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TurboCAD: A Gateway to Opportunity

By Donald Cheke,
Textual Creations

July 13, 2004

In February of this year I wrote an article for CADdigest about my creative adventures with TurboCAD. In that article I mentioned that I had just received the latest professional version of TurboCAD as a belated Christmas present. Since that gift has been a gift that has kept on giving I thought I would share some of the experiences that I have experienced with TurboCAD V9.5 Pro, TurboCAD V10.1 Pro and TurboCAD in general.

Finding much satisfaction with TurboCAD V8 Designer and then TurboCAD V8 Standard, I was stunned by the artistic levels that I was able to achieve with TurboCAD Pro. Aside from the abundant tools that accompany the Professional version, it also comes complete with materials and luminance editing functions which allow any TurboCAD drawing to become a masterpiece.

Since February several opportunities have presented themselves which I feel very fortunate to have been part of. These opportunities would never have presented themselves if I had not discovered and already begun my technological relationship with TurboCAD.

A published writer

The first opportunity, and here one could easily substitute the word dream, that came to fruition was becoming a published writer. Over the years I had written much with little or no interest from any organization that had the facilities to make my writing available to a larger audience. TurboCAD spearheads the realization of that endeavor. Without my connection to TurboCAD I would never have begun writing tutorials and articles related to the program. Although I was placing my tutorials on my website for the benefit of others I never really considered that as being published since I was doing it myself at my own cost. To me, being published means that someone else finds a particular interest in your work and publishes that work on your behalf through their own medium. One day I noticed that my tutorials were being linked to from CADdigest, a website dedicated to the world of Computer Assisted Design. I emailed CADdigest to say thank you and I began a correspondence with the website's editor. He said that he was pleased to be able to link to my tutorials and said that he would gladly publish anything (tutorials, reviews or articles) that I would care to write. I explained to him that I was sure I could write a few more tutorials, which I would continue to post, and I could possibly write one article that may or may not meet with their mission statement, since it was more along the humanities line and not necessarily CAD-related. I elaborated that it would be about how TurboCAD had become a great creative find. TurboCAD: Enhancing Creative Expression was the result of that conversation.

This article continues that opportunity, that dream of being published. Sometime after February, Pete Machin of MediaGold in the United Kingdom (the European re-publisher of TurboCAD - name now changed to Avanquest) posted a message on the TurboCAD User Conference Forum.

A published illustrator

Mr. Machin asked if anyone would like to become famous. He was looking for TurboCAD images that could be used on the new TurboCAD V10 boxes that were due to be released in April of 2004. Having spent considerable time using TurboCAD V8.2 Standard I had accumulated a gallery of images that I was quite proud of. I emailed him and said that I found the idea of being famous quite interesting. I directed him to my TurboCAD V8.2 Gallery page on my website and said that if he saw anything that interested him I would be more than happy to accommodate him in anyway I could. To my great surprise I was published again. For the TurboCAD V10 Standard box MediaGold chose my Mapped Compass illustration for the front of the box and for the image on their TurboCAD web page. They also chose my Biplane image for the sides of the same box and my Calipers image and Desk detail image for the back of the box. To further the excitement, my name and website address were added to the back of the box as a form of recognition. I think I danced in my office on the day Mr. Machin sent a PDF file containing the near-final box layout images for me to give feedback on.

As a form of thank you for the images I supplied MediaGold is sending me complimentary copies of TurboCAD V10 Standard and V10 Pro. I plan on revisiting my V8.2 tutorials with the new V10 Standard version to see if they are compatible. If so I will update my V8 web page to include the use of V10 Standard. I also plan on continuing to experience V10 Pro and hope to present a few tutorials on my new TurboCAD V10 web page. I have been using the downloaded trial version of TurboCAD V10 Pro for about two weeks now and have come to realize what a masterpiece this new version is. Many of its tools have been revamped and a few new ones have been added. One of the wonders they have incorporated with the newest V10 patch is the ability to use Image Based Lighting, a function never seen in any previous version. This alone gives an artist using TurboCAD a color palette like no other ever experienced. In the future IMSI will be hard pressed to outdo themselves on new releases.

Making models

As if the above was not enough to make me feel as though I had died and gone to heaven I received an email from the United States in May. The email was from business owner Tom O'Byrne of O'Byrne Distribution Centers, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mr. O'Byrne's business enterprise entails supplying warehouse equipment and setting up warehouses for customers in need of such facilities. To help prospective customers visualize their warehouse needs, Mr. O'Byrne decided that it would be helpful to take his customers on virtual tours of the warehouses in question. Having just purchased TurboCAD Designer, and FloorPlan which is packaged with it, he began looking for help to learn how to use these programs. On his internet search he came upon my website and in particular my TurboCAD V9.5 gallery. He was impressed by the warehouse images I had created at an earlier time and decided to contact me.

In his email he asked if I had any readily available warehouse models that he could purchase outright, and if not, whether I might consider creating some for him with TurboCAD. I was quite surprised and delighted by the email and the prospect of extra income, but a little nervous to say the least. I replied right away that I did not have a supply of models but I would consider creating and providing them for him. To see if this was feasible for both of us I suggested an experiment that I would perform at no cost. I asked him to send a photo and some dimensions for some of the equipment in question and I would give them a try, all the while keeping track of the time involved. I thought that the experiment would confirm if it was something that I was interested in pursuing and could actually manage, and it would give Mr. O'Byrne an idea of the cost involved since there was no way I could estimate such an project. I found the project to my liking and Mr. O'Byrne liked the rate I came up with. He immediately sent a retainer check and I began to create warehouse models. With TurboCAD I created several versions of pallets with boxed goods, warehouse racking, pushback racks, a pallet jack, and a fork lift. I then saved the TurboCAD files as 3DS files which he could then import into FloorPlan. I emailed a total of 92 models. To tie it all together I even created a few tutorials for him to use when setting up FloorPlan to ease in the learning curve which he had embarked on. Although I have supplied all that is required to date I hope that we may have the opportunity of working together in the future.

A virtual art gallery

Just prior to writing this article I had the pleasure of realizing another of my long desired dreams. For many years I have dreamt of presenting my creative endeavors at our local city art gallery.

Although this has never come to pass, due to the fact that in my insecurity I have never even approached them, something much better has presented itself. As I mentioned in TurboCAD: Enhancing Creative Expression, having my website galleries has been a wonderful experience but until very recently I never realized how powerful an experience it was going to become. Since I began using TurboCAD V9.5 Pro I have been producing images like a madman. Image after image has turned out just as visualized, sometimes even a bit better with the magic of the TurboCAD materials editor. I have been ecstatic with the results and have had great fun sharing them with my family and the wonderful crew that frequents the TurboCAD User Conference Forum.

I was struck with the idea that I could create my own art gallery of sorts. I could create my own brick and glass building with TurboCAD to display many of my earlier treasures and many of my newly created TurboCAD pieces. I could create any design and I could include virtually anything that I wanted. Using TurboCAD, the task at hand was quite easy and I completed my gallery in about four evenings. The gallery exceeded my expectations and I posted eight separate images of it on my web page.

As I often do I emailed the eight images to one of my family members who responded with her usual encouraging and welcome comments. One of her comments, however, set me to thinking. She said, "Wouldn't that be great if your work made it into a real art gallery?" I knew right then and there that it was no longer necessary to achieve that dream. I already had, by far, exceeded what could have come from presenting in a place such as our city art gallery. I already have almost four thousand visitors a month to my website galleries and there is no one that will be changing the exhibits unless it is of my choosing. How could it possibly get better than that? Because of my connection with TurboCAD and the way which I utilize the program, all these visitors not only see my CAD images they are also exposed to my pencil drawings, my sculptures, my writing, my poetry, and even my dreams and ambitions. I truly believe that my artistic life is as complete as can be at this time and who knows what the future will hold?

About the Author

Donald (Don) B. Cheke operates a small data management business in Saskatoon, SK Canada, where he lives with his wife and daughter. In his personal search to better understand the human condition he has spent a great deal of time researching and writing about his discoveries. His search has been augmented by exploration into the creative realm through various mediums - TurboCAD being the most recent.

To see some of his creations, including TurboCAD tutorials and drawings, please visit www.textualcreations.ca.

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