3D City Management: Traffic!

By Bruno


Hello dear 3D Perspectives readers and bloggers,

This is a follow up on 3D City Management as promised in my previous post. In the last episode I explained how noise could be simulated and visualized in a 3D scene.

Today, I’d like to talk about another aspect of our everyday urban life. Traffic!

Most of us spend a lot of time in traffic and wonder how car flow could be optimized and made more fluid, saving us precious time. The old-fashioned way to create roads and traffic infrastructure is by building roads that connect point A to point B.

But if we want to create a city with a sustainable design and framework, we need to consider different elements before finalizing decisions: noise, air pollution, carbon footprint, energy consumption, etc. As a result, decisions about road infrastructure become more complex and need to be supported by simulation software that can optimize the combination of all these factors.

We are currently working with talented people at a French public research institute focused on traffic simulation: LICIT (ENTPE/INRETS) and LTE (INRETS) who have developed a dynamic traffic simulation application (SYMUBRUIT). The value of their approach is to be able to open their model to dynamic attributes like, speed, size of the streets and random events.
traffic simulation

The outcome of these studies gives a much better understanding on the decisions that need to be made to optimize traffic and environmental impact.

For example the result of a recent study demonstrated that a roundabout reduced noise by 60 percent, fuel consumption by 80 percent, and the fluidity of the traffic was improved by 30 percent.

Now I’m not sure all of us believe that roundabouts are the best solutions everywhere!

We all need to be convinced. A realistic 3D simulation would help to better understand these studies. That is why, in cooperation with the CSTB (MoDev), the SYMABRUIT results can be rendered in a 3D scene with modifiable simulation attributes. It becomes much easier to understand.

See for yourself in the video below. Here you can see the impact of a traffic light being moved combined with a modification of the average number of cars per hour.

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Once again we see that building and city management require powerful simulation capabilities combined with a powerful way to communicate the results to citizens. This is where the potential of 3D can be fully exploited. It’s also a direction we are exploring at Dassault Systèmes.

This post concludes this first series on 3D City Management. I hope you enjoyed it! Stay tuned, I’ll announce the next series soon.

See you soon!


Bridging the Gap Between 2D and 3D

By Cliff

2D-3D-peopleYears ago, I took the Myers-Briggs assessment test, which (as many of you know) evaluates your personality type. Somehow my assessment went wrong, and instead of the normal four letter assessment (i.e. “ENFP”), my assessment read: “3D”???

I have worked in 3D my entire career and have a hard time understanding anyone who would choose working in 2D over 3D. However, I realize that most designers and artists still prefer working in 2D. I’m assuming most reading this blog are “3D types” though.

At a previous employer, years ago, I worked closely with a 2D artist. He was exceptional, and I was amazed at what he could produce in Adobe Photoshop. When he needed content from me, he would always ask me to produce 2D images of my 3D models, which were never correct the first time, and had to be redone. I was always trying to show him the advantages of learning 3D himself, but he wanted none of it.

I often speak with many 2D artists and designers who will admit they are intimated by 3D, and that they would rather fake 2D to resemble 3D instead of working in 3D.

Most designers and artists still prefer working in 2D.

In a recent post, I discussed how I believe 3D will be easier to understand for the next generation, and more will be willing to work in 3D. Part of what we do here at 3DVIA, is to bridge that gap between 2D and 3D content creators (3DVIA Composer, 3DVIA Shape, etc.). Years ago, 3D was too difficult and too expensive for many 2D designers to even try. Today, I believe that is changing.

Last week we introduced 3DVIA for Adobe Photoshop, a plugin for Photoshop users to easily import 3D models from 3DVIA.com. I also created a video showing three examples of how using 3D is much quicker than 2D, even in Photoshop!

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So, let’s reach out to those intimidated by 3D, and show them how simple is can be, and the benefits of using 3D. And maybe, just maybe, next time they will have a split (2D-3D) personality.

Are you in?



#ECF09 Day 1b: 3D “Mickey” Mouse and “Mini” F1

By Kate

Hi, it’s me again, fresh from the Agora this time. And what fun! I FINALLY got to manipulate a 3D mouse!

I didn’t really know what to expect so was surprised you’re to use the 3D mouse in one hand, and a regular mouse in the other. I’m right-handed, so I used the 3D mouse with my left hand.

I was told that it’s kind of like holding a potato and manipulating it with one hand, while cutting or doing the precision operations with the other. I also couldn’t help but think of an accordion, whereby you move the instrument up, down, in or out, while playing the notes with your other hand.

Using the 3D mouse was quite . . . enjoyable, dare I say. My favorite part was getting the 3D car to levitate; felt almost like having a super power.

Here’s a video that gives you a better idea of how these 3D mice (hee hee!) work. I’ll give you a hint: 6 degrees of freedom allowing you to pan, zoom and rotate simultaneously.

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Also, there’s some serious benefit to be gained by using one of these thangs: 20 percent productivity gain for one. You can read more on the benefits in this productivity/proficiency study here.

Many thanks to the folks at 3Dconnexion for sharing their goods!

Before I leave you I can’t help but slip in some bragging. The F1 folks told me (and I have witnesses) that I whopped all the other contenders so far today in the mini F1 race. Seems my “reaction time” is much higher than the others’ at 0.008. Who knew? Aurelian and Valerie in the photo below were shocked, but we had fun so they forgave me.

Also, interesting factoid. The mechanism used to power the mini F1s is inserting an air compression chamber into the rear, and when you push the button, the system punctures the chamber with a needle, flying the car down the track in the time it takes to gasp. These are the same compression chambers, so I’m told, used in whipped creme cans. Voila! Factoid of the day.


So there you have it, my experience with Mickey and Mini at Disneyland Paris this afternoon . . .

A demain,


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