Blog

Highway Visualizations
Posted by on June 8, 2015
Posted in: geomodeling, projects, transportation

Changes are afoot in Clackamas County, where ODOT is working on two stretches of Highway 224 to improve visibility and reduce turning conflicts. We worked with ODOT and Enviroissues to prepare these before/after visualizations to help stakeholders understand the proposed changes. You can learn more about these projects here. At 197th: At 232nd:

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 […]

Tilikum Details
Posted by on May 8, 2015
Posted in: architecture, built projects, inspiration, transportation

Put two engineers and an architect together on a panel and you’ve got my attention. Get them talking about Portland’s newest bridge and I’m there! Last night’s lecture was titled The Spirit of Details and featured Tilikum Crossing architect David MacDonald along with engineers Semyon Treyger and David Goodyear. The event had something for everyone: from a […]

FPS... The Movie
Posted by on May 7, 2015
Posted in: creative community, inspiration, software

Fat Pencil Studio is an unusual company, and I’ve always found it challenging to fully explain what we do. I carry around business cards with pictures on the back. I arrive at conferences with a laptop to show examples of our work. My approach has always been to show up in person to explain our […]

Weeds Never Sleep
Posted by on May 1, 2015
Posted in: projects

Some projects definitely have more personality than others. We recently finished up work for an innovative Kickstarter project called “HotShot,” an organic herbicide sprayer. Inventor Michael Peterson came to us with a great idea and a rough sketch, and we had a lot of fun developing a 3d model and supporting images. The HotShot allows […]

Visualizer
Posted by on April 9, 2015
Posted in: projects, software, tips and tricks

Over the years we’ve dabbled in rendering software, but have generally found them to be too technical and time-intensive for the type of explanatory diagrams we create. But recently we started using a rendering plug-in for SketchUp called Visualizer, and have been impressed with its ability to rapidly generate model views of striking depth and […]

Graphics Advice for Transportation
Posted by on April 1, 2015
Posted in: creative community, graphic design, transportation

Hot on the heels of our Graphics Advice for Lawyers, we released Graphics Advice for Transportation at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit on March 31. It contains insight into how to effectively incorporate visual thinking into project workflow and public outreach efforts. It’s a quick read that defines key graphic principles, contains tips for creating […]

Construction Details
Posted by on March 20, 2015
Posted in: construction, creative community, DetailViz, projects, tips and tricks

Fat Pencil Studio’s modeling process for construction details was inspired by Dennis Fukai at insitebuilders. His books and e-pubs offer highly illustrated examples of how to organize a SketchUp model using nested groups and the Outliner window. In many cases, you can achieve similar results using carefully named layers and components. We’ve used both approaches […]

Morrison Bridge Verdict
Posted by on March 18, 2015
Posted in: animation, construction, DetailViz, legal, projects, transportation

On March 6, a jury returned a verdict in the case of the defective lift span deck that was installed on the Morrison Bridge in 2011-12. The Morrison Bridge is Portland’s busiest non-highway bridge, carrying about 50,000 cars each day. Defects in the deck became apparent within months after construction was completed in March 2012, and have worsened […]