3D Color Printing Is Simplified with Stratasys Creative Colors Software

DESIGNERS. Stratasys Ltd. is taking color 3D printing to a new level of realism and accessibility with the release of Stratasys Creative Colors Software, powered by the Adobe 3D Color Print Engine.

Available for use with Stratasys’ Objet Connex3 3D Printing solutions, the Creative Colors Software combines advanced color management with a direct design-to-3D print workflow. Stratasys and Adobe are both working to make 3D printing easier to use while increasing creativity.

Stratasys Creative Colors Software

Because Objet Connex 3 printers can combine a range of materials in every print job, designers can use the printers to make realistic prototypes that don’t require extra assembly and post-processing.

By forming a direct bridge between Adobe Photoshop CC and Objet Connex3, Creative Colors Software enables designers to 3D print their most imaginative creations without cumbersome 3D printing workflows.

1_Typical_3D_Printing_Workflow

2_Streamlined_Design_to_3D_Print_WorkflowStratasys Creative Colors empowers designers to use enhanced color tools such as vibrant gradient color palettes with expanded color spectrums, improved textures and patterns support, and time-saving color previews.

By incorporating multiple gradient colors, patterns, and textures, a model produced on the Objet Connex3 can have the same look and feel as the final intended product, vastly reducing product development times while increasing product quality.

3D color printing speaker model
Speaker model designed with Stratsys Creative Color Software

One company that has tried the Stratasys Creative Colors software is Saflio, a world leader in high-end and luxury eyewear.

“Safilo has recently improved its prototype development process thanks to the adoption of Stratasys Creative Colors Software,” said Vladimiro Baldin, Chief Product Design and Creation Officer at Safilo. “The ability to print prototypes with the same color and texture as the finished product, has significantly increased our speed in developing new eyeglass frames. Now, we can push the creative boundaries even further, quickly responding to market trends and reducing our prototyping cycle from three days to just three hours.”

Making Design for 3D Printing More Accessible

“Partnering with Adobe, a world leader in creative software products, aligns with Stratasys’ vision to make the color 3D printing experience as simple, powerful and rewarding as possible,” said Dan Yalon, EVP Business Development, Strategy and Vertical Solutions, Stratasys.

Stratasys has also introduced a new direct color workflow from Photoshop CC to the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing parts-on-demand service. Photoshop CC users can send colorful 3D files directly to Stratasys Direct Manufacturing for Objet Connex3 3D printing.

Features such as direct quoting, validation and previewing can help ensure that the printed design won’t exceed your budget.

“Adobe Photoshop CC users can now directly access Stratasys Objet Connex3 3D printers – whether locally or through Stratasys Direct Manufacturing – and easily produce their designs with gorgeous gradient color and fine details,” said Adil Munshi, VP and GM, Print and Publishing Business Unit, Adobe. “The combination of Adobe’s unmatched color expertise with Stratasys’ multi-color, multi-material 3D printing is a true game-changer for the creative design industry,”

Stratasys Creative Colors is now bundled with all new Objet Connex3 3D Printers and can also be purchased for existing Objet Connex3 systems.

 

Freelancer’s Guide to Business and Taxes Helps Gig Economy Workers

To help new freelancers understand some of the paperwork associated with freelance business operations, FormSwift has published “The Freelancer’s Essential Guide to Business and Taxes.” Written by Justin Gomer and Jackson Hille, the guide urges new solopreneurs to take a business-like approach to their freelance business.

Learn to Prosper in the Gig Economy

While many photographers, designers, and writers are accustomed to deriving some or all of their income from freelancing, many other professionals aren’t. But millions of new college graduates, part-time employees, under-employed professionals, and displaced workers are actively pursuing freelance gigs.

In fact, a whole new “Gig Economy” has taken shape in the aftermath  of the Great Recession of 2008-2009. As Gerald Friedman pointed out on his Dollars and Sense blog, “Growing numbers of Americans no longer hold a regular ‘job’ with long-term connection to a particular business. Instead, they work “gigs,” where they are employed on a particular task or for a defined time…Borrowed from the music industry the word ‘gig’ is now applied to all sorts of flexible employment.”

Freelancers and independent contractors today include adjunct and part-time professors, Uber and Lyft drivers, translators, virtual assistants, doctors, lawyers, and accountants.

Formswift Freelance Business Guide

“The Freelancer’s Essential Guide Business and Taxes” discusses the types of forms new freelancers need to file estimated taxes or report payments to independent contractors you might hire to help you complete an assignment.

The guide reassures Gig Economy newcomers that they aren’t alone. Resources such as the Freelancers Union  can show  you how to  forge a successful career as an independent worker.

Is Freelancing the New Normal?

According to the study “Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce,” 53 million Americans are now engaged in some form of supplemental, temporary, or project- or contract-based work. Technology has made it much easier for individuals to find freelance work and contribute work from wherever they choose to live.

The study lists five types of freelancers:

Independent contractor: Provides freelance, temporary, or supplemental work on a project-to-project basis.

Moonlighter: Uses freelance work to supplement income from a full-time job.

Diversified worker: Combines part-time jobs with freelance gigs.

Temporary worker: Works for a months-long project for single client.

Freelance business owner: Employs one to five people but regards himself or herself as both a freelancer and a business owner.

About FormSwift

FormSwift is an online platform that makes it easy to locate, edit, and electronically sign more than 500 commonly used business and legal forms.

In addition to tax forms for estimated taxes, you can find templates for small business documents, real-estate transactions, affidavits, and personal contracts (such as prenups and cohabitation agreements).

In the small-business category, you can download and edit templates for:

  • non-disclosure agreements
  • invoices
  • consulting agreements
  • employee handbooks
  • independent contractor service agreements
  • cease-and-desist letters for copyright infringement

FormSwift members can choose from 500+ document templates or upload their own documents and use FormSwift’s tools to edit them.

LINKS

The Freelancer’s Essential Guide to Business and Taxes

FormSwift

Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New American Workforce

The Rise of the Gig Economy

Freelancers Union

 

SIGGRAPH Showcases Hybrid Crafts, Virtual Reality, Immersive Environments

SIGGRAPHThe annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary education experience and conference on the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques. The 42nd annual SIGGRAPH takes place August 9-13, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles.  Highlights include: an art gallery of hybrid crafts; a VR (Virtual Reality Village; and demonstrations of how emerging technologies will affect how we work and live.

Art Gallery: Hybrid Crafts

In the display of “Hybrid Crafts” in the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, visitors will see how skilled artists are using computational design tools in conjunction with traditional crafts. The show will emphasize the importance of craft heritage in contemporary digital design.  Gallery visitors will see how beautiful and meaningful artifacts are being produced by a machine and craftsperson working together, not by a machine or craftsperson alone.

The featured creations come from skilled makers who use computational design tools in conjunction with traditional crafts such as jewelry, bowl-making, wallpapers, and instruments.

 

The Hunt for Butterflies
“The Hunt for Butterflies,” by Peter Schmitt

For artworks included in the display entitled “The Hunt for Butterflies,” independent artist Peter Schmitt uses CAD, CNC machine tools, wood, plastic, metal, electronics, and mechanics “to explore the questions of how computational methods, machine tools, and fabrication resources can be used outside the paradigm of application, function, purpose and profit.”

In another display, independent artist Yael Friedman displays 3D-printed puzzle rings that are not only meant to be seen, but also be touched and played with.

VR Village

In the 2015 VR Village, attendees can explore the fascinating potential of virutal reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and immersive environments for telling stories, engaging audiences, and powering real-world applications in health, education, design, and gaming.

The 2015 VR Village at SIGGRAPH 2015 will feature real-time immersion in the latest virutal and augmented realities, including Nomadic Virtual Reality (VR), Tabletop Augmented Reality (AR), Full-Dome Cinema, and live performances and demonstrations in a 360-degree immersion dome.  The VR Village is a screening room for cutting -edge VR, AR, and Immersive Media programming.

For example, in the walk-about space of the Nomadic VR Arena, participants will use untethered headsets to freely explore immersive virtual environments. During the Immersive Explorers program, multiple visitors can explore the recreated interior of a pharoah’s tomb while interacting with 3D objects and other users.

In the “Holojam” program visitors will share a virtual space and see each other as stylized avatars, draw shapes in the air with a magic wand, and contribute to 3D sculptural artwork.

At the sit-down or stand-up Head-Mounted Display Stations, attendees can experience the latest in VR and AR programming. “Neuro” provides a VR journey through the brain of world-renowned musician Reuben Wu. “LovR” is a story of love told through neural activity captured over four seconds. Experience what happens when two lovers see each other for the first time.

Occulus Rift in Virtual Reality: Immersive Explorers
Real Virtuality: Immersive Explorers. Copyright: 2015 Artanim Foundation, Kenzan Technologies. (Photo: Business Wire)

In the Immersion Dome, visitors can follow energy from the sun to the Earth and explore the atmosphere and oceans. Immersive visualizations from the California Academy of Sciences will enable visitors to experience the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and explore the Earth’s ecosystems over the millennia.

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Immersive Environments are pat of a fast-growing, emerging market,” said Ed Lantz, SIGGRAPH 2015 VR Village Program Co-Chair. “As it grows, there will be room for alternative and independent producers, developers, distributors, and manufacturers to make important and original contributions to consumer products and programming. For the debut of SIGGRAPH’S VR Village, my co-chair Denise Quensel and I wanted to ensure that attendees have the chance to see amazing applications that have been developed by the world’s best programmers, cinematographers, artists, and game developers that are currently out there. We also hope to inspire and bring together the larger VR community.”

Speakers who will participate in moderated talks about “VR: Creating at the Edge” include executives from Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, Sony’s PlayStation Magic Lab, Emblematic Group, and Jaunt Studios.

Emerging Technologies

The Emerging Technologies program will feature projects from various industries that demonstrate how evolving technologies and techniques impact the way we live and work. Each project and installation exhibits how innovation can improve work environments, make everyday tasks easier, or help make leisure time more enjoyable.

“As technology builds upon itself and becomes cheaper and wider spread, it’s important to see the beginnings of how see the beginnings of how it it was developed,” said Kristy Pron, SIGGRAPH 2015 Emerging Technologies Program Chair. “For this year’s conference, we wanted to find technologies that can be applied to daily life, whether it will be tomorrow or in a few
to daily life,  It’s exciting to see firsthand a technology that you can follow the development of and know that it will be relevant to you in the near future. Also, we wanted to uncover practical applications of emerging technology from various industries, such as automotive or assistive. I believe we’ve done that with the wide range of interactive installations that will be showcased.”

SIGGRAPH 2015 Emerging Technologies demonstration highlights include:

An Auto-Multiscopic Projector Array for Interactive Digital Humans
Presented by Linkoping University and the University of Southern California

With this installation, users interact with life-size 3D digital human subjects displayed via a dense array of 216 video projectors to generate images with high angular density over a wide field of view. As users move around the display, their eyes transition from one view to the next, making it ideal for displaying life-size subjects and it allows for natural personal interactions with 3D cues, such as eye-gaze and spatial hand gestures. Automultiscopic 3D displays allow a large number of people to experience 3D content simultaneously without the need for special glasses or headgear.

Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment
Presented by the Ford Motor Company

The Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) is a highly realistic immersive virtual reality system that addresses the unique challenges of automotive  design, engineering and ergonomics. FiVE enables a collaborative approach that allows its program teams to see and understand complex engineering issues from any customer’s perspective; while, considering aesthetic design, fit and finish, manufacturability and maintenance of a vehicle’s system.

Christie Digital Sandbox
Presented by Christie Digital

Christie Digital’s latest technology expands the capabilities of today’s automatic projection-calibration systems. This demonstration uses this technology  application to seamlessly calibrate projection-mapped displays automatically on any surface, smooth or complex, and even 3D. Christie Digital’s Sandbox presents an automatic alignment of a projection display in less than 30 seconds, even after the projector and/or surface is moved.

Semantic Paint: Interactive Segmentation and Learning of 3D Worlds
Presented by Stanford University, Nankai University, University of Oxford and Microsoft Research

This installation is a real-time system, interactive system for geometric reconstruction and object class segmentation of 3D worlds. With this system, a user can walk into a room wearing a consumer-depth camera and a virtual reality headset, and reconstruct the 3D scene and interactively segment it into object classes. The user physically interacts with the scene in the real world, touching objects and using voice commands to assign appropriate labels to
these objects.

MidAir Touch Display
Presented by Keio University and the University of Tokyo

The MidAir Touch Display integrates technology for tactile feedback, acoustic energy distribution, planer phased arrays, ultrasonic fields and aerial images through the Aerial Imaging Plate to provide visuo-tactile interaction with bare hands. This project enables users to see and touch virtually floating objects with the naked eye and their hands for true interaction. This presentation is a SIGGRAPH pick from the DC Expo in Japan.

LINKS

SIGGRAPH 2015

 

VirtuEye Promotes Virtual Reality for Art, Real Estate, Travel

VirtuEye is a London-based company that develops non-gaming virtual reality applications.

VirtuEye is using virtual reality technology to make it possible to be in one place physically while looking around in another location. They are marketing their services to real estate companies and travel agencies who want to showcase properties and destinations and galleries and museums who want to disseminate or preserve exhibitions.

VirtuEyePic (8) - Copy

While using virtual reality to visit a location isn’t quite the same as being there, VirtuEye founders believe it can be an extraordinary and practical experience: “The times when you had to physically visit a place to see it have ended.”

They also encourage artists to consider using virtual reality technology to influence the way people see and experience the world.

On July 14, an audience in Brooklyn used VirtuEye technology to see three site-specific sculptures that artist MrToll installed in the middle of the Arizona desert as part of the Virtual Borders Arizona  project. Experiencing the Arizona desert via virtual reality technology enabled New Yorkers to see that human-defined borders are insignificant in a terrain in which raw, unforgiving nature stretches for hundreds of miles. The borderless land existed long before humans arrived and it will continue to exist long after humans are gone.

VirtualBordersArizona - Copy

The virtual reality sculpture exhibition, curated by Gabija Grusaite, also suggested that everyone who pursues the dream to succeed needs to cross a metaphorical desert. The artist believes all borders are virtual borders, and that our modern world is enabled by free movement of people, ideas, art, and cultures. Trying to control that free movement limits creativity and progress.

To learn more about how VirtuEye can help real-estate buyers visit properties from afar, view the video below.

LINKS

VirtuEye

Order HP Sprout Immersive Computer Through MakerShed.com

DESIGNERS. MakerShed.com, the official online store of  Make: and Maker Faire, has added the new Sprout desktop design platform by HP to its list of featured products. Customers can now purchase Sprout in Maker Shed.

MakerShedSprout is the world’s first immersive computer, which enables consumers to bring their projects to life through 3-D scanning, touch experiences, and high performance hardware and software.

“This computer is an incredibly innovative tool for Makers,” said Sonia Wong, General Manager of Commerce at Maker Media.  “We’re proud to have it available in Maker Shed because it’s changing the way people create and use technology for projects from art and design to prototyping.”

HP Sprout
HP Sprout

The initial idea for Sprout started as a collection of hardware and software to deliver a 2-D experience, but it grew into a powerful 3-D platform. With this type of creative computing technology, this computer has been able to break down the barriers between physical and digital, changing the way Makers engage and interact with the world around them.

“Our goal was to use Sprout to create new computing experiences by reimagining the way people collaborate and create projects,” said Eric Monsef, head of highly immersive systems at HP. “We designed it with Makers, artists and innovators in mind, so we’re excited that it’s now available at MakerShed.com.”

For under $2,000 customers can own this all-in-one computer for designing and creating projects. Users can capture real world objects in 3-D and apply and edit them from either Sprout’s touch screen or touch pad in an instant. With such a simple user interface, Sprout makes getting creative easy and fun for all ages. The computer is incredibly powerful, boasting an Intel Core i7 Processor, 1 terabyte of storage and a Windows operating system.

To learn more about the capabilities of Sprout and to purchase, visit the product page on MakerShed.com.

About Maker Media

Headquartered in San Francisco, Maker Media is the publisher of Make: magazine and the producer of Maker Faire. It also develops “getting started” kits and books that are sold in its Maker Shed store as well as in retail channels. The Make: brand caters to a universe of more than 25 million makers collectively across its Make: magazine, makezine.com, Maker Faires, and Maker Shed properties.

LINKS

Make: magazine

Maker Faire

Maker Shed

HP Sprout in Maker Shed

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Idomoo Streamlines Creation of Personalized Marketing Videos

Idomoo, a leading provider of Personalized Videos, has launched its Dynamic Storybuilding Suite as part of the Idomoo Personalized Video (PV) Cloud Platform. This will allow agencies and marketing teams to easily create personalized videos on their own. The new solution bundles all of the steps in the process (creative, design, animation, rendering, and distribution) into an easy-to-use system for automating and streamlining the personalized video creation process.

“Personalized video has been proven to significantly increase customer engagement and conversion results across many industries and we are now bringing this capability to every business,” said Yaron Kalish, Co-Founder and CEO of Idomoo. “We are using our vast industry knowledge to automate the personalized video creation process, allowing marketers to reap the benefits of this technology while eliminating the numerous pain points involved in the process.”

More than 50 creative agencies used the beta version of Dynamic Storybuilding Suite to independently build thousands of personalized videos that can deliver exceptional customer experiences to their clients. Among the agencies already working with the Idomoo Cloud platform are Ogilvy, RAAP, Switch Video, DDB and Pink Banana, who have created videos for brands such as T-Mobile, Cadbury, BBVA, Hubspot, Coca-Cola and more.

“Idomoo’s platform has enabled our agency to provide our clients with the ability to communicate with their customers and user base in a manner which allows them to foster a deeper personal and emotional connection,” said Russell Garn, Associate Creative Director of RAPP (an Omnicom company). “Our agency worked with Idomoo to create the award winning campaign for Barclays and we look forward to leveraging Idomoo’s technology in order to build future campaigns.”

The Storybuilding Suite allows businesses of all kinds to change the way they interact with their customers through its ability to tell adaptive stories, applying business logic to decide which scenes will be shown and in which order. Idomoo’s Storybuilding Suite features an advanced Web-based wizard tool to build and customize the video as well as choose ready-made video scenes that are ready to be plugged in to the video flow; an After Effect plugin to build additional scenes; Data Integration allowing for data upload from any data source; the Idomoo Player for optimized experience from mobile and desktop; and a Landing Page Builder that offers easy configuration of the destination landing page.

The Dynamic Storybuilding Suite is part of Idomoo’s next generation Video Cloud Platform, which also includes Idomoo’s Full Service personalized video offering and Dynamic Video Ads, as well as Video Templates.

Tips, tricks and documentation for using Idomoo’s PV Cloud are included in Idomoo Academy, an online knowledge repository.

LINKS

Idomoo

Dynamic Storybuilding Suite

Spherical Video Camera for Virtual Reality Content Launches on Kickstarter

Sphericam, the first 360 degree video camera made specifically for virtual reality film production, launched on Kickstarter June 30, with a funding goal of $150,000 by July 30.

Sphericam 2 is a spherical, 360 camera that allows you to capture absolutely everything around you in high resolution without any blind spots. You can watch the resulting videos on a VR Headset (like Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard) or on your iPad, tablet, PC or mobile phone. (PRNewsFoto/Sphericam)
Sphericam 2 is a spherical, 360 camera that allows you to capture absolutely everything around you in high resolution without any blind spots. You can watch the resulting videos on a VR Headset (like Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard) or on your iPad, tablet, PC or mobile phone. (PRNewsFoto/Sphericam)

About the size of a tennis ball, the Sphericam 2 includes six cameras that work seamlessly together to capture great-looking VR video content straight out of the box.

As huge companies like Oculus Rift and Samsung work furiously to create the best virtual reality viewing platform, Sphericam 2 has been created to fill a growing market void of actually creating that virtual reality content.

Sphericam 2 is perfect for recording stunning footage of adventure sports, journalism stories, and events such as weddings or birthdays.

A host of mounting options gives users multiple ways to hold the camera and capture footage. The camera also includes WiFi and wireless streaming, allowing users to easily view and share content on a smartphone or desktop. Sphericam 2’s iOS and Android app also allows users to monitor, transfer, view, edit and spread the virtual reality footage instantly.

“Sphericam 2 is poised to bring incredible cinematic content to Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and the VR world. Our camera has been designed to be the highest performing and most usable virtual reality camera on the market today,” said Sphericam creator Jeffrey Martin. “Every specification from frame rate to sensor type was chosen to maximize performance on today’s VR hardware.”

Features include:

  • Dazzling crystalline design housed in a rugged anodized aluminium body
  • Six high-resolution lenses maintain constant exposure, WB settings for artifact-free 360°shooting
  • Jaw-dropping 4K resolution that leaves nothing to the imagination
  • Unmatched shooting flexibility with 24, 25, 30, 48, and 60 fps
  • Detail-devouring 2.4 Gigabits per second of raw capture gives incredible latitude for post production and color grading
  • Tiny distance between sensors minimizes parallax
  • Automatic, real-time stitching is possible to minimize post production times

Sphericam 2 can now be purchased via Kickstarter beginning at $1,299, which is $200 off of the final retail price.

LINKS

Kickstarter Campaign: Sphericam 2

Sphericam 2