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Does my BIM look good in this Software?

  3D BIM data delivers some wonderful awe-inspiring models and structured information, but it can be a confusing medium to work with due to the huge array of outputs 3D has on offer. 3D data output comes in various formats from point clouds to intricate geometry. These different formats and outputs are where things start to get complex. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start or what exactly you require from your scan data. The 3D road is beautiful but converting 3D files can eat into your time like a ‘boxset on a bank holiday’. With the AEC industry often tarnished by problems such as growing costs, and project overruns, wastage, and inefficient processes, sorting out your BIM workflow is critical. Getting the right 3D We are all aware that it is relatively easy to do an ‘ok’ job, but it is much harder to deliver a perfect one. Getting the Software right can be a big issue, it is expensive, takes a lot of investment and training to learn; and not one piece of software is perfect for every job. Each 3D job may require an array of kit, software, and peripherals. The choices you make are dependent on the industry you work within. For example, Revit is widely used for BIM, but there can be unique and specific requirements to BIM that require different software. We all know that each sector has its own favourite 3D file software and formats. These choices are driven by the tools used in each sector, which is great, everyone loves a workflow that is smooth and fast. However, sometimes software is used for historical reasons, by this we mean, it is the software the company has used for years and that is just the way they work. Again, whatever works for you is good, but the problems start to emerge when one company works with another, and the combined pipelines must work in harmony. Sticking to what you know v using the right software for the job Software makers have their own file format, which is optimised exactly for their software. Mistakes may occur when choosing which option to use when saving or exporting a file. For example, do you want those CAD files saved in ASCII, Binary, or Compressed Binary? Using neutral software goes some-way to help workflows and improve interoperability. Nevertheless, there are often niggles with changing formats.…

Thai cave rescue – 3D scan journey through the cave complex

3D Scanning of Tham Luang cave Our involvement in the Tham Luang cave rescue documentary began through our involvement with our worldwide LiDAR surveying service “Commendium 3D”. We were invited to scan the mountains and the Tham Luang cave, to capture the ‘complete cave system and the mountains above’, thus delivering the first accurate 3D built system of the Thai cave. The 3D Lidar scans would be later used to illustrate the story of the rescue in the “Drain the Oceans” documentary with compelling 3D effects. Tham Luang Cave in Northern Thailand was virtually unknown beyond the small village bordering Myanmar. It all changed when, on the 23 of June 2018, twelve young boys and their football coach became entrapped by unexpected floodwaters. One and a half miles inside the cave system the boys waited, The International effort which took over three weeks must rate as one of the most impressive and courageous rescue missions in history. National Geographic The documentary film was for one episode of National Geographic’s “Drain the Oceans Series”. Filming and film production were expertly led by MSPTV in Bristol and we worked on 3D visuals with 422South, also of Bristol. Using our scan data 422South built some stunning CGI to accompany the 3D visuals included in the film. Roo on Camera In the field, our first week was spent supporting the filming of the cave. This involved filming us scanning, working in the cave, many interviews, and of course carrying filming gear through the cave. [caption id="attachment_5532" align="aligncenter" width="640"] 3D scanning Roo Walters with Sophie Elwin Harris Directing and Rob Franklin Filming[/caption] Scanning the Cave After supporting the film crew, we started the two weeks of cave scanning. Scanning included the mountain above for which we employed the terrestrial LiDAR and drone surveys. 3D scanning started from the far end of the cave complex; this meant our trips into the cave became easier as we progressed. Whilst hot, dry, and energy-sapping with 25kg of survey equipment, plus another 15kg of photographic gear, the cave is, for cavers at least, relatively easy, but some sections did involve flat out belly crawling and a few slippery climbs. As we traveled deep into the complex, we kept finding parts of the cave that were not recorded on the original survey. These new areas also had to be scanned to gain a complete 3D model of the cave. A…

Building and Roof Survey by Drone

Building and roof surveys The cost of erecting scaffolding, ladders, lifts, and undertaking work at height comes with increased risk and expense. Try another option, our drone service. Our registered drone service may be applied to any building and is especially ideal for older tall buildings and areas of difficult access. All drone flights are carried out with minimum disruption to your daily routine. Why a drone is better Drones are flown into areas where there is little or no easy access and can zoom in close to view those delicate and sensitive areas. Areas such as glass roofs or decaying architectural work, where careful surveys are required are exactly where the drone excels. Drone surveys are highly accurate and do not require the intense preliminary work that traditional surveys need to undertake; such as abseiling services, ladders, scaffolding, pickers & lifts. Weather issues also come into play, drones do not like gusts of wind, but they have no issues with many of the weather conditions that call-off manual inspections. Drones can quickly put your mind at ease, by inspecting dilapidated, hard to reach, delicate building areas or roof problems. Big or small, surveying manually can be a complex and costly affair. Use our drone service to carry out useful surveys of your buildings. Our team of drones or (UAVs) are piloted by registered experienced operators, who have carried out work for civil engineering companies, homeowners, and filmmakers. Our drones fly up to a height of 120m and can cover miles of terrain, though typically we fly a lot closer and survey smaller areas. Our fleet of drones captures real-time information in full-colour high-definition (HD) clarity. The camera footage may be viewed live or stored digitally for closer inspection. We can cover outputs for use in a wide range of other applications. For reduced health & safety, environmentally friendly, highly maneuverable, quicker, and precise surveys call out the drones.

3D scanning what is it good for?

Ever wondered what 3D scanning and the resulting 3D models are used for? We take a look at why photographs and traditional methods of capturing data are being superseded by 3D scans. When it comes to 3D scanning, there is more to it than printing out 3D models and producing CAD files, which is what we normally associate 3D scanning with. So why are more businesses and industries and individuals requesting 3D scans? In a nutshell 3D scans are a time-efficient and accurate way of capturing physical objects. Quite simply, you can digitise reality. Hollywood to the V&A Everyone, from Hollywood studios to museums are having their props and artefacts scanned for archiving purposes. Architects use 3D scans to capture data for remodelling, and the construction industry is quickly realising that 3D scans not only save time and money, they can be infinitely safer too when accessing areas of restricted access or hazards. What are the benefits that everyone is going wild about? The benefits, of which there are several present themselves like this. From the point of view of ‘time = money’. 3D scanning makes it possible to capture data quickly and accurately from the physical world, far quicker than traditional methods. Once your object has been scanned, that is it for posterity, you have essentially “digitized reality”. Your digital data can now be used for measuring, reproduction, comparisons, prototypes or simply stored safely for future references. How 3D scans work When you must get things right and there is a need to capture, preserve, or precisely measure, any object, ‘big or small’, then a 3D scan comes into its own. Our 3D scanners use light to measure, which means they are highly accurate and really- useful for measuring places with difficult access. In addition, the scans are non-destructive, which means your object is unaffected. 3D scans are used in many industries, from AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction), creative professionals to homeowners. A 3D scan accurately captures a physical object or environmental feature by analysing the shape, appearance, and colour of the object, which it then turned it into a digital file. Here we take look at the fascinating ways that 3D scans are used across a mixture of industries, and and by Joan and Bob from the farm on the fell and Carrie, who owns the local art studio. Environmental Agriculture Climate change it is on all our…

3d Scanning for Game Development and CGI

3D Scanning for Games Developers and CGI If a picture paints a thousand words... A growing market for our services is the gaming industry, the imagination and creativity that goes into these products is staggering and it is wonderful to be a part of this vibrant industry. There is no doubt that providing the data required for a game or CGI backdrop is time-consuming and can be expensive, but the requirement of these industries is often for the best quality that can be obtained.  Now there are no ‘standards’ for this, it is creative and therefore largely subjective as to what is meant by quality. Many recent enquiries want as much data as possible: fine point clouds, detailed meshes and the most photo-realistic of textures. Those more seasoned in this arena, will know that ‘more’ is not necessarily ‘better’ and many clients reduce their quality requirements as we burn-out their computers with huge data files. However, we capture as much data as possible in the field simply because we can choose not to use it when we get home, we can’t use data we haven’t got.  Fully meshed and textured 3D model of a ruined chapel. 0 Points collected during our last project ... a 3d scan is like being on location A recent project in South-East Asia captured over 8 billion points of data and almost 8000 photos; I doubt we have used a tenth of this to create the required models. Clients have required us to provide material for caves, buildings, landscapes, cliffs, deserts and forests, we specialise in getting to remote places. Although LiDAR scanning allows us to collect data from a safe distance, you can’t beat getting close to the subject for the best results, so we are often dangling from ropes, climbing cliffs, in and off boats or simply ‘yomping’ up a mountain. This also results in more data. We have found, therefore that most jobs require less data than the client believes is necessary – however, the quality of imagery required to create the desired model keeps growing. The process known as texturing is crucial to the quality of the output. How can Commendium help? Commendium use very precise LiDAR scanners and photogrammetric hardware to produce highly accurate 3D models. These models can be exported into any manner of file formats, fully textured if needed. For texturing, we create 2D and 3D textures suitable…

Drone Filming Techniques and Tips

Commendium have used the following drone filming techniques for a number of different projects, from archaeological purposes to record the setting of a site, to documentary footage for television. Each of the projects we use the drone for will require different techniques and outputs. One of the best tips for any drone filming is to keep it simple. Don't move the camera too much and if it needs to move, do it slowly. Planning shots or flightpaths in advance will improve efficiency, which for drone filming is essential. Generally, flight times of between 20 and 40 minutes are achievable, so maximising your actual recording time in the air. When planning your flights, Google Earth is your friend, being able to see the sites in rudimentary 3D is very useful to gain an idea of the layout of the land and even to draw paths of where you expect to fly. Other very useful websites to check are http://www.noflydrones.co.uk/ in order to see where there are airspace restrictions and https://notaminfo.com for any NOTAMs during your flight period. Different Filming Techniques As Commendium carry out different projects, here are some tips for the type of flights: Archaeological Setting and Recording Try and fly in a straight line, keeping the horizon in the shot in order to get an overview of the surroundings. Orbit shots can be used to focus on particular elements. Height of the flight is important - you need to be able to capture the locality as well as the main elements of the archaeological area. Make sure you fly high or low enough to capture these - may take a couple of runs to get it right. Photogrammetry  This is one of those specialised drone filming techniques that requires you to capture photos with a certain amount of overlap, generally in a defined series, with the right colour balance. There are some apps to help you do this, notably Drone Deploy (www.dronedeploy.com) and Pix4d. These types of flights require a certain, consistent altitude in a manner that gets the best overlap between photos. It can be done manually using a 5-second time gap between photos. The difficulty arises when you start having large terrain elevation changes in the area (such as a valley and a fell). Broadcast Film This is probably the most difficult technique to gain - videography skills are needed as well as flight skills. Sometimes you…