Friday, May 04, 2007

AutoCAD for Architects


Well here is the begining of a series of books which I am working on with Autodesk, Kristen Smith, and the Autodesk TCD team. We have called it AutoCAD for Architects. It is a short book containing 6 lessons designed to get you started with AutoCAD Architecture 2008, or what was formerly known as Architectural Desktop (ADT).

One of the premises of this book, was to allow a student to read and use as little of the book as they wanted to and apply this to their use of the software. Say an Architect likes to use the detail tools but likes to lay out their plans with typical AutoCAD commands. They would be able to flip to the details lesson, and do that one.

This book is available now. Check out

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Your 3D Personal Trainer

I would like to introduce you to an idea which is not new. I would like anyone who is considering training in any software application to consider taking training from a personal trainer. You could call this a number of things, a coach, mentor, or one on one training, but essentially it is some form of training that you recieve from a dedicated person for short intervals over a period of time. What's good about recieving personal training? Well plenty of things;

  • You can determine the goals of the training and what is being taught.
  • If you don't like the trainer, you can "bail" without a great investment of time and money.
  • You set the pace.
  • You get information right from the source of the information.

Ok, so where do you find these personal trainers? Sometimes you might be lucky to work in a larger company where a mentor or more experienced visualization artist works next to you. But in many situations, you might be completely alone, and find it hard to get someone to help at your location. One of the things that I find most interesting today is using the internet to bring the source of the information and the individual requiring the information together. All the benefits of personal training can now take place using a variety of e-learning tools.

Recently, I provided a training course for a 3D Artist in Texas who used AutoCAD and 3ds max to create visualizations at his architectural and engineering firm. He sent me a few of his renderings which I critiqued, and sent him a plan for a training of 5 sessions of 2 hours each. I'm based in Montreal, so we had a small time difference, some long distance charges to deal with, and we used a Web meeting tool called BeamYourScreen. All in all, it helped this artist who could not find much in the way of training, improve the skills in visualization he wanted to improve at a reasonable cost.