All about our software developer journey

Category: Forge

Autodesk University 2022

7530km, 3 flights and over 20 hours of travel … this is where our journey to AU started !

After 2 years of virtual AU waiting for the opportunity to take part of this event, time as come and not least because the class I proposed a few months ago has been selected !

Doing my first AU as main speaker was a fantastic chance. All the work to prepare our talk during the summer will finally be presented. 

But first let’s enjoy New Orleans … so warm and humid when we left the airport ! Discovering this city mixing old and new building style was really great, from Central Busines District to Audubon Park by the famous French Quarter.

Audubon Park
Royal Street in the French Quarter
Old style tramway in CBD

We also took a tour to see alligators in the Bayou. A lot of fun to ride on this airboat.

Across the Bayou on airboat
Baby gator

Time was running and it was already time for the event ! Our Tuesday was really intense. We had no time between our classes and we met a lot of people. So interesting and so exhausting …

Convention Center entry
A very great class with our friends from DBLab and their customer

No rest on Wednesday morning, we woke up at 5am for the 5K Fun Run. That wasn’t very easy as we are not trained and not used to wake up so early, but running along the Mississipi with the sunrise was wonderful. 

5K Fun Run starting line

Just enough time to go back to the hotel, take a well deserved shower and I was back to the Convention Center to prepare my class. 

A huge amount of stress before starting, but I felt really good during the presentation and all went great.

A little stressed waiting to start
Alex, Brian and Michael
Quite a lot of people

Our talk was about point cloud with Forge. I was sharing this class with Brian Nickel (AlliedBIM) and Michael Beale (Autodesk). After Brian introduced why point clouds is a great value added in BIM workflows, Michael showed how Autodesk implements point clouds in BIM360 and Forge using 3D-tiles to support large point clouds visualization.

In my presentation, I explained a way to create a simple point cloud using the last iPad Pro Lidar and ARKit technology to get spatial data.

Reality Capture preparation

Then we described how we are able to integrate it into the Forge Viewer and how we used Forge DesignAutomation to automate a Revit plugin that import the point cloud and align it with the CAD model.

Point cloud integration in Forge Viewer
Point cloud integration in Revit

Our class ended with a Q&A which was a great moment of exchange with the attendees.

Wednesday afternoon we participate to the Forge System Integrators meetup organized by Sanjana Chand (Autodesk) where we had a good opportunity to present us to others SI and people interested to meet us.

We finished this day at a private Forge reception with a live Jazz Band. It was a nice moment having fun and discussing with other Forge fellow and team members.

Jazz band at Gordon Biersch

Tuesday morning started with a third Forge event, a private breakfast with some Autodesk Forge leaders sharing vision of future for Autodesk Platform Services – yes this is the new name of Forge and the name we must use from now.

After two intensive days, we had a less busy day to finish this event, having only two classes such as the excellent one done by Jaime Rosales (and prepared by Denis Grigor) about the new DataExchange API. We already had a quick presentation in June during the Forge Data days in Barcelona and everything was so confusing at this time. This class helped me to better understand the different ways to use this API some some good examples. Good job ! đŸ˜‰

Jaime presenting his class about DataExchange API

Thursday evening took place “La Grand SoirĂ©e” which was the final party of the AU. There was some funny games in the hall and great band playing inside and oustide.

La Grande Soirée entrance

Unfortunatly, those who already been to AU in Las Vegas seemed a little bit disappointed about this party missing some energy and maybe some decoration (espacially for a Mardi Gras style party). But it was great to celebrate the end this event for everyone. We met some of them at the Cafe Negril, a good bar we found in the Frenchman street which seems to be where locals usually hangs out.

Friday morning, Katinka Sante and Maureen Higgins organized a cruise on the Mississippi river with the Autodesk Community and some Experts Elit. Cruising on the Paddlewheeler boat Creole Queen with this beautiful weather was perfect to conclude this trip and see the city from another point of view. Thanks to them for this tour.

Paddlewheeler riverboat Creole Queen
New Orleans from the Mississippi river

We had a few hours to bring back some souvenir and taste one more authentic gumbo and it was already time to flight back home.

Canal Street

We really enjoyed this trip to New Orleans and the Autodesk University event. We made great connections with new people and were happy to see face to face people we had only met through video calls. Of course, strengthening relationships with those we had not seen from a while.

Can’t wait for the next AU !

First Hackathon

This week took place the 3rd Autodesk Forge Hackathon. The past two years we were tempted to participate but renounced because of lack of time. This year, no more waiver, let’s do it !

Really good prizes will be gifted to winners of the following six challenges :

  • For the love of the 3D game!
  • Show me the Data! 
  • I feel the need, the need for Digital Twin!
  • Task automation is a state of mind
  • There is no place like ACC
  • Hack the planet!

With our spirit of childhood, we decided to compete for the 3D game challenge. Our objectives were first to use most of Forge API / built-in functions as it’s one of the judging criteria and also to push limits of APIs. 

The week started with a fun meeting with others teams and Autodesk staff in Gather Town for the pitch day, Sanjana suggested our team name, guess what ? We named this blog after that : PIROmancy. 

Twitter @AfroJme

Here’s the draft of our game concept :

The idea was to create an isometric view game using the Viewer Forge (which is based on three.js R71). Most of the components we used came from the DataVisualization API toolkit :

  • SurfaceShading for the floor heatmap
  • Sprites for the gems
  • Streamline for the tornado and track the player path

The first step was to transform Forge into ‘game engine’ and it was pretty straightforward using the ToolInterface. The ToolController already implements an update function and keyboard events. Now let’s add some physics (we only need collisions for this game), and thanks to Detecting-collisions-in-the-forge-viewer and Integrating-ammojs-physics-with-autodesk-view-data-api we were able to quickly integrate Ammo.js in Forge.

Moving the player in the model with collisions

Second step, we can play with the DataVisualization API toolkit. For the floor heatmap, we created a grid of sensors with random values. Using linear interpolation between values with updateShadingSurface function, we ended with this nice effect.

Floor is lava effect

The tornado effect was made with Streamlines and gems were made using Sprite viewable API.

Streamline tornado
Gems made with sprite viewables

At this point, we had all the key elements to create our game. We spent all our remaining time to implement the game logic, change the Revit input model for a much appropriate one, replace player with a 3D glTF character, add sounds effect and music, and finally some UI improvements. 

Thursday afternoon we stopped developing the game to prepare the demo and slides for Friday.

Game demo

Now we are waiting for the results which should be announced during the Autodesk Universities. We hope this game pleased the judge. 

No time for rest, we need to prepare our travel to New Orleans for AU2022 !!

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