Bringing a City to Life
Tangram iDs recently completed work on a large-scale, comprehensive 3D model of the city of Portsmouth, NH with over 800 structures, including 400 fully textured buildings, and an integrated website. The goal of this ambitious project commissioned by the Portsmouth Historical Society was to offer a supportive design platform that could be used by architects and developers to access a variety of 3D files (Sketchup, OBJ, DWG, and 3DS Max) in an effort to improve planning and zoning, in general, and, in particular, to create more precise before and after studies that could effectively illustrate how building projects would change the face of the city.
Competing against some of the world’s largest engineering firms, Tangram iDs, over the river in Kittery, Maine, was awarded the job because of its local expertise and solid reputation for exceptional work gained over the course of 33 projects the firm has already completed in and around Portsmouth. On this most recent local project, the Tangram team exceeded all expectations by managing to finish early, well before the very tight deadline—just three months for an 800-building model plus dedicated website—had passed. In addition, Tangram iDs designed a 360° Interactive Viewing Portal (IVP) option for the website, which allows users to explore the model city in great depth and panoramic detail, with views from any chosen angle. Through the interactive portal, the area is divided into 8 districts that can be viewed up close individually. Once a district is selected, various files relating to the buildings in the district can be accessed and downloaded.
Such highly interactive 3D models and websites are becoming increasingly in demand and available for college campuses, large institutions, and whole cities. To produce its interactive model of Portsmouth, the Tangram team took over 6000 photos of the city, massed 1000 buildings, and fully textured 400. To create the texturing, every facade of each building was photographed (I.e., 4-6 pictures per building). The photos were then matched up to each respective building so that the textures could then be applied to the 3D models. Once the city was modeled and textured, the 360° IVP was added. The finished product features a fully interactive 3D map of the city which is easy to download and modify. The final site will be linked to www.planportsmouth.com.
The website needed to convey a graphic "identity" of the city, and the Tangram iDs team did exactly that. The website allows users to choose specific districts of the city to view and interact with. Not only is it comprehensive, but it is aesthetically pleasing.
Tangram 3DS modeled over 800 buildings and fully textured 400 of those buildings to create the virtual city of Portsmouth.
Aerial photography of the Portsmouth area was used to help create a 3D map of the city that was then used as a background for the 3D models. The Tangram team took over 6000 photos of the city, including at least 4 of each building to be used for the building textures.