How to work with Alias modeling in Automotive Car Design

Dear friends,

today we will talk about digital virtual modeling in car design. To be more precise we will focus on why it is important for a designer to manage digital modeling and how a designer should do it.

In a few words what type of attitude we should have (as designers) in front of an Alias workstation (computer) or a Rhino 3D one. There are many other softwares, but to explane myself I just named some of the most popular in the business today.

First of all why do we have to learn about digital modeling?
The answear is simple, since few years ( at least 10) the car design business and the automotive business understood that with the help of some softwares they could reduce drasticly their time process from idea to production. This is possible thanks to those softwares that gives us the opportunity to model in virtual 3D the model we used to do in 1:1 scale in a longer time.

Today we can transfer a 2D car sketch into an Alias Autodesk program and change it into a 3D line sketch in space, from there we get our main sections and then surfaces, after surfaces is rendering time and at the end animation for film presentation projection on big displays for evaluation before milling in any scale we desire. All this coud be achieved in a month of work and with a small team composed by: the lead designer, the modeler on computer, an expert of surfaces and naturally our design director for validation.

Now I know I made it sound very easy, but the complication comes from several factors and it is incredible the advantage in terms of timing and also the quality we can reach before passing to the real 3D model. Once we get familiar with the system it is a lot easier.

How should a designer behave in this scenario?
According to my experience I have seen many doing really well and some others doing really bad!

To me the secret of success is simply to assure a good follow up to the ongoing work.
My message today for young designers or design students is to be very careful not to miss this step because it is about your baby (project)! Team-up well with your colleague modeler, do not leave him alone, listen to him when he explaines to you the hard 3D problems he has, sketch for him, ask him to print side view or perspective images of your model so that you can sketch on it to explaine well what you want and or making necessary corrections, sketch with sections!
Check out main surfaces reflections, think about detailing (this is for design credibility), understand that this step is a design phase that has great importance because after there will be a milled model.

Alias modeling sample

Good team work equals good quality job!
I wanted to tell you about this particular phase of the car design processus because I have seen several designers in my career snobing computers and virtual reality. This is not anymore acceptable today, it is not acceptable to leave a sketch and disappear for a full week…then come back and start saying that you do not like the model! Where were you? The modeler is not your designer or slave, he is an expert in digital surfacing that needs your help to move on in the best way possible understanding your requests and giving life to your baby! Your engagement into this step is fondamental for a good final result!

OK? Good luck!

Luciano Bove

Alias image by Carbodydesign.com

© 2010 Luciano Bove

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Comments 12 comments

patrick tiu 5 years ago

thanks for the advice


Jon Dugdale 5 years ago

Great post. Could we please have more information regarding Alias and the relationship that the digital modeler has with the design team. This is really interesting.


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luciano63 5 years ago from Paris Author

Dear Jon thanks for your comment, I'll soon write more about digtal modelers and designer team integration.


Patrick Leyendecker 5 years ago

thanks you very much for this post. i build a car to in alias and its really a lot of work.


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luciano63 5 years ago from Paris Author

Hi Patrick, it is a pleasure for me to know you liked this hub.


Shantesh angadi 5 years ago

nice tips, pls can you tell me websites for alias automotive modeling tutorials


luciano63 profile image

luciano63 5 years ago from Paris Author

Hi Shantesh,

try this one http://aliasdesign.autodesk.com/


Ahmad Murad 4 years ago

great and deap in the stratigies in the team working ..... it is the key in the collective sucssess in car design project...like it ....thanks Luciano.


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luciano63 4 years ago from Paris Author

Thank you Ahmad!


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luciano63 4 years ago from Paris Author

thanks for your right comment!


me@luna.com 2 years ago

A designer that need a modeler is not a designer.


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luciano63 2 years ago from Paris Author

Sorry but I do not agree!

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