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Autodesk Expands Design Tool Projects in the Cloud

Autodesk Expands Design Tool Projects in the Cloud

Autodesk is adding to its growing menu of cloud-based projects with two new design tool offerings meant to bring supercomputer-like functionality to smaller firms, which can't necessarily afford it. The company's latest cloud-based efforts are Project Photofly and Project Neon, both currently available for a free test drive at Autodesk Labs.

Project Photofly is a technology preview of a Web service that allows users in architectural, design, media & entertainment and manufacturing firms to easily create 3-D models from a series of photographs. Unlike most image-based modeling techniques, which require manual calibration of photographs and a high level of expertise, Project Photofly employs the "Camera Factory" automatic calibration engine to simplify and automate the process. Using a Windows-based client called "Photo Scene Editor," customers connect to the Camera Factory Web service and then enlist Autodesk 3-D modeling software (AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk 3ds Max, etc.) to consume the data in a DWG format while leveraging the Camera Factory tool to model on top of the images.

"Project Photofly brings the possibility of reality capture to designers, creative artists and engineers who didn't have the resources or expertise for image-based modeling and expedites the process for those who are used to spending endless hours manually stitching together images to create a 3-D model," said Brian Mathews, vice president of Autodesk Labs, in a press release. "Reality capture gives designers and engineers the ability to better measure, analyze, document and plan for projects."

Accompanying the Project Photofly announcement is the release of Project Neon, a technology preview of a Web service that delivers high-quality rendering off of the desktop using the cloud. With such a capability, engineering teams can create photo-realistic renderings of their projects without the need for dedicated rendering hardware. Given that rendering multiple files can take days and add time and expense to projects, Project Neon's support of the cloud promises to allow firms to render multiple views of a project simultaneously in a fraction of the time.

In addition to these efforts, Autodesk has a number of cloud-based design tool projects underway, including the Project Butterfly collaboration service and Project Cumulus, a Web service for plastics simulation.

Autodesk Expands Design Tool Projects in The Cloud
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