Blog

Design Thinking, in Practice
Posted by on July 10, 2017
Posted in: construction, legal, product, projects, transportation

Last month we wrote about “design thinking,” an old idea that has found new popularity in break rooms and board rooms of companies from many disciplines. The theory calls for the use of visual tools and prototypes to engage a broad range of stakeholders in all stages of the design process. Here are some examples […]

Mapillary Action

Recently I heard about Mapillary, an open-source app that lets anyone with a camera and an internet connection contribute to a database of street view images from around the world. We use Google’s street view all the time to create 3D models of remote locations, so I was curious to see what Mapillary has to offer. […]

The Threshold of Detectability

Recently our studio got a copy of Eyal Weizman’s book, Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability. Weizman is the founder of Forensic Architecture, a research agency based in London and founded in 2011. They use a combination of forensic and architectural methods to investigate war crimes, assassinations, and other human rights abuses where there have been attempts […]

Design Thinking, in Theory
Posted by on June 12, 2017
Posted in: creative community, graphic design, inspiration

One of our biggest challenges at Fat Pencil Studio is simply explaining what we do. It’s not so hard to show off what we make: 3d models, diagrams, animations, maps, infographics, to name a few. However, these things are just the end result of a design process that we use to create visual stories. That […]

Out and About 2017
Posted by on June 8, 2017
Posted in: conferences, legal, presentations, transportation

Fat Pencil Studio started attending summer conventions with the Oregon Trial Lawyers (OTLA) in 2011 and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers (OCDLA) in 2012. Besides being a good excuse to visit central Oregon, these meetings are a great way to show off what we do in person. If you are planning to attend one of […]

Resistance GIS
Posted by on June 2, 2017
Posted in: activism, conferences, data visualization, events, GIS, mapping

On May 20th, one of Portland’s first sunny Saturdays the year, 200 people elected to stay inside and talk about maps. Maps they love and hate, maps they made themselves or dreamed of making, how we make maps and why we make maps. This was the first-ever Resistance GIS Conference, held in a dim auditorium […]

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. […]

Welcome Yana!
Posted by on May 2, 2017
Posted in: creative community

We are excited to announce that Yana Stannik has joined as the 5th member of our growing team here at Fat Pencil Studio! She graduated from the University of Oregon in 2016 and moved to Portland shortly thereafter. Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Yana earned her degree in architecture, with emphases in planning, preservation, and […]

Steel Bridge Animation

Recently I wrote about a model I made of Portland’s Steel Bridge. The post featured a slideshow of the bridge at different stages in its lift process, and at the time I hadn’t yet fully animated it. I’ve had the opportunity since then to experiment with a couple of different plugins for SketchUp and was able to produce a video of the […]