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 within a spatial model of the whole proposed environment, whether the model is a mental model, or whether it is both a mental and a digital model. And, the reverse is also true:
  2. no one can understand, really, their own models (mental or, mental and digital), without studying the drawings related to the model.
  3. “drawing” is the act of taking a close look, and while looking closer, articulating something that matters and making it clear.

The idea in that bundle of facts is self evident, once you allow yourself to think it. Before allowing it though, many resist it. They suppress their own experience. Once allowed, these facts undermine decades worth of discourse positing that “3D is ‘2D 2.0’”.

That misconceived and false ideanow 30 years on, that posits that 3D is a better version of 2D and so should replace 2D  — is as common as dirt. 

For example, you’ll commonly hear:

  • “These old guys, who rely on drawings, 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 set in. Cliché on top of cliché after too many years becomes self parody, and it’s final act, “jumps the shark”. Yes, we’re past that point now.

A more productive idea is introduced: drawing and modeling are, mutually, interdependentThis idea grows out of simple observable fundamentals:

  • 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.

The fusion of “drawings”, in-place within models, was introduced commercially in 2012. See examples shown here: Media Innovations (2012) . This concept of fusion now is evolving. And the act of “taking a closer look” and articulating to make something clear, is now ripe for reinvention.

Tangerine’s Media Innovation Spec 2018 specifies a next-generation evolution, of the expression of the essential function of “drawing”, through equipment, which we detail in the specfortaking a closer look, built-in within modeled environments of any kind. The spec is now available for those wishing to make use of it within their own software development organizations.

Tangerine’s new spec specifies, step by step, 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 basic, essential, primary function of the medium of drawing, but untethered from it’s traditional form.

“drawing” is the act of taking a close look, and while looking closer, articulating something that matters and making it clear.

The movement continues. Tangerine’s spec shows the way forward, for any software company that’s interested in implementing it in their platform, to a more communicative, more effective, more expressive, more engaging and compelling method of expression of the essential function of drawing. This new form of drawing is to be enabled, both for authoring and for viewing, fully within modeled and hybrid reality environments of all kinds.

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, as this 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, not synchronized. Early silent picture theaters could play sound, from a separate audio device, and this could be used for musical accompaniment, but because the sound could not be reliably synchronized with the picture, cinema sound tracks were music only, no voice, for obvious reasons as fusion of voice into film is highly dependent on the quality of the synchonization. Without reaching minimally acceptable synchronization (no drift), attempted fusion becomes distracting and 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 technically reliable means for synchronizing voice into picture were introduced, that then of course the fusion sound and film would be welcomed and sought after throughout 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 the technological advancement that resolved these issues faced also strong head winds of both commercial and even ideological resistance, which today sound 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] 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.[136] 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.[137] 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.[138]

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 stated directly: “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.

But also communicated in Jack Warner’s is what he omitted, which quite simply was pretty much the entire future of his industry, which he utterly failed to recognize or envision. 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. And to our ears today that’s a pretty shocking omission and failure of vision. Of course we have the advantage of hindsight.

Media is on the verge of a comparable breakthrough again today. There is 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.”

 

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!

Tangerine’s Media Innovation Spec 2018 specifies a next-generation evolution, of the expression of the essential function of “drawing”, through equipment, which we detail in the specfortaking a closer look, built-in within modeled environments of any kind. The spec is now available for those wishing to make use of it within their own software development organizations.

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