The Awards Finale – highlights

This is an outline of what took place at the Awards Finale in the Letchworth Arts Centre on Sunday 25 November 2012. The focus was on the awards to our five winners: David Booth, James Cooper, Jenny Heaton, Matthew Heaton and Selina Yip.

You are welcome to add comments. John Webb, Organiser of the 3D_lgc Competition to “Put Letchworth on the 3D Map”.

Frankie Oliver of Invite Creative Events Management ran the event efficiently and without fuss. Invite Creative is a Learning Company of the North Hertfordshire College, so this was an opportunity for a student crew to increase their experience in an actual event.

Before starting at 2:30, we saw a rolling show of the 3D entries in the setting of Google Earth for Letchworth. That had the effect of swooping onto each building in turn, rotating around it, before moving on to the next 3D model.

Our compere was Lee Boswell, our Town Centre Manager from the Letchworth Town Centre Partnership / LoveLetchworth.com. Lee guided us through the celebration with good humour and a keen interest in everyone’s contributions and in the potentials of 3D modelling. He opened by thanking everyone who contributed to this project’s success; the sponsors, competitors, project team and supporters.

Matthew Heaton, one of the entrants, showed us how to use Trimble SketchUp, a free 3D digital modelling tool, to create 3D models in the context of Google Earth. Then each competitor talked us through their set of models in turn. What came over was how much each had learned in order to produce 3D models that the judges said were not easy to distinguish from professional work. Rather than start with simple structures, the competitors tackled some of the most complex structures to be found in this town, and their technical skill was recognised on this occasion.

In a short break, we gathered the results of a Quiz to identify 10 of the modelled building “from the ground up”, using an outline view from below. Many quiz sheets were correct, so we awarded the token prize by picking one at random.

It was now time for our prize-giving. Frankie Oliver presented James Cooper with the Project Team’s award for a Young Learner for his 3D models of the iconic Broadway Fountains and the UK’s First Roundabout. Peter Willcox of the Transition Town Letchworth group presented a cash prize of £25 to David Booth for his model of Mrs Howard Hall, for its handling of the building’s complexity and reminding us of its ecological qualities. The Letchworth Garden City Society’s prize of £50 was presented by Allan Lupton to Matthew Heaton for his model of another complex, iconic building: The Settlement. A building that was rated the most complex of all was recognised next for graphical skill: David Booth’s model of The Cloisters. The prize was the DrawPlus X5 graphics software from Serif (Europe) Ltd. Councillor David Levett of North Hertfordshire District Council presented the prize on the sponsoring company’s behalf. David’s Book and Music Shops awarded a voucher for £30 to Selina Yip for her 3D model of the Broadway Walk block of shops and flats. David Walker of the Letchworth Arts Centre presented this prize on behalf of the sponsor. Chris Jackson, proprietor of Siegeworks was also unavailable so Alastair Stewart of the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation presented the prize for graphical skills of a custom printed T-shirt to Matthew Heaton for his model of St George’s Church. Brian Norman of Earthworks/The Technology Studio and Kate Davies of Harmony Internet co-funded the principal prize of a Google Nexus 7 tablet PC by Asus, with 32MB memory. They presented it jointly for visual impact to Jenny Heaton for her exquisite 3D model of Letchworth Garden City’s Railway Station.

Lee and the whole gathering congratulated all our prizewinners and other modellers for “Putting Letchworth on the 3D Map” with some 26 models – increasing soon to 36 or so – from just two 3D models at the start of this project.

After the awards, some supporters stepped up to address us on their topics: Brian Norman to congratulate the organiser, Paul Zukowskyj of the University of Hertforsdshire on mobile 3D apps and Helen Hofton of the Pirton Knitters with Pirton Local History Group. She showed us a selection of the amazing knitted 3D models of notable buildings in the vilage.

At the end of the formal session, we had refreshments kindly provided by the Cafe service of the Letchworth Arts Centre while we mingled and visited the various Sponsors’ & supporters exhibits: Onvert for Augmented Reality, demonstrated by Kate Davies of Harmony Internet; 3D for Archiectural Bids by Raj Lall of Visualisingh; Use of 3D Digital Modelling for garden design & sculpture by Mike Tanti Design and Vision for a Low Carbon Letchworth by Peter Willcox of Transition Town Letchworth.

Meanwhile the keen youngsters taking part exercised the Flight Simulator feature of Google Earth by piloting over and amongst all of our 3D models while screening the sometimes startling view from the light aircraft’s cockpit!

A thoroughly good time was had by all.

What about this project’s legacy? That will be considered in our Sponsors’ Evaluation* session on Friday 30 November, which will close the project. We hope is that in response to our publicity and results, the “crowd sourcing” will be continued by members of the public and businesses using the free SketchUp software to “Put (more of) Letchworth on the 3D Map”!

*Sponsors’ Evaluation: the end-of-project review and look ahead for our sponsors, project team and advisers. From 11:00 to 12:00 or so in The Community Hub, 43 Station Road, Letchworth SG6 3WA, followed by a project-end lunch in JD Wetherspoon’s / The Three Magnets in Leys Avenue. The seating will be limited, so please let us know if you wish to take part.

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