The technologies we choose to use for our designs are totally dependant on the size of the project, complexity of the scope of the work, and the technical detail required in the design.
These are the 3 software packages that we utilise in creating and presenting the design to the client as well as detailing specifications for the implementation partners.
SketchUp is a simple 3D modelling program designed for individuals, architects, designers and related professions. It also includes features to facilitate the placement of models in Google Earth. It was designed to be more intuitive, flexible, and easier to use than other 3D CAD programs.
It is marketed as an easy-to-use conceptual tool with a simple interface. A well known feature in the SketchUp World is the 3D Warehouse. Users can use their Google Accounts to upload models, and then browse the 3D Warehouse for many components and models.
AutoCAD is a CAD (Computer Aided Design) software application for 2D and 3D design and drafting, developed and sold by Autodesk, Inc. Initially released in late 1982, AutoCAD was one of the first CAD programs to run on personal computers, and notably the IBM PC. Most CAD software at the time ran on graphics terminals connected to mainframe computers or mini-computers.
In earlier releases, AutoCAD used primitive entities - such as lines, polylines, circles, arcs, and text - as the foundation for more complex objects. Since the mid-1990s, AutoCAD has supported custom objects through its C++ API. Modern AutoCAD includes a full set of basic solid modelling and 3D tools, but lacks some of the more advanced capabilities of solid modelling applications.
AutoCAD supports a number of application programming interfaces (APIs) for customization and automation. These include AutoLISP, Visual LISP, VBA, .NET and ObjectARX. ObjectARX is a C++ class library, which was also the base for products extending AutoCAD functionality to specific fields, to create products such as AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Civil 3D, or third-party AutoCAD-based applications.
AutoCAD's native file format, DWG, and to a lesser extent, its interchange file format, DXF, have become de facto standards for CAD data interoperability. AutoCAD in recent years has included support for DWF, a format developed and promoted by Autodesk for publishing CAD data. In 2006, Autodesk estimated the number of active DWG files to be in excess of one billion. In the past, Autodesk has estimated the total number of DWG files in existence to be more than three billion.
3ds Max is the second most widely-used off the shelf 3D animation program by content creation professionals according to the Roncarelli report. It has strong modeling capabilities, a flexible plugin architecture and a long heritage on the Microsoft Windows platform. It is mostly used by video game developers, TV commercial studios and architectural visualization studios. It is also used for movie effects and movie pre-visualization.
In addition to its modelling and animation tools, the latest version of 3ds Max also features advanced shaders (such as ambient occlusion and subsurface scattering), dynamic simulation, particle systems, radiosity, normal map creation and rendering, global illumination, an intuitive and fully-customizable user interface, and its own scripting language. There is also a plethora of specialized renderer plugins that can be bought separately, such as V-Ray, Brazil r/s , Maxwell Render, and finalRender.
Many films have been made using 3ds Max. 20th Century Fox's I, Robot and X-Men, contain 3ds Max's computer generated graphics alongside live-action acting.
Videogame makers have also used 3ds Max extensively in their area of entertainment. 3ds Max even exports directly into the modelling file type for the videogame Quake. For many other games, such as the Trainz Simulator and Grand Theft Auto series, there are third-party plug-ins available that can export a model to a filetype readable by the game to be modified.