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How to work with Alias Modeling in Automotive Design

Updated on February 28, 2018
luciano63 profile image

Luciano Bove is a car design manager working at Renault Design. Born in Italy, graduated from Art Center College of Design in California.

Autodesk digital image
Autodesk digital image | Source

Dear friends,

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

In a few words, what type of attitude should we have (as designers) in front of an Alias workstation (computer) or a Rhino 3D one? Of course, we have many more softwares, but to explain 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 answer is simple, since few years (at least 10) the car design and Automotive business understood that with the help of some software they could reduce drastically their time to market process. From idea to production faster than before.

This is possible by using virtual reality and virtual digital modeling technologies.

Today we can transfer a 2D car sketch into a digital software program and transform it into a 3D line sketch in space, from there we get our main sections and then surfaces, then it is rendering time.

Of course, we can model these surfaces applying all necessary changes. We can make a virtual film and be ready for a presentation of our project.

Once our virtual model is accepted we can go to the next step which will be milling that model in any scale we desire using a specific material (resins, foam, wood). This work can be achieved in 3 or 4 months with a small team composed by the lead designer, the modeler on a computer, an expert of surfaces and naturally our design director for validation.

The magic thing is to see a sketch become a model full scale in 4 months.

Now I know I made it sound very easy, but even if we do have complications it is still an incredible advantage we get in terms of timing and quality. 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 designers 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 to young designers or design students is to be very careful not to miss this step because it is about your project. Team-up well with your colleague modeler, do not leave him alone, listen to him when he explains 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 over it to explain 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 to produce a good quality scale 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 process because I have seen several designers not paying the right attention to computers and virtual reality. This is not any more acceptable today, you cannot leave a sketch to a computer modeler and disappear for a full week. Come back after days and saying that you do not like the model! Where were you? Assume your responsability and manage this design process step fundamental to move on with your project.

The modeler is not your designer or slave, he is an expert in digital surfacing that needs your help to progress in the best way possible understanding your requests and giving life to your design proposal.

Your engagement is fundamental for a good final result!

Good luck!

Luciano Bove

3 Wheeler Digital Rendering
3 Wheeler Digital Rendering | Source

© 2010 Luciano Bove


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    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 4 years ago from Paris

      Sorry but I do not agree!

    • profile image 4 years ago

      A designer that need a modeler is not a designer.

    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 5 years ago from Paris

      thanks for your right comment!

    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 5 years ago from Paris

      Thank you Ahmad!

    • profile image

      Ahmad Murad 5 years ago

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

    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 7 years ago from Paris

      Hi Shantesh,

      try this one

    • profile image

      Shantesh angadi 7 years ago

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

    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 7 years ago from Paris

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

    • profile image

      Patrick Leyendecker 7 years ago

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

    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 7 years ago from Paris

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

    • profile image

      Jon Dugdale 7 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.

    • profile image

      patrick tiu 7 years ago

      thanks for the advice