AEC Tech News (#228)

21 May, 2008 By: Kenneth Wong

Architecture Proposals in 4D

A firm uses CINEMA 4D Architecture Edition to validate concepts.

By Kenneth Wong

Kenneth Wong photo

Mike Jerabek, AIA, a partner at Worn Jerabek Architects (WJA), designed a four-story, 70-unit senior residence in Countryside, Illinois. He designed the project for Illinois Facilities Fund in Nemetschek's VectorWorks 2008, but when he went to the city council to present the project, he brought with him a series of images created in CINEMA 4D, a 3D animation software used by filmmakers.

CINEMA 4D has been a household name in the filmmaking and motion graphics communities. The software is recognized for its role in bringing feature films to life, including Speed Racer, The Golden Compass, and Beowulf. Last October MAXON, the developers of CINEMA 4D, introduced the Architecture Edition, designed to work with Allplan, ArchiCAD, VectorWorks, and other BIM software.

Architecture CINEMA
Even though Nemetschek offers RenderWorks, a rendering module for VectorWorks users, WJA chose CINEMA 4D instead because they needed a more sophisticated rendering package, especially for visualizing interiors. "The Advanced Render module in CINEMA 4D produces the lighting effects and the materials in the quality we need," said Travis Howe, who helped design and visualize the Countryside project.

CINEMA 4D Architecture Edition includes these components:

  • Advanced Render module
  • Sketch & Toon module
  • Architecture Extension Kit

"We model our projects as BIMs (building information models) in VectorWorks," explained WJA's Howe. "So all our floor plans, sections, and exterior features and details existed as a 3D model." Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Kenneth Wong is a Cadalyst columnist and former Cadence editor. He explores innovative uses of technology and its implications in his writing. Reach him at


AIA 2008 Presents Plethora of New Products

New solutions designed to help AEC professionals work faster, smarter, and greener debuted at this year's American Institute of Architects Expo.

By Amy Stankiewicz, Editor in Chief, Cadalyst

This year's American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention and Design Exposition offered much in the way of new technologies that promote energy efficiency and overall sustainability. I was particularly impressed to find several companies offering energy analysis plug-ins for various building information modeling (BIM) solutions.

Nemetschek North America unveiled a simulation and analysis tool for the thermal environment. Designed to integrate directly with VectorWorks 2008, ThermoRender enables users to visualize surface temperatures and calculate heat island potential, carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, and more. ThermoRender was developed by A&A, Nemetschek's Japanese distributor.

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) announced a free building energy and carbon emission tool that works with Autodesk Revit. The VE-Ware plug-in helps designers assess the energy efficiency of a variety of building types by providing instant feedback on energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. VE-Ware also assesses how a building is performing against the Architecture 2030 Challenge benchmark. IES states that it plans to make VE-Ware available to additional BIM software solutions in the coming months. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Field to Finish Workshop
May 27, 2008
Morristown, New Jersey
Join Synergis and Autodesk's Jerry Bartels and David Blanchette for an informative workshop that demonstrates the new survey functionality in AutoCAD Civil 3D. Read more »

BE Conference 2008
May 28-30, 2008
Baltimore, Maryland
At BE Conference 2008, attendees can share best practices among peers who are working smarter through pragmatic innovations developed "organically" among Bentley users. This year's theme: BEst Practices for Sustaining Infrastructure. Read more »

ZweigWhite's AEC Technology Strategies 2008
June 12-13, 2008
Las Vegas, Nevada
This conference will focus on today's most critical issues in the four areas of responsibility for IT management: AEC Design Systems, AEC Business Systems, IT Infrastructure for the AEC Business, and Leadership and the Role of the AEC IT Director. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on