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Designing CCTV using 3D


Security Institute logoI must start with an apology for the long gap between blog posts. June simply flew by and much of it was spent writing, just not here! I was writing for a presentation I was invited to give at a seminar on 17th June sponsored by The Security Institute as part of their CPD programme (for those sporting a quizzical expression – Continuing Professional Development). It’s important for me to thank Nicky Stokes, MD of ISD Tech Ltd., who invited me to participate and his team who put a lot of work into hosting the event at Dunsfold Aerodrome which is where they film the astoundingly popular Top Gear television programme.

The ISD Tech team at Dunsfold (Photograph © Simon Lambert. All rights reserved)

The subject that I was asked to speak on was my work as an independent CCTV consultant using 3D graphics technology to design CCTV and security systems. This is something that I’ve actively pioneering since 2000. At that time the software was expensive and had a long learning curve, even for a techie type like me. My message to the audience in 2010 is that there is a great array of free software that slowly, slowly others are beginning to use in the security and CCTV industries.

To summarize what I told them: freely available 3D modelling applications include:
Google Sketchup
trueSpace 7.6
Second Life (virtual world)
Unity (video gaming engine)

A package that I intend to trial one day is CCTV Cad which is specifically designed for use in the CCTV industry. However, it comes at a significant price so warrants closer evaluation.

So, why would anyone bother using 3D CGI (Computer Generated Images) in CCTV?
My experience has shown:
– 2D is often vitally misleading. 3D shows the reality.
– A picture replaces 1000 words, and everyone understands.
– CCTV designer, installer and their customer’s confidence is high.
– The costs of fixing failed expectations are kept to a minimum.
– 3D software tools are getting cheaper and more amazing every year.
– Even in 2010 the “wow” factor with 3D is still undeniable.

If you’d like to read more here is a copy of an article that I wrote for ‘CCTV Image’ and ‘CCTV Focus’ magazines explaining the real benefits of using 3D in CCTV design.

Until next time; stay focused.

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