Miscellaneous – [as] https://alexschreyer.net AEC CAD/BIM, SketchUp, Timber Engineering, Web Design and more... Tue, 15 Jan 2019 13:10:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i2.wp.com/alexschreyer.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cropped-as-square.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Miscellaneous – [as] https://alexschreyer.net 32 32 6702894 Merry Christmas, Joyful Holidays, and a Happy New Year 2019! https://alexschreyer.net/design/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-and-a-happy-new-year-2019/ https://alexschreyer.net/design/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-and-a-happy-new-year-2019/#respond Mon, 24 Dec 2018 20:59:42 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=7388 Merry Christmas 2018! by Alexander Schreyer on Sketchfab Dear friends and colleagues, I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas, a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a happy and successful new year 2019! Cheers, Alex P.S. Once again my Christmas card is a simple SketchUp model, made with a randomizing script and [...] Read more..

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Merry Christmas 2018! by Alexander Schreyer on Sketchfab

Dear friends and colleagues,

I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas, a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a happy and successful new year 2019!

Cheers,
Alex

P.S. Once again my Christmas card is a simple SketchUp model, made with a randomizing script and the amazing MS Physics extension. It was then exported to Sketchfab where I enhanced all textures a bit and applied lighting.

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Merry Christmas, Joyful Holidays, and a Happy New Year 2018! https://alexschreyer.net/design/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-happy-new-year-2018/ https://alexschreyer.net/design/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-happy-new-year-2018/#respond Sun, 24 Dec 2017 17:40:35 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=7058 I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a happy and successful new year 2018! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! This year the new UMass John W. Olver Design Building featured quite prominently in my life. Therefore it seemed just fitting to use it as a virtual tree ornament for this [...] Read more..

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I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a happy and successful new year 2018!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

This year the new UMass John W. Olver Design Building featured quite prominently in my life. Therefore it seemed just fitting to use it as a virtual tree ornament for this post. If you would like to know how I did this: It’s modeled in SketchUp as a very simple model and then uploaded to Sketchfab where I fixed the materials, added a background, and applied a few post-processing options, such as bloom.

Cheers,
Alex

 

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My new book is out! Schreyer authors fourth edition of ‘Fundamentals of Residential Construction’. https://alexschreyer.net/construction/new-book-schreyer-authors-fourth-edition-fundamentals-residential-construction/ https://alexschreyer.net/construction/new-book-schreyer-authors-fourth-edition-fundamentals-residential-construction/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:38:16 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=6877 UMass Press Release: Alexander Schreyer, director of the building and construction technology (BCT) program, has revised and expanded “Fundamentals of Residential Construction” to produce the fourth edition of the guide to professional construction of single-family and multifamily homes. Schreyer joins Edward Allen, formerly of MIT, Yale University and the University of Oregon, and Robert Thallon [...] Read more..

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UMass Press Release:

Alexander Schreyer, director of the building and construction technology (BCT) program, has revised and expanded “Fundamentals of Residential Construction” to produce the fourth edition of the guide to professional construction of single-family and multifamily homes.

Schreyer joins Edward Allen, formerly of MIT, Yale University and the University of Oregon, and Robert Thallon of the University of Oregon, who wrote the book’s previous editions. The new edition, which is being published by John Wiley & Sons, promises to be essential to the process of learning about residential construction, according to the publisher.

“Construction is a slow-changing industry, but it changes, and keeping up with that is really important,” said Schreyer. “It was really exciting to be able to join this book as one of the authors so we can keep pushing the envelope and teach about residential construction. There are lots of people that need to know about it, want to know about it, and want to be builders or build their own house, and this book is really a great resource for them to learn about the details, the materials, the systems, and the basics.”

According to Schreyer, the most significant revisions to this edition include a larger focus on sustainability and energy efficiency, which have been given their own designated section, as well as a chapter on 3D construction modeling and CAD/BIM (computer-aided design/building information modeling) planning tools. The new edition also incorporates interactive supplementary online exercises that readers can use to practice concepts introduced in the book, without having actual construction materials on hand.

“Looking at plans and sections in a book only goes so far. You can always draw things, of course, to think them through a little more, but once you start putting stuff together in 3D, you’ll find out if something doesn’t fit,” Schreyer said.

From siting and foundations to finishing details, the book provides a complete walk-through of professional home construction. Over 1,200 drawings and photographs are included in the textbook’s five sections, which cover the context of residential construction, the materials needed, light wood frame construction, alternative construction systems and multifamily building construction.

Schreyer has taught building materials, structures and digital design for more than 13 years to interdisciplinary audiences on campus and understands how to combine the hands-on components of construction education with science- and research-based knowledge that is behind every step of a house’s construction. His interests span the range of planning and design, with a specialization in mainly heavy-timber type structural systems.

Schreyer has also written “Architectural Design with SketchUp: Component-Based Modeling, Plugins, Rendering, and Scripting,” a book about using the 3D modeling program SketchUp.

Following the latest edition of “Fundamentals of Residential Construction,” he said he is interested in possibly telling the story of the new Design Building on campus, which was built with state-of-the-art wood construction technology. Schreyer was involved in the collaborative planning stages behind the building’s wood structure, alongside the departments of architecture and landscape architecture and regional planning.

Outside the classroom, Schreyer says, his academic interests overlap heavily with what he likes to do on weekends. “A Saturday morning starting with a tape measure is a good Saturday morning,” he says.

You can now buy this book at Amazon.com and many other online and offline booksellers.

Links

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Merry Christmas, Joyful Holidays, and a Happy New Year 2017! https://alexschreyer.net/design/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-happy-new-year-2017/ https://alexschreyer.net/design/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-happy-new-year-2017/#respond Fri, 16 Dec 2016 16:28:20 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6782 I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a happy and successful new year 2017! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Cheers, Alex P.S. This year I had so many nice pictures from our stay in Scotland that I opted for a photo-based holiday image rather than my usual rendering. I took [...] Read more..

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Glenfinnan Viaduct at Dusk

I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a happy and successful new year 2017!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Cheers,
Alex

P.S. This year I had so many nice pictures from our stay in Scotland that I opted for a photo-based holiday image rather than my usual rendering. I took this image on a beautiful fall afternoon from a tourist-filled mountainside in Glenfinnan. I did fiddle with the photo a bit, however (in Lightroom and Fotosketcher).

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My [as] website is 10 years old today! https://alexschreyer.net/web-programming/website-10-years-old/ https://alexschreyer.net/web-programming/website-10-years-old/#respond Sat, 10 Dec 2016 05:00:25 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6670 They grow up so fast, don’t they? As you may have noticed, I have completely redesigned my site. The older design – while nice – wasn’t a responsive design. It also wasn’t as flexible in terms of content placement as I would have liked it to be. So I completely overhauled it. The new design [...] Read more..

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They grow up so fast, don’t they?

As you may have noticed, I have completely redesigned my site. The older design – while nice – wasn’t a responsive design. It also wasn’t as flexible in terms of content placement as I would have liked it to be. So I completely overhauled it. The new design is also based on the excellent (bare-bones) Underscores framework for WordPress. While it seemed to be a bit convoluted at first, I quickly noticed how well-written that code actually was and how fast I could get my new design up and running.

So – long story short – below (and all around this text) is the new design. I hope you like it.

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2016: I finally redesigned the site to be fully responsive and gave my images a better prominence.

While updating all the content on this site, I noticed that I started using WordPress exactly ten years ago. As you can see in the first post on this site (link is below), I switched to WordPress in 2006 and haven’t regretted it since. I believe it is – by far – the best web hosting platform out there. And it is getting better with each release and every new plugin that is being written for it.

New & Old Website

History

In case you are interested, the images below illustrate the development of this site:

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2007: Early beginnings with monthly changing header images and the core categories in place
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2010: The “tabbed notebook” design is in place and I am trying to highlight some posts. Also, see the Twitter integration (while it was OK to do it that way)
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2015: A bunch more social linkages are in place. Also, the header was a WebGL interactive element.

Want to know how it all started?

I actually ran a basic HTML-based site since my studies at UBC. Here is my first Geocities (remember that?) website from 2001:

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2001: A table-based HTML layout.

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Support Hillary with a Website Bumper Sticker https://alexschreyer.net/web-programming/support-hillary-website-bumper-sticker/ https://alexschreyer.net/web-programming/support-hillary-website-bumper-sticker/#respond Thu, 03 Nov 2016 11:04:51 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6258 You have put a yard sign up, you have plastered your car with cool bumper stickers, you may even have bought the woman card. Now what? Well, if you have a blog or website then you should be able to show your support there, too. Introducing: The website bumper sticker! As my friends already know, [...] Read more..

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2016-11-03_10-22-43

You have put a yard sign up, you have plastered your car with cool bumper stickers, you may even have bought the woman card. Now what? Well, if you have a blog or website then you should be able to show your support there, too. Introducing: The website bumper sticker!

As my friends already know, I am strongly supporting Hillary Clinton for president of the USA! Especially with such a dangerous buffoon on the other side. As a sign of my support, you should be able to see (at least until the election) an “I’m With Her” logo in the top-right corner of this site. Click it and support her, too!

How can I use this, too?

If you would like to use this website bumper sticker for your blog, website etc., copy the code embedded below. Just add it to the html code for your site’s footer (e.g. footer.php in WordPress just before the closing BODY tag) or to any individual page you like (just paste it into the raw HTML) and it should show up automatically.

Of course, I am asking everyone to share this. The code snippet and image are completely free to use by anyone.

P.S.: If you are using Google’s Adsense, don’t forget to adjust its settings to your liking, too.

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Merry Christmas, Joyful Holidays, and a Happy New Year 2016! https://alexschreyer.net/design/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-and-a-happy-new-year-2016/ https://alexschreyer.net/design/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-and-a-happy-new-year-2016/#respond Tue, 15 Dec 2015 05:31:34 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=5660 For this year’s Christmas post, I went back to a simple rendering approach. Mixing some extruded shapes, eroded boxes, basic materials and a few lights makes for a nice, moody image. As always, all done in SketchUp (and Twilight). To you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyful holiday season and a happy and successful [...] Read more..

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For this year’s Christmas post, I went back to a simple rendering approach. Mixing some extruded shapes, eroded boxes, basic materials and a few lights makes for a nice, moody image. As always, all done in SketchUp (and Twilight).

To you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyful holiday season and a happy and successful new year 2016. Merry Christmas!

Cheers,
Alex

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Merry Christmas, Joyful Holidays, and a Happy New Year 2015! https://alexschreyer.net/misc/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-and-a-happy-new-year-2015/ https://alexschreyer.net/misc/merry-christmas-joyful-holidays-and-a-happy-new-year-2015/#respond Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://www.alexschreyer.net/?p=5471 As every year, let’s celebrate the season with a bit of digital “bling”! This time, it’s just a simple SketchUp model of a fractal tree that I enhanced a bit in Sketchfab’s editor. Yes, it is WebGL and you are allowed to play with it. Have fun! To you and your loved ones a peaceful [...] Read more..

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As every year, let’s celebrate the season with a bit of digital “bling”! This time, it’s just a simple SketchUp model of a fractal tree that I enhanced a bit in Sketchfab’s editor. Yes, it is WebGL and you are allowed to play with it. Have fun!

To you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyful holiday season and a happy and successful new year 2015.

Cheers,
Alex

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year 2014! https://alexschreyer.net/misc/merry-christmas-happy-holidays-and-a-happy-new-year-2014/ https://alexschreyer.net/misc/merry-christmas-happy-holidays-and-a-happy-new-year-2014/#respond Thu, 19 Dec 2013 17:08:21 +0000 http://www.alexschreyer.net/?p=5058 While Santa is getting settled in his new abode (looks like there is still some construction to do), it is time for me to wish you all wonderful holidays, a relaxing time with your family and friends and all the best for the new year! I hope to meet you, see you, email you or [...] Read more..

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Santa 2013

While Santa is getting settled in his new abode (looks like there is still some construction to do), it is time for me to wish you all wonderful holidays, a relaxing time with your family and friends and all the best for the new year! I hope to meet you, see you, email you or talk to you all again in 2014.

Cheers,
Alex

P.S. As always, SketchUp was heavily used in the making of this picture. Santa came from the 3D Warehouse and yes, those are CLT panels.

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Oh no, what happened to Google Maps??? https://alexschreyer.net/misc/oh-no-what-happened-to-google-maps/ https://alexschreyer.net/misc/oh-no-what-happened-to-google-maps/#respond Thu, 18 Jul 2013 14:18:45 +0000 http://www.alexschreyer.net/?p=4934 I just updated my Android maps app to the latest version – only to be forced to look closer at Google Maps’ design updates. And I must say I don’t like them at all!!! But first the positives: It makes sense to maximize the map’s screen real estate. It didn’t in the past make any [...] Read more..

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The New Google Maps

I just updated my Android maps app to the latest version – only to be forced to look closer at Google Maps’ design updates. And I must say I don’t like them at all!!! But first the positives:

It makes sense to maximize the map’s screen real estate. It didn’t in the past make any sense to fill the screen with white and grey boxes instead of a map. Also, the new functionality is very good with most of it being hidden in the single search box on top.

Now for the critique. As you will see, this has nothing to do with the UI but rather with the map design itself. Take the image above as an example…

  • First Apple Maps and now Google Maps try to simplify the map layout. As you can see above, building outlines are very faint and although this is the middle of town, information display is rather sparse. Furthermore, features appear and disappear based on the zoom level. While in principle this is good, it is imperative that a usable map has a good amount of information density. After all, I am using a map to find my way around a 3D world that has varying building heights, vegetation, shops etc. For example, if I stand in the middle of this map and look around I can see lots of businesses that the map doesn’t show me. I therefore have to believe I am in the wrong place.
  • As you can see in the image above, the flat parking lot and the four story buildings look exactly the same on the map (only some buildings are faintly differentiated). Therefore I can’t use the third dimension to navigate.
  • In the previous map version, major roads (like Amity St above) were colored yellow. This has been replaced by a width-based logic. While this may work on the desktop, it renders the map unusable on small screens in bad light.
  • While putting place iconography into circles might make some designers happy (and smoothes things out), it removes the possibility for quick, shape-based feature recognition. Color alone can’t be used as a differentiator because of varying color-perception.

I strongly hope Google Maps will at least offer a settings switch between the two designs (old and new) in the future. It might also make sense to expand this to various rendering options (e.g. add high-contrast). I also hope Google realizes that when it comes to a navigation tool, the lowest common denominator is not necessarily good for guiding design – it hasn’t worked for Apple so far and it won’t work for them.

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