Friday, December 19, 2008

The Interchange as Art?

It's been busy around here- deadlines butting up against the Autodesk "Week of Rest", the post AU catch up frenzy, my design class coming to an end, oh yeah, and that whole Christmas thing.

We'll get back into some hard core Civil 3D tech once I drink a few egg nogs next week.

In the meantime, if you needed some artwork for your Holiday Greetings this year, one of these just might fit the bill.

These drawings came from looking at an aerial of spaghetti junction immediately after I hit my head on the sink while standing on the toilet to hang a clock.

Dana Probert Week 6 Assn 1-more ideas

Here is the one that I wound up turning in.

Dana Probert Week 6 Assn 1

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Whetstone 12-12-2008

I don't think I am the only geek in the CAD universe who celebrates the new year on the day I return from Las Vegas. Everything we work on comes to its apex during AU. There hasn't been a year yet that I don't sit in McCarran and scribble down my "AU Resolutions". The first year it was "Submit a Proposal", then the next "Learn how to write a paper that doesn't suck" and of course "Wear more comfortable shoes".

In all seriousness, we have 361 days from one Autodesk University to the next. How are you going to take advantage of each day? Those days are going to go by whether you like it or not, and before you know it, we'll be right back here again.

If you spent one lunch hour per week watching an AU Class (crank it up to 2X speed to get through it in 45mins), you'd be able to experience 52 classes. If each one of them gave you one little idea, think of how far ahead you'll be. If you download the AU Online podcasts and listen to them while you drive to work, you can dig in even more. I know I will spend a lot of time watching and listening because the AU crush always leaves too little time for me to see as much class as I would like.

On that note, what do you do on your drive to work? Replace one commute time rock out session per week with a ULI podcast, a TED talk, or maybe an interesting audio book or language program. That's another 52 hours of ideas, insights and skill.

What if you spent an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon once a month flipping through Urban Land, Landscape Architecture, New Civil Engineer, CE News, ENR or another industry magazine to keep up with what is going on in the industry and feed your brain some new ideas?

In addition to learning more about graphic design, presentation skills, visualization and of course civil 3d civil 3d and civil 3d, I need to find my former physical self. I read an article this year about an Estee Lauder executive and mother of four who said Take Care of Yourself First: “You’re going to need energy for this juggle.” She was right and running around like a maniac in the month before AU and while in Vegas let me know that I need more endurance to keep up. Like learning Civil 3D or preparing for a presentation, physical fitness is an exercise in consistency over the long haul.

Here is some stuff I have on my list for this week:

1. Presentation Zen Webcast. You've heard me talk about Garr Reynolds before. While I didn't get a chance to implement all of his ideas, Presentation Zen helped me immensely this year, and I can't wait to learn more to become even more comfortable with my talks.

2. This month's Urban Land Magazine

3. Tons of Classes on AU Online. I'm beginning to bookmark my MUST WATCH AND READ list here.

4. An article called Water In Balance from this month's CE News. Salvatore Napolitano from Metcalf & Eddy /AECOM shows some ideas for using Civil 3D for floodplain modeling.

5. ENR's Continuing Education Center features tons of online readings and quizzes that you can use for continuing education credits and general learning fun. I'm checking out Pedestrian Friendly: Planting Trees and Celebrating Stormwater in Urban Areas and some of the other topics under sustainability and site infrastructure design.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Miss the AEC Keynote? Check it out!

Check out the Autodesk University 2008 AEC Keynote Session at the new AU Online.

If you don't have an AU Online login, access the AEC Keynote here.

The Civil portion begins around minute 62 or so. It is a twelve minute talk about BIM for Civil Road and Highway projects.

Adam Strafaci speaks about the process, and I show live demonstrations. We also work in video from mobile LiDAR, RDV Systems Rapid Road Safety Analyzer and a really spectacular visualization done with Civil 3D and 3DS Max using the tools from 3AM’s Dynamite VSP.

The Civil 3D portions are shown in Civil 3D 2009 to focus on thought leadership for using the current product.

This presentation was designed to appeal to a variety of technical and non-technical audiences. We wanted them to say “I didn’t realize that Civil 3D could be used for that type of project!”

I urge you to watch the entire presentation. There are great pieces on using Inventor as a key part of AEC projects, also some great Navisworks information, and an integrated segment on Sustainable Design using many products in our portfolio.

If you are looking for some more information about Civil 3D for transportation projects check out Civil 3D for Aviation and Airports customer success story, Civil 3D for Port and Harbor Projects, and much more at the Civil 3D Transportation Success Story page.

Don't Forget to Fill Out Your AU Feedback

I don't think its too late. If had your badge scanned when you came into a class, you should have gotten an email about filling out class surveys.

I cannot stress how important this feedback is. As a speaker, I know that I have taken the comments and ratings to heart and used them to help me improve. I credit this for my steady improvement over the past three years.

The results are also used my the selections staff to decide which speakers come back, which speakers could potentially wind up on certain tracks and how to improve the AU experience in general.

My classes both have are at about 60% reporting. That means there still close to 40 people out there who need to fill theirs out.

Don't leave me hangin'- tell me what you really think so that all of AU can improve!

If for some reason you can't get in to fill out the survey, or you wanted to tell me more than 200 characters can handle- email me anytime. Dana.Probert (at)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Behind the Curtain on the Mainstage at AU

I am sitting, literally, behind the black curtain in the GIANT room where Carl Bass's mainstage keynote was delivered, and where I (and a cast of many) will be delivering the AEC Keynote tomorrow at 8AM.

It's really incredible back here. I'm rerendering some videos for the 10000th time because I am a movie noob, and while I wait I am just amazed at the logistics involved in this event. Its a long way from one girl and one projector and a loud voice. That is for sure.

So far, Autodesk University has been fun. I have more to to than ever (and I mean EVER) but some how I've been able to relax, visit with some folks and make time to sit in a class or two and learn something.

I think maybe AU is like children. Before you have kids, you think you are busy, which is like AU as an attendee- so much to see, so much to do, so many things to learn.

Then you have the first child and things seem really nuts and you have no idea how you will manage, but you do. It isn't pretty, but you get there. That's your first year as a speaker.

Then, you have another kid and you realize there really is no reason to freak out- that things will somehow get done and everyone will be taken care of, so why not enjoy the ride? It isn't worth stressing over.

Really, three or five or six couldn't be that much harder, right?