the top five most popular posts of 2016.

Videomontage

In June we created video montages for community engagement on Orkney with Hoolan Energy.

Community Engagement for a Hoolan Energy Wind Development in Orkney

Buildings

We launched the buildings domain to allow our users to quickly assess buildings in VentusAR.

Assessing and Visualising Buildings in VentusAR

Pokemon Go

July came round and Niantic launched Pokemon Go. That is an interesting one to watch as the guy behind Niantic Labs was also the guy behind Google Earth.

What Does Pokémon GO Mean for AR?

UrbanPlanAR call for partners

Closer to home, we started looking for partners for UrbanPlanAR.

Invitation to Participate in the Innovate UK Visualisation Project :: UrbanPlanAR

Scottish Government Planning Review

The Scottish Governmnet planning review was published.

Planning Review Scotland – Greater use of 3D

Whats Coming up in 2017

Lots of things are planned for 2017:

  • We have been producing visualisations for some big infrastructure projects in grid and buildings domains (be sure to check back as we will publish case studies when they are in the public domain)
  • UrbanPlanAR is due to launch in April 2017, we are working with our partners to refine its use and produce a business model
  • More innovation coming across our products: presentation quality output – inlcuding more lighting and shadow options, dynamic visualisations and enabling a greater reach.

If you would like to know more about our visualisation processes and how we can help you communicate your project to stakeholders and the public, drop us a line: hello@linknode.co.uk.

VentusAR welcomes Gillespies Landscape Architects

gillespies-site-sign-board-colour

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.

onshore150-e1438175454732Transmisson150-e1438175441149

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