The computer used is a 1st gen unibody macbook pro (core2duo 2.4ghz / 4gb ram), by no means a fast machine. The 8 hour render is simply an “overnight render” where the settings are all bumped up and I just let it go. Removing the liquid from inside the bottle greatly reduces the scene render time.

What I learned from this exercise is that longer render times seem to make little difference in the outcome. I’ll need to experiment more to find the best balance between quality and efficiency.

Keyshot 3 realtime vs. render

These two images are from Keyshot 3. The first is an 8 hour baked image 1300 x 900. The second is a 5 minute screen from the realtime renderer. It's amazing how close they are. I'm anxious to try this in a concept presentation. :) See my full "Revue" at

one thing leads to another

My full review is live on read it here.

As I dug into the software, I realized that I could write a full review of each individual product. Instead, I focused on evaluating how the software performed when used in a workflow from sketching to "engineering". All in all, the suite faired better than I had expected, though I did repeatedly run into problems with Solidworks models, as I often must work from or with SW data.

This was a great learning experience and piles of fun. I'd like to revisit this project and develop it a bit further. If you have any questions that I didn't address in the review, feel free to shoot me a question.

look what I got in the mail…

In case you haven't heard, Autodesk is now taking a cue from Adobe and offering software "suites." CAD lovers of all stripes can now purchase a whole assortment of tools, some they use and some they may not (yet), rolled into one slick package for a steeply discounted price.

I was a huge fan of the Creative Suite when it debuted, and jumped at the chance when I was asked to write a review on these two fabulous packages. I'm currently pulling, prodding and poking them to the best of my ability. Stay tuned for a full write up soon...

( Big thanks to LinYee Yuan @ core77 and Jon Winebrenner @ OneOak Design for the hookup )

Got these recently. They are pretty awesome. The remote and mic works great, sound like hot butter and are lightweight yet feel sturdy. Primer Grey, totally.

urbanears platten

Starting out with some concept ideation, I’ve taken the existing mechanism and foldability and tried to freshen it up. I’ve repurposed the brushed metal on some. I’ve tried using friction instead of the stepped block for adjustable pressure. It’s awkward having a cable emerging from both earphones, so I’ve modifed the headband to be thin, flat and flexible yet still accomodate a wire channel. This concept direction, named Audiopile-P (for portable) takes the original proven architecture of the portapro and updates it for 2010. To see the rest of this project, goto the PP3 project page->

PortaPro3 : Concept 1

I've compiled the first set of ideation concepts for the PortaPro3 project.

Teenage Engineering OP-1

This is awesome. Love the design. Love the features. Love the all-in-one thinking approach. Soon available for $800. Checkout the OP-1 at teenage engineering

OP-1 is the all-in-one portable Synthesizer, Sampler and Controller. With additional features like the FM Radio and a G-Force sensor for pitch and bend effects. Beside a fresh and creative approach to sequencing with multiple choice of sequencers, you just have to love the OP-1’s built-in Tape feature.

PP3 > define

To kick this thing off, I’ve compiled a few boards of 1) inspiration from current “designerly” headphones 2) the PortaPro timeline of products and I’ve identified 3) headphone user groups. I’ve also quickly noted pluses and minuses for these headphones. This feedback is derived from 6 years of personal use and online headphone forum discussions. Pssst, goto the PP3 project page->

PortaPro3 : Define

I've always been a fan of the Koss PortaPro headphones. They were designed in the early 1980's and have been through a few revisions over the past 25 years. The original designs are still the best. They are an open ear headphone design, with outstanding sound. These are perfect for use walking down the street or working in an office. The PortaPros are comfortable for long term use, yet fold up to a compact pocket size. The PortaPro's styling is charmingly vintage. My goal is to update the design and function while respecting the heritage appearance and features. This project will be posted as a series of steps in the order i complete them. At the end, I will post a complete project.

motorcycle anatomy

I spent last Sunday morning sketching motorcycles. There are many things I can draw "off the top of my head" and motorcycles aren't one of them. I've never really considered the anatomy of a motorcycle. These exploration sketches are not intended to be designed per se, just me experimenting with fitting forms and lines into the architecture of two-wheeled vehicles.

I used underlays to help guide the layout and structure of the motorcycles. Maybe soon, I will attempt to design a bike considering all the cool electric motorcycles making the rounds!

Yesterday, GE introduced the Wattstation, designed by fuseproject. It strikes me as a nice looking, attention drawing design that seems appropriate for its assumed (by me) role of publicity and promotion for GE and urban electric vehicle initiatives. There is good technology beneath the pretty surface, citing faster charge times, smart grid power allocation, upgradability, etc.

It’s easy to call out issues of environmental durability at first glance. Though more so, I was struck by the stark contrast of these devices looking completely out-of-place in the city streetscapes in the banner images:

Charging ahead: WattStation (image links to WattStation site)

Once EV’s become more common and it would no longer be necessary for cities to trumpet their EV friendliness. Looking forward a bit, I imagined how a system like this be integrated into an existing landscape. I sketched this idea (quickly). It’s not wholly original, as I’ve read about concepts involving piezo electric generators + induction chargers to power electric cars as they drive. Still, I think my concept makes sense while minimizing the visual and technological “exposure” / “clutter”:

Coincidentally, there was a time when cars themselves were viewed as ugly, out of place visual clutter in urban centers.

EV Charging

Sometimes I have work dreams. Sometimes I have designy dreams. This designy dream was a nightmare. I was meeting with a new client who made motorcycles. The company was looking to revise the latest model as they had received some negative feedback from the field and weren’t really sure what to do. I walked up to the existing product to examine it and the instrument cluster/handlebars looked like this:

Two huge panels filled with unlabeled buttons. Then I woke up in a cold sweat, and drew this picture.

a nightmare