Augmented Reality
Posted by on June 13, 2013
Posted in: creative community, software

For my first entry on the Fat Pencil blog, I present an exploration of augmented reality. Augmented reality is an emerging technique that uses a camera and software to make an image or 3D model appear within a photographed scene. The software scans the scene for markers and reacts to those markers, presenting a model […]

Printing in 3D
Posted by on June 5, 2013
Posted in: built projects, construction, DetailViz

Fat Pencil Studio is on a continuous quest to offer the best options for sharing complicated concepts; to explain them simply without losing their essence. We usually do this with images, diagrams, or interactive presentations. But sometimes it’s better to just hold something in your hand—to see the concept in actual real life, to feel […]

Terrain in SketchUp I
Posted by on June 3, 2013
Posted in: construction, creative community, geomodeling, projects, software, tips and tricks

In many projects that we do where real-world buildings are modeled, a flat ground plane is sufficient. However, there are times when representing the 3d nature of the site is interesting and/or important. In those cases, we work with digital terrain. Here are some examples of terrain models we’ve made: In working with terrain on […]

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 […]

First Friday @ Ford
Posted by on May 21, 2013
Posted in: creative community

Select tenants of the Ford Building (including Fat Pencil Studio) will be opening their doors after hours as part of the First Friday Artwalk on Portland’s eastside. Stop by Suite 344 for snacks, revelry, and compelling visual presentations!

Making Holograms
Posted by on May 13, 2013
Posted in: creative community, imaging

As an undergrad, I spent many hours in the basement of Brown University’s 100-year-old Ladd Observatory making holograms: 3d pictures that look different from every angle. That basement was a bit spooky, but possessed two key useful ingredients for the amateur holographer: it was very dark, and very still. We used low power Helium-Neon lasers […]

PPS Data Stories
Posted by on April 25, 2013
Posted in: creative community, data visualization, graphic design

Earlier this year I was pulled into a public debate about “enrollment balancing” and the future of neighborhood schools in N/NE Portland, also known as the Jefferson Cluster. My son’s elementary school was one of several considered for closure. Between public meetings and private Facebook groups there were many passionate remarks from students, parents, teachers […]

Peel Away Diagram
Posted by on April 24, 2013
Posted in: architecture, construction, DetailViz, legal

We’re excited to share a powerful technique for construction defect cases. We’ve applied it in a variety of cases over the past few years, but haven’t been able to brag about it because those cases are still confidential. We really like this technique, though, so we created a little demo project to show it off. […]

AE Book Review
Posted by on April 16, 2013
Posted in: animation, creative community, software

Remember when you used to have to go somewhere to buy software and it came on a CD (or more likely a whole bunch of CDs) with a book about how to use it? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Now, of course, you don’t have to leave your computer at all to acquire even advanced […]

Posted by on April 11, 2013
Posted in: inspiration, mapping

We use the Street View feature of Google Maps a lot to make reasonably accurate 3d models of remote locations (i.e., remote from our desks). Usually the views are pretty much what you’d expect, but sometimes funny stuff shows up. Now there’s a nifty web app called Hyperlapse that assembles this imagery into custom time-lapse […]