30 – The First Step of 3D Visualization: Design (CAD/GIS)

The 4 steps of 3D Visualization is a simple framework I created to help explain the visualization process and is fundamental to understanding what goes into the animations and renderings created for civil engineering projects. This is the first in a four part series that will break down this four step process.

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Civil FX updates
  • Good meetings with several of you that were in town for Autodesk University
  • Next December I hope to have a formal Civil FX meetup around the same time as Autodesk University
  • Visualization challenges happening in the beginning of the new year
  • If you are interested in these challenges, please sign up for the mailing list at www.civilfx.com/mailinglist because all updates will be going out via email
Intro to the 4 Steps of 3D Visualization
  • I’ve simplified the 3D visualization process into four simple steps: design, modeling, visualization and post processing
  • This is part one of a four part series that will be diving deeper into the four steps and how understanding this process can improve your own visualization workflow
  • Please leave your comments and feedback at www.civilfx.com/30

Why, How and Who of 3D Visualization - NDOT

The first step of 3D Visualization: Design
  • Design is the only step that is part of both the engineering process and the visualization process
  • Hopefully we won’t usually be heavily involved in the design process
  • Sometimes we will be, however, and other times we will need to edit and work with CAD files so understanding AutoCAD and Microstation is recommended
  • GIS is also part of this step in some situations as you will need to figure out how you are going to get your surfaces (both existing and design) as well as imagery into your 3D modeling program
  • If you are starting you visualization as part of the planning/alternative stage, the design step of visualization may include items like PDFs or even hand drawn sketches
  • In summary, the design step is the engineered data that is the backbone and gives credibility to our models and animations
  • Without this step then our final product is more like a video game or movie than an visualization representing actual existing data and engineered design
  • Understanding this step will set you apart from animation studios that may be your competition
I will be testing out sponsors for the Civil FX podcast moving forward. I will only be recommending products or services that I use and know and any income generated by these sponsors will continue to help support Civil FX and my family.
Also, if you are involved in a project that could potentially use visualization services, I recommend checking out how Civil FX can help your project at www.civilfx.com/services because Civil FX Studios will always be the #1 sponsor for the Civil FX Podcast.