AEC Tech News #190

21 Feb, 2007 By: Kenneth Wong

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From Blueprints to Billboards

Architectural rendering firm uses M-Color to transform AutoCAD drawings into illustrations.

In Santa Rosa, California, next to the intersection of Montecito Boulevard and Benicia Drive, sits a large plot, sparsely occupied by a beauty shop, a pool cleaner, a coin laundry and a few other retail establishments. The property can accommodate a lot more, perhaps a drugstore, a hardware store, a garden center, a nursery and a few rows of townhouses on either side. The local firm Tierney/Figueiredo Architects is responsible for the expansion design. The plan has been revised more than 30 times in the past several years to comply with the city's strict guidelines and the client's demands. It was up to Jonathan Jonas, who operates the architectural rendering firm Archinature, to churn out a new set of color illustrations for city council meetings, client approvals and advertising collaterals whenever the project was modified.

Over the years, Jonathan has perfected the art of producing 3D-like color illustrations (some prefer to call them 2.5D) based on 2D AutoCAD drawings. He often imports site photos and stock images of pedestrians, vehicles, trees and bushes to the scenes to make them come alive. But a large part of his job is done in M-Color, an AutoCAD plug-in from the Finnish firm Motive Systems. Read more>>

1-2-3 Revit: BIM and Algorithmic Form Finding

By Rick Rundell, AIA

The skylines of the 21st century are changing. The boxy towers that dominate our cities are getting some interesting new neighbors: buildings that owe their architectural form to an algorithmic design approach. How does BIM support the exploration of design possibilities for these new structures? Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Webcast: Tricks with Autodesk Civil 3D Styles, Labels and Expressions
February 23, 2007
Accelerate your ideas with Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 software and complete your transportation, site, sewer, storm drain, and subdivision projects up to 75% faster. All webcasts will be recorded for later viewing online. Time: 9 a.m. PST. Read more>>

Webcast: Autodesk Architectural Desktop, Create Between the Lines
February 27, 2007
In this Webcast Amy Fietkau will showcase the benefits of Autodesk Architectural Desktop. Learn how to use Linework for creation of different objects, such as curtain walls, door and window assemblies and stairs. Time: 10:00 a.m. PST. Read more>>

Webcast: Civil 3D Quickstart Class
March 5, 2007
This Webcast by Ideate will show how to navigate the new Autodesk Civil 3D interface; adjust drawing, feature and command settings; incorporate Autodesk Civil 3D styles into CAD standards; and exchange design data between Autodesk Land Desktop and Autodesk Civil 3D. Time: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. PT. Read more>>

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here.

what's new at

Circles and Lines (AutoCAD Tutorial)
This month, Autodesk's Lynn Allen tells how to add materials to your drawings. Read more>>

New Way to Navigate introduces new navigation tabs at the top of every page to help you easily find market-specific content and other popular features including Get the Code, Discussion Forums and Cadalyst Labs Reviews. Try it out!