SBL Knowledge Services Ltd.

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Managing Paper is Tiresome: Choosing Right Partners

Managing paper based records is one of the largest overheads for any organization, draining time, effort, resources and money. Naturally, a shift to digital records management system is what organizations are signing up for.
However, this transition is never easy. Without the resources, knowledge of technology and tools, organizations are at sea. Therefore, it is wise to invest time and money in seeking the right partner who can holistically manage your data, electronically sake keep them for ready access and action. But before you embark on this transformational journey with a potential Records and Information (RIM) partner, it helps to address key factors such as the below.

Can your RIM partner offer the following?

  • Will they assure services that match the unique needs of your organization?
  • Will they understand how much of outsourcing you plan to do?
  • Will they support both outsourcing and in-house management?
  • Will they secure the knowledge assets of your organization amply?
  • Will they be able to quickly retrieve data for you?
  • Are their processes transparent and reliable?
  • Are they able to provide a clear roadmap with milestones and timelines?
  • Are they able to convince you with client testimonials in similar industry?

Organizations that have not considered these factors have run into problems incurred losses and got entangled in legal controversies. Choose the right partner who will assess the existing records management processes and recommend a full blown paperless program. This will allow you to focus on critical business objectives, be efficient and environmentally friendly as well.

Modelling of waste water pipe network by using Hand held Lidar scanner point cloud data

SBL was recently awarded a waste water pipe modelling project from a handheld scanner point cloud data by a global firm of 3D scanner manufacturers and retailers from the UK.


Figure 1- Input point cloud data (Isometric View)

A section of sewer pipe network and its connections (refer Figure 1 above) was modelled with the help of point cloud data from a hand-held scanner. A major challenge in the project was that the input point cloud data was provided without RGB values since the LiDAR survey was carried inside a pipe where there is no light.
SBL carried out the detailed mapping from the LiDAR point cloud data using “as is”, rule without generalizing or offsetting any feature. Cross section views were used to capture the data to the highest possible accuracy wherever changes occur in terms of shape and size.
Check out the images below which depict graphically the level of expertise and care that was taken by the team at SBL to execute the project.


Figure 2- Input point cloud and extracted pipes (Isometric View)


Figure 3 -Waste water Pipe network Surface model view


Figure 4 – Inside view of the waste water pipe


Figure 5 – Aspect angle view

This project marks another achievement by SBL in the LiDAR modelling domain. We are expecting to showcase few more such projects in our upcoming blogs.

BIM and LiDAR Team – SBL Knowledge Services Ltd.

Modelling of Road Assets using mobile point cloud data

Another feather in SBL’s cap. SBL was recently awarded a road asset mapping project from mobile point cloud data by a reputed firm of chartered land surveyors in the UK. The project area was mapping a stretch of the A937 highway passing through the town of Laurencekirk, Scotland, UK (see image below).

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Figure 1 – Project extents shown by highlighted blue and green lines

The length of road that was mapped was 2.3 kms and all road furniture (top and bottom of curbs, road edges, hedges and gates and walls etc.) markings (parking marks, bus stop marks etc) was captured to a high degree of accuracy. A major challenge in the project was that the input point cloud data was provided without RGB values since the mobile LiDAR survey was carried out at night.
SBL carried out the detailed mapping from the mobile point cloud data using “as is”, rule without generalizing or offsetting any feature. Cross section views at distances of less than 7m were used to capture the data to the highest possible accuracy. Check out the images below which depict graphically the level of expertise and care that was taken by the team at SBL to execute the project.

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Figure 2- Input point cloud data (Isometric View)

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Figure 3 – Profile view of the curb drawn with vertexes

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Figure 4 – Digitized top and bottom of curbs

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Figure 5 – Modelling of street markings

A significant achievement on this project was that SBL provided a “first time right” work with high levels of accuracy in a very short turnaround time of 4 working days. This was possible only because of the dedication and expertise of the LiDAR modelling team of SBL. We hope to come up with more such success stories in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Virtual Reality Trends

VR

In 2017-18 there will be more than 43 million VR users in the world making this a landmark period for VR software and hardware development. Release of newer and better headsets (probably more cost efficient) will be introduced in the market. A lot of big companies are yet to make their foray into this exciting new adventure and that is all set to change in the coming 3-4 years. Inputs of touch and smell which have so far been missing in the immersive experience will be a matter of research and breakthroughs – the actual growth is yet to be witnessed.

Synonymous with growth is investment and business opportunities. Google Daydream has already caught the eye of seasoned venture capitalists and as VR transforms from “good to use” to “essential to have” revenue focussed. New gaming engines will raise their heads to compete against the currently established Unity and Unreal engine probably created by some of the bigger players. Strategic alliances are on the cards with the software and hardware giants exploring options.

VR in social media, marketing, real estate, transport, urban planning, teaching, medicine……the list is endless and so are the possibilities that can be explored. Hollywood is looking at VR in a big way. Special effects and first hand story telling will present the case to be brought on virtually. Faster networks and much higher bandwidths and servers would be in the fore too to handle the terra bytes of data to be transferred and processed.

Post VR like stitching, stabilizing, Prep & Paint and Roto are vital to get a near perfect immersive experience and a lot of production companies prefer to outsource these functions so they can concentrate on their core function of VR Film production considering the number of cameras involved.

Creating a 3D Model of a warehouse using point cloud data

SBL has been making steady and sustained progress in developing its BIM services portfolio over the last couple of years. Our last blog post on our BIM services was nearly 4 months back (October 2016) when we showcased our capabilities to model railway assets using point cloud data acquired from mobile and terrestrial scanners. Since then our BIM and LiDAR teams have been quite busy in working on a variety of BIM and LiDAR projects and pilot samples. One such interesting work was from the UK where our BIM team was given a 3D point cloud data acquired using ZEB-REVO handheld scanner. The ZEB-REVO handheld scanner was used to acquire the internal details of a warehouse at nearly 37000 ppm². The acquired point cloud data had only elevation values and no RGB values. No reference photographs were provided.

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Figure 1 – Input point cloud data thematically represented by elevation data

The lack of RGB values in the input point cloud data and the absence of reference photographs poses a challenge to anyone desiring to model the individual features present in the data. SBL overcame this challenge due to the availability of highly skilled and experienced modellers who were fully conversant of the features expected to be found in a warehouse. The internal features of the warehouse was modelled with high accuracy using Aecosim Building designer software from Bentley. The 3D model of the warehouse was rendered to create realistic looking and highly accurate photo images of the warehouse. Multiple views of the rendered model are included below.

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Figure 2- Rendered output of the warehouse (view 1)

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Figure 3 – Rendered output of the warehouse (view 2)

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Figure 4 – Rendered output of the warehouse (view 3)

This 3D models was used by the architects of the warehouse to notice design issues or weaknesses in the structural integrity of the site and to predict failures such that preventive maintenance can be done to minimize damage. Architects and engineers can also manipulate 3D models in a way they often can’t with 2D CAD drawings. Professionals are able to test what-if scenarios with their designs in 3D, helping to validate their plans and identify any problems with design quality. In addition, these types of models can also give architects and engineers an accurate picture of how they can change their designs if they need to. Because of the accuracy and flexibility of 3D models, architects and engineers are able to spend less time on the design stage of their projects and more time on the actual completion of each task. Professionals are able to identify any issues ahead of time by using 3D modeling, saving them from having to rework schedules and increase budgets. 

With this project completed successfully, the SBL BIM – LiDAR team once more proves that it has the technical acumen and skills to overcome the toughest of challenges in completing projects in their domain of expertise.

Benefits of Offshoring VR Stitching, Prep, Roto

Virtual Reality also known by Immersive multimedia,computer simulated life, virtual environment is taking the world by storm. Virtual Reality can essentially be described as a replicated environment that is brought to life through the use of highly specific software and hardware in order to provide a completely immersive sensory experience. By focusing on human senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch as well as taste, the created environments give the users an illusion of having entered a completely new world. It is now impacting different spheres of life like Health care, Retail real-estate, education, military training etc.

virtual reality

Turning all of your footage into a 360 spherical stitch. There are challenges that come up during the course of filming like removing distortion leads, strengthening edges, arranging control points, and even though there are software available to do these there is certain amount of manual artistry and work involved which might be time consuming and monotonous. This allows Control to make decisions about where seams are located, their shape and width. Choosing to favor one image over another as an actor nears the edge of frame. Furthermore it allows for additional warping to counteract the effects of parallax, and the ability to control exposure, color and stabilization in a more direct way. Shots that may be impossible to stitch using automatic solutions will need to be done by hand, for example when combining to scenes that were not shot at the same time or even different locations.

Probably one of the chief reasons to consider outsourcing a project for any project, is obviously cost reduction. Third party employment is a significantly cheaper option than hiring one’s own team looking into the fact that these artists demand large pay packages based on their experience and qualifications.. However, this is not the only decisive factor. There are various other considerations that make this practice a beneficial one for VR Production Companies and Freelancers alike. These factors include but are not limited to:

Value for money – Shifting this provides your core production team to focus only on tasks of utmost importance while all the rest is taken off their plate and shifted externally.

Adaptability & Flexibility – Employees & Software would not need to be hired, all that headache is taken care of by the third-party, and allows you to be free of all emotional or practical boundaries of having employees. What’s more, if you remain unsatisfied with the work you can easily opt for someone else.

Talent & Expertise – The biggest benefit of offshore outsourcing is the expertise it provides. They can choose a partner specific to their requirement or ask for changes suiting their needs which a lot of smaller companies would be glad to accommodate. These offshore companies can offer you very competitive rates based on process engineering techniques related to location, resources , software and technical know-how.

Misc & Overhead Cost reduction – Employers don’t have to worry about hiring and then letting go employees after every project, nor do they have to pay for all development application licenses and hardware for every employee. The vendor is responsible for providing the materials necessary for their own teams hence relieving you of any and all team management issues.

How SBL VR can be a best fit as partner

SBL VR is amongst the pioneers to crack the VR post production using ‘CARA for Nuke’ pipeline having had the good fortune of having played a part in the Post stitch and Prep for Jaunt VR in the making of the widely acclaimed “Invisible” series”

vr-invisible

With collaboration with some of the leading production houses in Virtual Reality they are looking forward to expand their aura across the globe and provide the quality services to the emerging VR domain. These include :

  • Seamlessly stitched stereo or mono VR content from commercial or custom multi-camera rigs to create a seamless immersive environment
  • Correcting exposure and white balance differences between cameras to remove distracting visual disparities
  • Stabilize shots during or after stitching to produce a more comfortable, dynamic VR experience without compromising quality
  • An experienced team that can apply Compositing techniques including paint, Roto and tracking, directly on 360° footage
  • Assembly, stitching, color/stereo correction using the latest software including CARA

If you are convinced that outsourcing Virtual Reality development is the right direction for your business to take, feel free to go ahead and get in touch with SBL today

(http://vr.sblcorp.com/). Let’s get started!!

SBL VR cracks the Nuke-CARA pipeline with Jaunt VR in the making of “INVISIBLE” Series

SBL is immensely proud and honored at having been part of “Invisible” – a scripted supernatural drama series in VR and the first major use of this technology – we are thrilled that the widely acclaimed series is now drawing acclaims from experts and audience alike.

We undertook the post processing part of synchronization, stitching together, & finishing and provided the output to the production house and the results are there for all to see. Undoubtedly a lot of credit would go to our immensely talented and imaginative team but we were supported to a great extent by the fabulous CARA pipeline which really set the output quality up quite a few notches. Our impressive production facility and the Technological & Software support that we enjoy, has helped in becoming experts in creating realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional environment, created using interactive software and hardware.
vr-invisible

Having worked with different variations of camera rig, we understand what it needs to generate the kind of output you have in mind and which is cost effective. We come across many individual rigs varying in number and length and were required to sync them together for a smooth work flow. Initially we tried Autopane and experienced flexibility challenges. The point for tweaking and placement of the rig texture for additional cameras was the key problematic area with not much Prep control – so we tried it with Nuke-CARA which gave us control and user-friendly edit options to get the desired stitched quality and work stability for the paint/prep tasks to be implemented.

Groups of high end render farms made our process much stable to execute and save on production time. Burning of midnight oil was a regular feature through the project, but all the dedication, hard work and tenacity of the team paid off when the desired high standards of quality in output were delivered.

This is just the beginning and we look to much bigger achievements but as Virtual Reality goes, the sky is the limit and SBL VR is carving its niche in this rapidly developing space.

Watch “Invisible” episodes online on https://www.jauntvr.com/