This paper attempts to analyze the events of 9/11 from a SFX professional point of view based on 18 years of experience in storyboard analysis, real world Special effects preparation and film experience.
Based on the building blocks objects are made of and the analysis of the construction sequence generated and tested by the software assemble of the designed object can be planned, budgeted and executed.
Models of buildings etc, factory robots, ships, cars, etc., can be tested. A building can be put in different stress situations and tested to see if it withstands wind speeds, fire, earthquakes etc.
Based on the virtual construction and the design drawings as generated by the computer software demolitions can be planned and executed. As we will see this is already a compulsory part of the permit application in countries such as Australia and Canada since the 90s.
If you can design a building in a virtual environment show the building to the client, test for weaknesses, generate drawings and automate budgeting, etc, it goes without saying that this saves a huge amount of money and time.
If as I assert you can plan the lifecycle value, demolition and recycling of the building this means another huge economic gain.
Maya started life as three different programs: Wavefront's The Advanced Visualizer (in California), Thomson Digital Image (TDI) Explore (in France) and Alias' Power Animator (in Canada) and only emerged with the name Maya (Sanskrit for illusion) in 1998 but was known to all of us working in the film industry as the hottest most exiting development ever from as early as the late 80s.
My friend the programmer (Name available) was only a small part of the whole project but the premise of the program he was working on was simple: a generated object was at all times subject to the algorithmic limitations given. This was in 1990-92.
The algorithms were always based on the laws of physics and these could not be broken.
The program was used to imitate generation of smoke, fire, hair movement and just about anything that needed to move according to the laws of motion and physics.
Needless to say that it quickly became a module within the software structure of the ancestors of Maya. (1993)
And today while Jim Hourihan who was the man who did the development with the help of programmers such as my friend at the Computer collective received a Academy Awards® for Scientific and Technical Achievement (1996) for the genius of this program it is barely a glitch on the radar while it continues to be one of the most important parts of Maya and with it for anything to do with explosives animations or destructive sequences shown on film anywhere in the world.
A program which can model a building with all it's different materials and the different ways in which those materials will disintegrate in response to that explosive force. As it happens just such a program is available and even more handy it is a module integrated in Maya.
This is were it get's interesting and murky. So bear with me.
I found Blastcode when I was searching for professional demolition software for a post on my blog in response to the BBC hit piece about WTC7 which featured Demolition inc.'s Marc Loiseaux.
Blastcode is only mentioned as a module for Maya from 2009.
By the way if anybody would like to work for the company that owns Blastcode here is what you have to be able to do:
Blast Code is on the forefront of destruction technology. We look for highly motivated and team oriented individuals who possess initiative, creativity, and the ability to think outside the box. Candidates should be capable of engineering whatever is required to get the job done.
We are looking for people with skills in the following areas:
Anybody who has ever needed CAD (Computer aided drawing) has had to deal with Autodesk one way or another. Autodesk has a long history in the field of Computer graphics but is primarily recognised as a technical professional drawing program which evolved into a 3D program over time.
But not a lot of people know that Autodesk in fact opened a multimedia branch in order to cash in on the multimedia bandwagon.
Here I'm just going to do a little copying and pasting while attempting to explain the importance of NURBS because while I love using the tool as an artist this is were the underlying mathematics just get's over my head.
NURBS or Non-uniform rational B-spline is a mathematical model commonly used in computer graphics for generating and representing curves and surfaces which offers great flexibility and precision for handling both analytic and freeform shapes.
The development of NURBS began in the 1950s by engineers who were in need of a mathematically precise representation of freeform surfaces like those used for ship hulls, aerospace exterior surfaces, and car bodies, which could be exactly reproduced whenever technically needed. Prior representations of this kind of surface only existed as a single physical model created by a designer.
SAP2000 is generally accepted as the software to test building designs for structural integrity and it is currently in its 14th edition. It originally was only usable as a 2D package.
I don't know when 3D testing began to be implemented in the program and this needs researching.
SAP2000 is the file format in which NIST released its 3D models in 2007 under a FOIA request (I'm trying to get in touch with the requester) (more file formats available but not for this FOIA request) and it was this program which seems to have been used to show the alleged progressive collapse of the towers and the fires in WTC7.
According to NIST's website the institute with its Computer integrated building processes group established ISO standards for CAD software and the objects created with these programmes. This happened in 1998 and shows that 3D construction was already well on its way at the time and with that it is probably safe to assume that SAP2000 complied with these ISO standards. Which means that testing of virtual reality buildings based on real world physics and geometry was possible well before 9/11.
With an over the counter Blast Code released in early 2004 capable of taking advantage of NURB, mesh and Geometric information stating clearly that this was just a spinoff of the proprietary Demolition software advertised as capable of engineering full and real world based Demolition sequences (and therefore in existence before they released the spinoff), ISO standards for 3D library building for Computer integrated building as early as 1998 and a program such as SAP2000 available as early as 1970 and capable of doing 3D testing of steel framed building and in use by NIST for the animation of collapse sequences of the WTC buildings no less it begs the question as to why.
Claims they were doing the first computer planned demolition in as late as June 2007.
In fact it warranted a mention in the homeland security journal.
Submitted April 27, 1992