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Construction Teams Build Designs to Beat the Clock, Win Prizes

Last Updated: August 17, 2005 3:57 pm GMT
(SAN RAFAEL, Calif., August 17, 2005) From Robin Hood’s house to Parisian pied-à-terre,  software from Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq : ADSK) helps users realize their ideas by bringing to life new, outrageous home makeovers on Discovery Channel’s “Monster House.”

In its fourth season of wildly creative construction, the show’s behind-the-scenes designers invent fresh challenges for contestants – and develop those concepts into architectural drawings and plans using AutoCAD 2006, the world’s leading customizable and extendable software for drafting, detailing and design. With the help of Autodesk, a sponsor of the series, projects are explained to viewers and show contestants with AutoCAD drawings and Autodesk 3ds Max animation software. The “Monster House” builders scramble to make these drawings into real structures in five days or less – then take home prizes including AutoCAD 2006 software.

Each week, “Monster House” dares professional builders to test their construction and collaboration skills by raising a structure they’ve never seen before, with a team they’ve never met – between Monday morning and midnight, Friday. And it’s no easy feat for the show’s design crew to dream up astounding abodes, and then transform those ideas into feasible plans. Jinnie Choi is assistant art director at Original Productions, the producers of “Monster House.” Choi depends on AutoCAD 2006 to make the most of the two or three weeks she has per project to measure the house to be modified, model and refine plans with the production crew, submit plans and architectural drawings for construction permits and produce sketches to scale for show contestants. Visitors to http://www.autodesk.com/monsterhouse can view these designs and see firsthand how the show uses Autodesk solutions to realize ideas.

“Less time spent drafting means more time solving the challenges that come up on these once-in-a-lifetime projects. AutoCAD 2006 not only speeds up ‘Monster House’ design work, it ensures we produce accurate, functional plans and sketches,” said Choi. “Although these are way-out designs, the creators – and the contestants – face the kinds of time constraints and client satisfaction issues that real-world projects present.”

From Sherwood Forest to Paris
Season four of “Monster House” kicked off August 15 with the “Robin Hood House” created for a couple who had reached a design impasse in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood of Los Angeles. Enormous metal trees designed to support a deck required structural engineering documentation and special city permits, placing extra drafting demands on Choi. Hardly a damsel in distress, Choi made short work of these challenges with AutoCAD 2006. When city permits required extra-large concrete footing for the trees, Choi took advantage of automatic calculation capabilities in AutoCAD 2006 compute the volume of concrete required. She designed the trees’ interior armature by extruding circles to represent metal pipes, clicking on each one to see length and dimensions and calculate the thickness of the branches to be built upon the armature.

Whether it’s “Robin Hood House,” “Paris House” or some other “monster” project, Choi frequently uses AutoCAD 2006 Design Center content and annotation capabilities to present project details in an intuitive fashion. For example, blocks representing common objects such as furniture and people provide the project team and contestants with an idea of project scale, while enhanced hatching now provides a quick means to indicate material or surface qualities.

“We’re proud to be an official sponsor of ‘Monster House’ and to support the spirit of innovation that our customers put to work every day,” said John Sanders, vice president, Autodesk Platform Technology Division. “That kind of inspiration is the reason Autodesk continues to enhance AutoCAD software year after year with breakthrough capabilities that streamline the essential tasks of drafting through publishing. We believe the innovative combination of broadcast and Web-based information – from video footage to actual house plans – will inspire our users, as well.”

The “Paris House” will air on August 22, promising plenty of ooh-la-las thanks to AutoCAD and Autodesk 3ds Max technology. (Editor’s Note: Check local listings for exact air date and time.) Previously on “Monster House,” Autodesk helped answer students’ hopes for a state-of-the-art shop classroom. North Hollywood High in Southern California got a “monster” workshop makeover in which contestants transformed the run-down facility into the Construction Technology Shop, complete with a giant lug-nut-shaped desk for the class instructor. Autodesk donated AutoCAD software for use in the high school’s new Home Engineering Academy, where students learn to envision and bring their ideas to life through technology.

About Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) is wholly focused on ensuring that great ideas are turned into reality. With six million users, Autodesk is the world's leading software and services company for the building, manufacturing, infrastructure, digital media and wireless data services fields. Autodesk’s solutions help customers create, manage and share their data and digital assets more effectively. As a result, customers turn ideas into competitive advantage by becoming more productive, streamlining project efficiency and maximizing profits.

Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California. For additional information about Autodesk, please visit www.autodesk.com.

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