Blog

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 […]

Placemaker Extension
Posted by on March 2, 2017
Posted in: creative community, geomodeling, mapping, photomatch, software, tips and tricks

Last month I had the honor of beta-testing Placemaker, a smart plugin that automatically integrates infrastructure data into 3D using the SketchUp geo-location feature. The full version has just been released (congratulations to mind.sight.studios!), and we are excited to continue integrating it into our workflow. Here’s a rough idea of how Placemaker works: the general […]

Crime Scenes
Posted by on February 10, 2017
Posted in: animation, legal, SceneViz

Criminal law is interesting work, and I consider myself lucky to have learned about the process from an outsider’s perspective. In the past five years, Fat Pencil Studio has helped on numerous criminal cases—just a handful at first, but in 2016 we worked on ten, including seven murder cases. Whoa, what happened? Did criminal defense […]

Portland's Steel Bridge
Posted by on February 9, 2017
Posted in: architecture, imaging, slideshow, transportation

Portland, Oregon, a.k.a. “Bridgetown,” boasts twelve feats of engineering that span the Willamette River, some more majestic than others (sorry, Marquam Bridge). As part of our studio-wide fascination with these bridges, I undertook a 3d study of Portland’s most unique bridge: the Steel. The Steel Bridge was completed in 1912 as part of a massive […]

Discover the Story
Posted by on January 12, 2017
Posted in: inspiration, legal, SceneViz, tips and tricks

Last Saturday I spent the day in a hotel ballroom watching Zoe Littlepage and Rainey Booth (pictured below) discuss their approach to visual storytelling. When the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) announced this event last month, I signed up right away for an exhibit table. After all, visual storytelling is what Fat Pencil Studio is […]

Continuous Phasing
Posted by on January 11, 2017
Posted in: construction, illustration, safety, transportation

Anyone familiar with our work knows we have made a lot of construction logistics diagrams. So when Stacy and Witbeck asked us to take a different approach in describing their planned phasing for the construction of a new streetcar line in Tempe, AZ, we were excited to try something new. Instead of showing five phases […]

Welcome Jannine!
Posted by on January 9, 2017
Posted in: creative community

We are excited to announce that Jannine Hanczarek joined our team right at the beginning of the new year! She graduated from Portland State University in 2015 and has lived in the Portland area for 10 years. Originally from San Francisco, Jannine studied physics and math before deciding to pursue architecture for her degree. With […]

Vision Zero Action
Posted by on December 6, 2016
Posted in: legal, projects, transportation

I was heartened to read last week that Portland City Council is showing signs of taking Vision Zero seriously. After adopting the philosophy last summer that all traffic deaths are preventable, they took the next step by adopting an Action Plan that outlines 32 steps to take to make Portland’s roads safe for everyone. While […]

The Year of VR
Posted by on December 6, 2016
Posted in: interactive, legal, projects, SceneViz, virtual reality

(Feature image credit: Faye Orlove for Marketplace) As 2016 draws to a close, I’m reflecting on a crush of breathless news coverage on the topic of Immersive Virtual Reality (VR). Most recently, I listened to an episode of the Marketplace Codebreaker Podcast, titled Alternate Reality, which included an excellent segment on VR in the courtroom. The […]

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 […]