The Autodesk Book: Imagine Design Create

In March, 2011, Autodesk released its first book: Imagine, Design, Create: How Designers, Engineers and Architects are Changing Our World. The book provides a wide-ranging look at how the creative process and the tools of design are dramatically changing – and where design is changing in the coming years. Bringing together stories of good design happening around the world, the book shows how people are using fresh design approaches and new capabilities to solve problems, create opportunities and improve the way we live and work.

Imagine, Design, Create expresses Autodesk’s vision for design as a means to help people innovate and prosper. As a physical artifact, it is a tangible representation of the power of design, which we can give to our customers and partners, providing them with a continual source of inspiration as well as a persistent reminder of Autodesk’s role to foster design.

You can buy the book on Amazon. As an employee, I got a free copy.

The book doesn’t really focus on Autodesk products: in fact, they’re hardly ever mentioned. It’s all about the end results and the general design process. I haven’t read the book yet, but one thing caught my eye in the chapter about the massively multiplayer Lego game:

Making LEGO bricks look real on
the screen became the next engineering
stumper. It turned out that a single 2-by-4
brick required more polygons than a World
of Warcraft avatar—the tiny studs and
surfaces contain a lot of detail. The solution
turned out to be “hidden surface removal,”
which preserved the integrity of each brick
while a player manipulated it onscreen,
but removed the polygons once the piece
snapped into place in a user’s creation. It
took forty engineers four years to build
code so that a computer could understand
when and where to remove surface detail
without harming the look of the model.

40 engineers for 4 years? Imagine what you could do to Softimage or Maya or Max with those kind of resources 😉

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