A virtual reality architectural tool #MadeWithBolt

Diverse Skills, Sci‑Fi & Free Time

Carlos Diosdado is a 30 year old, self-proclaimed "madman" from Monterrey, Mexico. Obsessed with the idea of reshaping how we interface with the world, Carlos has been driven by his love for science fiction. Some of Carlos' other eclectic interests include, drawing, cinematography, history, photography and... unaffordable furniture.

Despite Carlos' interested in coding and technology, he opted for a career in architecture, never really considering technology to be a viable career in his hometown. Little did he know the technology industry would end up growing phenomenally while the architecture industry stagnated after the 2008 economic debacle. Fortunately, self-learning has allowed Carlos to collect a diverse range of skills allowing him to expand beyond his field.

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Hyper_Sketch lets you build around you with a set of tools

The motivating factor for a fresh start was, as Carlos puts it, "Unemployment, of course!". Carlos had originally teamed up with a friend to start an architectural design firm. After 3 years of struggling, they decided to close up shop and go their separate ways. With some cash and a lot of free time, Carlos spent his time reading tech news and science fiction books like Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov, Gibson, Neal Stephenson. This was around mid-late 2015 when people were hyping up VR with the DK2 and things were getting prepared for a consumer launch, and Magic Leap was making news with their astronomical funding rounds and vague statements. It was clear to Carlos that a paradigm shift was coming, and he wanted to be a part of it.

If there's a time to get in, now would be it.

"Everyone is learning on the way, so if there's a time to get in, now would be it!" This mentality pushed Carlos forward despite his apprehensions, he dusted off his 3D modelling skills and got his hands dirty with Unity and coding. After about a year of freelancing some architectural visualization projects he finally felt confident enough with the software and hardware and —more importantly— appeared confident enough for people to give him some seeding funds and set up his studio, Hyper_Tectonics, in mid 2017. They are now a small team of multi-taskers devoted to working on VR projects.

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Cut sections through miniatures of the model

Get in there.

The project that Carlos' company is developing is an application for designing architectural spaces inside VR.

"There's a lot of different VR modeling programs that have come out, but they all seem focused on sculpting objects in front of you with your hands, rotating them and scaling them constantly. None of them are conceived with the idea of designing very large architectural spaces around you, creating shapes at long distances and with dimensional precision, and of course having all sorts of useful tools specific to the design of spaces like area and volume measurements, levels, section and orthographic views, lighting, or preset architectural materials." Carlos explaining Hyper_Sketch.

When asked, what inspired the project, Carlos mentions the fact that it is every architect's fantasy to build worlds around you with great ease as if by magic. Walls rising and falling around you with simple gestures of the hand. The Architect could compose his environment the way a maestro would conduct a symphony.

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Take accurate measurements
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Aim somewhere...
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... and you are there!

I've done things in Bolt in a day that would have probably taken me a week or more to code

"It's not that we needed a visual scripting solution, but I did have experience with visual scripting for other fields (with Rhino's Grasshopper, which is used for designing those crazy complex buildings that you see in magazines) and being a visually oriented person, simply have always liked the idea of coding visually. The information density is just so much higher, certain relationships are made clearer, and you don't have to bother with syntax issues which is a horrible stumbling block when learning a new coding language." Carlos articulating how Bolt has enabled him.

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Goofing around is a core feature.

"We can prototype much, much faster. I've done things in Bolt in a day that would have probably taken me a week or more to code, because it allows me to forget about the syntax, type mis-matches, and constantly digging in the Unity / C# documentation and simply drop and connect nodes. The fuzzy finder lets me discover methods that I would otherwise miss in the documentation in a smooth, seamless, contextual manner. This has also accelerated not just my prototyping speed but also my learning of C#. And now having the capacity to edit the logic live is truly incredible!

Bolt's code integration is also one of the major reasons why I picked it over others. The ability to just suck in all your project's code base and make it available as nodes automatically is fantastic. Other solutions that require custom-developed integrations for third-party tools would just not be viable for us, it's just not a good idea to be tied up waiting for someone else to maybe hopefully develop an integration you need, and then keep it up to date. With Bolt that's not really a problem. It also lets us separate our work better while being more flexible. Coders can focus on frameworks and tools in C# and then bring them into Bolt so designers and artists can have some fun with higher-level logic."

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Draw notes and mark revisions

Bolt is awesome! I wonder if in the future, Bolt itself will be usable from within VR. Bring live editing to a whole other level. A man can dream, yes?

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Watch The Matrix, in a virtual world. How META can you get?