Here’s a tip for those of you who hate drawing polyline borders point by point in order to do a take-off, or a hatch. Try REC and REG (rectangle and region).

First, get used to using the often overlooked REC command. It may seem like a simple thing, picking two points to draw a closed orthogonal polyline (big deal, you can do that with ortho and snap), but when combined with the mighty REGION command, you’re cooking with gas. I like REC because you can cover an area with just two clicks instead of four, and let’s face it, most architectural plans are made out of rectangles (corridors, rooms…). Plus, the x,y coordinates come out nice and consistent, from bottom-left to upper-right.

On a new layer (e.g. A-AREA) start drawing rectangles all over the place, overlapping them with abandon. We’ll clean it up in the next step. All you need to do is make sure you’ve covered the entire area you’re interested in, with as many rectangles as you need.

Now, isolate that layer so you don’t mess with your drawing (LAYISO). Type REG and select everything/hit enter. It will look like nothing happened, but really you’ve just turned all those polylines into regions. What’s a region?

Regions are two-dimensional enclosed areas you create from objects that form closed loops. Loops can be combinations of lines, polylines, circles, arcs, ellipses, elliptical arcs, and splines. The objects that make up the loops must either be closed or form closed areas by sharing endpoints with other objects.

The special thing about regions? You can perform 2D Boolean operations on them: union, subtraction and intersection. So now that you have regions, type UNI (for union) and select everything again/hit enter. You’ll see all your rectangles merge into a single shape. Yeah, mind-blowing, isn’t it? It gets better: you can subtract regions from one another. Type SU, select your main region (the one you want to keep), hit enter, then select the region that will be subtracted (the cutting shape)/hit enter. You’ll see that second region cut away from the first. And you can use this method to make donuts. That is, you can cut out islands in the middle of your regions, and Autocad, for once, knows what you’re trying to do. (You can also INTERSECT regions, but I’ve rarely found use for that.)

Now that you have a region, with or without donut holes, you can get properties to find its area, and you can select it as an object to hatch. Autocad’s gotten better at hatching complex polylines with islands, but it’s still not perfect. However, I’ve never had a problem hatching a region. It works every time, no matter how many holes you cut out.

One thing about regions: you’ll see that the vertices are not editable like a polyline. The whole shape moves as a block. No matter, you can always explode regions when you need to. And of course, you can build the pieces back into polylines and regions again, now that the JOIN command is so much better.

You’ll notice that in the above definition of REGION they mention shapes other than rectangles. This is true–you can mix all kinds of things, as long as they’re all in the same plane. Many possibilities. Enjoy.

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Man and machine unite to explore the impossible depths of projection art | The Verge.

From San Francisco studio Bot & Dolly, this has got to be a new standard in projection mapping. Robotic arms move projection screens around, creating very convincing 3D illusions. The whole time I was watching it I kept thinking of the Arthur C. Clarke quote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and there it was on the screen at the end.

There is a recursive real-vs-reproduced phenomemon at work here. The illusion works, mostly, because the camera is also on a robotic arm, allowing the point of view to align with the projection’s perspective. Standing anywhere else would break the illusion (like in magic). So while we are in awe that this work of art is being captured 100% “in camera” (no post-processing), the whole work of art does not in fact exist outside of the camera. When you compare it to a magic trick–a fair comparison given the quote they show at the end–it actually comes out looking a little weak. If Lance Burton‘s tricks only worked if you stood in one place, would we think he was so great? Not conceptually any different from David Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty disappear. I felt swindled when I watched it live on TV and have always hated him for that.

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Must-See Video: 3-Sweep is the Fastest Way to Get 3D from 2D That You’ve Ever Seen – Core77.

Really: Must-See. An experimental method to extrude 3D shapes from 2D images by providing just a few hints to the computer. Watch the whole thing. It will give you the unmistakable sensation that the future is upon us.

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The Aluminum Airship of the Future Has Finally Flown.

The Aeroscraft is becoming a reality: an aluminum and carbon-fiber airship that uses a controllable helium bladder system to move up and down… and forward at a yawning 20mph. Cargo transport without the need for runways.

But c’mon, really what we’re looking at is someone’s childhood fantasy come true: Thunderbird 2. It’s green, even.

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The Tower Infinity, South Korea’s Forthcoming ‘Invisible’ Skyscraper – Core77.

Cameras capture the view from one side of the tower and LEDs recreate the image on the other side, and so on. I wonder how they deal with varying viewpoints. LEDs aimed at different heights?

Here’s another question: you can’t really see artificial light during the day, so the effect is going to work only at night. But at night, since it’s a 450m-tall tower, what the cameras will see is a dark sky. How are LEDs going to reproduce darkness? And hide the light coming from inside the offices? Maybe they’re counting on the night sky being a soft orange glow, from so many streetlights filtered through a polluted sky.

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abkebabs Map of Europe 1000 AD to present with timeline – YouTube.


Fascinating, as most maps are to me. Fun video, but more useful as a slider to see what things looked like on a specific year.

Reminds me of play Risk on the Mac Plus with the AI at full speed. There’s an emulator for those of you who really need a retro fix.

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“Trace Your Road” for Lexus Italy (Saatchi & Saatchi Italy, Movie Magic International, LOGAN & Fake Love) | NOTCOT

Oh wow this is fun. Draw a path on an iPad–while riding shotgun with an F1 driver–and feel the G’s.

Fake Love, by the way, did the “Buy the world a Coke” refresh. Take a look. I like these guys. And what a perfect name.

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Outliers Patent-Pending Pivot Sleeve, and How It Came to Be – Core77.

A remarkable innovation in shirt design for bicyclists. Made with purpose, solves a problem, and good-looking. I love this kind of stuff. It’s rare. It’s wonderful.

Compare this idea of “design” with Rafael Vinoly’s second death ray building. This one melts cars. Looking back at Vdara, one might guess he’s perfecting the idea of a solar-powered attach building.

With the profusion of consultants within the architecture industry–from engineers to interior designers to landscape and many, many others–there are really only a few aspects to building design left entirely to the architect. One is bathroom design and toilet layout, since very few have come forward to snag that prize. Another is building form. You would think (misguidedly) an architect would pay more attention to the shape of a building since he has so little else to work with, especially after having set fire to people’s hair in the past.

When you abandon research and ignore the functional, scientific, and pragmatic, you are in the world of decoration, not design.

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