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October 17, 2011
Autodesk Cloud Debuts
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on AECcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!


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Industry News
Autodesk Cloud Debuts
By Susan Smith


Autodesk Cloud rendering provide customers with powerful rendering capabilities, helping them better visualize designs, increase the number of renderings they can create and reduce hardware investments. (Photo: Business Wire)


Dr. Andrew Anagnost, Suites, Subscription and Web Services, Autodesk spoke on their recent announcement of Autodesk Cloud.

Prior to heading up the Cloud initiative, Anagnost was in the Manufacturing Solutions division and spent his time developing and bringing Inventor to market. In his current role, he and his division are driving the suites initiative across the company, consolidating the vast portfolio of products into suites and working on Autodesk Cloud.

According to Anagnost, Autodesk has created a business model on top of an existing set of service. They also expanded and commercialized some experiments that were out of Autodesk Labs that were broadly accessed by customers, then turned them into commercial services.

“What we’re doing with Autodesk Cloud is trying to extend the desktop to do things with the Cloud that have not been possible using desktop applications,” said Anagnost. “We’ve attached the Cloud to our subscription program.”

Users of Autodesk Cloud can enjoy a free level of the initiative related to storage and access to certain types of sharing and viewing services. However, for those on subscription, there is a whole other set of services. “Someone on subscription is getting a whole new initial set of functionality off their desktop that they previously did not have as part of their subscription contract,” Anagnost noted.

Autodesk Cloud is not the first cloud offering the company has embarked on. According to Anagnost, the product Buzzsaw, which has been in existence since 2000, has been a successful way of delivering a cloud offering to AEC Customers. Their Green Building Studio (GBS) for energy analysis is also in the cloud. Other experiments on Labs included a set of services offered to customers for feedback, experimentation and modification.

These services covered three areas: 1) general collaboration viewing and sharing, a set of services that help people share information. AutoCAD WS for sharing DWGs in the cloud and using them on mobile devices. “As part of the cloud release we released the mobile and online version of Design Review, the popular DWF viewing and markup tool,” said Anagnost. “That’s now online and all of those are connected together with simple sharing workflows that are compatible with more controlled sharing environments like Buzzsaw and other applications that we’ll have in the future.”

2) Visualization – Project Neon, a visualization tool service for doing high quality photorealistic rendering in the cloud, has been on Labs and is popular with the AEC space. Now, with Autodesk Cloud, it has a Revit plug-in and is integrated with Revit and AutoCAD. With the service they can basically populate an entire portfolio of renderings in a very short time -- minutes as opposed to hours or days. They can get access to a large compute server farm or expanding compute server farm and they get many renderings as they like simultaneously computed. They can also get great 360 degree travels around the design as well.

“It’s actually encouraging people who have not previously created a portfolio of visualizations to do it, and to do it in such a way they weren’t able to do it before,” Anagnost pointed out.


Cloud applications such Autodesk Cloud documents provide users with the freedom to work where they can be most effective, and to view, edit and share designs anywhere and with almost anyone. (Photo: Business Wire)


3) Simulation and optimization, GBS and conceptual energy analysis application. These are attached to the cloud and to Revit and to the subscription offerings. “We have also rolled out an mechanical optimization tool on top of Inventor which essentially does the simulation simultaneously and tells the users what the best answer is, same type of concept from the conceptual energy analysis,” said Anagnost. “This gives them lots of options simultaneously to help them figure out what the best answer is. On the desktop this would consume large amounts of compute power and actually may not be possible in the time frame they have to work in.”

Over the next 18 months, Autodesk will rapidly expand the portfolio of apps that are online. “Our primary philosophy and emphasis is going to be: do in the cloud what you could not do on the desktop – so you’re not going to see us rushing to deliver all sorts of design apps in the cloud because we’re struggling right now to understand what the real benefit to the customer is,” said Anagnost. “However there is real benefit to these collaboration, visualization and optimization apps in the cloud and you’ll also see us link together these services more intelligently that the information in the cloud that can be easily be moved between various types of visualization and optimization tools. You can really get the answer you need.”

The act of putting data up on the cloud will probably auto-populate a lot of things in the future. For instance someone may put a Revit model in the cloud and then Autodesk might autopopulate a 360 visualization of it for sharing without the customer even requesting it. “There will be all sort of extension and ways of turning this cloud infrastructure into a web of interesting things for the customers that they wouldn’t have done at the desktop,” said Anagnost.

Anagnost stresses the point that they will not be just duplicating their desktop applications on the cloud, but rather, looking at what is the value of having the application in the cloud. Within a three-year period, however, he suggests that it’s “highly likely” that all their desktop applications will have some kind of cloud version.

Autodesk Cloud is available now with free levels of access available to anyone who can create an Autodesk ID. With that they get 1 GB storage and access to sharing and viewing applications. “An architect might have a client to whom they want to show the client visualizations of the remodel they’re working on or share some DWF drawings of the design,” suggested Anagnost. “They can put them online and immediately share them with someone who is not an Autodesk subscriber or even an Autodesk account. The person can view them and comment on them.”

The real powerful, professional benefit of the Cloud is available to subscribers, however. If you’re already a subscriber it’s automatically added onto your service. There is a matrix of what services are available for what design suite customers or product subscription customers. The Cloud is automatically added on and offers 3 GB online storage.

3 GB online storage is not limited at the moment, and there are 10 units of cloud units for compute time. Customers can pool these if they have multiple subscription contracts so they can lump all the storage together.

“The idea is to offer as part of the subscription the 80% solution for most people – 80% of the users will need this much storage and compute power, and there’ll be a certain segment of the population who needs much more compute power,” said Anagnost.

Anagnost advises prospective Autodesk Cloud users to do the following:
  1. Create an Autodesk ID – whether you are on subscription or not to start getting benefits from it.
  2. Go download the mobile apps that talk to the cloud – AutoCAD WS, ADR Mobile, and Buzzsaw. These will allow you to do mobile viewing and markup activities you weren’t able to do previously and they’re free downloads from Apple iTunes store and the Android store.
  3. Logon to your account, go to my account, see my profile and see what you’re entitled to based on your subscription contract. There is a link saying “activate my subscription stuff,” then you’re off and running.

Top News of the Week

Project Storm for Autodesk Revit Structure is a technology preview that provides cloud-based structural analysis to structural engineers as a part of the BIM process. Results can then be visualized and explored within Revit Structure, but disruptions to design workflows are minimized by performing analysis in the cloud. You can download the update from the Autodesk Labs site.

Project Storm for Revit Structure on Autodesk Labs

Announcements

Right along with the rest of the world, the Computer Aided Design (CAD) industry suffered severe setbacks in the recession of 2008-2009. Fortunately, in 2010 world economies are recovering and so are parts of the CAD industry. Because CAD tools are used in architecture, manufacture, plant design, assembly, tool design, mapping and Geographical Information Systems (GIS), recovery is decidedly uneven. For example the architecture industry was the first to feel the recession and it will take the longest to recover. On the other hand, the automotive industry, which saw a spectacular meltdown in 2009, is coming back more quickly. As with all recessions there are benefits to be realized in a slowdown and in some cases those benefits are already showing up in 2010.

Jon Peddie Research (JPR) estimates the CAD software market to be $5 billion in 2009. This is a 23% decrease compared to 2008 when the market reached a high of $6.7 billion. All industries in all geographies felt the effects of the recession. The market will grow in 2010 but it will not recover to the high levels seen in 2008, which was unnaturally fueled by financial bubbles. As difficult as the recession in 2009 has been and will continue to be for many companies, it will serve as a jump start for long term growth as many companies take the time afforded by a slow down to move to advanced technologies and retrain workers.

To create a spectacular conclusion for the “Gears of War” trilogy, Epic Games extended its creative pipeline with a range of middleware and creative tools from Autodesk, Inc.. The “Gears of War 3” tour de force user interface (UI) features a highly polished gameplay experience with new and expanded multiplayer modes and the longest story campaign of Epic’s games to date. To create the UI, Epic integrated Autodesk Scaleform middleware with Unreal Engine 3 and shared the complex data using Autodesk FBX asset exchange technology.

AEC Science & Technology and the National Institute of Building Sciences present two top United States Department of State Overseas Building Operations (OBO) officials to deliver the keynote at Ecobuild America, taking place in Washington, D.C., December 5-9, 2011. The event also is part of the Institute’s 2011 Annual Meeting.

Robert Clarke, Director of the OBO Information Resource Management Division, and Danilo Stapula, Branch Chief for Applications Support and Management at OBO, will discuss aspects of the Department of State’s recently finalized five-year Information Technology Strategic Plan, which will serve as a mission-driven blueprint for the technology solutions and services needed to support OBO’s requirements in Washington and overseas.

The presentation will cover information on implementation, including:

AMS CAD + CAFM Solutions will be presenting a FREE Stormwater Management Seminar on Oct. 18 in Fairfield, NJ with Autodesk Civil Technical Specialist Tanya West, PE, LEED, AP.

This seminar provides information on how to utilize Autodesk solutions to effectively address stormwater concerns. Failure to follow the procedures and analysis required by regulatory agencies can significantly delay your project and increase your costs. This seminar will help assist you with determining how to use current technology to ensure that you complete your project on schedule and address specific project challenges. We will focus on the engineering and technical issues associated with the planning, engineering, and construction of stormwater management requirements.

New Products

Bricsys announces the release of Bricscad V12 for the Windows platform. This significant release adds powerful geometric and dimensional constraints to all three editions - Classic, Pro, and Platinum – as well as a host of other significant features. With direct modeling, design intent, and 3D constraints, Bricscad becomes the leader in .dwg-based 3D design

Leading structural software developer, CSC, announces the release of its ground breaking new BIM integration tool, Revit Integrator. This unique and free tool enables structural engineers and technicians to synchronize models between Autodesk Revit Structure and CSC's steel building design software, Fastrak, and concrete building design software, Orion.

Recently, ZWSOFT has received lots of enquiries from its members and clients on the ZW3D Environmental Design Contest. Most of the members and clients reflect that it takes more time to design with ZW3D comparing to ZWCAD due to the difference between 3D software and 2D software. To meet the needs of our users, ZWSOFT decides to extend the deadline of ZW3D Environmental Design Contest from November 15 to December 15, 2011.

About ZW3D Environmental Design Contest

To help preserve our environment and to celebrate Clean Up the World Weekend 2011, ZWSOFT announces the first ZW3D Environmental Design Contest 2011.

The RhinoGold Team announces an update for the rendering solution RhinoGold Render Studio 3.0 after customers' suggestions.

On this update:

Newforma announced the upcoming release of Newforma Punch List, a tablet app that improves the efficiency of the process that architects, engineers, general contractors and construction managers follow to capture, assign, manage and verify punch lists in the field. Initially available as an Android app, Newforma Punch List integrates with Newforma Project Center enterprise software, and is included as part of Newforma Contract Management, an optional module of Newforma Project Center. Currently in limited release at selected customer sites, Newforma Punch List for Android tablets will be commercially available at the end of October. An Apple iPad version will follow.

The new CADLearning Plug-in for AutoCAD 2012 gives you direct access to video tutorials from a palette within your AutoCAD software. So if you're having trouble with a new feature or are not sure how to perform a certain task, the answer is only a click away!

The CADLearning Plug-in for AutoCAD 2012 offers:

FREE TRIAL! Get the CADLearning Plug-in for AutoCAD 2012 Today!

Around the Web

AECCafe Today Blog

Sagrada Familia To Be Completed By 2026, Or 2028 Huffington Post September 22, 2011

Friday Punch: Let’s Think Different Kenneth Wong, Desktop Engineering

MEP 3D-BIM Survey 2011 Results


Events
AVEVA World Summit 2011 Europe
Date: October 17 - 19, 2011
Place: Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center
Copenhagen, Denmark

Joined up thinking is our theme for the AVEVA World Summits 2011. AVEVA recognises the increasingly complex challenges faced by the engineering community and it is our mission to provide strategies, technology and services that join up this diverse flow of information to deliver success across your entire business.
2011 OpenPlant Road Show – by Bentley Systems
Date: October 18, 2011
Place: Houston , TX USA
Join us for the 2011 Achieving Operational Excellence with OpenPlant Road Show, an exclusive multi-city event for 

owner-operators and other users of PlantSpace, PDS, PDMS, and AutoPLANT.



Dates and Location:

October 18, 2011 – Houston, Texas 
AMS CAD + CAFM Solutions presents: FREE Stormwater Management Seminar
Date: October 18, 2011
Place: Fairfield Executive Inn
234 Route 46 East, Fairfield, NJ 07004 USA
AMS CAD + CAFM Solutions will be presenting a FREE Stormwater Management Seminar with Autodesk Civil Technical Specialist Tanya West, PE, LEED®, AP.



This seminar provides information on how to utilize Autodesk solutions to effectively address stormwater concerns. This seminar will help assist you with determining how to use current technology to ensure that you complete your project on schedule and address specific project challenges.

 

e-SPECS for Revit
Date: October 20, 2011
Place: USA

Join InterSpec as we present e-SPECS for Revit - automated and coordinated specifications with Autodesk Revit.

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
47th ISOCARP Congress 2011
Date: October 24 - 28, 2011
Place: Wuhan
China

The 2011 ISOCARP Congress will explore different aspects of urban liveability vis-à-vis the challenges that cities and towns are faced with as the growing urbanisation continues to evolve. The main topics are:

  • implementing low carbon urban environment;
  • building sustainable networks;
  • transportation networks – making sustainable transportation a reality;
  • heritage and environment: retro and reuse in transition;
  • regions and hinterland looking towards liveable environment
Success Estimator Basic Training
Date: October 25 - 26, 2011
Place: Atlanta, GA USA

Seats are available in our upcoming Success Estimator class. Sign-up now because seating is limited!

The course is two days in length. The registration fee for class is $995.00 per person with special pricing for multiple participants.


AVEVA World Summit 2011 Americas
Date: October 25 - 27, 2011
Place: Sheraton Rio Hotel & Resort
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Joined up thinking is our theme for the AVEVA World Summits 2011. AVEVA recognises the increasingly complex challenges faced by the engineering community and it is our mission to provide strategies, technology and services that join up this diverse flow of information to deliver success across your entire business.
2011 OpenPlant Road Show – by Bentley Systems
Date: October 25, 2011
Place: Edmonton, Alberta , Canada
2011 OpenPlant Road Show – by Bentley Systems



Join us for the 2011 Achieving Operational Excellence with OpenPlant Road Show, an exclusive multi-city event for 

owner-operators and other users of PlantSpace, PDS, PDMS, and AutoPLANT.



Dates and Location:



October 25, 2011 – Edmonton, Alberta 
RENDERING BIM MODELS IN ARTLANTIS
Date: October 26, 2011
Place: USA

Artlantis is a powerful, easy-to-use 3D rendering application developed especially for architects and designers, ideal for quickly and easily creating high resolution 3D renderings, animations, and QuickTime VR Panoramas & Objects. This webinar will focus on creating still renderings with Artlantis, covering default and expert settings, different types of projected 3D views, batch rendering, and export options.

Time: 11:00am PDT
Success Estimator Advanced Training
Date: October 27 - 28, 2011
Place: Atlanta, GA USA

Seats are available in our upcoming Success Estimator class. Sign-up now because seating is limited!

The course is two days in length. The registration fee for class is $995.00 per person with special pricing for multiple participants.


e-SPECS Designer
Date: October 27, 2011
Place: USA

e-SPECS Designer enables firms to customize AIA MASTERSPEC® to suit their design firm preferences as well as integrate custom Office Master sections.

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
Conference on Design and Architectures for Signal and Image Processing
Date: November 2 - 4, 2011
Place: Tapani Ahonen
Jari Nurmi, TUT, Finland

Tampere, a city known for its industrial history and technological leadership, will host the 2011 Conference on Design and Architectures for Signal and Image Processing (DASIP) from the 2nd to the 4th of November 2011. DASIP provides an inspiring international forum for latest innovations and developments in the field of leading edge embedded signal processing systems. The conference program will include keynote speeches, contributed paper sessions, demonstrations, and special sessions on timely topics.
INTA Congress “Exit, Voice, Loyalty/Metropolises: development strategies and alliances”
Date: November 6 - 10, 2011
Place: Lyon & Grenoble
France

Invited by two French regional metropolises, Grand Lyon and Grenoble Alpes Metropole, INTA35 will question the development strategies of these intermediate territories. Often their plans are not adequate to face the challenges of the global economy; regional metropolises are in need of innovative instruments and policies to make their development process more effective.
AVEVA World Summit 2011 Asia Pacific
Date: November 8 - 10, 2011
Place: Shangri-La Hotel
Singapore

Joined up thinking is our theme for the AVEVA World Summits 2011. AVEVA recognises the increasingly complex challenges faced by the engineering community and it is our mission to provide strategies, technology and services that join up this diverse flow of information to deliver success across your entire business.
From Codes to Carbon Footprint: Exceeding Expectations with Wood Buildings
Date: November 15 - 17, 2011
Place: CA USA

These workshops are designed for engineers, architects, developers, code officials, contractors, and others with an interest in both technical and sustainability issues related to non-residential wood buildings (including commercial, industrial, multi-family and other building types).
Build Boston 2011
Date: November 16 - 18, 2011
Place: Seaport World Trade Center
200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA USA

Build Boston is the Northeast’s premier architecture and building. The show attracts more than 250 of the nation’s leading suppliers of building technologies, products and services, and more than 16,000 registrants.


You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.


-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.