3d Diagrams: Good/Bad
Posted by on November 2, 2012
Posted in: construction, DetailViz, graphic design, projects

What makes a good 3d diagram? Well, let’s back up and talk about what exactly a diagram is in the first place. A diagram is a graphic that explains rather than represents. For example, a floor plan is an abstract drawing (diagram) used to explain spatial information about a building, while a photograph is a literal […]

Cambridge Solar Tool
Posted by on October 22, 2012
Posted in: energy, mapping, real estate

One challenge facing the solar power industry is how to deliver accurate feasibility information to thousands of building owners that might want to install modules on their rooftops. Sending technicians to each individual property is expensive and time consuming. Cities and other large groups have tried to address this issue by organizing volume purchasing (ie […]

3d Models: Web Viewing
Posted by on October 5, 2012
Posted in: software, tips and tricks, Uncategorized

One thing we like about SketchUp for 3d modeling is the availability of a free version for clients that want to review model progress. However, this does require installing the software and learning a few basic 3d modeling skills. For many clients these steps are not practical, so we end up sending 2d screen shots […]

A New Home for FPS
Posted by on October 3, 2012
Posted in: built projects, construction

BEFORE: 297 sf of blank slate PROCESS: concept + development AFTER: a new office! Since 2007, Fat Pencil Studio was based in the Burnside Rocket Building as part of a dynamic open office co-op called TENpod. As a charter member, we got to meet and work near a lot of great people doing exciting, creative things. […]

Symbolizing Cycles
Posted by on October 1, 2012
Posted in: graphic design, transportation

With the wrap up of the BTA‘s Bike Commute Challenge – during some of the best September weather in recent memory – we in Portland have biking on our minds. Which makes this a fitting time to get into some urban cycling symbology geekery: the many ways our DOT represents cycling. I first recognized a […]

100m Freestyle
Posted by on August 2, 2012
Posted in: animation, data visualization

I grew up with competitive swimming, a sport that chugs along in relative obscurity except for two weeks every four years. We’re now in the midst of Olympic madness, and I’m enjoying (sort of) the intense media focus on aquatics. It’s great to be able to see the races on TV, but a lot of […]

Testing 1-2-3
Posted by on July 24, 2012
Posted in: built projects, transportation

After nearly three years of construction, the Portland Streetcar is set to begin running on the East side of the Willamette River this Fall. Several times in the past couple weeks I’ve noticed teams of engineers performing tests using one of the new vehicles, and today I decided to stop and snap a few pictures. […]

Mind the 3D Gaps
Posted by on July 20, 2012
Posted in: creative community, inspiration, mapping, transportation

I think there was some sort of major sporting event in London recently…like something international with a lot of fanfare…anyone know what I’m talking about here? Kidding! So I didn’t follow the Olympics much, but looking at this cool visualization of the the Underground did make me think of all those throngs of sports fans […]

Modeling the BNR Bridge
Posted by on July 20, 2012
Posted in: geomodeling, projects, tips and tricks

As part of our continuing contributions to the Google Earth 3D Building menagerie, we just completed a complex virtual model of the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge here in Portland. Of the 11 spans we use in Bridge City, only the BNR is train-exclusive and closed-off to the public. This means virtually no Google Streetview or […]

Well Branded
Posted by on July 11, 2012
Posted in: inspiration

We at FPS keep a sharp eye out for interesting symbols and icons. During a recent trip to Eastern Oregon, immersed in the quiet, natural landscape, I noticed the strong and interesting logo of Arrowhead Chocolates, a small chocolatier and cafe. The owner explained that the logo is actually the family brand from their old […]