Infographic: Paris 3D Story

By Muriel
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The story could begin like a tale “Once upon a time, men who built Paris day after day, decade after decade, century after century…”, but in our case the story is told differently. It goes back in time and shows Paris in 3D to live a unique experience that allows us to discover and understand how historic monuments have shaped this extraordinary city.

Whether we are visitors, readers, historians, experts, technicians, directors, actors or Internet users, we were hundreds of thousands aficionados have participated in the Paris 3D adventure. This great 3D Experience continues and offers virtual immersion into the heart of Paris at different times, ranging from Gallic period to the late 19th century. Famous Parisian monuments already digitized in 3D for Paris 3D will be regularly enriched with new 3D historic buildings to enhance the virtual mock-up representing the real World Heritage sites now shared anywhere at any time.

Although one of the adventure highlight was the live Paris 3D event on September 29, 2012 in front of the Paris City Hall with 15,000 visitors, films co-produced by Gedeon programmes, Planete+ and Dassault Systèmes, a book edited by Flammarion, and online and iPad applications are still generating growing public interest (Paris 3D video). As of today, the iPad application has been downloaded 130,000 times and the dedicated Paris 3D website has seen 350,000 visits. The attached infographic illustrates Paris 3D experiences where figures and information represent people involved as well as technical and historical topics. Enjoy the picture!

I confess that one of my favorite monuments in Paris is the Eiffel Tower, not very original :-) . What is you preferred one and does the 3D Experience increase your passion for it?

Touch To Visit Our History

By Michael
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If you come to the entrance hall on Dassault Systèmes Campus in Vélizy, you’ll find a 65” screen which displays objects on a time axis.

Most people who wait there to be picked up for their appointment or those who simply spare a minute approach the screen and touch the surface – which reminds me a bit of the opening scene in Odysee 2001 of Stanly Kubrick, where the apes approach the black monolith.


Click to watch the video trailer

But back to the subject! I wondered what incites the visitors. Curiosity at first, but then they seem to look for a kind of communication feedback from the machine:  “When I touch this … what do I get?” … “Wow, it reacts to my fingers’ movements … to my whole hand”

By playing, navigating and discovering the objects on the screen it naturally becomes obvious that the installation represents a timeline with DS history from 1981 onwards, with important events and achievements all along the way until today.

This Timeline application hosts photos, videos, documents, sounds to be browsed and positioned along time marks, and to be played with in a very sensual way. It seems that by this immersive interaction the visitor gains interest and starts to develop a positive relationship with the content displayed.

Watch for yourself how this comes about:

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There is a whole science behind the psychology of motivating and reassuring users to work with technical systems. I was personally involved in a consulting activity to help application developers to optimize their work by improving what is called Software Ergonomics or Human-Computer-Interaction in a broader sense, i.e. the user experience when interacting with a computer system.

Traditionally this communication is achieved via input/output devices and screens. With recent technology advancement we can add immersive interaction possibilities while using fingers, hands and the whole body, and while at the same time getting sensorial feedback.  Taken to the extreme, the user becomes an actor – a part of the machine … just look at this previous post on 3D Perspectives for a high-end example of user/system/application-interaction.

The most important point from this is that user experience is the ultimate criteria to measure ergonomic quality.


The Timeline application has been built for us by the “touch agency” Tactineo using state-of-the-art touch screen technology from nextwindow with a special focus to optimize the user experience to comply with a “zero training” requirement, i.e. achieving something which is totally intuitive for visitors of all type. Therefore the application appears to be simple – which is the ultimate purpose.

However, achieving the highest level of ease-of-use is hard work for the application developers. Also, the perception of good user ergonomics requires top technical performance of hardware components and drivers, i.e. reaction times of the object to user manipulations needs to be immediate without any noticeable delay.

As soon as the user feels “in control” motivation kicks in to do more … to explore all of the content, play with objects … do something crazy (yet, no crash allowed in this scenario).

Ergonomics is so important for user acceptance and thus for the success of a technical application. And the user decision is immediate – concluded within the first manipulations.

Either “like it” or “hate it” … think about it.

Have a good week!


Future in Reverse with 3D

By Oleg
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I’m always trying to share with you my view about the future of technology. However today I’d like to take a different angle.  I wonder how future 3D technologies and applications can help us to know more about our history?

I truly believe that 3D technologies will play a key role to help us re-create our past. And to understand our past is important in order to build our future.

I’ve found several examples where I see 3D technologies already helping us to understand, re-build and preserve our history for the future.

The first example comes from my personal history.  Many years ago I lived in the former USSR. Even so, during that time I wasn’t able to visit Lenin’s mausoleum on Moscow’s Red Square. To my big surprise, I found a website (thanks DL blog for that) that has recreated this architectural monument in an interactive way (interactive link is here).  The 3D technologies for this specific project were provided by ParallelGraphics. On a side note, for a few years the president of the Moscow-based ParallelGraphics was Francis Bernard, a person key to the creation of CATIA software, as well as the former president of Dassault Systemes.


Another example is the appreciation of Industrial Archeology with 3D CAD, which helps designers and engineers preserve history by recreating products that no longer exist.

“Industrial archeologists like Californian William L. Gould use SolidWorks software as an efficient, mechanically faithful way to illustrate, in three dimensions and myriad individual components, a piece of lost history. Gould’s (pictured) full-color 3D CAD model of the 1879 Mason Bogie steam locomotive, is rendered in SolidWorks and PhotoWorks software, and exists only as a 3D CAD model with hundreds of discrete parts. It is available as a fine art lithographic print or a set of plans in exacting detail.”

Lastly, you’ve probably heard of the Khufu Pyramid project by French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin?  It’s  an impressive theory presented with Dassault Systèmes’ 3D technologies to help and understand of the secret of how the Great Pyramid was built. I enjoyed watching the video again and thought you would too.

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I hope you enjoyed my 3D Future in Reverse perspective. Please share any other examples you have about the usage of  3D to discover and recreate our past.

Best, Oleg