Autodesk University – Day 1

First full day of sessions. AU is in full swing. The last two years I missed the general session. This year, I made sure to get up early and attend. Having missed last year’s i had no idea that there is a stadium-like event center here at Mandalay Bay. Pretty cool, it was like the main stage presentation was in a concert venue. They had several presenters from various industries present their innovations, passions and projects. It was pretty impressive. From cool totally electric cars, to microwave powered commercial space craft to cloud computing and sexy cyborgs. This session had a little of everything. And let’s not forget Tron. We saw a cool demo reel that was used to pitch the movie to the execs. Nice!

There are definately more people here this year than last year. I am seeing lots of familiar faces and plenty of new ones too. Today I only taught one class, it was a panel discussion on Revit MEP including me and my three co-authors for our upcoming Revit MEP book. The class was well attended and produced a very productive discussion with lots of audience participation. I am pretty pleased with the outcome. We got some homework from the class and will post the materials we promised soon. We have another class like this tomorrow for AutoCAD MEP and I am also solo teaching a class on AutoCAD Architecture Elevations.

I attended several classes today as well. My favorites were: Creating Advanced Parametric Content in Autodesk® Revit®: Kiss Dysfunctional Families Goodbyeby Desirée Ratley and Combine 3D Models with Live Footage Using 3D Tracking Techniques by Louis Marcoux.

Desirée presented a nicely rehearsed expose on creating parametric families with many useful and innovative features. Her passion for the software really came through and it is clear from here presentation and delivery that she really put some effort into preparation. As an instructor myself, I appreciate it when an instructor is well prepared, provides useful content and tries hard to provide the attendees with the most value they can in the time allowed. Speaking of time allowed, this year’s classes are only 60 minutes instead of the traditional 90 minutes of past years. Both Desirée and Louis tried real hard to pack as much useful information into that short amount of time. Louis’s class was flat out amazing. he managed to pack more info into that 60 minutes than many instructors can achieve in 90 or more. What made this more impressive is the near perfect balance between theory in PowerPoint and hands-on demonstration in the live software. I can’t wait to get back home and try out his technique and then show my son. (My son wants to be a film maker and this technique could be of great use to him).

I was a little bummed that I missed half of the Introduction to Photo-Based Reality Capture: Turn Photographs into a 3D Model in AutoCAD®by Dominique Pouliquen. (I was chasing down a lost package at the USPS). The software he showed is on Autodesk Labs and lets you take a series of photographs and turn them into a 3D model. I definitely want to learn more about this.

Overall, very good first day. Looking forward to tomorrow and my two sessions.

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