Wet Design

Just got back from a visit to WET design, they are a water and fire-focused design company, famous for projects such as the Bellagio fountains in Vegas and other amazing water shows. Really cool studios and a wonderful, friendly staff that showed us through the entire facility. Very inspiring!

in transit


in transit, an installation at UICA exploring the landscape and representation from June 11 through August 6. Above is a screen shot of the interactive projection that is part of the installation. The work combines single channel projection animation, 5-channel sound, 3D printed sculptures and original drawings. The concept revolves around explorations of the Colorado landscape and interest in depicting layers of representation to the viewer.

Modeling in Cinema 4d for Shapeways Rapid Prototype Printing

I’ve printed a few models from C4D at Shapeways.com as a 3D sculpture and each time I do this I have to go through a trial and error process to create the model at the right size and specifications. I haven’t found good information that explains what the correct settings are, so for my own benefit and others, here it is:

  1. Set Cinema Preferences to  use Millimeters
  2. Create geometry without using Boolean (seems like Booleans never work once translated to VRML)
  3. Make your geometry a single object, the Connect object works well for this
  4. If you use the Connect object, don’t forget to “Make it Editable” to actually connect it into a single object
  5. Keep polygon count less than 100,000 and it must be less than 500,000. Since C4D uses 4 sided Polygons, this means the actual count should be 250,000 or less in polys.
  6. Since version 11, if you have Advanced Renderer you can check Render>Cineman>Select non-Manifold edges
  7. Export at VRML 2 with the scale set to 1000 [Edit: In C14, if you set your project up in Millimeters, select the Export option of 1 : Millimeters. If you set up using Centimeters, set Export to 1 : Centimeters]
  8. On the Shapeways site, use Millimeters as the measurement, regardless of if you used Centimeters or Millimeters in C4D.

This brings the models in as centimeters, i.e. 100 mm = 10 cm and in Cinema the object is scaled at a reasonable size so it’s easy to work with. Hope this helps other people trying to do the same thing!

Update: Shapeways has expanded my tutorial on their blog, you can read more here.

Related note: I also needed to export models from Cinema 4D to Illustrator using the Export option. For scale, I found 56.5 cm/inch for the resolution worked when bringing the model to illustrator for laser cutting.

More iPad mags

I love the way this looks! From a print design, illustrator’s point of view you have to be excited by the visual qualities of the iPad. I can see a new design sector developing – ‘Motion Illustration’.

Apple vs. Adobe

What a pain, Apple is restricting development for the iPhone and iPad with their new terms of service. Not only is that going to hinder indie development with such tools as Unity, but it just seems like Apple feels less choice is better. I think they are forgetting that their biggest product – the iPhone – is big precisely because of the tons of apps created for it. I, for one, can remember when there were hardly any apps available for the Mac and Apple seemed doomed. Things turned around as they opened the mac to development by converting to a Unix-based operating system.

Supporting standards is good, but why does Apple have to block specific tools?


Now, Adobe is both suing and dropping what sounded like a great development for Flash, to be able to develop Flash-based apps for the iPhone. Apple claims performance suffers from apps written with a translator, but I seem to remember Apple going on about the Motorola processor, RISC-based systems being vastly superior and there was no way Intel could continue to improve speed. As I recall, those processors never worked as good as advertised, Intel did figure out how to make chips faster and now, happy days we have Intel processors in Macs and they run great. I’m not sure I believe Apple’s line of argument on this one.

Web developments

This is a great story about something I’ve been noticing for a while – The gradual disappearance of Flash-based Websites (as he types from his Word-Pressed powered mobile-accessible web site). It goes into much greater detail than I ever could and I think summarizes the state of the field right now. At the bottom are some great examples of cutting-edge html5 technology like Chrome Canopy.

I think Flash really paved the way for high-level user-interactivity and has greatly influenced the field. Will Flash still be influential? It is really hurting them when Apple doesn’t support Flash on mobile devices. On the other hand, does Apple risk losing market share to Android by it’s very ‘Microsoft-like’ behavior?

I really hope and wish that Java applets would become as ubiquitous and well-supported as javascript in browsers. It’s such a disappointment that it Java apps never really work in the browser, at least on a mac, considering Java is an open source framework I don’t know why it’s not supported more by Apple. Maybe it’s not needed with javascript (which has no relationship to Java, BTW) advancing at such a clip, but one can hope!

UCD Visualization Symposium

Next week the College of Arts and Media (CAM) is hosting a MFA Visualization Think Tank with designers, educators and practitioners in the area of visualization from all over the world coming together to help us design the program. Last year, CAM hosted a similar event in Film that was very successful.

Our purpose of this Think Tank is to develop “first takes” for a graduate program that uses art and design methodologies to create visual solutions and/or interpretations for the social, scientific, economic and cultural challenges facing us today

Most of the work will be during two day long sessions but there are several events that are open to the public and I have posted them to my calendar – http://www.bryanleister.com/about/calendar. The main public event is Thursday night at Starz Film center where our guests will talk about their work and answer questions.

Wednesday night, ShiftControl Studios will be talking with students in Digital Design about their work, any UCD student is welcome to attend. This Copenhagen studio is doing some of the most cutting edge work in interactive design and we’re very fortunate to have most of the studio in town for this event.