Virtual Design Analysis Group is a division of NVentum, LLC.

NVentum, LLC.
The "As-Built" Specialist
As-Built Documentation, BIM, Virtual Design Construction, Technical Training, Historic Preservation, Interactive 3D Models
This unique collaborative endeavor; to utilize the latest reality capture technology to document the artifacts, buildings and campus of History San Jose, provides opportunities for private sector, non-profits and institutions of higher education to work together to solve some of today's most pressing engineering issues. The protocol for retrofitting as-built historic facilities and the use of new technologies to preserve our most prized historic treasures are vital to the continued success and expanded influence of our museums.
This blog will document the challenges and successes of this ambitious, one of a kind project.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Reality Capture Summer Technology Camp
July 12-19, 2014 at History Park in San Jose.

Our Summer Project, The Santa Ana School House

This past July, the Reality Capture Technology Training Center hosted its first week long technology camp.
We welcomed students ranging from 11th grade through graduate school to assist us in the digital documentation of the historic Santa Ana One Room School House on the campus of History Park.

This first time program provided a great opportunity for students to not only plan the process, but also use the latest laser scanning technology to complete the digital documentation.

I've attached some stills from the documentation process completed by the students.

Laser Scan by Liz York and Brittany Bradley
Z&F 6000S Laser Scanner

Liz York is a Graduate student from JFK University in Berkeley. Museum Collections and Curatorship is Liz's specialty. 

Laser Scan by Liz York and Brittany Bradley of JFK University
Z&F 6000S Laser Scanner at High Resolution

Brittany Bradley is a Graduate student from JFK University in Berkeley. MBA student in Museum Studies,  Brittany's has a minor is in photography

Laser Scan by Adam and Aaron Rhetta
Z&F 6000S Laser Scan at High Resolution
Adam Rhetta is a student at 
Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, CA. Aaron plans to study engineering in college.

Aaron Rhetta is in his second year at Evergreen Valley College. He'll be transferring to San Jose State University and majoring in Environmental Studies.

FARO 3D Focus
Laser Scanner
Program Basics:

Hardware- Faro 3D Focus Laser Scanner, Z&F 6000S Laser Scanner, Cannon EOS Rebel SLR Camera, Fisheye and Standard Lens

Software: Autodesk ReCap 360, Cyclone, Autodesk 1-2-3D Catch

Z&F 6000S
Laser Scanner

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Brittany Bradley Graduate Student @JFK University
Mastering the Art of Photogrammetry
Reality Capture Technology Summer Camp
Friday July 18th marked the close of our first technology summer camp at History Park. We were extremely fortunate and pleased to have a great group of students participate in our inaugural classes. We were fortunate to have Graduate students Brittany 
Bradley and Elizabeth York of John F. Kennedy University's Museum Studies programs as the first interns to train at The Reality Capture Technology Training Center (RCTTC). Their unique perspective on the modern fields of art, curator-ship and museum administration provided great insight into the modernization of museums.

We were really please to have Aaron Rhetta and Adam Rhetta as the first high school and community college students to participate in our program. Both Aaron and Adam attended our weekend training at History Park last Spring.and we were happy to have them take part in our inaugural Summer camp. The laser scans of the Associated Oil Station in this post were captured by the Rhetta Bros. back in April. After getting a sample of laser scanning last Spring the brothers decided to sign up for the Summer Technology Camp and gain more experience with the technology.
MEP Specialist/NVentum President
Ken Hanna-Laser Scanning 101

Being the first technology camp, we decided to limit the number of participants to 8 people; 4 college interns and 2 high school and 2 community college students. For various reasons, several students either did not show or cancelled within the last 48 hours of the opening day of camp. As it turned out, 4 four students was the perfect number for our first tech camp. Students used both the Z&F laser scanner and the FARO 3D Focus scanners to document the Santa Ana One Room School House. One of the most interesting aspects of these trainings is one that we anticipated when we first established the program; the diversity of the interest of those involved in the training provided a variety of opinions and valuable input to the training process. For example had an MA in photography and was a current MBA student specializing in museum studies. Another student is seeking a degree in environmental engineering. These very different vocations have a common interest in the use of 3D technology. This program offers the first inter-disciplinary, participatory program with interest across any fields on reality capture technology.
Antique Bicycle and FARO 3D Focus,
Aaron and Adam's Project

The first scans of the historic school were completed by Liz  and Brittany using the Z&F laser scanner. Those scans were followed by Aaron and Adam's documentation of the school house using the 3D FOCUS with it's built-in camera. We wanted to make sure the students had and opportunity to use two different types of scanners and understand the strengths and drawbacks of each. In addition to scanning the exterior and grounds of the the school house, we also scanned and photographed the interior of the building.

During the week, we worked at the collection center and had the opportunity to experiment with the art and technology that is photogrammetry. With Autodesk's free online software, we were able to experiment with a variety of instruments including cell phones, tablet phones, point and shoot phones and professional quality SLR cameras. The week also included tours of the collection center, Trolley Barn, a visit to the SJ Fire Museum and Ice Cream!

Laser Scan of Associated Oil Station by
Aaron and Adam Rhetta
By far, one of the more challenging aspect's of the camp proved to be the photogrammetry training. As stated by Tatjana Dzambrozova, the Technology Whisperer, the key to photogrammetry is taking good pictures;easier said than done! There is so much potential for this technology and it is so easy and accessible that we are planning to use this technology  for many more applications than first expected.

We are currently planning a series of weekend training opportunities for both laser scanning and photogrammetry technologies for students from 10th grade through graduate school level who are interested in cutting edge engineering technology, 3D environments, art and/or preservation. We expect to have our next training opportunity in late September with bi-monthly trainings or workshops to follow.

Now that the first camp is completed, we've collected lots of raw point cloud data and photographs of artifacts and the Santa Ana School House. As we collect data from the park, we will occasionally post still and fly-through models on this blog and the HSJ website. Stay tuned for our news of future trainings and workshops.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Reality Capture Technology Training Center
Summer camp dates are July 12th-19th at History Park in San Jose...
The mission of the Reality Capture technology Training Center is to introduce cutting edge technology to students through hands-on experience;to educate and foster the dreams of our next generation of artist, engineers, designers, innovators and scientist. Given our goals, it is only appropriate that our first project is the documentation and preservation of the historic Santa Ana one room school house.

Santa Ana School House at History Park,  San Jose
The 127 year old Santa Ana was located in San Benito County's Santa Ana Valley. A total of 54 teachers taught at the school from 1872 through 1974. Originally, the one room school house welcomed students from 1st through 8th grade. Kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Gates-Rianda was the last to teach there from 1972-1974...Source: History San Jose webpage @
Interior of the Santa Ana School House
The documentation process begins with the laser scanning of the school house on Tuesday and Wednesday July 15th and 16th. The students will register the data collected on Thursday, July 17th using Autodesk Recap Software.
 The documentation process will serve several purposes. In addition to providing a unique educational training opportunity for our participants, we will be creating a detailed digital record of this historic building and its contents.
 It is critical that our children are introduced to new and innovative technology.  From art and design to land surveying, these technologies are key to the jobs of tomorrow. At a time when only 7 of 10 students are meeting the minimum requirements for HS graduation, it is our duty as parents and community leaders to provide the resources necessary to help them succeed and prosper.

The Reality Capture Technology Training Center, at History Park
at the Intersection of Art, Design, Engineering and Technology

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A "Practice Run"

On Sunday April 13th, we invited a couple of students to History Park to introduce them to the laser scanning process. Though new innovations in software development have resulted in less complicated, target free scanning and registration processes, we decided to do things in the traditional way. Using both paddles targets and paper targets we had the students layout and plot the scanning sequence. There were a total of nine scans taken of the Associated Oil Service Station as the first draft done by students of the Reality Capture Technology Training Center. Not only was this an introduction to the training for our students, it was an introduction to the hands on training process for us as well. We've had plenty of experience training adults and labor professionals however there was some concern about the process of training high school and community college students. Would we be able to engage them in the process and keep their attention and focus? Would they be intrigued by the processes and interested in learning more about the technology? Would they "get it"? The answer to all of these questions was a resounding YES! Not only did they understand the technology, their ability to see the various applications for the technologies was far beyond that of our adult students.
Photo Courtesy of History San Jose

Built in 1927, the Associated Oil Service Station was located at the corner of Market and Julian Street in San Jose

The Associated Oil Service Station documented at high resolution with
a Z&F 6000s Laser Scanner
This was a real pleasant surprise for us. That afternoon, we realized that our plans to create this unique hands-on technology experience for students was an attainable and timely goal. The enthusiasm we feel for the technology was mirrored by the students. Their ability to grasp the concepts, their curiosity and their desire to learn was truly inspirational for us. We recognized the need for STEAM programs and fresh
resources within our public schools. The question was could we provide those resources and help students and educators bridge the science and technology gap. We found our answer and our mission is clear. 

The July 2014 summer technology camp at will include both college interns and high school students. This will be the first of many week long camps that will combine learning, mentorship and community service opportunities for all participants; working with state of the art hardware and software, working in teams and preserving our local history.

Laser Scans of the Associated Oil Service Station by Aaron Rhetta of Evergreen Valley College
and Adam Rhetta of Bellarmine College Prep

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Reality Capture Laboratory

In addition to education and training programs, 
The Reality Capture Technology Training Center is a working laboratory that offers students, professionals and leaders in technology the opportunity to experiment, develop and display new techniques and workflows for today's preservation, as-built and geospatial technologies. The time tested application of these technologies for art, engineering and science are being used in a variety of disciplines and occupations. However, as the technology evolves, the possibilities for new applications and uses continue to expand. While the primary uses for mapping, construction, entertainment, forensic documentation and design are widely accepted, we are just beginning to recognize potential uses for the creation of new revenue streams. Reality capture technologies have implications in everything from advertisements and marketing to carbon credits for the reduction of green house emissions.

At NVentum, we see tremendous potential in combining various technologies to properly document and detail structures and environments. The dimensional detail offered by  laser scans, the clarity of HD photos and the flexibility of photogrammetry is key to opening unique, new documentation processes.
The following video combines the laser scans of the Peralta Adobe with HD photos of some of the items inside the historic structure. Though the software necessary to create such a model doesn't exist (yet), it is only a matter of time before this becomes a integral component of the documentation process.

This video model of the Peralta Adobe was created with the FARO 3D Focus Scanner, FARO SCENE software and HD photos provided by History San Jose. For details about FARO products and technology, contact Matt Daly of FARO Technologies at

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Reality of Reality Capture Technology

Registration for the June 21st Autodesk Photogrammetry Workshop at History Park opened two weeks ago. The training was specifically focused on teachers and administrators from throughout Santa Clara County. We targeted art, photography and STEM teachers with outreach efforts through the County Office of Education as well as contacts through San Jose State University, Stanford University, Evergreen Valley College and Santa Clara University. We had two original objectives for the program; 1) To train teachers to use the technology so they could take the lessons back to the classroom and share with their students. 2) Recruit teachers as volunteers and enhance our capacity for training at the Reality Capture Technology Training Center.
MEP Systems

As word of the training opportunity spread, we were surprised by the responses. Request for training began coming from people from a variety of places and varying disciplines. Our current list of registrants consist of crime scene investigators, homicide detectives, professional photographers, art instructors, museum curators, archivist, graduate school students, high school STEM teachers, middle school math teachers, school administrators, surveyors, MEP professionals and construction managers. The diversity of the registrants is indicative of the myriad applications of reality capture technology. From forensic documentation of accidents and crime scenes, to artistic renderings, historic preservation, BIM/green buildings, surveying and education, the applications for geospatial technology are far reaching and we are just beginning to scratch the surface.
As our programs progress, we intend on expand the number and variety of trainings offered to our community. Given the various interest, needs and uses for the technology, the Reality Capture Technology Training Center will develop specialized trainings utilizing the various software applications offered by Autodesk, FARO and other developers. Future trainings will feature programs like Revit, Maya, and FARO SCENE. These trainings will offer hands-on experience for professionals and students alike; for those who are looking to enter the job market and for others who are looking to enhance and update their current jobs skills.
Forensic Studies

The Reality Capture Technology Training Center is focused on expanding the impact of today's technology through education, workflow development and practical applications.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Applying The Technology

Reality Capture Technology has practical applications across many fields and disciplines. Originally designed as a civil engineering tool, these technologies are used for
Air Navigation Services
Archaeological Excavations
Forensic Documentation of Accidents and Crime Scenes
Construction and Green Building Technology
Historic Preservation 
As-Built Documentation
Reverse Engineering
Urban Planning
Gaming 3D Environments
Virtual Design
Condition Monitoring/Seismic Analysis
Land Management and Reform
Orthotic/Prosthetic Design and Fabrication
Infrastructure Management

We're looking for students from 10th grade through graduate school who are interested in art, technology, engineering and design to participate in our technology camp. Registration for the Reality Capture Technology Training Center's July summer camp opens June 1st. 
Register online at