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Showing posts from May, 2010

AutoCAD on MAC or not?

While there is a strange mixture of ignorance, leaking and assumptions, I'm pretty sure many of you would be at least interested to read about the possible porting of AutoCAD to OSX. This page has some screenshots and screen movies. Fake or not? I'm not sure. What I do know is that Autodesk has done some surveys asking about the interest of a native OSX version of AutoCAD. While I'm using AutoCAD less and less, it stays one of the main CAD systems in the world and, due to its generic nature, can be used for anything. But for every domain there are more specific and more suitable applications too. If they do release it, I hope that it is a full AutoCAD and not a crippled AutoCAD LT-mini or an iAutoCAD: 3D support scripting support and SDK support visual and clean interface In fact, the port of Rhino to OSX comes to mind. They take their time, but do it public and with, so far, v

Alchemy Open Source sketching

Alchemy is an Open Source, cross-platform drawing and sketching software. It is not CorelDRAW or Illustrator, but it is also not Photoshop. However, it has a nice mixture of vectors and bitmaps, a minimalistic interface, some effects which makes it worthwhile to sketch on a computer instead of scanning hand-drawn sketches. All in all, it is really worth the try. There are effects such as mirror, distort, pull, generate shapes etc.. Also strange: no undo, no real editing. You just keep on sketching and overpainting. End results can be saved, obviously. Give it a try.

That is Architecture

This time, no software or CAD. But just thinking for a moment. What is Architecture? Architecture from MAYAnMAYA on Vimeo . This is a short film by MAYA Design about architecture in its broadest sense. This film is a companion piece to our film about information. For more information visit:

GLC Player Open Source 3D File viewer

A nice and small, open and cross-platform viewer for 3D files is GLC_player at . It uses the GLC_lib library and also Qt for the GUI. It supports a few 3D formats such as STL (for rapid prototyping applications), Collada (*.dae), OBJ (old Maya before it was even called Maya) and 3DS (old 3D Studio for DOS). It is not a modeller, but as it loads quick, you can inspect a 3D file before a program like 3ds Max has even launched.

sK1 Open Source Vector Graphics

While not yet complete, the " sK1 Project " aims at developing a professional DTP illustration software, for the prepress market. And the ambitions are good: Open Source, Cross-platform (Linux, Win32, OSX) and (very important) compatible with several industry formats, such as Adobe Illustrator (and various PS forms: PS, EPS, AI, PDF) and CorelDRAW . The CDR-reading capabilities ticked my interest, as I was a CorelDRAW user (bought r7 and also used r9 at university) before I switched to OSX. While I currently have an educational license for Illustrator CS4, I'm still more fluent and productive in CorelDRAW. I tried Inkscape recently and created a poster for the MACE project with it and a poster for a conference. But when I had to reinstall it (due to Snow Leopard compatibility), I notice CorelDRAW and Illustrator file support, much to my surprise. But the software asked for the Uniconvertor library , which is created in the sK1 project as a by-product for CorelDRAW and

An overview of Open Source Game Engines for Linux

There is a nice overview on Open Source game engines for Linux, which you can read on . The overview is limited to summarizing each system, though, so don't expect in-depth comparison or advantages/disadvantages though... While Game Engines are primarily intended for the development of games, you can use them for scientific visualization, realtime rendering or "serious games" and as such, they are potentially interesting for the architects and designers; albeit requiring development skills. Some of them are cross-platform too, if you are not really planning to give Linux a try. I haven't tried any one of them, although I have seen the results that were achieved with Crystal Space, which was used as an engine for the Open Source "Apricot" project "Yo, Frankie" ( ), using Blender.

Playing with Processing

While watching my son play with some kind of spirograph, I attempted to create something similar. try d/D, b/B, x/X, y/Y, t/T, arrows, ... (press "h" for some help) Quite simple to start, quite complex with more copies, branches and animation. Much better when using OPENGL instead of P3D though...

ArchiCAD 14 announced

While I have tried to participate in the beta-testing of ArchiCAD 14, I did not have to time to seriously do anything with it. Luckily, the wait for the rest of the world is mostly over as Graphisoft announced r14 of ArchiCAD. The focus is on Collaboration, primarily targeting IFC and other file exchange workflow improvements. On a personal note, most of the long-standing frustrations and limitations still apply to this release. I'm not going to repeat them all here, as not to sound too negative, but I do want to share some of my gripes. The inconsistency between curtain wall and other tools, the lack of proper intersections between floor slabs and walls (still), not allowing floor slabs to have a slope, the 4 different rendering engines (most of them leftovers from the early days), the lack of radiosity rendering for the LightWorks engine, the lack of reference geometry in the 3D Window, the large list o

Realtime Physics simulation in SketchUp : SketchyPhysics

SketchyPhysics ( ) is an Open Source Ruby script for SketchUp (free/pro/Win/Mac) which integrates the Newton Physics engine into SketchUp. Documentation is scarse, but with some examples you can get started. You can use it to simulate falling, bouncing and sliding objects, springs, joints... You can make whole mechanisms. Have fun! Here are some ideas.