MCAD Tech News (#315)

25 Aug, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff

Thinkbox's Render Management Solution Helps CGI Studio Burn Rubber

Burrows CGI processes massive vehicle visualization files in less time with Deadline software.

By Cadalyst Staff

Burrows, a division of global advertising agency Young & Rubicam, maintains its own CGI studio with locations in London and Detroit. Focused primarily on product visualization, Burrows CGI creates photorealistic stills and animations for clients such as Ford and British automaker McLaren. These marketing assets are used in applications ranging from print ads and web-based configurators to television commercials and point-of-sale media.

Burrows CGI creates photorealistic images for automakers including McLaren.
Burrows CGI creates photorealistic images for automakers including McLaren.

To create these images and sequences, Burrows CGI uses Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya for 3D animation, and the Foundry's Nuke and Adobe After Effects for compositing. To process the CAD data files supplied by clients — which may be 100 GB or more — and their own artistic renderings, Burrows adopted Deadline, a render farm–management solution from Thinkbox Software.

Software Selection

According to Burrows Technical Director Mike Owen, the studio's choice of software was based on several factors, including the infrastructure required to implement the program. "Deadline doesn't rely on a central computer manager application attached to a database that has to be running all the time to control all of the machines; it just needs a basic, central file server," he said. "With a reasonable system and connectivity, aside from buying Deadline itself, there's really nothing else needed." Read more »

Cadalyst Magazine


IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Create Product Documentation with Inventor Publisher 2012

Even though you may refuse to read the instructions sometimes, they are important — and this release includes new tools to help you create them.

By Dominic Cheff

In our personal lives, almost everything we buy comes with some sort of documentation, whether it's assembly instructions for your kid's latest toy or a manual for a new piece of lawn equipment. And what do we do with that documentation? We ignore it and plow blindly forward, thinking, "I don't need to read the instructions!" Maybe we like the idea of making the task more challenging, or maybe it's just an ego trip that we all need to get out of our system at least once.

After the first bad trip down that ego highway, however, we usually realize that the documentation does matter. Especially after attempting to put that final piece in place and realizing it doesn't fit because something is backward or upside down! Needless to say, the better the documentation, the better the chance for success. In fact, poor documentation can be directly linked to product returns and loss of profits.

As engineering professionals, we want to communicate our designs to others in the best way possible. We create highly detailed 3D models, and seek to leverage that digital design as documentation is created downstream. However, one challenge is that the technical documentation departments are often disconnected from the engineering data. Typically, the documentation is constructed from disconnected illustrations or digital photos that can become outdated quickly if design changes take place.

Autodesk Inventor Publisher 2012

Autodesk Inventor Publisher is technical communications software that can help you tackle this challenge and get more benefits out of your 3D models. It can be used by anyone that needs to create documentation to explain and differentiate ideas, designs, and products. Read more »

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Dominic Cheff is an application engineer with IMAGINiT Technologies.

CADspeed Blog


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events


Advanced Rhino 3D
August 31, 2011
11 a.m. PT
At this Novedge webinar, attendees can learn how to integrate Rhino 3D in company design and manufacturing processes, and how to exchange data with other CAD and CAM systems without compromising the geometry. Read more »

September 7–November 18, 2011
Various cities
AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) CAD Camp attendees can learn about industry best practices, product tips and tricks, 2012 new product features, and industry trends at these single-day training events. Read more »

Creating Work Instructions and Technical Documentation Using Your 3D CAD Data
September 14, 2011
11 a.m. PT
This Novedge webinar will show how the XVL Technology Suites can use existing CAD data to create work instruction, technical illustrations, and other technical documents. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at


Cadalyst Updates Systems Benchmark Test for AutoCAD 2012
Performance evaluation guide now includes a Battery Rundown Test, plus more new features. Read more »

Circles and Lines Tutorial: Everyday Improvements in AutoCAD 2012
They might not be showy, but these important features will save you time and reduce tedium. Read more »

University Study Finds Rapidform Best Option for Parametric Solid Modeling from 3D Scans
A study funded by the U.S. Air Force concludes that INUS Technology's software is "the only viable option" for creating parametric CAD models from 3D scan data. Read more »

Autodesk Unveils Three AutoCAD Offerings Made for Mac
Expanding on last year's reintroduction of AutoCAD to the Mac platform, the company releases full, LT, and WS versions. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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