Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Autodesk University - Day One Mainstage

It's now Tuesday morning and Autodesk University is in full swing. The first event of the morning was the mainstage presentation. That was after the amazing feat of feeding nearly 10,000 attendees. Food service this year is located on the lower level of the Sands Convention Center, in what was originally designed as a parking garage.

It was somewhat disorienting to walk into Hall D where the opening session was being held. In order to ensure that late arriving attendees didn't end up seated hundreds of yards from the stage, the room was set up in the round, with a bank of screens suspended above the stage and the room ringed with a series of large screens.

The opening general session was introduced by Lynn Allen, who encouraged attendees to talk to each other. This was not the week to be an introvert.

Lynn then introduced Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, who outlined Autodesk's vision for digital prototyping and the important role designers and engineers have in solving problems such as sustainable design.

Carl was followed by Yves Behar, founder of the award-winning San Francisco design firm fuseproject. Yves talked about his approach to design as showed off some of his recent projects.

Following Yves was Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski, who took full advantage of the surrounding screens as he gave attendees a glimpse of some of the new tools, technologies, and concepts that Autodesk is developing.

He was assisted by Jonathan Knowles. Among the new products that were demonstrated were a new product called Mudbox for manipulating design models as if they were clay, new freeform design capabilities in Revit that will enable designers to deform surfaces by pushing and pulling various grips, new 3D capabilities in Autodesk Impression (apparently codenamed Titan), and a new product called Newport that enables users to aggregate content from Revit, Inventor, and other sources to navigate and visualize projects.

Perhaps the most amazing future technology demonstrated was a new product called Metropolis to build digital 3D cities. Knowles was able to navigate through what appeared to be a detailed digital model of downtown Washington, DC in real-time. He was even able to move below grade to look at buried utilities, and made mention of another new product called Autodesk Utility Design.

Quite an amazing series of presentations. I can't wait to learn more.

Now I'm off to attend my first class: "Effective Collaboration with the Revit Platform."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update from the trenches. For those of us not fortunate enough to be there in person, it's the next best thing.