26/02/2015No Comments

Leave a Review Please

To all my past and present clients, and anyone else who has had the pleasure of working along side Ard Digital, it would be incredibly incredible if you could write a review for the Google + Ard Digtial page.

It's quite simple and straight forward. The easiest way is to goto www.google.com or www.google.co.uk and search for Ard Digital Ltd. Then in the right box, click "Write a Review" and leave some nice words! You'll need to be signed into Google+ by the way!

leaveareviewplease

Show your support and leave a review, and receive a mystery gift or pint of beer, maybe!

 

Thank you!

Dean

 

19/02/2015No Comments

Ard Digital Turned 3, apparently

Well, on the 13th February Ard Digital turned 3, and I completed missed it, no cake, no party or even a handshake!

I guess this is what happens when you become engrossed by the work, and as they say, age is only a number!

 

Cake would have been nice though, maybe next year!!

 

Dean

05/02/2015No Comments

ArdDigital.co.uk 2.0 revamp!

Over the past few weeks, I have been working on ArdDigital.co.uk version 2.0, and here it is.

The previous site has served the past 3 years (hasn't time flown!) well, but I felt it was a good time to have a little revamp and refresh of the website.

Essentially the content on the new site is much as it was on the original site, featuring who I am, what I do, and of course the portfolio.

The new site features a new look, new logo, and new content. Many of the previous project are still to be added, as is some of the written content. If you happen to spot any thing amiss or a broken link, don't hesitate to get in-touch!

I hope this version of the website is as successful as the previous one. Is it a thumbs up, or thumbs down?

 

Dean

05/01/2015No Comments

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running? I know I am!

 

So what does 2015 mean and what can be expected from Ard Digital? I have many ideas, some good, others not so! I experimenting, playing, and tinkering with ideas, and sifting through the good any bad until there's something at the end of the process, even if it is a bin full of tested, but ultimately bad ideas! That's not to say I only have bad ideas, just that I love playing with ideas, and testing them to the point when I say "yes" or "no".

On the list for this year is...

... 3D printing progression and lots more development. I want to look at printing in various materials, such as rubber and metal, and seeing what possible uses I can push the 3D printing into. In 2014 I was very much finding my feet with 3D printing, and took the first step by buying a printer. In 2015 I want to see where 3D printing can lead, and how useful it really can be.

... 3D interactive applications and devices. Again in the past I have played with interactive applications, but not to the extent I would really like. With the development of 3D software such as Unity 3D, Unreal Engine, and others, creating beautiful interactive applications is something I will really look to develop. I love the concept of augmented reality, and the possibilities this holds. Like 3D printing, I see AR becoming a lot more common place in everyday life, so it really makes sense to me to play and test ideas in this region.

...2D interactive applications. I will also be developing non-3D based interactive applications. Already in development is a configurator allowing users to interactively change images. In this specific application users will be able to change parts of a kitchen to suit their tastes, and then feedback their selection to the shop, website, or anyone else. The framework behind the kitchen configurator is being built in such a way that it isn't limited to kitchens, interiors, or anything of that nature. The app will be able to be modified to configure any product or room set. Hopefully a fully working demo will be available very soon!

...3D scanning development. In 2014 I purchased a hand-held 3D scanner, but to be honest I barely had time to really develop and test the device and its possibilities, so in 2015 I will be getting hands-on and 3D scanning!

...Blogging more, and updating the website more often! Since I started the website and blog has sometimes taken 2nd place to everything else going on around business and life, and as such really doesn't get updated as often as I'd like. So in 2015 I will be making a concious effort to blog more, with hopefully some useful and interesting posts, and also to update the many pages on the site. I want to blog more about the processes of CGI creation, the development and testing of the ideas I have (good and bad!), and generally blog interesting things relating to Ard Digital, 3D and CGI.

 

I know there's more I want to achieve, and hopefully with a hard work, imagination and a smile 2015 will be a cracking year!

Dean

15/12/2014No Comments

3D Print Christmas Give Away

As it's Christmas, I'm giving away 3D prints!

These aren't any prints, these are Christmas geometric themed prints, consisting of one 3D printed Christmas tree, and Christmas text, which coincidentally is the same font used in the updated Ard Digital logo 🙂

3d print christmas tree text

Anyway, if you fancy one of these very limited prints, get in touch ASAP. These can be collected from the studio in Huddersfield, or if you're really nice (perhaps a re-tweet, or instagram share would do?!) I will post to people in the UK, but remember the Post Office don't work late, so you'll need to request one ASAP, or wait until next Christmas!

 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Dean

16/07/2014No Comments

New London Award 2014 for Autor Architecure’s Junction Road

An architecture project I visualised a few months ago has won in the New London Awards for Housing in architecture, congratulations to Autor Architecture!

new_london_award-662x420

The house sits on a small site in London, but this didn't stop Autor from being creative, and designing an award winning house! The size restrictions and complex nature of the site made this house design interesting, well planned, and a contrast to the traditional London town houses.

Learn more about the project here -

http://www.autorarchitecture.com/projects/junction-road/

And of-course see the rest of the CGIs and visualisations here -

punch.digitalportfolio/junction-road-residential/

Check out the awards here -

http://newlondonarchitecture.org/awards_2014/winners-announced/

 

Dean

15/07/2014No Comments

Mini updates via Instagram

Just a quick blog post to say there will be plenty of mini updates to feast your eyes on via the glorious Instagram....

instagram.com/punch_ard_digital

Instagram blog updates

Be sure to give me a follow!

Dean

19/05/2014No Comments

3D Printer Arrives at Ard Digital

After recent success with 3D printing using several external 3D printing companies, I decided to take the plunge and invest in a 3D printer, and here it is, a FlashForge Creator!

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Image: Printer hiding away.

One of the key reasons for purchasing a printer, rather that using external companies is speed. In previous posts I had mentioned that the turnaround from sending a 3D file, to the time it is delivered is from my experience around 2 weeks. Don't get me wrong, 2 weeks is fast considering how long it would traditionally take to manufacture some of the items I created, however I felt that for 3D printing to be really useful, it needed to be even faster and easier.

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Image: Dual printer nozzles.

Another reason for purchasing the printer was cost. Just ordering a handful of items to be printed externally, most of which were novelty to be honest, cost quite a lot, so by printing items in-house, the long term costs is reduced, even if the initial investment is high. Owning a printer also means that designs can be pushed and tweaked, as the cost of a failure is minimal, with time perhaps the biggest loss.

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Image: Printing!

The printer works by layering very small layers of molten plastic on top of each other. Each layer is less than 1mm, it can be as low as 0.1mm, and as the print head moves forward, backwards, left and right, the yellow plate moves up and down to control the height.

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Image: Mini me?

The printer builds 3D prints from bottom to top, so when designing and printing items on this printer, real consideration has to be made as to how the printer can actually print it. For objects where there overhangs, the printer can build supports, which are easily snapped off the print, but do require some cleaning up afterwards.

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Image: Printed miniature.

Once objects are printed, the prints can be finished, or left as they are, depending on the purpose of the print. The finish of a print straight from the printer can be bumpy and rough to touch, but I see the prints in a similar way to a carpenter would see a piece of wood from a lathe, they still need refining, painting, sanding, or what ever finishing technique is required.

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Image: Miniature close up.

3D printing is truly fascinating! Anyone who comes into the office is transfixed by how it works, and the incredible things it can produce. Needless to say I am still getting to grips with the printer and the processes involved, but it's certainly something I will continue to experiment with, and I guess only time will tell where this leads to!

If you would like to know more about 3D printing, rapid prototyping, modelling making, or anything else, please feel free to get in touch!

Dean

12/05/2014No Comments

Apline Lodge CGI Breakdown – From 3D polygons to print

In this blog post, I'm going to give a very brief overview and breakdown of how an image goes from 3D polygons to an image ready for print.

alpine_lodge_quick_breakdown_half

Image: From polygons to print

Recently I completed the Alpine Lodge CGIs. This project is typical of the way I construct a CGI room set, and as the images were really nice to work on, I thought I would explain and break them down to show various stages.

When working in the 3D software, in this case 3D Studio Max, previews are used to visualise the scene. Typically wire frame views, and simple shaded views will be used when constructing the 3D elements. This gives quick feedback to anyone involved in the project, as the composition and arrangement is quite clear to see. It does look untidy, and there is no lighting, but this kind of view is instant, unlike a final image, which can take several hours to compute and render.

alpine_lodge_quick_breakdown_wireframe

Image: 3D software wire frame preview

When constructing room sets, or even architectural projects, generally only what is going to be seen in the final image will be create. This is purely to save time. Objects behind the virtual camera are discarded, unless seen in reflections, and building or rooms float in an empty virtual world.

alpine_lodge_quick_breakdown_set

Image: Digital room set

After the set is constructed, lighting effects, material properties, and other detail are added. Now the images are starting to look like the final image. The image below shows how the 3D software produces the image. It isn't a one click solution, and time spent lighting and fine-tuning can be just as long, if not longer, than constructing the room set. The aim with this rendered image is to have a nicely balanced image, ready for post-production.

alpine_lodge_quick_breakdown_render-1

Image: 3D render

The image produced from the 3D software wasn't quite right, the image was too dark, parts of the image were the wrong colour, and the background needed to be adjusted. Some artists will try to achieve the final image solely inside the 3D software, but I find this very counter intuitive, as simple adjustments can be made in software such as Photoshop. When working in the 3D software, I want the image to have enough depth, colour range and contrast to make changes in post-production quick and easy.

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Image: Final image ready to print

I also use a process of layers, adjustments and fine-tuning to control the image to control the finish, colour and look of the final images, perhaps I'll go into more detail on another blog post in the future, keep watching!

Dean

02/05/2014No Comments

3D Printed Custom Duplo Blocks

Carrying on from previous posts and test, I decided to experiment further with 3D printing by creating custom Duplo blocks. Currently my 3 year old son is fanatical about Duplo and Lego, so for his birthday I though it would be nice to make some unique parts for his collection.

I didn't want to just copy some Duplo parts, that would be pointless as genuine Duplo bricks can be bought for a lot less that it would cost to print, and the quality of Duplo is far superior to 3D printing too. So I decided to make some unique parts, which as far as I know, can't be purchased anywhere.

After throwing around some ideas, I decided to 3D print 4 items, 2 double sided pieces, one cube, and one birthday cake (well it was my son's birthday!). I measured several original Duplo pieces to figure out the general dimensions, transferred the measurements to the 3D software, and adapted, build and created the custom blocks in 3D. The 3D files were then sent away again to 3D Print UK to be printed in nylon, and this is what came back in the post a week or two later....

3D Printed Duplo Blocks

3D Printed Duplo Blocks

3D Printed Duplo Blocks

The printed blocks generally fitted very well with the original Duplo blocks, and overall again the print quality was excellent.

With these blocks, I wanted to make them fit further with the original Duplo, so I decided to finish them using either spray paint, or Airfix paint. Bright, saturated colours were chosen to again fit with the Duplo blocks.

3D Printed Duplo Blocks

3D Printed Duplo Blocks

3D Printed Duplo Blocks

3D Printed Duplo Blocks

Most blocks required several layers of paint to achieve a consistent colour. The cake block was the trickiest to finish, as this required small parts to be painted by hand. The last time I did this was as a kid myself!

Overall I'm very pleased with how the blocks have come out. Creating the designs in 3D and having them printed was defiantly the easiest part, and hand painting was the most difficult. On the painted 3D blocks, you can still see the 3D printing layers,

which leaves a rough, bumpy finish. Perhaps for future prints it might be interesting to experiment with different techniques for achieving a smoother finish, such as sanding, or using a high-build paint primer.

Now it's time to hand them over to my son, let's hope he likes them!

 

If you would like to know more about 3D printing, rapid prototyping, or anything else, feel free to get in touch, contact details are on the contacts page.

Dean

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PUNCH DIGITAL

Punch Digital Services Ltd

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