Posts Tagged ‘3d’

Deep simplicity: A personal graphics Manifesto (Alberto Cairo)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

raivap

[Editor’s note: Alberto Cairo picks up where he left off in March, further defining what he calls “Deep simplicity” and why news infographics should use it to counter the trend of complex visualizations that are more data explorations (dumps) rather than distilled presentations. Unless you belong to the small community of specialists they are aimed at,” you won’t get those complex visualizations. Instead focus on sharing the “why” and “how” with less of the raw “what”.]

Republished from Visualopolis.

Last week I was working on a science infographic for Época with the help of my colleague Gerson Mora (3D guru) when I went back to the idea I’ve been thinking about for the past few months, and that you can see outlined in the previous article: is it possible to create graphics that are simple and deep at the same time? If it is, they probably are the ones that news magazine readers appreciate the most.

This is the graphic we worked on for a couple of days. Simple, isn’t it? Just four white 3D Poser-like heads that display different levels of anger. The story this graphic was published with deals with the outbursts of rage that many soccer players are showing during the South Africa World Cup. We wanted to explain what happens in your brain when that negative emotion overrules your conscious mecanisms, making you lose control. And why it happens. [...]

This piece illustrates a fancy concept Ive been thinking about for future articles and books: deep simplicity. There’s a book under the same name by John Gribbin, but it has nothing to do with graphics (it’s about chaos theory and complexity). There’s also a little masterpiece by John Maeda that promotes something similar to what I propose, but applied to design in general, and in a more abstract level. I confess that some of Maeda’s ideas permeate my own reflections heavily. [...]

What does deep simplicity mean, anyway?

Continue reading at Visualopolis . . .

Maps of Mount Saint Helens, 30 years later +Tea Horse Road (NG)

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

[Editor's note: Two great maps from this month's edition of National Geographic Magazine by Martin Gamache.]

Republished from National Geographic.
Click on each to view larger.

teahorseroad

mount_saint_helens_30_years_on_national_geographic

MIT’s Firefly Robots Create Floating 3D Display From Colored Micro Helicopters

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

mit-firefly-floating-display[Editor’s note: Exploring around the West growing up we happened upon the light show at Grand Coulle Dam in Washington state. This project reminds me of that 1970s era technology but on a do-it-yourself scale, fun! Seen at Where 2.0 / Where Camp 2010. Thanks for reminder from @fekaylius and @DiAnnEisnor.]

Flyfire, a project initiated by the SENSEable City Laboratory in collaboration with ARES Lab (Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory) aims to transform any ordinary space into a highly immersive and interactive display environment.

In its first implementation, the Flyfire project sets out to explore the capabilities of this display system by using a large number of self-organizing micro helicopters. Each helicopter contains small LEDs and acts as a smart pixel. Through precisely controlled movements, the helicopters perform elaborate and synchronized motions and form an elastic display surface for any desired scenario.

With the self-stabilizing and precise controlling technology from the ARES Lab, the motion of the pixels is adaptable in real time. The Flyfire canvas can transform itself from one shape to another or morph a two-dimensional photographic image into an articulated shape. The pixels are physically engaged in transitioning images from one state to another, which allows the Flyfire canvas to demonstrate a spatially animated viewing experience.

Flyfire serves as an initial step to explore and imagine the possibilities of this free-form display: a swarm of pixels in a space.

Continue reading at MIT’s Senseable Cities Lab . . .

Meet Alberto Cuadra, new artist at The Washington Post

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

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[Editor’s note: I’ll update on Where 2.0 soon, but first I have a new colleague at The Washington Post. Alberto Cuadra is an impressive 3d artist coming to us from the Houston Chronicle. More from the announcement below and check out his portfolio. I have also turned off the daily Twitter blog cross-posts, you can follow me at @kelsosCorner for more frequent updates and previews.]

Alberto will be taking on a new kind of role for Washington Post graphics. He will be tasked with reporting and telling visual stories about physical D.C. That means anything from a tour of the Capitol Visitors Center to a rendering of what the new White Flint is going to look like. He will work closely with the Local visual content team.

Alberto is uniquely qualified for this new role. He started his career as a reporter at Spain’s El Mundo and switched to graphics after the art department admired the sketches he delivered with graphics requests. He has since become one of the best 3D modelers in print journalism.

Check out Alberto’s portfolio . . .

Terrain Bender (Jenny @ ETH Zurich)

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

terrainbender1
[Editor's note: Bart-Jan Dekker reminds me I've been negligent on mentioning Bernhard Jenny's latest project (and congrats to Bernie and Helen for their second child!). Bernie's previous work includes Flexprojector and Screepainter. The new update released 24 November fixes launching on some Windows OS machines that was semi-common.]

Republished from Terrain Cartography.

Terrain Bender applies progressive bending to digital terrain models for 3D cartography. It offers interactive tools to add a bent base to a digital terrain model.

Terrain Bender is free and open-source software. Version 1.0.4 of 24 November 2009 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Please see the system requirements, and download an example terrain model.

About Progressive Bending
3D maps with progressive bending show the landscape using a varying viewing angle from steep in the foreground to flat in the background. The result is similar to the way in which passengers in a plane perceive the landscape, first looking straight downwards and then raising their gaze towards the horizon.
With progressive bending, 3D maps gain display depth, and landscape elements in the foreground are less obstructed from view than on 3D maps using a central perspective. More >>Terrain Bender Features

Terrain Bender offers specialized tools for bending terrain models.

  • progressive bending
  • curved horizon bending
  • vertical exaggeration adjustable in foreground and background
  • preview with perspective camera, parallel camera, and 360° cylindrical panoramas
  • illumination settings
  • hypsometric tinting, haze simulation, and texturing
  • import and export of terrain models in ESRI ASCII grid file format

Terrain Bender features interactive previews of 3D maps, but final rendering is best done with ray-tracing software.

terrainbender2

First Augmented Reality App Reaches App Store (MacNN)

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

[Editor's note: The future is here. Not quite immersive, but at least augmented by overlaying points-of-interest icons over a live video feed from your iPhone's camera (YouTube video above). Makes use of iPhone 3.0 OS features to push route disruption notices and in-app purchases of bus routes and additional points of interest.]

Republished from MacNN.
Wednesday, August 26th

Beating out acrossair’s Nearest Tube, French company Presselite has released the first augmented reality app for the iPhone, Metro Paris Subway 3.0. Previous versions have relied on 2D maps as users navigate the Paris subway system, identifying routes and points of interest. Version 3.0 allows users to find POIs using a live video mode, on top of which the app overlays icons and distance markers.

As a user walks through Paris, icons shift relative to a phone’s position, judged according to compass and GPS data. Because of the function’s dependence on compass headings, augmented reality can only be used with an iPhone 3GS. The app costs $1; other changes in v3.0 include Google Maps integration, push notifications for route disruptions, and in-app purchase options for bus routes and different POI categories.

Check it out on iTunes . . .

3D Perspective in the Maps API for Flash! (GoogleGeoDev)

Friday, August 14th, 2009

[Editor’s note: This seems kinda odd given the poor image resolution, but I’m sure there’s a use for it and someone will figure out how to sample higher res tiles. Thanks Laris!]

R

2-D maps are great, but sometimes it’s cool to gaze into the distance. Today we’re happy to announce support for perspective in the Maps API for Flash. We’ve taken the regular API, added pitch and yaw, borrowed the look-around control from Google Earth, and thrown in some nifty camera trajectory support. The opportunity to see the world from a chosen point of view is now in the hands of a user!

perspectivemapgooglemapsapi

Here’s a perspective map in action. Sit back and watch or dive in and drag the view. Try holding down the zoom plus (+) or minus (-) buttons to see the new smooth continuous zoom.

Play with demos and the possibilities emerge. Shadows stretch out as the land tilts back. Foreground detail blends with background context. Movement through the world becomes first-person in nature and distant features can rapidly be dragged to the fore. On a regular map a cluster of markers might only confuse. Spin a perspective map and their pattern becomes clear as nearer markers pass in front of their more remote partners.

A key strength of Flash is its ubiquitous nature and we’ve taken care to develop an API that preserves this advantage. While supporting the latest, greatest Flash players, the API requires only Flash 9. Build a single target and API runtime code matches implementation library to player version. Flash 10 users gain the benefits of the native 3-D graphics support–rendering speed and accuracy–but Flash 9 users won’t be left out.

So how do you create a 3-D map? If you’ve not used the Maps API for Flash before here we’ve got lots of documentation to help you get up and running. For those who’ve used the API and have an existing map to hand, three quick changes should suffice:

  • Replace Map with Map3D
  • Turn on perspective:
    Map3D.viewMode = View.VIEWMODE_PERSPECTIVE;
  • Replace the old position and zoom controls with the new navigation control:
    addControl(NavigationControl);

While this new functionality is aimed at Flash developers, we also have the Earth plugin and API for those of you working with JavaScript and the JS-based Maps API. For developers using the Maps API for Flash, today’s release is just an extension of the existing Flash API; where it makes sense, we have borrowed some learnings from the Earth API (and will continue to do so). From a user’s viewpoint, if you’ve used the Earth plugin or Google Earth, the controls will all be familiar. We’ve kept the same basic key mappings. Add SHIFT to tilt the map, or CTRL to tilt your view and you’re ready to go. More features are hidden just under the surface. Animate a flight from A to B, or apply perspective scaling to your markers. See the new API reference documentation for details.

As always, for those of us working on APIs, the most rewarding aspect is of seeing what developers do with it. Here’s what some of our trusted testers have done to date:

UK Weather Tour ArcGIS Services PaperVision3D Scene
Ian Watkins Nianwei Liu Satoshi Ueyama
Eiffel Tower KMZ 3D Driving Simulator Weather Radar GroundOverlay
Masashi K Katsuomi.K Andrew Trice

Check out some more demos, have a play, make some maps, and let us know what you think!

New York 3d Virtual Reality Panorama (PixelCase)

Friday, May 15th, 2009

[Editor’s note: This Flash-based interactive experience features several 3d panoramas shot from high above Manhattan. Spin the views around, listen to tunes, and download desktop wallpaper pictures. Thanks Laris!]

Interact with the original at Pixel Case . . .

pixelcasenyc

Manhattan Mapped Without a Horizon (Gizmodo)

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

uptownmap

[Editor’s note: A novel map projection based more on a fish-eye lens topology of near and far from both uptown and downtown perspectives. Thanks Melissa and Curt!]

Republished from Gizmodo.
By Mark Wilson, Tue May 5 2009.

It’s rare that we get excited over maps, but this idea by graphic designers Jack Schulze and Matt Webb would be great for GPSs, combining 3D, first person and overhead views into one übermap.

The art project, called Here & There, bends the world into horizon-less, roller coaster loop topography, which allows the viewer to see their position from the first person perspective (complete with those 3D buildings that usually just get in the way) alongside the route/terrain to come.

For now, the designers’ work is available in limited edition prints only that go for $65 (per a set of two). But we can still dream that someone like Google, Apple or Garmin might come around and drop a big pile of money on the small agency before automating this visualization for real time navigation. [Here & There and Background Info via FastCompany]

Understanding Infographics (Chrys Wu)

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

[Editor’s note: Chrys Wu takes care of Web 2.0 type aggregation and promotion at The Washington Post. She has a blog and recent posts have focused on Infographics. I highlight several below. Nutgraph: Don’t think about one platform first. Think about all platforms available simultaneously. Also: “Infographics is not art, it is a conveyance of information.”]

Understanding Infographics, First Pass

As promised in a previous post on learning information graphics (sometimes shortened to “infographics”), I’m posting my raw notes from Day 1 of an information graphics workshop taught last month by Alberto Cairo and Xaquin G.V., two leading practitioners.

Alberto Cairo teaches an infographics seminar by Medialab Prado on FlickrAbove, Alberto Cairo teaches a data visualization seminar at Medialab-Prado in Madrid in 2007.

Read full notes from class . . .

Some of Chrys’ favorite information graphics and visualization blogs:

Alberto Cairo Has a Monster Reading List

Day One of the Beyond Bootcamp information graphics workshop taught by Alberto Cairo and Xaquin G.V. has been much less scary than I’d first thought.

Cairo’s lecture has been a model of organized thought and progressive structure, which should come as no surprise to anyone, given the nature of his work.

What’s also obvious is that the man reads a heck of a lot. For every concept and example, he’s tossed off a different book title.

Here’s what he’s recommended to us so far, in no particular order: