Company culture: it's fun!

Working at Floorplanner can sometimes be hard, but most of the time it’s fun! We have passionate people, hard problems and millions of users waiting for your updates. We want you to do your best work possible, so we want to give you the tools necessary to make that happen. This means a nice office with a great view, state of the art hardware & software and most important, smart and positive colleagues.

All of that is nice to have, but I think most of the fun comes from working on - and solving - hard problems. And we have plenty of those! And since we have a lot people using our products, they’ll be happy when we improve them.

Sounds like a good ol’ win-win situation to me.

Company culture: chaos

Yes it is chaotic, stuff crashes and priorities change (a lot). But it's success we're after, not comfort. Why do priorities change one might ask? I think there are two reasons for that; changing business models and changing tech.

The business model for Floorplanner is now pretty clear, but it took us a while to get it right. After we acquired Mydeco we had to try out several business models to figure out how we could make money with Roomstyler. I think we are on the right track now. For Yoostyler we are now in the middle of experimenting with different business models. We have to try out different things to see what sticks. As we don’t know what will work and what won’t, it requires us to be nimble and yes, that might feel a bit chaotic.

Business models change, but technology seems to be changing even faster. From Flash to JavaScript and WebGL, from RealityServer 3 and Blender to RealityServer 4, from Rails 2 to 3 to 4, from Xapian and Solr to ElasticSearch, mobile first, responsive design and the list goes on and on. The world changes fast and we have to keep up to stay relevant.

Besides that, we are hiring new people which will also add to the chaos. So buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Our company culture

I’m trying to write down how we do things at Floorplanner, our culture. It’s more about describing how it is now, than writing down how it should be. Because I think we already have a culture, we don’t have to invent it, and actually I’m pretty happy with our culture. By writing it down I want to make it more concrete, more tangible. I think it can help us to get us all on the same page, but it can also help newcomers to make it easier to do their job and be successful at Floorplanner.

Rendering interior designs at 4K in only a couple of minutes

image

The rendered interior designs on Roomstyler are by default 640 x 480px, and they are free. When you need more pixels we offer renderings at a higher resolution for a couple of euros, either 1280 x 960px or 2048 x 1536px.

With our new hardware - adding machines on a regular basis - we want to create better images in less time. For this experiment we wanted to render an interior design at an Ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2180px aka ‘4K’ or ‘2160p’. And we wanted to render it under 5 minutes!

I’m very pleased to say that this experiment turned out even better than we anticipated! Have a look at these results which have been rendered in only a couple of minutes.

Rendering at a 4K resolution is not ready for production at the moment, but we will keep working on it to be able to offer it to our community soon.

Architectural Sections

[iframe src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/tehblog/arch-sections/index.html" width="765" height="514"]

cross section, also simply called a section, represents a vertical plane cut through the object, in the same way as a floor plan is a horizontal section viewed from the top. -- WikiPedia

Well we don't have the vertical ones yet, but even the horizontal ones proved to be very helpful when visualizing living space.  Without them, much of the interior is occluded by walls, and you have to take a bird’s eye view to see what’s in.

[twentytwenty]Before

After[/twentytwenty]

 

Now the procedural geometry that our walls are made of is tricky in itself. Luckily the approach that we took to make it, allows us to create and render architectural sections rather easily. The trick is to use the geometry as a set of surfaces, and apply set theoretic boolean operations on these sets: union, subtraction, intersection.

step0

Ordinary floorplan...

step1

...minus a box...

step2

...et voilà!

That’s it, we just need to create a box covering all walls, with its ground facing face elevated where we want our section to be, then simply subtract this box from every (or all) the walls.