Calling all Architects and Engineers: 3 Steps to Tap Into Visualization with 3ds Max Tool

These 3ds Max tips for project visualization are courtesy of Arup Connect via Redshift partner ArchDaily, “the world’s most visited architecture website.” ArchDaily is dedicated to informing and inspiring architects worldwide to improve the quality of life for an estimated three billion people who will move into cities over the next 40 years.

Arup Connect is the online magazine of Arup, an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants, and technical specialists. For this article excerpt, Arup Connect interviewed Arup visualization specialist Anthony Cortez about how he uses 3ds Max, the skills visualization artists need during design and construction phases, and how augmented reality in construction is changing the face of visualization.

1. First Things First: What’s It For? 

“The strength of 3ds Max is its versatility,” Cortez says. “It’s not a one-industry tool. From film, visual effects, video games, and commercials to arch vis, people use Max for modeling, texture mapping, lighting, animation, and rendering. Architects use it to visualize models of buildings. There are game designers that use it to create game cinematics and environments; the visual effects industry uses it to create explosions and crowd simulations.

Read more on design, architecture, and gaming.

“Here at Arup we use all of that stuff that Hollywood and the game designers use, but we apply it to engineering applications. We have lighting engineers here in the office; they study how light hits surfaces and reflects off of and is absorbed by materials. We use 3ds Max to visualize how light physically behaves in real life. These days, it’s really hard to tell the difference between a photo and a rendering.

“There’s also a project that we’re working on, a new New York bridge, where we’re taking photography from various vantage points around the Hudson Valley area and camera-matching the new bridge design to the survey and photographs and create photorealistic visual impact studies, to show what designs look like so that they can move on to the next stage in the approval process.”

2. Minority Report is Here: 3ds Max and Augmented Reality. 

“Traditionally, the way we export out of 3ds Max is through renderings, still image renderings, or animations and real-time rendering game engines,” Cortez says. “But what’s also emerging is a platform called augmented reality (AR) where we’re able to take 3D objects and superimpose them onto the real world, and you’re able to interact with these 3D objects in real time, similar to what you would see in movies like Minority Report or Avatar or Ironman.

“We’ve used AR on a few projects by embedding building information models [BIM] onto site plans. When your smartphone or tablet recognizes the page, models are overlaid on top, giving you a better understanding of the site design in 3D.

“This application also works on the job site. Our engineers recently went to Montana for a project and were able to access geo-located design models and superimpose them on the landscape. The value of this is that it allows for real-time collaboration with clients by letting them preview things that the designers are proposing. This leads to better decision-making during the design process.”

(For more on the future of augmented reality, check out Meta’s augmented reality–enabled glasses.)

3. Get Your Game Up:  Design and Visualization Skills. 

“Having a good foundation of the principles of design is key,” Cortez says. “Having a good eye in regards to composition, attention to detail. Being able to understand how to interpret floor plans, elevations, and cross-sections. And also, on the visualization side, being able to understand how timing in animated objects works. Understanding the way light behaves when it interacts with physical materials, and then having a good sense of organization and optimization of these virtual scenes.

“Say you have several lights hit a surface and bounce off of it, then hit a window and go through two or three different levels of glazing of the glass so that it reflects and refracts. Some of the light goes through, some of it bounces off and hits the ceiling, etc. If all of that calculation is taking place, it could take hours to render a frame of animation. Whereas if you optimize a scene and adjust the geometry and materials settings, you can balance the time versus the quality of the render, so it wouldn’t take that long — maybe just a fraction of that time — but still have an acceptable level of quality.”

4 Tips To Go From Gamer Kid to Game Programmer

Since the invention of the video game, it has been a favorite pastime for kids of all ages. The creation of PC and mobile games in the last decade has allowed more kids than ever to connect and play games together. Statista reports that 1 in 5 gamers is under 18 years old and, if you’re a parent, you know that games make up a large part of our kids’ free time.

Professional gaming is on the rise and many kids dream of becoming full time competitive players. E-sports, competitive and organized video game play, has created a profession out of playing games, earning top players over $120 Million in 2019. Gaming is a booming industry that is only getting bigger. 

While few can rise to the top of the professional gaming field, many developers and engineers are required to build each game. Programming games is a lucrative career choice and an imperative part of the gaming industry. For kids and teens, it’s a good time to start learning the skills to join this growing industry. 

There are many aspects of video and mobile game creation including the visual design, storyline, hardware production, and, of course, the code. Kids who have their own creative ideas may be inspired to go beyond just playing and to building their own games. 

A game programmer writes the code that runs the game. Every action or graphic you see in a game, like a player running or collecting items, an object moving right or left, or a simple button click, is a result of code running in the background. To produce a single online game it can take hundreds of developers.

How can your child go from playing games to developing games?

As a parent, this might be new territory if you’re not as interested in games and technology and your child. Here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Learn a Coding Language

Popular game coding languages include C#, C++, Java, Python, and JavaScript. C++, Java, and Python are popular coding languages for video games, with games like Minecraft and Roblox using a combination of these and other languages. Coding can start as early as elementary school with drag and drop programming in Scratch. Having a solid foundation of computer programming knowledge is crucial for any game developer. Luckily there are plenty of options to learn coding such as coding websites, online coding classes, or classes at school if they’re offered. 

  1. Change Code on Games They Already Play

For the games your kids are already obsessed with, they can study the code behind it. In Minecraft, kids can use drag and drop block coding in the Code Builder. In Roblox, kids can use code to customize characters and even build complete games. Studying the code behind their favorite games can be an excellent tool for practicing their game development skills. Popular kids games with code mods include Minecraft, Roblox, Codea, and CodeCombat.

  1. Develop A Simple Game

Sometimes the best way to get started is just to dive in. Kids should try to build a simple game with minimal features to start. There are even free coding for kids resources they can use to do this. They’ll go through the process of planning, coding, and testing a game themselves. Building a simple game will strengthen more than just their coding skills, it also bolsters the critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills that are required to succeed as a game developer. 

  1. Learn About Game Engines

Game engines also allow developers to build games quickly across multiple platforms. Many games run on game engines that provide the tools and framework for game development. These programs can help developers render 2D and 3D graphics, animations, sounds, and much more. There are even game engines that use drag and drop, so no real coding is required. Kids can get familiar with game engines to understand the different parts of a game and how they work together.

Bottom line

For kids who already love to game, encouraging them to learn more about this hobby and create their own games is a great way to help them learn skills that will benefit them now and in the future. When kids learn how to code to develop games, a whole world of other possibilities opens to them. 

Games are the Way to the Future!

So many resources are available now to help kids learn how to code their own games. As a result, it’s easier than ever for kids to become game developers. With the gaming industry continuing to grow exponentially, these skills could also become a lucrative career!

WoW Character Transfer 101: How Long Does a Character Transfer Take and What Do You Need to Know About It?

As an online multiplayer game that has garnered a massive following around the world, World of Warcraft continues to thrive and expand. This only makes the game more interesting for us avid fans! WoW also propelled its influence even outside the realm of gaming, as evidenced by the unlicensed WoW theme park.

But if you’ve been playing for a while, you know the effort it takes to upgrade your character so that it maintains its competitiveness. Like many players, you’ll probably want to take your existing character to new realms. That’s what a character transfer is for.

Learn more about this service as we answer your most pressing questions in the rest of this article.

What is WoW Character Transfer?

Character transfer enables you to move between different realms. This allows you to continue playing them in the ever-expanding World of Warcraft. But this isn’t the only way that a character transfer may be completed. A character may also be transferred from one account to another, something that’s usually done when you avail of WoW services.

But before you go through with a transfer, take note of the things that transpire during the process:

  • You won’t be able to pursue mythic raids.
  • You may have to rename the character if the name is already taken in the realm. 
  • The character’s name will be saved for you in their original realm for 30 days after the transfer.
  • Items disenchanted, sold, and destroyed before the transfer will not be restored.
  • You lose your tabard design and guild affiliation from the character’s source realm.
  • Your Ignore and Friends lists will be cleared.
  • If you’re transferring from another WoW account, you can’t change the character name for 30 days.

There are even more consequences when you transfer to a Battle.net account. Below are just some of them:

  • Only character-specific achievements will be transferred.
  • Account-wide unlocks and mounts won’t be transferred to the new Battle.net account.
  • Whether partial or completed, your Pathfinder achievement will not be transferred. But if you’ve already completed it, your character retains gained skills.
  • Items in the Collections tab may be permanently lost.
  • Your Honor level will not be transferred.

Given this information, we strongly advise you to time the transfer to minimize losses. For example, you may want to wait until you get your rewards from the PvP season first.

How Long Will a Transfer Take?

10 minutes to 24 hours

World of Warcraft sets the maximum time in which the character transfer can be completed at 24 hours. But in reality, the experience can vary a lot. Many transfers are completed within 10 to 15 minutes. There are also player accounts where it took weeks.

To avoid delay issues, you must be aware of the existing transfer restrictions, which we’ll discuss in the next sections. If you’re going for a paid transfer, make sure that the payment method you have on file works. PayPal usually works faster than debit or credit cards as the latter require fraud checks.

Remember that the transfer is automated by the system, not manually evaluated by a person. Therefore, your experience may be different from the average, depending on your specific circumstances.

How to Successfully Complete a Wow Character Transfer

If you’re interested in transferring a character to a different realm within your region, you only need to do the following steps:

  1. Log into your character.
  2. Purchase a character transfer token. This will cost $25. If you have one already, go to the in-game store to claim the token. But if you have a free token, you may use that instead. 
  3. Leave your existing Company.
  4. Remove or cancel existing buy or sell orders.
  5. If you haven’t already, have the character located in a sanctuary.

There are existing limits to where you can do the transfer. You can’t do it in a world that’s under maintenance. If you already have a character in the world you’re transferring the character to, you also won’t be able to complete it.

Are There Existing Transfer Restrictions That You Should Know About?

One of the biggest restrictions that you need to be aware of is that you can’t transfer characters between Wow Classic, Burning Crusade Classic, and Modern WoW. You also may not transfer in the following circumstances:

  • The character is going to or from a Starter Edition account.
  • The source or recipient account is suspended, banned, or deleted.
  • The sender has the latest expansion while the recipient does not.

There are a lot more restrictions for the three variations of WoW. You may view the rest of the restrictions in this comprehensive character restriction post from Blizzard.

Final Thoughts

World of Warcraft allows you to seek a new kind of adventure. Whether you want to join old friends in a new world or explore new terrain on your own, you’ll be able to do so easily and with little to no waiting time.

Although there’s no guarantee on what your personal experience will be, knowing more about what to expect will make you feel more at ease with the process. We hope that by giving you information on your most basic concerns, you can more confidently complete transfers on your own.