IMAGINA 2007 in Monaco was a bit of a eye opener, not in terms of the latest software or advances in rendering technologies but mainly as i was in the minority as a University Researcher. It was a corporate conference, so while I'm used to talking about the latest open source tools and low cost rapid modelling techniques for virtual city construction, the majority of the talk was about render farms and high profile clients.
Now this is what interests me - I am used to working with local councils who quite frankly don't want to pay for any data and are often running hardware two or three years behind the cutting edge. As such the work is tailored to low cost, mass market output.
The majority of the work we saw showcased at IMAGINA were not architectural movies, they were marketing tools for clients paying 6 figure sums to sell apartments or offices. Now there is nothing wrong with this of course, it just makes you think that when you are working on a shoe-string budget to role a model of London out city wide how nice it would be to have the resources that high end clients bring.
Still, digitalurban is about visualising for the public and not about marketing.... are we right or should we ditch the councils and the moral high ground of public participation for 5 minute marketing movies to sell some apartments?
Of course not!
View the panorama of Monco Beach in quicktime virtual reality (2.9Mb)