Monday, March 9, 2015

REAL2015 Recap for LiDAR News

Direct Dimensions Founder and President Michael Raphael is a regular contributor to LiDAR News where he discusses interesting trends and stories from our world of 3D Laser Scanning. He recently attended AutoDesk's REAL2015 event and recapped it for those who could not attend.

Last week Autodesk quite successfully staged the “REAL2015” conference in San Francisco focused on how we are increasingly using 3D to Capture (scan), Compute (design), and Create (fabricate).  The event was definitely different in many ways from the more traditional industry conferences many of us regularly attend, such as SPAR, Autodesk University, RAPID, or the Hexagon, FARO, ESRI, and Trimble user events.  The line-up of speakers, for example, was not your usual industry faces.  Most of the speakers presented on aspects of 3D, such as 3D scanning, 3D design, or 3D printing.  Although many were not necessarily expert or even hard core 3D users per se - most really had compelling stories about how they leverage 3D to create incredible products, artwork, designs, structures, exhibitions, visualizations, or something else that was likely pretty interesting to hear and see.

Staged at Fort Mason, a former Army base now managed by the National Park Service near Fisherman’s Wharf, in long barrack-like building on a pier over the water, the event clearly had flavors of a “TED” conference.  Design elements even included large, in this case blue, block letters on stage forming the word “REAL”, a very large presentation screen, a set of cushy lounge chairs, and even the trademark carpet circle with no podium.  In all the venue seemed about perfect for this inaugural event.  It never felt too small or too large, the exhibition space was perfectly sized also, and it also seemed by most that the event logistics ran nearly flawless.  Hats off to Autodesk and especially to the REAL2015 co-organizers:  Robert Shear, Autodesk’s Senior Director and GM of the Reality Solutions group, and Alonzo Addison, former Cyra VP, UNESCO advisor, professor, and entrepreneur brought on specifically for this project.

The conference started off with several fantastic international speakers including Eythor Bender of UNYQ about the design and fabrication of artistic custom prosthetic leg fairings, Stuart Brown talking about how they use 3D to reproduce exotic classic cars, and Tim Zaman of the Delft University reproducing famous master paintings with incredible 3D scanning including works by Rembrandt.  The highlight of this first session was Sarah Kenderdine of the University of New South Wales in Australia showing example after example of absolutely amazing implementations of interactive visualizations for various museum exhibitions.  This kickoff session, aptly entitled “REAL Stories,” lived up to its name with each providing thoughtful contemplation of how 3D can if not change lives, certainly improve lives.

You can read the rest of the REAL2015 summary over at LiDAR News.