As reported by Matt Ball, Brian Mathews, the Autodesk VP in charge of Autodesk Labs, gave a media briefing updating ‘his Seven Technology Trends lecture with example projects.’ Reality capture or as otherwise stated, turning analog into digital, being #2 on the hit list. So capturing the Built Environment is starting to get serious traction, and while I hesitate to use the word traction, well, that’s what its getting.
Previously in the conversation people would talk about all the wonderful things software can do for buildings, then you realize the majority of construction is in the built environment and it becomes, well just give me the building, or at lest the digital equivalent of the building and look at the wonderful things software can do, however, most presupposed the digital equivalent of the building. Not anymore, more and more companies are releasing software and tools to capture the built environment, or call it reality capture if you like, but soon there are going to be a lot more tools on your shelf.
Autodesk has released, Project Photofly . and will soon release Project Galileo which according to its splash page, “is an easy-to-use planning tool for creating 3D city models from civil, geospatial and building data, and 3D models.” Plus Autodesk has release shape extraction tools from PointClouds directly inside of AutoCAD. Rand Technology/Avatech/Imaginit hybrid has released PointCloud manipulation tools inside of Revit and we are in the final beta of PKNail, a PPLT (Point to Point Laser Technology) system that allows a user to drive Revit commands and enter dimensional data directly from a range finder allowing a user to build a Revit model in the field. Plus we recently saw the beautiful kinect hack allowing a user to capture and even measure 3D video. I can’t say which technology or mixture of technologies will work best for you, but your job is going to get easier.