BIM (like all forms of modeling, including “CAD” modeling) is a spatial visual medium. It’s what Tangerine does TO BIM (and to any spatial visual media) that is the innovation that Tangerine offers. We think our work will contribute to a fuller development of what really should be called the future of media.
Spatial visual digital media really is ripe for innovation (it’s getting stale). The innovations Tangerine envisions really do need to be brought to digital media. And at Tangerine we believe in fact that they’re inevitable.
This was my idea. I conceived of it while working in an architecture firm for years producing drawings and models (BIMs). The idea of the invention is based on the very basic simple recognition that occurred to me one day, that in order to understand (well and truly) the models that I’m making, it is necessary for me to study closely the associated drawings (as I develop those and the model together), and vice versa, the reverse is also true: in order to understand (well and truly) the set of drawings I’m producing, I need to, I must, imagine each drawing within the context of the spatial whole of the model that the drawings represent. This is true whether the model is imagined in my mind only, or in digital space, or both:
…if you think about it, the fact is that it’s always a mental model, with or without the presence of any digital model. In other words, you can have a mental model without having a digital model, but you can’t deal with a digital model, without also building a mental model at the same time. It’s always a mental model.
The concept of infusing drawings into digital models was implemented in 2012 at Bentley where I went to work. I wrote the patents. The patents were granted in 2015 and 2016.
Tangerine’s new innovations, now today in 2017, carry this concept much much further. The new innovations first of all redefine what “drawing” is.
In both the earlier, and the new innovation that Tangerine has now worked out and conceptualized, “drawing” (what it is now, and what drawing becomes though Tangerine’s new innovation), is infused in-situ within models.
We think this new innovation is analogous to the infusion of sound into silent film 100 years ago. Back in the early 20th century this was called sound film for awhile, and since then, from pretty early on, we dropped the word “sound” and have just reverted to calling it movies or film. Either way, it’s just understood as a thing that includes sound, because of course, naturally, why wouldn’t movies include synchronized sound?
The CAD/BIM — drawing and modeling — software industry today doesn’t yet recognize the significance of this infusion, of “drawing” into modeling. Some of us already know that the fusion is necessary and inevitable, but others don’t. But, heck, there were people opposed to the fusion of sound into film too:
Jack Warner, the Jack Warner, of Warner Brothers, in 1926 “was quoted to the effect that talking pictures would never be viable:
“They fail to take into account the international language of the silent pictures, and the unconscious share of each onlooker in creating the play, the action, the plot, and the imagined dialogue for himself.””
This was 30 years after the first introduction of sound synchronization into film, when Jack Warner said that. So he was a late-comer. And Mr. Warner was certainly wrong to say it. He was proven wrong, by money, as Warner Brothers revenue surged from 2 million to 14 million dollars, 2 years after he said it. Sound Film certainly was “commercially viable” and audiences did not prefer creating the play, the action, the plot, and the imagined dialog for themselves.
Acceptance of the fusion of drawings into models is currently in this Jack Warner-like denial stage right now. Acceptance remains inhibited by the counterproductive notion in the industry that models are going to replace drawings, “once the old people who use and require drawings die off” (or more politely: retire).
People actually say that.
But this really is an unfounded idea, conceptually unsound, fundamentally flawed, as broken as Jack Warner’s idea. The idea of replacing drawing with modeling doesn’t recognize that “drawing” is a method of understanding modeling. The idea of replacement doesn’t recognize that drawing and modeling are two different, and each essential, things, as different from each other, and both as fundamentally essential as sound and film (moving picture). Replacement doesn’t recognize that their fusion, one into the other, mutually elevates both, makes both better than they were separately, and makes something new in the fusion, better/greater than the sum of the (2) parts.
Thoughts on terminology:
“Spatial Visual Media” = “Model”
“Model” is already evolving in the industry, in a certain way, to become a hybrid of digital vector model (BIM/CAD), together with laser-scanned and photo-generated point cloud, together with, in the same digital space, arrays of photographs aligned in-situ (photos of all types, including spherical), and videos aligned in-situ too. That hybrid of multiple media types is still a model, a new kind of model. I’m just calling it: “spatial visual media”. But you can call it anything you want to, and it actually doesn’t have a name, yet. Nobody has actually named this hybrid thing that already exists today. This hybrid is NOT Tangerine’s innovation. Tangerine’s innovation, again, is the stuff that we do TO this already-existing media.
The analogy, again, to sound film really works. Both drawings and spatial visual media (“models”) already exist in the world. just as sound and film already existed in the world when “sound film” was invented.
Tangerine’s NEWER innovations far surpass the earlier work for which patents were granted in 2015 and 2016. Tangerine’s new work makes these patents obsolete. The new work is much better, more powerful, much more wide open to the future, and completely untethered from the claims in these patents. The new work, while still infusing “drawing” into models, or into any spatial media, first redefines what “drawing” is, and then infuses that re-envisioned “drawing” into models, OR, into any kind of hybridized multi-media spatial visual environment.
But what do we call it?
None of these things that I’m describing really have names. Yet. And they may never be well-named. Remember, words like “movies”, “film”, and “sound film”, these are not the most amazing of words/names either. The name “sound film” didn’t stick around long, luckily. But even after we dropped “sound” from the name, that still left us only with the word “movie”.
Is movie really the best name we could come up with?
Apparently it is. Of course it’s short for “moving picture”. But calling that a “movie” isn’t really dazzling anyone with naming acumen. But it’s the best we can do it seems. No one’s come up with anything better to call it.
We also use the word “film”, too. And this is interesting in a different way. Moving picture was, for many decades until very recently, through photographic process, both created on and archived on, the physical medium of celluloid film.
But who cares about celluloid film, really?
What does celluloid film really have to do with what’s going on through a camera lens and microphone in the capture and recording of light and sound?
Nothing, really, not fundamentally, as we see now, as films/movies no longer are created/stored on film. They go right from the camera lens straight into digital format. There is no celluloid, nor physical film of any kind, anywhere in the process. But we keep calling these things “films” and “movies” because we just don’t have any better word. And we can’t think of one. We don’t call them “digitals”, for example, and good thing we don’t. It would be no improvement.
People are really not very good at naming these things. And I’m not either.
So what’s the deal then?
Tangerine’s innovations are about the evolution of what “drawing” IS (functional and conceptual evolution) and the infusion of that evolved “drawing” into and within any and all kinds of modeled spatial visual media environments, whatever we call them, including within combinations of various different media types that are hybridized into some kind of visual amalgam.
The basic reason for this is that once models, of any kind (mental or digital), become complex beyond just the very simple, then the human mind has real difficulty well understanding them (in detail). In order to understand complex things we go through this ACT that we call “drawing”.
Drawing is the act of an articulate narrowing of focus, a focusing-in, a narrowing down, an articulation of something narrower than the whole.
In doing this, the mind goes into action. What kind of action? Think about it yourself. No one anywhere understands how the mind actually works or what it does, but we’re familiar with our own thought processes. So think about it. Think about your own understanding and thinking as you work, or as you think about anything. I include an example related to football here. The mind ping-pongs between that act of narrowing down and focusing (drawing), and the wider expanse of the whole of an environment (model).
Understanding grows there in that ping-ponging between drawing and modeling, between the wider conceptual whole and the narrower exemplar. That ping ponging, actually, is THINKING. That’s what we’re doing when we’re thinking: we’re ping-ponging back and forth between wide and narrow, whole and focus, concept and exemplar.
Tangerine innovations amplify the ping ponging, clarifying thought, to build and improve understanding.
When these Old Guys Retire:
So we can turn this idea on its head now. The future is not going to be ushered in when these old guys who need and use drawings retire. No. The future is going to come when these old guys who make decisions at software companies retire, so that we can get the innovation that’s needed, happening.
Let’s hope they retire soon.
If you know anyone who’s ready to innovate now, Contact Us at Tangerine.
We’ll help your software company envision the future of media, now: Tangerine Spatial Media Innovation