A team from Blink Image (Oxford) peeled themselves away from the studio yesterday to attend the 2016 Develop 3D Live conference at the Warwick Arts Centre.
There were a wide range of topics covered throughout the day, from advanced robotics to to the implementation of VR and a final - somewhat dry - debate on file ownership in the cloud and the pros and cons of subscription and perpetual software licenses! Of particular note were a talk by Martin Enthed from IKEA, Philip Norman of Ross Robotics and Solomon Rogers of Rewind.
The IKEA talk largely revolved around their move to fully CG images in all online pages and printed catalogues. We had always been aware that a lot of what we have seen in IKEA literature has been computer generated - the quality of which has always been superb. However, what we were not aware of was the shear volume of images and detailed 3D models that IKEA were generating day by day. The processes and systems they have put in place to help them deal with this throughput were fascinating in their own right. It was particularly interesting - and somewhat relieving - to hear that many of the issues they face are the exact same hurdles that Blink Image have been overcoming throughout our history...just on a slightly different scale!
Philip Norman talked about his thought processes that combine art, engineering, illustration, literature, product design, architecture and advanced robotics. At first, this may seem an unusual collection to be linked, but the way Philip's mind works made clear connections between them all, and more besides. He discussed breaking things down to the fundamentals, just as poetry conveys ideas of emotion and description in a reduced, concise format that adds to the power of idea itself. Learning from nature itself (the patterns of seeds crammed into a sunflower head, or the form and structure of a cockroach) can lead to purer design that functions in an optimal way. Fascinating stuff!
The Rewind presentation is something that I would like to pause, rewind and play again! A whirlwind tour of the VR-related projects this talented company have worked on, and highlighting the idea that VR/AR is here to stay - a sentiment that Blink Image wholeheartedly agree with.