Does Infrastructure Modeler Turn Engineers into Filmmakers?

This week, I am tasked with presenting Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler (AIM) in a webcast this Thursday at 3pm. It’s been both informative and fun learning about this tool. After all, I am an Engineer and AIM feels more like a video game at times.  But what’s been a struggle is trying to find a way to describe it. In fact, I was laying in bed with my laptop last night brainstorming how I would even begin to paint the picture of AIM. My wife asks me, “What’s exciting about it?” I suppose that is always the point with anything.

What is it that will create excitement in us to generate an awesome design? Aren’t we all competitive on some level? Architect’s have this general competition about who’s is bigger. Eh, I am referring to buildings of course. For the longest time, the Empire State Building built in 1931 in New York was the tallest building. Now it’s the 13th tallest at 1250 ft. Currently, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building built in 2010 in Dubai at a height of 2723 ft. I think I remember hearing that the Burj isn’t actually a finished structure so that it can be extended taller to remain the tallest building.  Yeah, now that’s being competitive. If you’re curious, Wikipedia has an extensive set of tallest buildings and structures in the world.


Pictures can paint a thousand words, with the angle, focus and lighting of a subject. But wouldn’t it be great to be able to change those viewpoints and create new renderings? What about being able to create a video about your design? Better yet, wouldn’t it be great to demonstrate in real time in front of a live audience what the real world could look like with your design, and then flip a switch and show various alternatives?


That, my friend is the excitement about Infrastructure Modeler!

First, what is AIM? By definition, it’s “used to create visually accurate 3D digital models derived from geospatial data” formats. So the context of your model can be as large or small as needed.


In the webcast, we’ll cover how to

  • Build a model,
  • Give those existing conditions some style,
  • Add our conceptual design
  • Exchange data with Civil 3D
  • Create that magical video for Public forums

I can say without any hesitation, AIM is NOT Civil 3D.  It is like sketching on a napkin. Getting the hang of the application takes about a day or two. But after that, you can create great visualizations without too much hassle.

In this example, I used a group of shape files and brought them into both Map 3D and AIM. The capture on the left is from Map and on the right from AIM.


In fact, here’s my quick take on, eh, King Kong attacking a new office building. Yes, I know its not King Kong, but what do you want for a 5 minute Google search and for free?

Soooo, it’s not the same as the recent remake or even the original King Kong movie. But how great is it that we can even create a picture like this, and that we can display our design and alternatives within a video? Never mind that it only took a day for someone completely new to the application.  Although the video below is not Christopher Nolan worthy,  you can certainly appreciate how easily you could get instant project buy-in from the public.

I hope to see you on Thursday!


About Kevin
Hi… I am a husband, father, brother and neighbor. I am employed as a Civil Engineer and have enjoyed playing the drums for the last 30+ years.

One Response to Does Infrastructure Modeler Turn Engineers into Filmmakers?

  1. Pingback: Does Infrastructure Modeler Turn Engineers into Filmmakers? « Synergis Engineering Design Solutions

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