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We like to introduce Steve Horton to you today. He is with CDM and he had a first look at infiniMap Pro.

Steve,
you are working for an award winning international consulting, engineering, construction, and operations firm, CDM. Did you start there directly after your education?

No I had worked for about 10 years at a few other engineering companies before I came to work here. I have been working here for almost 20 years now. It is a great company to work for!

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Can you tell us a little about CDM, it's success and the team?

CDM has over 3600 employees world wide working on water and wastewater plants, environmental projects and design/build projects. We pretty much do everything! Most of the 3D work I do is for the marketing department.

What kind of projects are you involved in?

It is fairly varied as far as engineering projects go. I have worked on water and wastewater plants, landfills, detailed models for desalination plants, fly overs of pipeline routes, river inlet structures, things like that.

infiniMap as a lifesaver

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When did you start working with LightWave 3D and why? LightWave 3D in not a typical engineering software as far as I know....

I have been using it for 6 or 7 years. I became interested in Lightwave and 3D after attending a seminar by Joe Conte at the local college. He spoke passionately about 3D and the possibilties of using it in all different kinds of business. At that time my main job was using Acad for 2D drawings.
Little by little as I learned Lightwave I began to use it more in my everyday work.

How did you find out about infiniMap?

I read about the lite version at CGTalk. At the time I was doing a public presentation showing how a large creek flowing through a large Midwestern US city could flood during a big storm event. I had been trying to map 26 high resolution satellite photos to a ground surface.

Total size of all the images was roughly 2.3 gigs and over 1.4 million polygons! As you can imagine  LightWave 3D (and my computer) was choking on this much image data. Time was running out and I had zero possibility of completing the animation on time. Just in the nick of time I heard about InfiniMap LE and it was a life saver!

Structures and roads - visualizing the future

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As far as I know you are using infiniMap from db&w GbR for your daily work. What does infiniMap do for you? Do you do flyovers? Which kind of geodata (resolution) do you use with infinMap?

I now useinfiniMap Pro anytime I am mapping large images to a surface. It is such a ram saver during rendering that I can't image going back to the old way of mapping images. It is very flexible in that you can use it as a shader or as a procedural and even lets you make a low resolution proxy surface/image so you can see things in open GL. It's so great when a plug in actually works just like it's advertised! Typical images I use are 5604 x 5652 - 90 megs or so each. Some scenes have as many as 50 of these images and infiniMap Pro handles it with no problems. Render times are blazingly fast as well - an added benefit of Mike's optimized coding!

Shots from a helicopter

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I know you are in contact with Michael Wolf our head of development and partner at db&w. Are you satisfied with the level of support you receive?

Mike has been wonderfully responsive. He had a clear vision of what the plug in could do and what it would be used for. He was very open though to suggestions and requests on what the beta testers needed. He's a genius as far as programming goes! (Mike you now owe me SEVERAL beers!) ;-)

Well, a genius, I think we still try our best...But the beers will be o.k. anyway.:-)

...and the technology inside

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Mike is working on the professional version of infiniMap, do you have some special feature requests following your experiences with infiniMap?

InfiniMap Pro is pretty much perfect for what I use it for now. With the new feature coming in LightWave 9 called APS or Adaptive Pixel Subdivision system you can now have as much geometry as you want for terrains - couple that with infiniMap Pro letting you have pretty much unlimited image mapping - and I can see great things ahead for Lightwave users!

Thank you very much for your time.

Sure no problem Dagmar - it is a truely great product!

And once more thanks to the management of CDM, to allow us to do this interview.