Reality Computing with @Autodesk

imgresThe first time I experienced Reality Computing was using Monocle – an Augmented Reality feature easter-egged on the Yelp app. This feature utilized a smartphone’s rear-facing camera and layered business data on the screen for a user to see in real-time. Although I did not frequently use this feature, it was an interesting taste of the potential of Reality Computing, not to mention a bit fun to use.

The use of digital models, information, and workflows for design is a well-established, expected practice in many industries. Technologies for computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), digital prototyping, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) have already changed how many professionals design and deliver their products and projects.


6a00d8341bfd0c53ef017c37237684970bReality Computing hosted by Dominique Pouliquen of AutoDesk, Inc. One example of how Reality Computing can be applied is a project involving the Smithsonian. Since they are only able to publicly display one percent of their huge collection, the AutoDesk team stepped in and scanned some of their artifacts in 3D. This was meant to compliment their existing collection on display and make it more widely available for public viewing. One of the benefits to this is that you can view these artifacts in much greater detail than you would be able to in person. You don’t have to download any special software to view the scans. You can view them using your web browser here.

unnamedIn another example of Reality Computing, Dominique talked about being able to scan a room that is going to be renovated using a LIDAR. After the point clouds are scanned, the data set is used in 3D design software allowing a designer to manipulate the room. A designer could spin the room in a virtual 3D environment to see multiple angles in order to get a better idea of the modifications to be made to a room (e.g. adding stairs, removing a wall, etc.). While very impressive, a LIDAR used in this example costs between $50-$60K.

unnamedDon’t have 60 grand laying around? You can use a smartphone or a digital camera to take pictures and render them into a 3D image. iOS users can install the free 123D Catch app by AutoDesk. The instructions on getting a successful 3D image are easy to follow. Click here to see it in action. After you are satisfied with your pictures, you can upload, review and edit your projects here. To edit your project, you’ll want to install the software to your computer. Take it a step further and make the ultimate selfie. Follow these instructions and create a 3D printed figurine of yourself. (Don’t forget to take a selfie with your 3D printed selfie to cover all your bases.)

While Reality Computing is still a fairly new and evolving category, it’s exciting to think of the possibilities of how we will use this technology in the near future. Imagine our own likeness being inserted into games (shown here) and video in extreme detail for an even more relatable and immersive experience. Reality Computing could potentially become so advanced that cinematography, gaming, and other applications will blur the lines between a real environment and a virtual one.

Isaac Wong
Project Manager

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