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.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-11-32-37

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 

How Building is Going Digital

Today, I saw an article on the BBC news site about how the building business is going digital. I want to pick up on a few key points that are made in this article and to highlight how UrbanPlanAR can be used either as a design tool or a communication tool to show what project will look like. If you haven’t read the article it’s available on the BBC website

upar_ipad-1024x637-2-1024x637

Continue reading

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.

Showing Conductor Wires in VentusAR Grid projects

Easily the most eye catching part of a grid development are the conductor wires that join the towers together. As the lines are long and linear, they draw the eye in and therefore appear more noticeable.

Power lines by the Allt Phocaichain. © Copyright Craig Wallace

Power lines by the Allt Phocaichain. © Copyright Craig Wallace

 

The ability to view conductor wires on new development visualisations is something our clients have asked about a few times as it helps them to communicate the effect of transmission lines better.

IMG_0172

A few weeks ago we added support for showing these conductors on wirelines and photomontages (including the SNH compliant PDFs) created through VentusAR. Conductors are shown as a thin grey line joining the connection points on the tower or wood pole model.

To Enable Conductors on Grid project

If you would like to enable conductors on your organisation setup, please contact us at hello@linknode.co.uk.

Once support for wireline is added, it will show on all photomontages or wirelines produced using VentusAR.

Conductor wires are available for all grid 3D models we have produced and made available in VentusAR (read more about them in our post from earlier this year).

The order the models should be joined is defined in the portal using the sort order column on the layout version page, changing the order using the up and down arrows. The conductor lines will be drawn to join each tower in order.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 14.29.52

Results

We think the results look really good – the thin grey lines make the conductors look good in the landscape. This approach is what some of our customers are already doing on the visualisations they create.

20160905_015419_4_6e19c75f-3dbf-4e76-8438-295537ffe439_render

Photomontage with the conductor lines shown

20160905_020035_5_199a9887-62f9-4d4e-857e-4722b7245b80_render

Wireline shown with conductor lines shown

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 14.13.47

53.5° wireline (produced to SNH specifications) – Full file: Bogbain_Dumrossie_B9177

 

 

VentusAR 5.0 Released

We are delighted to announce that this morning we released VentusAR v5.0 into the app stores.

The release includes many new features across Wind, Grid, Solar and Building domains. The new features make the assessment and visualisation process on iPad or Android quicker and more efficient. To highlight a few: we have added new modes for displaying models, the ability to add multiple traces to a capture and introduced an improved, streamlines render output process.

Display Modes for Models

We have added new modes for displaying models – as classic models, in block colour (with no lighting / shadows) and as outlines.

  • The colours help to distinguish building types
  • The outline / transparency helps to show what is behind the development
  • This helps assessment process to understand how development fits in the environment
Block colour mode

Block colour mode

Outline mode

Outline mode

Model mode

Model mode

 

 

 

 

Adding Multiple Traces to Gallery Photographs

You can now add multiple traces to a capture, for example, removing multiple areas of foreground (hedges etc). This produces more realistic visualisations as the model appears to be within the image and not superimposed on top.

IMG_0095

3D model in Wireline Mode

Models shown on top of photograph

Multiple traces areas defined

Final Render – the buildings are shown in the photograph

 

Streamlined Render Process

We have improved the render process to ensure users can select all the options they want
– making output render production process quicker.

IMG_0099 IMG_0102 IMG_0101

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further information and full details of the other features in VentusAR 5.0 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 

What Does Pokémon GO Mean for AR?

Unless you have been under a rock for the past few weeks (July 2016), you can’t have helped but notice that Pokémon GO has somewhat taken the world by storm.  In doing so it has also brought the term “augmented reality” (AR) to the masses with everyone including Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg weighing in with comment and opinion.

Pokemon GO

Linknode use AR as a technology to provide real-world, real-time visualisation for planning and development, so what does the conversion of a technology into a consumer application mean?

The Google Maps Connection

Within the geospatial business, we have seen a similar transition previously.  Back in the day, when digital mapping meant high end desktops and expensive software, the introduction of online mapping had a disruptive effect on the industry.

A startup called Keyhole was acquired by Google in 2004 and the founder John Hanke went on to enable Google Maps.  This was the first time that most lay-people had had access to mapping beyond the street atlas in the back of the car.  It was a revolution.

Within the geospatial industry, initially it caused a dilution in the “value of GIS systems” message.  Why pay big bucks for something you could get for free from Google?

But long term the understanding that the consumer offering is not the same as professional solutions has created a market, provided a route to understanding and clarity over the limitations.  Pokémon GO does not manage occlusion, real-time lighting, complex models, or precision coordinate system management for engineering accuracy.

And what happened to John Hanke?  Well, he went onto develop a clique AR game called Ingress and then his studio Niantic developed Pokémon GO – the guy has form!  You can read more detail with a search, example Forbes article here.

Future

So the future is AR.  But Linknode’s real-world AR (GIality) solutions VentusAR and UrbanPlanAR are as different to Pokémon GO as ArcGIS is to Google Maps.  Still, at least people have an idea what we do now!

Mario Kart GoImage Courtesy of News Thump – Release of Mario Kart Go! for Satnav ‘hopefully won’t cause too many accidents’

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

UrbanPlanAR is designed to enhance the value of BIM information by enabling in-field visualisation from any location, in real-time – creating more engaging and accessible understanding, integrated with current processes, software and formats.

The project is a development collaboration between Linknode Ltd and Heriot-Watt University, supported by Innovate UK (grant #102040).

The solution is a disruptive technology providing a 21st century alternative to desktop-based or VR assessment without outsourcing, remodelling or expensive proprietary systems.

UrbanPlanAR solves problems of:

  • Accurate urban location positioning – without the reliance on GNSS and only using affordable off-the-shelf consumer tablets
  • Disenfranchised stakeholders – by creating visualisations (impact assessments) personalised to their location in real-time
  • Late stage visualisation after design completion – by enabling integration and viewpoints throughout a project lifecycle at no additional cost
  • Remove expensive duplication in modelling – by providing a data pipeline integrated with existing industry tools and flowlines from major vendors

In order to:

  • Maximise reuse through existing investment in BIM and digital design
  • Provide accessible understanding of impact from within local communities
  • Deliver and share data for immediacy and relevance
  • Create trustworthy visualisations to enable better decision making

As the project transitions from technical development to application design, we need partners who are:

  • In the AEC industry running an active BIM project
  • Stakeholders from planning or public engagement
  • Willing to commit time and data for a private trial
  • Able to introduce new technology into an organisation
  • Brining a passion and interest in disruptive visualisation

In the first instance, please review the current concept video with “alpha” release software:

Our next development phases will address location precision, lighting and rendering by September and we will then be looking to arrange visits to showcase the work and create a partner network.

If our vision fits with your views on the reuse of BIM: using visualisation for communication and wider engagement, please feel free to call us on 0141 559 6170 or email hello@urbanplanar.com

www.urbanplanar.com

#Viz4BIM