FORGOT YOUR DETAILS?

Model_Shaun File size = 8MB Model_Jonathan File size = 7MB Model_Corb File size = 7MB Model_Exhibition File size = 10MB ShowDemo_01 These are some simple shows we used for testing
YOU CAN DO MUCH BETTER!!
ShowDemo_02 These are some simple shows we used for testing
YOU CAN DO MUCH BETTER!!
Now in production ... Virtual OPEN 2020 Start your show build here.

IMPORTANT UPDATE (Monday, 30th)

Many thanks again everyone for the work submitted for Virtual OPEN. The response has been so positive (thousands of pieces of work!) that we have decided to expand the original programme. There will still be a short opening event this Thursday at 18.30, but it will begin a two-week series of webinars and a design competition culminating in the launch of the immersive exhibition of your work on THURSDAY, 16th JULY. Please come back to this site for further details. We have now also launched the site for the public, and you will find details of the webinars here:

 OPENWestminster.London

 

The new programme will give us time to properly integrate all the work into our software – a mammoth task now comprising more than 500,000 digital assets... – but it also gives you an extension to complete your submissions. We have had an overwhelming amount of drawings and models (not always within the 8MB per student limit!) and cannot take any more drawings or geometry, or accept changes to what has been submitted.

But we are still missing lots of Soundscapes and Audio Guides for studios, and Show Reels for students. Soundscapes make an invaluable contribution to the immersive experience of the show. We’ve had some really good, atmospheric audio tracks submitted, but lots of Studios are still missing as soundscape and this will let your studio down.

Likewise having studio tutors and/or students available to lead a tour of the exhibition represents a great opportunity to explain the work and studio themes, while visitors can look through what’s on show. It will greatly enhance the visitor experience, in a way that has never been possible before in the physical exhibition.

Finally, every exhibiting student should really have a 60 second show reel to publicise their work. They’re easy to make (give Da Vinci Resolve a go!), and as a means of promoting yourself in a very challenging job market, it might be just what you need to give you the edge. Even if you’re not a graduating student yet, you should get into the habit now, learn some software, and make a movie. It's fun. Do it now, and it can be available at the click of mouse when visitors come to enjoy the show.

 

We are extending the deadline at least until the end of this week to prepare Audio Guides, Soundscapes and Show Reels. Further details online, and at the opening event on Thursday. We’ll be in touch again soon.

 

David, Francois and the Virtual OPEN team.

INTRODUCTION

Just as it has become impossible to open a physical exhibition, it has become perhaps more important than ever for us to exhibit our year’s work. To celebrate all the amazing output that has been achieved this year under the most difficult circumstances; to promote both the talents of students entering the job market, as well as the unique offer of the School and University in what are very difficult times ahead; to create something collective, wholly positive and celebratory from out of the gloom of recent months. So this year we launch the Virtual OPEN show build, the making of the first online edition of the annual Exhibition of work for the School of Architecture + Cities.

The show as usual will feature and be borne of the energy of more than 750 students, drawing on the vast body of developmental and finished work imagined and realised over the course of the last academic year. As always, it will rely on a huge effort by us all to pull the contributions together to present them in a form that can be enjoyed by visitors to a public exhibition.

This year will in other ways certainly be different to others. Some great attractions of a physical show simply cannot be done as well online; other aspects of the show we think might actually be better, in new and unexpected ways. Like the rest of the work produced in the School, we can be sure only that the show will be experimental, speculative, and innovative, and that none of us will know exactly what the outcome will be until it arrives on the 2nd July!

We’ll be using a number of platforms to build the show between now and then. We have three weeks to gather the year’s work, transform it all into online-ready digital assets, and to collaboratively design and implement an extraordinary display of new architecture and a compelling visitor experience. Please come back to these web pages regularly for updates, and look out for video tutorials, webinars, and whatever other resources we can conjure up as we continue with the journey we have all begun into the new world of digital possibilities.

We look forward to working with you, and can’t wait to see what happens!

Please see below for the next steps...

Best,

David, Francois and the Fabrication and XR Lab teams.

EXHIBITION ROLES

No. of roles available 2 - Your role is to manage the Studio's Google Shared Drive and oversees data naming & file organisation.

Below is what your drive should look like. Correct name and files under 1000kb. 

No. of roles available 2 - Your role is to manage the Studio Data Budget. Your responsibility is to oversee file optimisation and ensure every Kilobyte is used wisely.

No. of roles available 2 - Your responsibility is to collate, check and help process image files. You are to ensure the transfer of images to Rhino works properly.

Below is what your image files should look like. 

No. of roles available 2 - You are responsible for Collating , checking and helping to organise 3dm models. You are ensure Rhino files conform to the shows standards.

No. of roles available 2 - You are to collate, check and optimise mp4 & mp3 files and upload them to the Google Shared Drive.

You are to model / collate the collective Studio exhibition in Rhino
(In agreement with your Studio group!)

No. of roles available 2

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR DIGITAL FILES

A. Use Photoshop to convert your images as PNGs

Requirements: 

  • 1000px on the long edge
  • PNG format only
  • 8-bit
  • Named correctly - DSXX_w1234567_JoeBloggs_I1.png
  • Uploaded to you Google Shared drive in your 02_Images > A_SourceImages_png folder.

However you produce your images (photographs, scanned drawings, CAD exports, renders etc.) you need first to convert them to image files in the right format for OPEN.

We can work only with PNG files. These are good quality, relatively small, and support transparency. Use Photoshop to convert your images - and to work with transparency if you want to - and save them with the right name, in the right folder in your Studio's Google Shared Drive.

Open your image in Photoshop. Then: 

File > Export > Export As... 

Select options for PNG, 8-bit, 1000px on the long edge & Export

Only select Transparency when you are using the transparent background. It makes the file much bigger!

Standard PNG export

Transparent PNG export

Remove the background from your image using standard Photoshop selection tools (Pen, Magnetic Lasso etc.) and the Layer mask.

Before exporting trim all the unnecessary pixels to optimise the image and file size.

This is the optimised image.

Export with the correct name to your Google Shared drive.

Export with the correct name to your Google Shared drive.

Export with the correct name to your Google Shared drive.

B. How to prepare a 'Single-Image' exhibition-ready digital asset.

Requirements: 

  • Use one correctly exported PNG as explained in part A.
  • The file saved with the correct name DSXX_w1234567_JoeBloggs_I1.3dm in the correct folder in your shared drive.
  • The layers must be renamed correctly

For your images to be exhibited they must be correctly scaled and positioned. It is vital that they are placed into the correct layer and those layers are correctly renamed. Download the Single-Image template file and follow the instructions carefully.

C. How to prepare a 'Composite-Image' exhibition-ready digital asset.

Basic Requirements: 

  • Use only correctly exported PNG's as explained in part A.
  • The file saved with the correct name DSXX_w1234567_JoeBloggs_CI1.3dm in the correct folder in your Google Shared drive.
  • THE SOURCE IMAGES FOR THE COMPOSITE-IMAGE MUST ALL COME FROM THE RIGHT PLACE ON THE DRIVE
  • YOU MUST DRAG IMAGES FROM THE SOURCE IMAGES FOLDER INTO THE COMPOSITE IMAGE SO THAT THE LINKS ARE MAINTAINED CORRECTLY
  • If you do not do this, your composite will be a collection of white planes with nothing on them...
  • The layers must be renamed correctly
  • One Image per layer.
  • The information trigger bounding box positioned and scaled to encapsulate your model

Download the Composite-Image template file and follow the instructions carefully.

Make the most of your data allowance: Remember your Composite-Image is a collection of images each with their own file size. Export your images appropriate to their scale in the Composite-Image and the number of instances you want to appear. For example. 1 feather saved at 1000px allow you to copy it possibly twice before you hit 1MB. 1 feather saved at 100px will give you 30 times as many instances of the same image.

 

How to prepare a 'Prop' Exhibition-Ready digital asset.

Basic Requirements: 

  • Use only closed Polysurfaces.
  • The file saved with the correct name DSXX_w1234567_JoeBloggs_P1.3dm in the correct folder in your Google Shared drive.
  • The layers renamed correctly.
  • One layer per material
  • Only the materials provided can be used.
  • If you include a video screen, this must be named correctly.
  • All objects (excluding all video screens) grouped and named correctly.

Download the Props template file and follow the instructions carefully.

 

How to prepare a 3D Model Exhibition-Ready digital asset.

Basic Requirements: 

  • Use only closed Polysurfaces (as you would for 3D Printing).
  • The file saved with the correct name DSXX_w1234567_JoeBloggs_M1_1-XX.3dm in the correct folder in your Google Shared drive.
  • The layers renamed correctly.
  • One layer per material
  • Only the materials provided can be used.
  • If you include a video screen, this must be named correctly.
  • All objects (excluding all video screens) grouped and named correctly.

Download the Props template file and follow the instructions carefully.

REDUCING YOUR FILE SIZE!

The biggest issue people are having is reducing files sizes so that they are small enough to fit into the show. We know this can be a bit of a challenge, especially when models have been created in the first place without real-time rendering in mind (and are huge!). But it certainly can be done. Please see the samples we've now posted in the slider on this site, with size of the models shown. Here are some key points and tips:

  • Do your best to make your file size as small as you can. If you have followed all the tips below, and are close but not quite there (8, 9, 10MB etc.). Then that will be fine. We may find that not everyone has used their data allowance tomorrow, and then we'll be able to accept people going over the limit a bit - as long as they have really done what they can to reduce unnecessary file sizes.

     

  • Do the obvious things first - REMOVE GEOMETRY THAT WON'T BE SEEN! If you have a tower, take out any floors that are hidden behind closed facades etc. If you have details, but almost include a bolt head, but don't include the thread, if it's embedded in another object. Also remove any trial geometry, working geometry etc.
  • Simplify where possible. If it doesn't make a difference that people will see, don't include it in the model. By all means include details where they count (have a look at the studio model - we've include plenty), but also focus your efforts so that the important geometry is there, and everything else is simplified. It's not different from you drawings - you don't include everything, only what helps to convey your ideas.

     

  • Don't create Meshes! This can in some cases reduce file sizes, but it's a false economy. We are going to mesh models later when we import to Unreal Engine, and will be doing this with settings that we know are optimised. We need you for now to keep your geometry and NURBS in Rhino, as this works best later.

     

  • But most of all: USE RHINO BLOCKS! We have included a simple guide below. If you use blocks, you can multiply the detail of your model without it multiplying the size. Rather than copy and paste geometry (which multiplies file size), create any piece of geometry that repeats (columns, windows, screw heads, complete floors, display shelves etc.) as a Block (Ctrl/Cmd+B). Then copy and paste the block, rather than the original geometry, and it will not increase file size in the same way. The software copies a reference to the original geometry, and only has to save the position and scale of the subsequent Instances of the geometry. Note that this way of working has the additional benefit that should you want to change any of the elements that is repeated, you only need to update one of these Blocks, and all the otherwise will update too. If you've not used Blocks before, you really should, they're great!

 

What is a block?

Blocks are an excellent way to make your models more efficient and so include more geometry without increasing the file size - very important in Virtual OPEN. You should use Blocks whenever you have repetitive geometry (as series of columns, windows, doors, complete floors in multistory towers etc.) A Block creates copies, by referencing a designated piece of geometry (it could be one object or many). Therefore not duplicating geometry (and memory) but just creating an instance of itself as many times as needed. This instance can be scaled in any direction but it can not be edited as it does not exist as its own geometry but a reference back to the original block. This means if the original block is edited, then all references are also edited. For more information on using blocks go to https://wiki.mcneel.com/rhino/usingblocks

How to use blocks for basic iteration

Draw your geometry. Make sure it is in the correct layer (One layer per material). In this case I have a layer called 'Column' and a layer called 'Floor'. Assign the material you want through the Layer Panel.

Select the object you want to convert to a block, type 'Block' Choose the origin of the block, press enter. Name it correctly so others can understand what you've done later (w1234567_JoeBloggs_Column).

Do the same for all other blocks, in this example the floor.

Simply copy your geometry (either array or copy which ever suits you best)

Why use blocks

1. It saves a huge amount of memory, as you can see from the image below.

2. It saves time. If you want to change the columns, for example, you only need to change one, the block, and all the instances of that block will update.

Video Format

All Video we use in the show must follow the same format, the one you would use for uploading quality HD footage to YouTube. You can be creative with the screen that the video plays on, but ALL footage should be saved, uploaded to the drive in the same format. This is:

Full HD

1920 x 1080 px Resolution

24 Frames per second

H.264 Codec

MP4 format

These are common settings that you will find as a default in video editing packages. We recommend DaVinci Resolve for non-linear video editing, compositing, colour grading, soundtracks and all things video. The Delivery module settings should look like this:

Video 'Screen'

Although the format of the video needs to be 16-9, 1920x1080px, the screen can be any size, large or small (though it does take up space in your exhibition). It also can be any shape. The image will try to fill the screen, and anything that does not fit the 16-9 ratio will be cropped. You can use this to your advantage to control what the viewer will see of you screen. And you can make the screen any shape and size you like. It can include folds (InsertKinks) or be curved if you like, as many gaming screens are now. It can also have holes. We suggest you have some standard screens, like a cinema, for showing the Studio Showreels. But also include some more creative uses, to simulate moving parts, waterfalls etc. These can be any shape you dream up!

Video File Size

Unlike the other media, video size is determined by run-time, not MB. All videos need to be 60 seconds max, in the format we've just specified. This is for many good reasons. Please stick to it, and don't try and cheat those extra seconds! Run-time is in the file properties in the Finder/Explorer. We can see immediately. Instead, use your talent and creativity to make all the necessary editing decisions, split screens, and judgement calls you need to create 60, punchy, well-focused, atmospheric seconds of movie footage. Don't bore people. Leave them wanting more, and scrabbling for the link to your contact details...

Coming soon...

DSXX_Exhibition_Complete.3dm: What your show should look like

You will find that if you followed the guides we've given throughout the show build, i.e.:

- Named all your files correctly and put them in the right place in the Google Shared drive

- USED ONLY PNGs that you saved into the Studio drive (this is the most common mistake we've found). YOU MUST DRAG IMAGES FROM THE A_SourceImages_png FOLDER into ExhibitionReadyImages and Composite_Image Rhino files. If you drag in images from your personal desktop/user folder structure, they won't appear in the show.

- Named all the Rhino layers correctly; kept exactly to the layer hierarchy we gave you in the template file; and put the right things on the right layers.

- Inserted Rhino files into the Exhibition as 'Embedded and linked'.

- Deleted anything else you may have inadvertently included in any of the files (guides, curves, anything else that's not part of show...)

THEN...

You will find that all the contributions to your exhibition sit in layers that nest very well together, and are easy to understand and arrange in the space to organise and design your show. The layer hierarchy should look something like the example below.

Note that these are the exhibitions from just 4 students, before we added everyone else's work. The layers soon add up. This is why everything has to be as we asked in the guides. If not, you will end up with an almighty mess that will be very difficult for you to clear up, and absolutely impossible for us (you have one studio group to manage and get right, we have 40...)

If your layer hierarchy does not look like the one below when you start inserting the work, you will find it very difficult to correct mistakes afterwards. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU GET THE SOURCE FILES RIGHT FIRST, AND THEN RE-IMPORT THEM INTO A FRESH EXHIBITION_COMPLETE FILE.

Usually it is much easier to rebuild the file from scratch with properly formatted exhibition-ready material, than it is to import a load of random layers, materials, textures, objects etc., and then try and root them out afterwards to clear up the mess. They all become intertwined and it becomes almost impossible.

FIX THE FILES FIRST, THEN IMPORT THEM. IF YOU IMPORT AND THEY'RE CONTAIN ERRORS: UNDO IMMEDIATELY; FIX THE FILE; TRY IMPORTING AGAIN. 

You may want to open files by themselves first, make sure they are correct, and if they are, then Insert them into your Exhibition_Complete file. If they're not, send them back to their owner to correct them, or to the Drive Manager, Image Wrangler etc. 

None of this is very difficult. But there's only really one way to finish the final stages of building your show, and that's to get it right...

DSXX_Exhibition_Export.3dm: Exporting your show

Once your complete show has a layer structure that looks like the above (this will take considerable trouble-shooting, and chasing up of members of your group...) THEN the export process is very easy.

Note that we DO NOT NEED OR WANT TO SEE THE MODEL OF THE BUILDING. We already have this, organised as a complete Exhibition Hall ready for your show. We only want you to export your group's work, arranged as you want it within the space we've given you. The building model should still be locked, as it was when you downloaded it, so the next bit is very easy.

1. Delete anything from your Exhibition_Complete file that is not part of your show.

2. Edit > Select Objects > All Objects (ctrl/cmd+A)

3. File > Export Selected...

4. Save as: DSXX_Exhibition_Export.3dm and save it in the 08_ExhibitionComplete_3dm folder in your Shared drive (with your Studio/Group name of course...)

That's it. There's still lots to do to add video and audio files, soundscapes etc. But all your drawings and models should now be in this file, in the right place - ready for us to take a look and see if they work...

DOWNLOADS

If you have your 3DModels or Props in an older template file and want to access the current range of materials, download this file and 'Import' it into your file. It will populate your materials with the most up to date available.

Warning: You cannot add your own materials to this list.

SAMPLE PROPS

A free standing display for A1 images (can be modified for A2). Remove the plinth if not needed.

Materials and dimensions can be changed.

Landscape

Portrait

A modular display system for A1 images (can be modified for A2) and models. Remove the plinth if not exhibiting models. Save 1 file per intended arrangement of images (for example all landscape or all portrait or a mix) and rename the files appropriately.

Materials and dimensions can be changed.

A simple plinth with a 25mm shadow gap from the floor. Can be scaled in any direction to fit your model. Materials and dimensions can be changed.

A modular staking system adaptable to your space. Materials and dimensions can be changed.

PREVIOUSLY ASKED FAQs - the archive

No - don't panic. We've designed Virtual OPEN for you to be able to enter work with minimal software skills. At least one person in your studio (tutor or student) needs to have some basic knowledge of Rhino 3D - but no more than you could learn in a few hours. We’ll show you how if you want to learn next week, in some short video tutorials. This also won’t be like any other game...

No. If you want to keep it really simple, it should be considerably easier than last year. It’s virtual. No need to print out, pin-up, build partitions etc.!! It can be really simple and quick if you want. Or it can also be a lot more than that if you want.

Absolutely. We hope you will. We’ve tried to give everyone as much freedom as we can to curate and design their exhibitions to express the themes / character of their studio and the unique qualities of their projects. Bear in mind though that there are monumental technical hurdles for us to overcome in putting together the show – we are collating, checking, aggregating work from 36 studios & 700+ students, and then hope to render it simultaneously in real-time for hundreds of visitors. We obviously will need everyone to collaborate closely if we stand a chance of making this work, and will be giving clear guidelines during the build about what you need to do to successfully realise your ideas in this context. You can be really creative and make something fantastic, but will have to be careful about your expenditure of valuable Kilobytes in our shared virtual world. More on this next week.

Definitely. We’re assuming most people will be showing drawings, photographs, collages, banners, posters etc. all saved as jpegs or pngs in a standard format. We will also provide templates as we do for the Lasers and CNC machines in the Lab. These could be both models of student projects, as well as 3D, studio specific installations to be used as display systems. These will need to be submitted in Rhino with a standard layer structure and materials, and modelled with care (similar to 3D printing, i.e. closed polysurfaces). We’ll provide guidance on how to do this. In the meantime, model accurately, keep the model as NURBS (not meshes), and put parts with different materials on separate layers.

We’ll offer a series of online resources starting next week explaining any processes involved. We’re aiming to make this as simple as possible, so anyone inexperienced in Rhino can learn as they go. If you’re already a Rhino Black Belt, you should also follow these tutorials so that you understand the specific requirements for Virtual OPEN. But then by all means go ahead and model something brilliant! (Just be careful and smart with your data budget...)

Virtual OPEN is as usual primarily a celebration and promotion of the great work everyone has already created this year. You can start straightaway bringing together the best of your work, as well as experimental, developmental work, ready for inclusion in the show.

We know some of you are pushed for time completing portfolios, or are very busy already for any number of other reasons. However, at a bare minimum, all you need do is export a high quality jpeg of your best/most interesting work in progress. That will be enough for you to contribute to the show. You can also work on any 3D models for your portfolio, using the specified formatting for inclusion in Virtual OPEN. That way you’ll kill two birds with one stone. In the current difficult conditions, it’s really important that everyone has a strong online presence, and given how easy it is to be included in the show, securing your place in the School Exhibition is a must.

We exist purely online this year - based in Amazon’s extraordinary cloud computing services. Everything you have that is physical obviously needs to be digitised. This can be done quite easily from home. Most simply you can use a smartphone to photograph drawings and sketches (best done with some care, good daylighting, and a little bit of technique). You can also submit videos. These are a great and engaging way to present work, for both studios as a whole, and for individual projects. Likewise audio files. We will be asking you for short audio descriptions of your projects, as well as for an Audio-Guide to the studio as a whole. We are aiming at providing a personal user interface for each exhibiting student, so that everyone can share details about their work, a weblink if they have one for visitors to explore their portfolio further, and contact details so that potential employers can get in touch with work opportunities.

As well as completing your own work, we will need volunteers to help coordinate their Studio’s project. You’ll find in the Studio Information sheet a number of roles that need to be fulfilled. Ideally, we need two for each one, though some may want to take on more than one role. Please see the guide in the sheet. More details to follow.

No! Do it now. But don’t worry, once it’s uploaded, you’ll have plenty more time to refine what you want to exhibit. As long as you over-write the first image with one with exactly the same name, it will update in your virtual exhibition – at least until the end of next week (12th June). Most of the files in Virtual OPEN use digital  referencing, so the important thing now is just to get your image a place in the system we’re assembling (the digital pipeline...). What is more important is that it is in the right place, with the right name, with the right layer structure. Even if the image is really just a placeholder for now. That’s why we want / need you to just get your images uploaded – and to make sure the format is absolutely correct. The content can be refined later.

See above. You should process your images now, as 1000px PNGs as we’ve ask, and then over-write them if you do a better version. You will find that you have a much better idea about how you should / need to improve your image once you’ve seen it appear further down the line in Rhino. PROCESS YOUR IMAGES, AND SAVE THEM IN THE DRIVE NOW!

No, not at all. We’ve designed OPEN so that you can do everything you need to with readily available and free (at least temporarily) software, that works on both PC and Mac. We’ve chosen the three packages below also because they are fantastic software, each an industry standard, and well worth you learning, as well as being both relatively straightforward and intuitive to learn if you’re new to the software, and super powerful tools for those that put the time in to master them. Virtual OPEN is a great opportunity for you to build your digital skills in these excellent tools:

Photoshop - You could get away with another image editor, but Adobe has made it available to students and academics for no cost, for the time being, and it’s the grandmaster for image editing.

Rhino 3D - Download here: https://www.rhino3d.com/download). All you need is an email, and you’ll get a fully functional version for 90 days. Super useful, easy to get started, and (sorry) ultimately waaaayy more powerful than Sketchup (But see the note re: Macs below).

DaVinci Resolve - If editing video, or anything complex in audio, we recommend Resolve. It’s amazing software, and equally amazingly it is free with no time limit for all but the most advanced features. Download here: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/

Yes and no. You can do a lot of the modelling and basic PNG manipulation work on a Mac. But we have found some fatal file referencing issues when using a Mac version to compile projects. Sorry, but the final assembly of the Exhibition has to be done on a PC version of Rhino 6.

Sorry, no. It introduces all sorts of unnecessary complications and it’s easily avoided. Just download yourself a demo copy of Rhino 6 and use that (it’s also better than R5..): 

https://www.rhino3d.com/download

If you have to, you can always save your files from R6 as R5 versions so that you can access them later. Just don’t introduce R5s into the system please...

We could have made the venue any shape and size in a virtual world, but wanted to make it both familiar, and uniquely Westminster. So we’ve drawn on and modified the iconic cross section of the 4th and 5th floor studios – as featured in AR at the time of completion of the building in 1971:

We’ve remodelled the section in two halves, as a 9600mm modular unit, that can be reflected and combined to build the show as a whole. The basic module looks something like this quick screen grab (it will not look exactly like this in the final renders):

This is being agreed today. In most cases, Studios will get either one of both of the floors in this module. The two volumes are roughly equal – dimensions shown below. And yes, we do include a fire egress route for health and safety reasons. The dimensions show below already take into account space for visitors to circulate through the show.

No, you’ll have neighbours. The studio modules will be combined with other studios from each course. There is likely to be separate – big! – space for each course as a whole for the larger courses, and another that some courses will share. Final arrangement to be published soon.

We don’t know, as you haven’t designed it yet! But we’ll publish today some screenshots from the mock-up studios we’ve put together for testing. We did these quickly with whatever material was to hand, just to add some content (It only took us an hour or two to make each of these shows). We hope the curated shows you design will be more carefully considered and very much better. But this should give you some idea of what a simple show might look like.

If it’s on the same floor, you walk. If you want to go from 4th to 5th floor, you teleport, naturally. For those that have not done it before, we'll show you how.

We’re deliberately not being too explicit yet about the exact form the show will take. Partly because we’re still busy developing, testing, and debugging the game engine software, and knowing well the huge challenges involved, there’s no point in over-promising.

But mostly because it largely depends on what work and especially the quality of the files we are given. Aside from the building we’ve modelled and all the technical underpinnings of the exhibition, we have almost zero exhibition-ready content at the time of writing. We’re entirely dependent on what you submit, and relying on what is submitted being appropriate for the exhibition software we've developed. If it’s not, we won't be able to use it and all the fun things we might be able to do won’t be possible.

What we’re hoping for is an online, easily navigable, and compelling experience for visitors to the School Exhibition, available from nothing more than a web browser. Might even work on your phone – still testing this. We also have various back-up plans to provide some high quality outputs. Either way, it’s now down to you to gather, process correctly (the most important bit) and then curate the work...

No! Do it now. But don’t worry, once it’s uploaded, you’ll have plenty more time to refine what you want to exhibit. As long as you over-write the first image with one with exactly the same name, it will update in your virtual exhibition – at least until the end of next week (12th June). Most of the files in Virtual OPEN use digital  referencing, so the important thing now is just to get your image a place in the system we’re assembling (the digital pipeline...). What is more important is that it is in the right place, with the right name, with the right layer structure. Even if the image is really just a placeholder for now. That’s why we want / need you to just get your images uploaded – and to make sure the format is absolutely correct. The content can be refined later.

See above. You should process your images now, as 1000px PNGs as we’ve ask, and then over-write them if you do a better version. You will find that you have a much better idea about how you should / need to improve your image once you’ve seen it appear further down the line in Rhino. PROCESS YOUR IMAGES, AND SAVE THEM IN THE DRIVE NOW!

No, not at all. We’ve designed OPEN so that you can do everything you need to with readily available and free (at least temporarily) software, that works on both PC and Mac. We’ve chosen the three packages below also because they are fantastic software, each an industry standard, and well worth you learning, as well as being both relatively straightforward and intuitive to learn if you’re new to the software, and super powerful tools for those that put the time in to master them. Virtual OPEN is a great opportunity for you to build your digital skills in these excellent tools:

Photoshop - You could get away with another image editor, but Adobe has made it available to students and academics for no cost, for the time being, and it’s the grandmaster for image editing.

Rhino 3D - Download here: https://www.rhino3d.com/download). All you need is an email, and you’ll get a fully functional version for 90 days. Super useful, easy to get started, and (sorry) ultimately waaaayy more powerful than Sketchup (But see the note re: Macs below).

DaVinci Resolve - If editing video, or anything complex in audio, we recommend Resolve. It’s amazing software, and equally amazingly it is free with no time limit for all but the most advanced features. Download here: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/

Yes and no. You can do a lot of the modelling and basic PNG manipulation work on a Mac. But we have found some fatal file referencing issues when using a Mac version to compile projects. Sorry, but the final assembly of the Exhibition has to be done on a PC version of Rhino 6.

Sorry, no. It introduces all sorts of unnecessary complications and it’s easily avoided. Just download yourself a demo copy of Rhino 6 and use that (it’s also better than R5..): 

https://www.rhino3d.com/download

If you have to, you can always save your files from R6 as R5 versions so that you can access them later. Just don’t introduce R5s into the system please...

No. We have lots of work to do building the very many contributions to the show before anything goes anywhere near Unreal Engine. We’ll handle all this. You just need to focus on creating great image files, models, and soon video and audio, and we’ll do what we can to get it all working properly further down the digital pipeline.

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