3D is not ‘2D 2.0’

“Perhaps you should consider letting this into your mind: 3D is not ‘2D 2.0‘ … it’s a difference in medium, different things, different purpose.”

My good friend on Linkedin, Hans Lammerts made that comment today and included two of my posts:

Seriously, really, what IS “drawing”?

The “drawing vs model” debate is wasting this industry’s energy

I’m grateful for that.

Models and drawings are mutually interdependent. The truth of this is simple and easily demonstrated, and comes in a bundle:

  1. no one can understand, really, their own drawings, without instantiating the drawings in a spatial model (whether the model is mental, or [mental and digital]). And, the reverse is also true:
  2. no one can understand, really, their own models (mental or [mental and digital]), without studying related drawings
  3. “drawing” is the act of taking a close look, and while looking closer, articulating to make something clear

The idea in that bundle of facts is self evident once you allow it. Before allowing it though, many resist it. They suppress their own experience and what they already know to be true but bury. Once allowed, these facts undermine decades worth of discourse positing that “3D is ‘2D 2.0’”.

That misconceived and false ideanow 30 years on, posits that 3D is a better version of 2D and so should replace 2D (the new leaves behind the old)is as common as dirt (examples): 

  • “These old guys need to retire. They’re boat anchors. They retard an industry that wants to ditch drawings for models”
  • “The young engineers and architects today don’t want to draw; they want to use new technologies. But we may have to wait for this younger generation to move into leadership positions before we’ll see it”
  • “I can’t believe after all these years, we’re STILL talking about drawings.”

This malformed idea, of ditching drawing in favor of modeling, is starting to sputter at long last after decades. Fatigue has sent in. Cliche on top of cliche after too many years becomes parody. Self parody on top of self parody at a certain point “jumps the shark”.

The worn out idea can sputter and fade away, as a better idea (drawing and modeling are interdependent — emphasis on mutually, dependent) has been introduced. It’s an idea grounded in observation of the basics:

  • that drawing and modeling are two different media,
  • with two different kinds of functional characteristics,
  • with even two different kinds of purpose,
  • and, like sound, and film for example, are different AND are best in fusion.

Automatic infusion of “drawings”, in-place within models, was introduced commercially in 2012. See examples shown here: Media Innovations (2012) . It’s evolving. Since 2016, the idea includes an evolution in the basic conceptualization of how “drawing” ought to, and can now, make full use of today’s visualization capabilities, and more powerfully express it’s basic functions. Let’s restate, and take a closer look:

  1. no one can understand, really, their own drawings, without instantiating the drawings in a spatial model (whether the model is mental, or [mental and digital]). And, the reverse is also true:
  2. no one can understand, really, their own models (mental or [mental and digital]), without studying related drawings
  3. “drawing” is the act of taking a close look, and while looking closer, articulating to make something clear

This act of “taking a closer look” and articulating to make something clear, is now ripe for reinvention. I discuss re-envisioning “drawing”, and it’s infusion in models, here: A Media innovation spec, and cognitive systems

The movement continues.

New ideas always face resistance though. Even now, and even in strange places . It takes awhile for old ideas firmly held (like replacement, now 30 years old or so), to be let go. Likewise, the uptake of new ideas can be snail’s pace slow. There are common reasons, worth mentioning. An example illustrates.

A hundred years ago we had movies, and we had recorded sound, but the two could not be synchronized. Voice and picture were separate things, not presented together. Early silent picture theaters could play sound, from a separate audio device, and this could be used for music accompaniment, but the sound could not be synchronized with the picture. So sound tracks were music only, no voice, as fusion of voice is dependent on the quality of synchonization. Without reaching minimally acceptable synchronization and reliability (no drift), it’s too distracting, irritating. The first attempts at equipment that infused voice into moving picture were introduced starting in 1895, and 1899: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_film

In hindsight, it seems obvious to imagine that once the technical means for synchronizing voice into picture were introduced, then of course the fusion would be welcomed and sought after by movers and shakers in the film industry.

This was partially true, but commercial acceptance of “sound film”, as it was called, took about 30 years. And the very long time to acceptance followed not just from technical difficulties. These indeed were significant. Developing hardware that could reliably deliver satisfactory synchronization was a hard problem. But technological advancement resolving these issues faced also strong countering head winds of both commercial and even ideological resistance, which today seems ridiculous:

From the wikipedia article on “Sound Film”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_film#Commerce :

In September 1926, Jack L. Warner, head of Warner Bros., 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.”[131] 

Sure, of course there is a kernel of truth in Warner’s statement. There is something real, and enjoyable, for the viewer, in making the effort at imaging all these things for oneself. And yes, there was a real argument to be made about ease of “localization” in distributing films worldwide, as, for silent film, nothing had to be done. No translation necessary as there was nothing to translate.

But Warner went beyond those truths in two ways, one unstated, the other stated: “talking pictures will never be commercially viable”

Obviously that was a gross overstatement AND pretty much missed the boat in every way that matters. His company ignored his advice however:

“Much to his company’s benefit, he would be proven very wrong—between the 1927–28 and 1928–29 fiscal years, Warners’ profits surged from $2 million to $14 million. Sound film, in fact, was a clear boon to all the major players in the industry. During that same twelve-month span, Paramount’s profits rose by $7 million, Fox’s by $3.5 million, and Loew’s/MGM’s by $3 million.[132] RKO, which hadn’t even existed in September 1928 and whose parent production company, FBO, was in the Hollywood minor leagues, by the end of 1929 was established as one of America’s leading entertainment businesses.[133] Fueling the boom was the emergence of an important new cinematic genre made possible by sound: the musical. Over sixty Hollywood musicals were released in 1929, and more than eighty the following year.[134]””

Left unstated, in Warner’s comment was recognition of the obvious. It’s obvious to us, but it wasn’t to him. His vision of the future, omitted pretty much the entire future. The fusion of sound/voice into picture presented an entirely new medium of creative output, highly expressive, a medium different from silent film, significant in its own right, in ways that are still being explored a hundred years later, today.

Media is on the verge of a comparable breakthrough again today. It’s opportunity available to any company that can envision it.

3D is not ‘2D 2.0‘ … it’s a difference in medium, different things, different purpose.”

Allow this into your mind.

moon01

Tangerine will share our media innovation spec — that re-envisions “drawing” and it’s infusion into models — and our ideas for unleashing cognitive systems (like IBM Watson) within this new media, with a software company partner that shares our interest in these opportunities. We’re looking for our ideal partner. Contact us!

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