Behind the Scenes with Mike Turner: Digital Shadow Plots

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Brandy Ryan June 17, 2022 1 min read

In episode 02 of his second series, Senior Designer Mike Turner walked us through how he works with large data sets in VRED.

Here in episode 03, Mike focuses on the business of developing shadow plots within VRED. Shadow plots are key for ISO sightline assessments, because good visibility characteristics deliver safer products. And safer products? Easier to use with less operator stress and fatigue.

In real life, shadow plots are used for ISO assessments as a method of ensuring cab compliance. They’re also a marketing tool that offers a visual indication of the visibility characteristics to buyers. The physical method of testing is an aligned array setup within the cab and the shadow regions are plotted on the floor of a level area.

Mike was curious about how this might work in VRED, so he aimed to figure out how to replicate this method of testing. Digital shadow plots would allow for early sign-off of the sightline characteristics and let the designers adjust the cabin bodywork where possible, going through incremental refinement. And on this project, DGDesign also used it to optimize the shuffle layer of the initial interior geometries.

The Highlights

0:54 Mike gives us the context behind shadow plots and operator sight lines

2:13 – How to replicate digital testing in VRED: optimize the shuffle layer of the initial interior geometries in VRED, then export it back into Alias as an FBX.

2:57 –  Switching off CAB surfaces shows the rig and the grid used to gauge sightlines.

4:58 – Testing only requires fixed items in geometry.

6:07 – Toggling between two sets of operator eye points allows you to assess for the sightlines available to different heights.

6:40 – Producing image outputs

To hear Mike talk through his process for Digital Shadow Plots, watch the video:


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