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How to work with Alias Modeling in Automotive Design
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 we should have (as designers) in front of an Alias workstation (computer) or a Rhino 3D one. Of course, we have much more software on market, 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 business and the automotive business understood that with the help of some software they could reduce drastically their time to market process from idea to production. This is possible thanks to that software that gives us the opportunity to model in virtual 3D the model we used to do in 1:1 scale with manual modeling with a longer time process.
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 it is rendering time and at the end an animation for a film presentation projection on a big screen for evaluation before milling in any scale we desire. All this could be achieved in a month of work and 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.
Now I know I made it sound very easy, but the complication comes from several factors and it is incredible the advantage we get 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 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 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 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 on your milled model.
Alias modeling sample
Good teamwork 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 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 fundamental for a good final result!
© 2010 Luciano Bove