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 […]

Forbidden Colors
Posted by on June 25, 2012
Posted in: graphic design

I first came across the notion of “forbidden” or “impossible” colors in a horoscope. The idea of there being mythical colors beyond our range of perception is an intriguing notion, but I assumed that, like astrology in general, it was a little scientifically flimsy. However, it turns out that at least a few scientists have […]

New Spin on Photo-Matching
Posted by on June 14, 2012
Posted in: inspiration, photomatch

We do a fair amount of photo-matching to help people realistically appreciate the impacts and/or consequences of a proposed design. It’s an exacting process that requires one to whittle away at the gaps between real world geometry and ideal geometry, and to compensate for distortion and inconsistency in photography and digital compositing. Recently, I came […]

Is Biking Safe?
Posted by on May 16, 2012
Posted in: data visualization, transportation

May 2012 is national bike month, so you might notice more folks choosing two wheels as a preferred mode of transit to & from work, school, or shopping. There are all sorts of different factors driving this trend: high gas prices, warmer weather, better infrastructure, and fitness benefits. And it’s not just in Portland. An […]

Technology Tangent
Posted by on May 10, 2012
Posted in: creative community

This should be filed under barely relevant, but pretty interesting. I was recently involved in the judging process for the 39th Student Academy Awards. Among the five compelling films named Western Region Documentary Finalists was one called Love Hacking. It’s the tale of a Mormon robot inventor who uses Skype and Google Earth to aid […]

Dynamic Lifting
Posted by on May 9, 2012
Posted in: construction, dynamic components, software, tips and tricks

After years of consideration and weeks of development, we’re excited to announce the completion of a new, anatomically correct SketchUp model of a Liebherr 200 HC tower crane(!) Developed primarily to improve the accuracy and visual quality of our models, the crane has some key features that’ll speed up our modeling process as well. We […]

Compo Spray
Posted by on May 9, 2012
Posted in: software, tips and tricks

Sketchup users do alright with the tools that come with the program, but I think any experienced modeler will agree that plug-ins can be a huge help in terms of capabilities and work flow. There are approximately a gajillion ruby script plug-ins now available (ok, last time I checked it was 957), and, well, some […]

Trimble Sketchup
Posted by on April 30, 2012
Posted in: software

We’ve now had a few days to let the news of Sketchup’s sale to Trimble sink in. It’s been six years since Google acquired the program from @Last Software and, though it didn’t seem like an obvious fit at the time, Google integrated Sketchup quite well into its empire with the 3D Warehouse and Google […]