With everything that is happening with the economy and jobs these days, everyone is trying to save a buck here and there. This is all great until it has an adverse affect on productivity. While it is hard to think about spending money, some cost cuts can end up costing more in the end than the money being saved. In times like these, it is often a great idea to invest in new software to increase productivity as well as hardware. If you work in a 3D application, such as AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor or 3ds max, on a regular basis you might want to check out the products that 3Dconnexion develops.
All their products are designed to improve 3D navigation in 3D applications, but their latest product the SpacePilot Pro goes well beyond 3D navigation and allows you to access standard views and commands/tools in a 3D application with a touch of a button. By using a device such as the new SpacePilot Pro, you can increase your productivity my reducing the number of clicks to access frequently used commands as well as reducing the amount of moving your mouse to navigate a 3D model. All of these minor changes to your workflow allow you to focus on your design and not navigating the application or the 3D model you are working on, in the end resulting in getting more done in less time.
I have used one of the old 3Dconnexion products, a SpaceBall, in the past and loved it for working in the 3D environment of AutoCAD and 3ds max, and am looking forward to getting my hands on the new SpacePilot Pro. Once I have some time experimenting with the latest device, I will post my impressions. A few of the things that caught my attention with the new SpacePilot was the ability to map AutoCAD commands or AutoLISP code to buttons, as well as the LCD screen which allows for access to applications such as Outlook and RSS feeds. Mapping AutoLISP code to a button allows you to have different sets of macros for working in 2D from 3D, or even different macros if you are working in model space from paper space.
If you use a 3Dconnexion product with AutoCAD or another 3D application, post a comment and let me hear about your experience if you feel like sharing. For more information on the SpacePilot Pro and other 3Dconnexion products, visit http://www.3dconnexion.com.
Got an itch to learn a new skill this year? Maybe you want to add some glitz and dazzle to your hidden line drawings that you create in AutoCAD. Well if you want to get more out your 3D models, 3ds max or Autodesk Viz might be the right solutions for you. Sure AutoCAD 2007 and 2008 have vastly improved rendering facilities under their hoods, but they don't allow you to animate individual objects or to create a compelling animation to show your clients.
To learn more about up coming opportunities to learn Ted Boardman contact James Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for upcoming dates and times. (The next set of classes is right around the corner March 29-31). Ted teaches classes in the Green Bay, WI area. I have taken several of Ted's classes in Green Bay and at Autodesk University. He is one of the best speakers that I know, and he knows his stuff when it comes to 3ds max and Viz.
Are you looking for a new AutoCAD, Viz, 3ds Max, or Maya book for that perfect holiday gift? If you are, Wiley.com is currently running a special pretty much until the end of the year that gets you 20% off the following books through Wiley.com. Some of the books at listed below that Wiley offers, and during check out just enter the discount code 77061 (discount does not apply to journals or encyclopedias). You might need to reference Autodesk University as the convention when filling out the order.
AutoCAD & AutoCAD LT All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies (0471-752606)
AutoCAD 2007 for Dummies (0471-786497)
AutoCAD 2006 for Dummies (0764-589253)
AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD LT 2007 Bible (0471-788864)
AutoCAD 2006 and AutoCAD LT 2006 Bible (0764-596756)
Just Enough AutoCAD 2007 (0470-008784)
AutoCAD: Professional Tips and Techniques (0470-084545)
The Architect's Guide to the U.S. National CAD Standard (0471-703788)
Just today I got notification from Ted Boardman that he has launched his own blog. So who is Ted Boardman you might ask? Well if you don't know who Ted is and you are using 3ds Max or Viz, you might want to do some reading as he is one of the best in the industry on both 3ds Max and Viz. He is a well accomplished author (books and articles) and trainer in the world of 3D visualization with 3ds Max and Viz. You can find Ted help others out on the Internet through tutorials on CGArchitect, conducting classes in Green Bay WI at Virtual Partners, at Autodesk University, and many other places. I have met Ted in a number of places, and have even taken a class from him at Virtual Partners a few years back. He is a great guy and he really knows his subject matter when it comes to teaching those that have been using 3ds Max for a while, and those that are completely new to the program. If you are looking for training on 3ds Max, I would highly recommend that you take a class that is taught by Ted.
Autodesk is offering a discount of 20% off all of is Autodesk courseware purchased through the eStore from now until December 15, 2005. This was an offer that was introduced at this years AU and has been extended to include everyone. There are many great titles that are being offered through Autodesk courseware and I can personally say that many of them are not just something that you will toss in the corner of your workstation and forget about.
Check them out on the Autodesk website.
Use the Promo Code "AU2005" when ordering.
The courses cover a wide variety of products that Autodesk offers including...
AutoCAD LT 2006
Autodesk Inventor 10
Autodesk Vault R4
Autodesk Revit Building 8
Autodesk Revit Structure 2
If you are a subscription customer on 3ds Max, you should be receiving your upgrade shortly as it has begun shipping.
This latest release of Autodesk 3ds Max 8 provides new and enhanced functionality in four key areas:
For more information visit the Autodesk Media & Entertainment Solutions web page or contact your local reseller. If you are upgrading from a previous release of 3ds Max or are new all together to 3ds Max, get training from some of the best in the industry like Master Level instructor Ted Boardman at Virtual Partners Training Center.
Its still strange not having Discreet in the name, but rather Autodesk. Even with Discreet missing from the title name, 3ds Max 7.5 has many great things to offer up.
3ds Max 7.5 is available exclusively to Subscription members and comes with Hair & Fur, mental ray 3.4 and features for design visualization that come with Autodesk Viz in one package. Beyond these improvements there are going to be some additional eLearning tools, plus the Cloth Extension that was made available earlier this year.
What are you waiting for... head on over to the subscription web site to download and learn more about the exciting new features.
Subscription web site
Discreet will be shipping 3ds max 7.5 to its subscription customers starting in April. This new release will include three main areas of enhancements.
Hair and Fur—Based on Joe Alter's highly regarded "Shave and a Haircut" solution, Hair and Fur will offer numerous styling and dynamics tools for creating amazingly realistic hair and other strand-derivative effects.
Not that along ago, Discreet released the Cloth extension to its customers. So those that are on subscription with 3ds max are getting their value this year already. For more information on this from fellow blogger and friend Beau, visit his blog Will Render for Food.
If your thinking of me teaching the class, you might want to take another guess. Don't get me wrong I know the software pretty well, but I think you would learn more from Ted Boardman though. Ted is one of the great resources for 3ds max that is out there. I took one of his classes earlier this year and by far is one of the best instructors that I have learned from to date. Ted will be teaching a class this month, so if you are interested there is still time left to sign up. Classes are from December 16th through the 18th. If you are interested in this session or other future ones that Ted might be teaching please contact James Murphy (email@example.com) at Virtual Patners. He gets a number of great people teaching classes at his Discreet dealership.
I have been great friends with James for 8+ years now and he is one of the best dealers out there for Discreet. I am currently in the process of looking at holding AutoCAD classes at his location. These classes would be for General Fundamentals, General Customization, AutoLISP, VBA and the .Net Managed API. If you are interested in heading north for some training in these course topics let him know. Yes, I would be conducting the training on those types of classes.