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Animation and 3D textures at Autodesk University

December 15, 2010 |
Jeff Yoders

In Las Vegas, a group of the most demanding clients in the world spend billions setting the latest trends in hospitality and resort design.  Delivering cutting edge designs for clients such as Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn, MGM/Mirage and Harrah’s Inc. is the just-off-the-strip architecture firm Steelman Partners.

Founded in 1987 by principal/lead designer Paul Steelman, the firm has evolved into a multi-disciplinary entertainment architecture, interior, graphic design, planning, and theater design shop whose recent credits include the Sands Macau hotel and casino, the Ho Tram Strip in Vietnam and Harrah’s Rincon in Valley Center, Calif.  Steelman’s inhouse 3D animation arm Inviro Studio uses Autodesk  3Ds Max as its primary rendering tool to deliver realistic animations and renderings to its clients around the word in a matter of days rather than weeks to win projects. The expansion of The Venetian Hotel and Casino, a project that’s typical of a regular Steelman hospitality project’s scale, included 1,700 separate 3D animation stills to show how the finished project wouold operate.

3Ds Max 2011 includes 75 built-in smart substance textures from Allegorithmic, a gaming design company based in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Why should you, an architect or engineer, care about gaming textures, you ask? Because Allegorithmic’s smart textures contain parametric information that can be manipulated in 3Ds Max to both mimic existing conditions for renovation projects and to show with with great detail finished walls, floors, landscapes and other interior elements in your 3Ds Max renderings, all without increasing model size thanks to Allegorithmic’s decompression technology.

For example, if you choose to use the pre-loaded brick wall in 3Ds Max you can manipulate its parameters to change the color of the brick, the mortar, the number of bricks in the wall, the number of cracks (if you’re working on expanding an existing structure) in the wall, the pattern of the bricks and other built-in parameters.

The line between game design and architecture design gets smaller and smaller with technologies such as gaming engines and textures being used by more and more architects for visualization. Allegorithmic recently released an online marketplace of substance texture for 3D artists.

Jeff Yoders | BD+C Editors

For five years Jeff Yoders covered IT, CAD, and BIM as Senior Associate Editor of Building Design + Construction. He's a chair at-large of the Associated General Contractors of America's BIM Forum and speaks regularly to audiences about how to transition to digital workflows. Jeff has won four American Society of Business Publications Editors awards.

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