Category Archives: VentusAR

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.

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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

A Cold Crisp Morning Testing

What a lovely morning to do some VentusAR testing. The car was frozen so once it was scraped and I could see it was off to the Campsie’s to test the new iPad Pro 9. Everything looks good, so I thought I would share some photos of the sun on the frosty hill side (and how the Terrain5 wireline still lines up with the hillside giving me confidence in what VentusAR is showing).

Photo of Dumglass

Photo of Dumglass

Wireline view created with OS Terrain 5 data

Matching wireline created with OS Terrain 5 data

VentusAR 5.1 Released

Today we released VentusAR v5.1 into the app stores.

The release includes many new features, bug fixes and performance improvements across Wind, Grid, Solar and Building domains. These include umbrella’s showing the extents of cumulative wind projects, advanced lighting controls and support for Netherlands projects.

Cumulative Umbrellas

The cumulative umbrella’s show the spread and distance of any cumulative projects shown in the visualisation. These are shown on tablet screen and on PDF output.

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Umbrella’s showing Cumulative Project Extents

Advanced Lighting Controls

New controls have been added to allow users to change the lighting intensity and direction to produce a more realistic lighting effect in the photomontage. These controls are available in a separate tab called ‘advanced’ on the lighting control panel.

Advanced Lighting Controls

Advanced Lighting Controls

Further information and full details of the other features in VentusAR 5.1 can be found in the release notes for iPad, Android and the Portal

If you have any queries regarding these new features, or you would like to chat further about how VentusAR can help you with your visualisations, please give us a call on 0141 559 6170 or email hello@ventusar.com 

A Better Camera – Using External Photography in VentusAR

Sometimes the iPad camera just doesn’t cut it. Especially if you have over £1000 worth of Cannon EOS camera sitting on your desk.  In this blog post we will walk you through the process of uploading and calibrating DSLR photography to provide a better quality visualisation. Here is an example of the photomontage output created from a DSLR photograph for a single building project.

Continue reading

iOS 10 Released

Today iOS 10 has been released. We have tested VentusAR 5.0 with iOS 10 on the iPad Air, Air2 and Pro and everything seems to be working perfectly.

logodeios10The main difference I think that VentusAR customers will see is the new way of unlocking the tablet: instead of swiping right on the lock screen, you now press the home button to unlock. There are loads of other new features that have been added into iOS 10, you can find a full list at apple’s website.

We recommend everyone updates to iOS 10 to take advantage of the new features and security updates included in this release.