Faking the Moon Landing

Is it Fake? Isn’t it? There is something mysterious about the flag waving in the wind in a place where there is no atmosphere….

But, surely, we can all agree that in the time before even mainstream colour television, we did not hold the knowledge of technology to fake a moon landing that still looks believable in this day and age?

But in 2019, we do. Our team had fun this month creating a fake moon landing and adding our famous leather chair, recreated in steel. It even features a little Neil Armstrong giving you a wave outside of the Apollo 11. Featured on the front cover of August’s issue of Furniture News.

We have shown off a lot of our skills with our room set and product images, so we thought it was about time to show off what we are really capable of, and have a little fun and creativity at the same time. At Orbital we love a challenge, and no idea is out of reach for our Unreal Creatives.

The inspiration behind this project was the idea that with Orbital, virtually, anything really is possible. We wanted to commemorate the developments in technology that the trip to the lunar surface afforded humanity. We were thinking about how far technology has come, and where it is going. We also love the idea that the desperate deadline to land on the moon opened up the minds of people, globally, that if we work hard and think outside of the box, we can achieve things that we hadn’t even considered to be possible.

This creation is to project the idea that with Orbital, Virtually, anything really is possible. Everything is not always as it seems…

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A Shiny New Website For Iain James Furniture

If you have been following our social media (we know you have. We like you.), then you may have seen that we have just completed a brand spanking new website for our neighbour, who needs no introduction, Iain James Furniture.

Iain James originally had a rather small website for the amount of amazing traditional cabinetry that they offer. The problem was that they weren’t showing off their products in the most user-friendly manner, and they weren’t ranking highly on Google. So, they called in the big guns.

Our web geniuses revamped the whole website. We created a whole new look for each page and added all the necessary information that any visitor would need to give Iain James a visit to buy a stunning piece. Each product was renamed to a more customer friendly version to make sure each range was memorable to the all-important end-user. We made the site easy to navigate, and gave it added bonuses like the History page, which we thought was vital for such an iconic manufacturer. We then made sure the site was fully adaptable for any device.

Nestled within this new, modern, user-friendly site was keywords. Lots of keywords. Heavily researched keywords, aligning with Iain James’ exact target audience habits and competitors. This means that the site will only go up and up in Google’s ranking system and will drive more and more traffic to each page.

We are proud of our work and, so it seems, is Iain James. They made sure to spread the word online with these lovely comments:

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The Exchange: How the ‘Hub of the Furniture Industry’ is being realised

The Exchange isn’t just our studio space. It is a hub for the furniture industry. Which is exactly what was in mind during its creation. Based in the heart of the UK centre of Upholstery, the vision of the great, late, Matt O’Flynn, was to create a centre where industry professionals were constantly wandering the converted lace mills, opposite the infamous Harrington Mills. Easily accessible for furniture makers and suppliers across the UK. And we saw the latest example of this vision last week.

 

The Exchange was host to Sofa Workshop's annual sales meeting, with manufacturers visiting our studio throughout the week to deliver potential pieces to be shown in the Sofa Workshop showrooms across the UK. Staying for a coffee and a chat as always.

 

The Sofa Workshop team were here throughout the day, wandering through the dressed sofas, chairs, chaises and footstools made by some of the best UK manufacturers. Discussing the potential throughout the afternoon, only stopping for the (probably too large as usual) lunch served at midday.

 

There was method to the meeting, Sofa Workshop, as one of our largest clients, wanted their new pieces to be photographed and measured, ready for our Unreal Creatives to get them recreated in 3D as soon as the new ranges were decided upon. Having CGI fully integrated into their strategy means huge time and costs saved when it comes to new product launches. And, if we do say so ourselves, we are a great choice of agency…

 

We invite every new client to the studio to see how we work before taking on their project if possible. Learning how each other works and how we can integrate both working methods is the best way to develop a smooth process. We also just like having a natter over a coffee with new faces.

 

Edit: as I finish writing this post (with Rock the Casbah playing over the studio speakers), another client is leaving from his first visit to the studio, which lasted longer than he expected, mostly because the coffee is so good, and the doorbell rings again. Another hour, another visitor. An ode to the hub that The Exchange was built to be. Fabrics in and out, furniture deliveries and collections, business meetings and friendly visits. It’s a warm feeling to see this special vision come to life.

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Celebrating 50 Years: 5 Facts You Didn't Know About the Moon Landing

This month is the 50th anniversary of the infamous Moon Landing. Here at Orbital, we are taking the opportunity to look back at how far technology has come, and where it is taking us next.

 

To kick off the celebrations, we have 5 facts that we bet you didn’t know about man’s first steps in space.

1. The first drink consumed on the moon was wine

Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin actually remembers his first drink on the moon being wine, and the way it “curled” up the side of his cup gracefully. As he told Guideposts, “In the radio blackout I opened the little plastic packages which contained bread and wine.” He had wanted to televise the moment to share with the world, but apparently NASA wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea. Madalyn Murray O'Hair had previously protested the reading of Genesis by Apollo 8, so the idea that the second man to step onto the moon would perform a religious act may have been a bit much in that climate.

 

 

So, Aldrin drank his wine privately. We think Wine is the perfect way to commemorate such a long journey. Let’s just hope Neil Armstrong was the designated driver.

2. Armstrong carried with him a piece of wood from Wright brothers' aeroplane

The first recorded flight was achieved by the Wright Brothers in 1903, 66 years before the Apollo 11 lunar mission. Neil Armstrong chose to take with him fragments of wood from the pioneering Wright plane along with a piece of fabric from the plane in the hopes that the lunar mission would be just as iconic in its success.

3. The astronauts declared "moon rock and moon dust samples" to customs when they returned to Earth

In 2015, Buzz Aldrin tweeted a picture of his "travel voucher" outlining the list of expenses from his trip to space, just like somebody would for a family holiday. He then revealed that the astronauts had to sign customs forms on their return to Earth, where they were required to declare the "moon rock and moon dust samples" they were carrying.

4. The astronauts landed with only 25 seconds of fuel to spare

During the planning of the Apollo 11 mission, a site on the Moon was picked as the landing site that was thought to be safe and flat. But while the Apollo was descending, Aldrin and Armstrong realised the site was covered in boulders and knew it would be dangerous to attempt the planned landing. So, Armstrong began to manually navigate the probe; skimming over the risky site, a decision which meantmore fuel would be consumed while finding a new location. The probe had a fuel limit which would make the mission automatically abort if reached. The probe landed just 25 seconds before reaching its limit. If the probe had landed 25 seconds later than it did, the probe would automatically reverse back into the moon’s orbit, to head back to Earth, and no man would have stepped on the moon’s surface.

5. The Apollo Mission required the work of over 400,000 engineers, technicians and scientists

Many of these people had never worked in the aerospace industry, and none had worked before on machines designed to transport humans to another world. Overnight, as their companies won Apollo contracts, their day jobssuddenly took on a greater purpose. Achieving technicalmiracles, an accomplishment which, if achieved, would transcend nationhood. Such global unity was something that no peacemaker, politician or prophet had ever quite achieved. But 400,000 engineers with a promise to keep to a president managed it.

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Designing in a Virtual World

Forget starting your new design with a pen and paper, new virtual reality (VR) technology boasts the ability to see and walk around a 3D sketch of your new product at the very first stages of the design process.

 

Using new headset technologies, it is now possible to conjure 3D shapes out of thin air, using a ‘virtual pen’, and share the life-like design with clients and colleagues around the world, in real time.

 

While a similar process is already available, where companies are cutting time and money by sending prototype sketches to 3D agencies (like us) to create and edit their new products without building a single piece, the whole process is looking to become more accessible over the next few years. For those who have the budget, that is. VR is finally beginning to fulfil its potential for business.

 

"You can walk around your sketches so you can see how your lines work in a 3D environment, and move freely in a room, explains Jan Pflueger , augmented and virtual reality co-ordinator for German car firm Audi.

 

In the past, the technology - hardware, software, connectivity - simply wasn't up to the job.

 

"Designers didn't like using headsets because the image resolution was too low," says Mr Pflueger.

 

As well as low resolution images, the headsets were bulky and full of wires making them uncomfortable and impractical. But now, with advancing technologies and internet speeds VR is becoming more like reality every day.

 

Looking at the big players ahead of the game, Audi is working with Finnish start-up Varjo, “which has recently starting selling a high-end (€5,995; £5,170) headset boasting ‘human eye resolution’ using a technique called ‘foveated rendering’. It uses eye-tracking technology to tell which part of the image you're focusing on, then concentrates its processing power on that section to render it in high definition.”

 

With the images being high resolution, it means that designers can see necessary modifications and make changes before any expensive physical prototypes have been made speeding up the design process at a very early stage. Not only can you share the designs with colleagues, but also clients. The efficiency of the process is heightened by adding input from the end-user at the very beginning. Pretty cool if you ask us.

 

The possibilities this opens is endless, with customers being able to walk round a show home or car showroom, and tailored designs available to edit in real-time, taking away lengthy waiting times on decision making and removing the hesitation from the buying process. Giving the interchangeable choice of colour schemes, flooring and carpet choices, kitchen options and on. But such high-quality graphics require a lot of processing power, so most high-end headsets have to be "tethered" to a powerful computer. But not for long.

 

A big breakthrough will be to offer near human-eye resolution VR without the need for any cables. And this is where high-speed 5G connections will have a big impact. With streaming speeds 10 to 20 times faster than existing connections, the high-res images will be sent to the headsets wirelessly.

 

Looking into our Orbital crystal ball, we can see that design processes will be completely transformed over the next five to ten years as VR technology becomes more accessible. But if you’re not quite ready to take into account this type of spending, take the first step and see how we can revolutionise your marketing materials, with the use of 3D.

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