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Thursday, February 04, 2010

From Gabi Jack's Blog

Hi everyone! First of all, let me apologize for not putting this post up yesterday, but  truth is these kind of events, as useful and educational as they are, have the nasty habit of leaving you completely exhausted.  There’s just so much going on and no time to stop!  If you checked my Picasa, you may have noticed the pictures were already there, just no post. Sorry!

Now that SolidWorks World is over, I can finally find some time to at least try to catch up and share with you some of what I saw and learned during the last few days.  So… Here goes a bit about Tuesday’s general session and the special event that took place in the evening. 

If you’ve ever been to SolidWorks World, you probably know that they like to add a bit of humour to the general sessions and this one was no exception to the rule.  For this session, certification experts Mike Pucket and Avelino Rochino invited Jeff Ray, DS SolidWorks CEO, to play a friendly game of something they called Certification Hole in One. Basically, as you can see in the pictures I took, Jeff Ray had to answer a few questions based on the different certification tests currently available in order to win a price for a lucky SolidWorks user that had been previously chosen from those in attendance. The price, by the way, was one of those cool R/C cars we had all been playing with the night before, during the CSWP event. Oh, but Jeff Ray also had to putt in order to win, and he had to do it wearing a funky looking hat.  In a more serious note, Mike and Avelino also announced new certification test that is already available: the CSWE. This test is intended for the real SolidWorks Expert.

James Cameron, famous film director and movie producer, was also present during yesterday’s general session. He spent some time talking to John Hisrchtick, co-founder of SolidWorks, and explaining to us how the movie Avatar was made, and all the technology and equipment behind the animation. I took a few pictures of the special suits and head gear that the actors had to wear while filming the movie. The idea behind having them wear all that equipment was to accurately capture their movements, gestures and facial expressions and, translate all that information to the animation model, in order to make the final result as realistic as possible.

Filming the movie of Avatar must have been challenging! Basically, the actors had to pretend they were seeing and interacting with a world that wasn’t even there. They had a few props, but not much else besides their imagination. Yet, the movie was a great success. You’ll notice in one of the pictures there’s a special little camera that James Cameron used during the filming of the movie. That camera is truly unique. It allowed him to watch the performance of the actors pretty much as they would look like once animated. With the aid of the camera, bringing the fantasy to live right there, while filming, became possible and this facilitated the filming process tremendously.  Check out the pictures and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

But James Cameron is not only a film maker o famous producer; he’s also an inventor and an engineer, who has used software such as SolidWorks to design equipment for movies and for his own expeditions. This equipment I’m talking about is the kind of stuff that can’t go wrong, because his life may depend on it. It’s a good thing he’s using SolidWorks! :-)About this he left us with some inspiring words that I quote here: “Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.”

Anyway, check out the pictures.  I also included in this album some pictures I took during last night’s special event. As you can see, there were some very cool vehicles on display, courtesy of Factory Five Racing, including the electric hot rod I had told you about before.  Of course, there was food, drinks, a band and tons of people having a great time. Stick around, there’s more to come!

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