upFront.eZine #1,115: TNG Rigs
Rob Snyder focuses our attention
Inside the Business of CAD | 29 November 2021
The problem with 3D models, especially ones with high LODs [levels of detail] like of skyscrapers or aircraft, is that the detail overwhelms us. Rob Snyder notes that focusing attention is the role of 2D drawings we generate from 3D models. But 2D plans, elevations, and details fail to provide immediate context: where are these elevations and floor plans in the 3D model — other than finding them by cross-referencing their section callout numbers (as illustrated above)?
So, Mr Snyder developed a focusing assistant, called TGN rigs. Rigs return the focus back to the 3D model through a UI and an API. Rigs lets you see, for instance, elevations in the context of the 3D model.
The key to his rigs is the viewing arc (in red, in the figure below). Arcs guide you to specific parts of the model.
You can specify different kinds of visual styles and viewpoints along the arc. For instance, the blue square in the figure above specifies an elevation section (as shown below), where the view filter is set to Section Elevation and the display style to Blueprint, with a markup added manually.
A second, horizontal timeline lets you specify properties of the view, such as changes of style (like “Blueprint”) and filtering, such as “Glass Off”.
A project could have many TGN rigs. They look like display cubes (in green in the figure below). Clipping planes are optional; click on a face of the cube to toggle specific clipping planes.
You drag a handle to rotate the view along the path from p1 to p3, during which elements can explode or implode, or even show assembly animations. (The square at p2 indicates a parallel projection at this point.) So, while a 2D drawing is static, the TNG rig is interactive.
Viewing arcs can be shaped just like an arc, or tilted in space, or S-shaped. TGN includes a library of default viewing arcs.
Every rig has a name, such as “Section Elevation,” and hosts settings that specify the GUID [globally unique identifier], a link to the model source, model motions, graphical styles, sound toggles, and so on. Some of these are dependent on the software. Rigs are stored in TRE files and can be shared through social media.
Mr Snyder writes, “Digital 3D modeling, as it is used in the design and construction industry (and similar industries), has obvious and great value. However, decades of evidence show that its value is commonly overstated, and that the farther one travels down the path established so far for BIM (or for digital twins), the farther one gets from utility, and the closer one is drawn into a never-ending slough through the muck, the purpose of which seems to be only some kind of competition to see who is more macho.”
He describes two limitations imposed by today’s massive 3D models:
As models are wide and expansive things, they surpass our human ability to wrap our minds around them.
Models by themselves provide no means by which we can assert and affirm that at any particular location that what should be shown there is shown there, and that nothing that matters is missing from there.
Mr Snyder hopes that many CAD vendors will take on his API, to make the attention focusing tool broadly available. tangerinefocus.com
And in Other News
nTopology, who we’ve talked about before, lands a fourth series of funding ($65 million), bringing the total to $135 million to further develop its generative design software for 3D printing, which TechCrunch generously described as “The company effectively offers CAD software.” ntopology.com
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SolidSpac3 debuts SolidSpac3 QA/QC [quality assurance, quality control] analysis and reporting system for commercial construction sites. It compares 2D and 3D models with construction site laser scans, identifying construction errors and problems within 24 hours. www.solidspac3.com
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Rockwell isn’t selling its billion-dollar share (9%) of PTC, contrary to a report by Berenberg Capital Markets, which had misread a resale registration statement required as a placeholder filing should IoT [Internet of things] hardware maker Rockwell want to sell. The for-sale rumour had been abetted by the PTC ceo stating his IoT software sales were in the last quarter below expectation. investor.ptc.com/resources/news/news-details/2021/PTC-and-Rockwell-Automation-Issue-Statement-in-Response-to-Berenberg-Capital-Markets-Research-Report/default.aspx.
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CADLine is offering 15% off permanent licences to its ARCHline.XP line of software until, um, today (Nov 29). As the company puts it, “Say NO to forced software subscription pricing. We offer perpetual licenses — now with 15% off. Pay once, use forever.” archlinexp.com/buy
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Meanwhile, Allplan reminds us that “Section 179 allows businesses to reduce their tax obligation by deducting software (including Allplan) purchased or financed during the tax year.” The email blast does not, however, tell us in which country. (It’s USA. But similar deductions are available in some other countries, too.) info.allplan.com/us_en/tax-deduction-section-179
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AgaCAD is cutting 50% or 30% off the prices of all their perpetual licenses until Christmas Eve for their Revit solutions, like the Smart Assemblies add-on. Get the deets at agacad.com/blog/thank-you-offer-2021
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Here are some of the posts that appeared recently on my WorldCAD Access blog:
You can subscribe to the WorldCAD Access blog’s RSS feed through Feed Burner at feeds.feedburner.com/WorldcadAccess.
Letters to the Editor
So sorry to hear of your flooding troubles. Sadly, no stranger to disastrous flooding here in Houston.
- Becky Stevens
Re: The State of Step
It’s interesting that technical challenges/opportunities that I explored back in the ’80s are still relevant today, if not moreso. You know that old saying, “The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.”
- John Callen
Re: How much does a mouse cost?
On the almost $500 price on that mouse: as I understand it, a vendor may sometimes jack up the price to a “nobody will pay this” level to preserve the product listing, rather than removing it altogether. The in-stock status (in China) may be more aspirational than real.
- Rich Webb (via WorldCAD Access)
“In the end, the term metaverse will be nothing but a bunch of incompatible messy digital constructs from visions of companies who have no idea what exactly it does to improve human life.”
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Models are like worlds, as was clear long ago. But now, with the advent of digital twins and metaverses, it’s more apparent than ever. And more commonly understood.
But what is a world, without concentrated attention (focus)?
That question is poorly addressed in today’s modeling applications. But good answers ARE known. The history of technical drawing reminds us of the essential nature of well articulated concentrated focus within the context of modeled environments, whether those environments are modeled physically, digitally, and/or mentally.
This legacy of drawing has a future, an evolution in form, now to be expressed in-situ within digital modeled environments, and making full use there of today’s graphics capabilities.
Tangerine can help software companies envision, design, and implement next generation user interactions within modeled worlds that help users make themselves clear, givinging them the power they need to clarify, and share, their own interactive efforts at concentration, and the resulting expression of articulated focused attention, within models.
TGN is the triple fusion of:
— drawing, and
— techniques of cinematic camera rigging that have evolved over the hundred or so years of the history of film.