Blog

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 […]

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 […]

FoodCorps Fabrication
Posted by on April 6, 2017
Posted in: built projects

In the old tile building on 7th and Salmon, several companies have reclaimed the light-filled office spaces. FoodCorps, a national nonprofit whose headquarters are based in Portland, can be found behind the larger window-clad facade. Their interior layout is based on their educational mission: the idea of a classroom with a large common area surrounded by several […]

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 […]

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 […]