The team of 21st century builders, engineers and historians tasked with recreating Leonardo daVinci’s inventions for the new Discovery Channel series DOING DAVINCI are using Autodesk Inventor 3D design and engineering software to virtually test the renowned inventor’s designs.
With the first of 10 high-definition episodes, DOING DAVINCI puts a modern twist on daVinci classics by taking viewers through the build process to determine whether daVinci’s designs really work. Using materials available only in daVinci’s time, the program team works to reconstruct his inventions – everything from a futuristic armored tank to a towering three-story siege ladder – to determine the viability of each design and whether some ideas are better left in the history books.
The DOING DAVINCI team chose Autodesk Inventor software to digitally design, visualize and simulate their projects before they are built, reducing the need for physical prototypes. Inventor software is the foundation of the Autodesk Digital Prototyping solution. With Digital Prototyping engineers can create a complete digital representation of their end product.
The program team consists of four energetic and experienced experts that work each week to create the never-before constructed inventions. Flash Hopkins is one of the most sought-after large-scale industrial artists in the country. Valek Sykes is a special effects expert and mechanical designer who has worked on motion picture features including G.I. Joe, I Am Legend, A.I. and Minority Report. Bill Duggan is a renowned carpenter and is the host of HGTV’s Curb Appeal. The fourth role of the builder is shared by Jurgen Heimann and Bovinett. Heimann has worked in several areas of filmmaking, including animation, special effects, performance and writing, and is a designer, builder and puppeteer. Bovinett is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur who specializes in design.
The team also works closely with Dr. Jonathan Pevsner, a Baltimore-based expert on Leonardo Da Vinci. He advises the team throughout the build process, providing them with insight into history and daVinci’s intent. The Polycom HDX series telepresence systems allow the show’s Los Angeles-based build team to collaborate with Dr. Jonathan Pevsner.
The five-member build team uses a Polycom HDX 8000 series room telepresence system outfitted with a 42-inch Polycom Media Center plasma display. Pevsner’s Baltimore desktop is equipped with a Polycom HDX 4000, a personal telepresence system that features an integrated monitor, cameras and speakers. Both systems provide Polycom UltimateHD technology, which delivers HD video, content and audio.
DOING DAVINCI is produced for Discovery Channel by Pilgrim Films and Television and Executive Producer, Craig Piligian.