Work is a game for me, complete with turrets, trees and turbines.
Like Jodie Comer’s game designer character in the film Free Guy, I create the background characters and objects in Navec™, 3D Planeta’s massive whole-earth visualization platform.
Want a building on that landscape? I can design a bungalow or tudor style for you.
Need to better understand line-of-sight during rush hour? There’s a fleet of vehicles waiting for you to place on those roadways.
Thinking of installing a massive wind or solar farm? I’ve got the turbines and panels ready for you.
From my window seat in our Fredericton office, I watch the world go by – and imagine how to recreate what I see in Navec’s intelligence-rich simulated 3D world.
And what a world it is turning out to be.
My software engineering and development colleagues can now access images and data from low earth orbit (LEO) satellites, airplanes, unmanned aerial vehicles, street-view images and close to 900 earth observation satellites to build an enhanced bird’s eye view of any place on earth in real 3D, using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.
I work alongside them, creating 3D objects and vegetation to enhance the visualization and give clients a view of what could be.
That’s what gets me excited about creating in 3D; seeing things come to life on the screen, while also putting my own creative twist to it.
It’s a fun and highly creative way to work, fusing art and engineering to create a digital world clients can manipulate and explore, all with an eye to building back better, whether it’s recovering from an emergency, or envisioning new industries and ways of working.
I’m building a career that no one could have envisioned a decade ago, least of all me. I’ve always loved art and video games. However, in high school my dream of becoming a digital artist faded because I was told I couldn’t make a living at either so I went to university to study business.
At the end of the four-year program I was lost, but I’d never lost my interest in art. With my partner’s encouragement, I enrolled in the Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) portfolio building course and got to work. I practised photography, graphic design and 3D design.
This was more like it, and I went straight into NSCC’s game development program, which led me to an internship at CFB Gagetown with Tom Batty at the Canadian Army’s Army Learning Support Centre (ALSC) and then to 3D Planeta.
Now, when I explore the real world, I’m always thinking about how to render it in 3D. I can really geek out on it, I’m completely obsessed with how 3D works. I’m always looking at shapes and objects and thinking about its design, deconstructing it in my head so I can then hop on my computer and build it in a 3D space so it not only looks good, it functions just as it would in the real world.
And don’t even try to play a video game with me; I promise I’ll just slow you down because I love to explore every element of these massive worlds. I study the shadows, background images and small moving parts – anything that enhances the realism of our visualization platform.
It’s all in service to building Navec’s 3D world so our clients can decide how to build back better in the real world.