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Inventing cars for over a hundred years

May 21, 2012

FMX 2012

May 5th to May 12th I was in Stuttgart. Well known as the home of Porsche and Mercedes Benz, the city also plays host to perhaps the worlds most popular (many artists seem to like it more than Siggraph) conference on visual effects and animation. Called FMX, it is run by Filmakademie BadenWürttemberg. It also covers games, “transmedia”, and most importantly for me: 3D visualization. I get to hear talks by some of Hollywoods top visual effects artists – and at the same time I get tangible tips and the chance to meet people who do 3D visualization for a living. Some quite successfuly!

Stuttgart

My first time at FMX was last year. I was awestruck – not just by being in the company of so many peers for the first time in my life, but also by the beauty and feel of the city. Automobile capital, yes. But the city is green as far as the eye can reach, and has a huge park (Schlossgarten) stretching through it. I stayed at a simple hotel without much of a view last year, but decided I had to show this city to Julie and that we had to get a room by the Schlossgarten.

So we chose the fabulos Hotel am Schlossgarten, and stayed for a week to get some free time before the FMX conference. We went to the Mercedes museum, we went for a drive to some other cities, and we had dinner at the brand new Gourmetrestaurant Schlossgarten. Very highly recommended! The hotel interior was newly redecorated so I even got some architecture and design satisfaction out of it.

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Car industry and 3d visualization

But back to business. The conference had a track called “CG industry”, which was curated by the CEO of RTT, mr. Ludwig A. Fuchs. We got to see how Porsche utilizes computer graphics (CG) heavily both in the design and marketing of their cars – presented by senior Porsche employees from the respective departments. While I know much of the ways you can use CG for marketing, I was not aware of just how much is being done with CG and 3D visualization in the design phase. As in the exploratory phase before you go into making construction drawings of the car.

Porsche exploits every opportunity to see 3d models of their cars from every angle and even do driving simulation early in the design phase to test general feasibility of the design. As I understood, Porsche makes heavy use of RTT both as a tech and services supplier. After the Porsche talk, PSA Peugeot Citroën entered the stage to talk specifically on their use of 3D modelling for prototyping cars.

I went up to mr Fuchs after the talks and had a little chat about 3D visualization and the boat/yacht industry. Insightful! I will certainly pick up on what was presented in these talks later.

Inspired, motivated and well rested I returned to Trondheim. Already looking forward to my next stay in Stuttgart!

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