Category : Uncategorized

Laser Scans and Precision Modeling

As we mentioned in our previous post on Total Stations, electronic measuring devices are the standard when it comes to gathering precision data for 3D modeling. Laser scanners are becoming more powerful, less expensive, and thus more accessible for folks looking to create very precise 3D models. For what we do here at Fat Pencil Studio there […]

Navigating Avalanche Terrain
Posted by on May 8, 2017
Posted in: mapping, tips and tricks, transportation, Uncategorized

This winter I decided to prepare for my backcountry ski trips by finding routes that are lowest in avalanche danger. CalTopo was recommended to me by a volunteer with the Mount Saint Helens Institute because its MapBuilder option can show slope shading, and slopes between 34 and 45 degrees are known to be prone to avalanche. […]

Brain Candy Roundup

Here at Fat Pencil Studio, we try to have fun in our day-to-day, which is why we’ve always made a point to include what we like to call “Brain Candy” in our newsletters. Over time we’ve amassed an impressive collection of fun but stimulating links that we want to share all over again—because they’re just that […]

Total Station and SketchUp

For anyone who hasn’t gotten the memo yet, electronic measuring devices are the gold standard for collecting precision measurements for both construction surveys and crime scene reconstructions. Points in space are recorded by the device and logged either in a text file or with its own proprietary software. From there it’s just a matter of having the know-how to interpret and […]

The Uncanny Valley

Featured Image: Roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro and the android based on his likeness. More at Geminoid.jp If you’ve never heard of it before, the uncanny valley is a phrase used to describe the discomfort-inducing zone that an image or likeness of a human passes through on its way from abstract to representational. The term was first coined in 1970 by […]

Strong Argument
Posted by on December 2, 2016
Posted in: Uncategorized

A well-designed graphic speaks for itself. And no matter how much ink is spilled or words exchanged on a subject, sometimes it really just comes down to the powerful statement a single image can make. As Portland struggles to manage rapid population growth and a hot housing market, City Council recently voted to phase out […]

Dynamic Components III

SketchUp offers great opportunities for interactive visualizations, and perhaps one of its most interesting features for this purpose is dynamic components (check our previous posts about them: I and II). I must admit, though, that I had not dared to try them enough to consider using them. But the right project came along, so I […]

ASLA-MN Award
Posted by on June 1, 2015
Posted in: Uncategorized

Congratulations to our client Chris Carlson on winning two state awards from the Minnesota chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects [Honor Award, Communication: Mind Land: A Short Field Guide; Merit Award, Analysis and Planning: Peter Mitchell Landscape Framework Plan]. Both projects provide progressive reclamation practices and a long-term (60 year) strategy for reclaiming […]

September @ MOMA
Posted by on October 29, 2014
Posted in: Uncategorized

  My favorite camera is my film Hasselblad—a little brick—portable and heavy duty. When I go climbing, that Hasselblad is part of my enjoyment. A while ago, pinhole diagrams and suspended disbelief convinced me that science happens here: light bends, distances focus, the real world becomes small and flat thanks to concavity and silver halide […]

Glacial Pace
Posted by on June 3, 2013
Posted in: environment, inspiration, Uncategorized

I’ve had some notes to myself for blog post ideas lying around that suddenly came together last week. A few months ago, I came across this article on the NYT’s Dot Earth blog about a proposal by scientists to redefine sustainable development in terms of a single, comprehensive “bottom line.” This in contrast with the […]