Creative Again

I’m not done yet. 

The fusion of drawings in models is 7 years old now:

More examples here:

Since I conceived of this fusion and worked on the team that first commercialized it in 2012, now seven software companies are doing automatic drawing-model fusion: Bentley, Graphisoft (in BIMx Docs), Dalux, Revizto, working together: Morpholio and Shapr3D, and now Tekla too. These 7 implementations, by 7 different companies, of the idea of drawing-model fusion, are baby steps. An essential beginning, but there is everything yet to come.

The idea of fusion contrasts with innovation that favors one or the other, modeling or drawing. Siloed improvements to either one of those are in some cases significant, but incremental, and the limits of their siloed impact are already in view. Innovations following from fusion on the other hand present a deeper horizon; there’s a lot more ground to cover between where we are now, and the horizon where their limit is reached.

Fusion, of drawings in models (of all kinds), and the evolution of drawing’s form once resident there in-situ, within models, is going to be a highly productive innovation space, with impact that matters in terms of aiding our ability to see and understand, think and unfold our thoughts, design and build, communicate and act. Fusion is a worthwhile space for dedicated research and development, both technically and culturally.

Last year I wrote, and I give away for free, the Tangerine Media Innovation Spec 2018, a book for software developers. It describes in detail a forthcoming second generation of drawing-model fusion (it blows the doors off the first generation implementations). The Tangerine Spec is a step by step written specification that any software company is free to use however they wish. 

The Spec is in the form of written instructions and some diagrams. But it’s not actually visualized.

That’s about to change. I’m mocking it up on my new iPad.

Get ready!



  1. Vectorworks has had Planar Graphics (drawings integrated on model planes) for quite some time. It was fully delivered in Vectorworks 2011, released in the fall of 2010.


    1. Thank you for your comment about Planar Graphics in Vectorworks, Robert, a great software. Correct me if I’m wrong, Planar Graphics in Vectorworks allows one to draw on any plane while in 3D. That’s been a kind of basic thing in many 3D modelers for decades. Though some had restricted that ability in their basic design, others did not. The list that I have here in this post, of 7 softwares, is not a list of softwares that allow drawing on any plane in 3D. It is a list of software that takes the set of construction drawings that a user develops in the usual BIM way, and then automatically presents those drawings in-situ in 3D on demand. In other words, in a BIM process, I make a set of drawings that are drawing views (of 3D models) on sheets. And on those sheets I add a variety of other graphics. In the 7 softwares listed here, the location in the 3D model of all drawings of that kind, are automatically indicated in the 3D models. Their callouts or other icons are shown automatically in the 3D model. And when the user clicks a drawing’s icon in the 3D model, then all of its graphics from the sheet are shown automatically in their correct position in context in the 3D model.

      This is what I call generation 1 of drawing model fusion. Generation 2 builds on the same idea but makes it obsolete in terms of communicative impact. The Spec for Gen2, I give away in my Tangerine Spec, so Vectorworks and everyone else is free to use the Gen2 Spec in any way they wish for free. Gen2 is going to far surpass the Gen1 in quality of user engagement (for both authors and viewers), and quality of communicative impact, insight conveyance. I think you might be particularly interested in Gen2 for another reason, Robert: it’s premised on authoring a “drawing” on multiple planes within a 3D model, and extends from there. This contrasts with the Gen1 stuff which takes the planar graphics from sheets and PUTS them automatically into 3D models on demand. The Gen 2 Spec specifies authoring “drawings” in-situ to begin with, which thereby retains the primary FUNCTION of drawing (to articulate a “closer look” at something), while pretty radically unchaining drawing’s FORM from many of it’s conventional restraints. The Gen2 Tangerine Spec is a return to more basic fundamentals (like YOU mentioned) and it exploits those basic fundamentals to the greatest extent possible. It also delivers sheets, from this process, while evolving those (sheets) as well.

      Download links to the Spec here: Vectorworks could pioneer Gen2. Vectorworks is free to read my spec. Everyone is. Take what I wrote in Chapter 3 of Tangerine Media Innovation Spec 2018, and build it. Modify it as you see fit. Do anything with it. If you do, then you’ll be the best software in this business in a way that ultimately matters most: in making things clear, in making complex things make sense. So Robert, Why not do that? Just do it! Remember Shia’s motivational speech:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s