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The Digital Modeler

Updated on February 25, 2018
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Luciano Bove is a car design manager working at Renault Design. Born in Italy, he graduated from Art Center College of Design in California.

Designer & digital modeler working together
Designer & digital modeler working together | Source

Design Mood

Car Design is synonym of passion, art, intuition, vision, beauty. The car designer often attracts all the attention because of his role in our society, Design itself is becoming more and more a key factor to make choices in life, to buy a product, to buy a house, to buy a car, to buy a dress. We judge design on almost anything we interact with, our emotions several times are driven by Design. Do something functional but make it look good!

Today it is proven that number one criteria to buy something is Design.

However, there is another important professional role in Design that gets less attention but is vital to the team, it is the Digital Modeler.

Let's discover it together.

Alias Autodesk digital model in construction
Alias Autodesk digital model in construction

The Digital Modeler

The Digital Modeler is a sort of designer’s twin brother. Virtual modeling is the first important step to get seriously into Design process, any designer needs to transform its designs into models and to do so designers need to team-up with digital design modelers.

The digital design modeler is an expert in using 3D modeling software like Alias, Maya, Rhino or others, but he/she also have a good level of creativity and car design feeling. Often he/she come from Transportation Design schools in which they learned how to use Alias making their own design projects. Probably they were not real hot designers, but they did have a special talent in modeling and so they turned their career into a modeling one.

The team designer/modeler is made mainly of mutual trust. Usually, the modeler understands designer’s requests, he/she knows how to read the sketches and illustrations, he/she knows how to use a technical 3D package drawing and apply designer’s styling to it. Often they discuss together to find the right solutions for the model to respect the chosen design and also the technical hard points of the given package.

3D model rendered
3D model rendered

The project planning milestones are respected because working together, and in harmony, helps to reduce all disputes.

Sometimes designers impose a choice, some other times digital modelers show the right way to go, it really is a faire exchange between two professionals, done with responsibility and with the same objective: make of that model the winner!

The digital modeler is fundamental in a design team, his role is in relation with creative modeling, quality of work, planning. There is also another series of activities a digital modeler does like HD images, virtual films, interactive presentations and more.

Design Academy India virtual model by Nikhil Sorte
Design Academy India virtual model by Nikhil Sorte | Source

The Extra Activities

A virtual model can be used to mill a full or small scale model, but can also be used to make presentation still HD images with great backgrounds and light contrasted environments. This is a sort of artistic composition very close to Photography, it is an important activity very often used in presentations to seduce the audience mainly top management. So, it is strategic.

With a virtual 3D model other things can be made for the project, for example a nice film. Imagine that to introduce the project there is a story to tell before getting into the technical aspects. This is the animated scenario, first the designer makes few story boards sketches to illustrate the scenes of the film and the digital modeler following these sketches will model the environment giving to it the right colors and contrasts, putting the car model in the scenario and animating the all thing according to the story telling and the story boards sketches. At the end a nice music will be added and the virtual film is ready for presentation.

Design Academy India The Concept virtual model by Gautam Muthuswamy
Design Academy India The Concept virtual model by Gautam Muthuswamy | Source


Car Design world is fascinating and complicated, many actors to make it run properly. The digital modeler is one of them, many design students should really think carefully about taking the option to become digital modelers, the industry needs them. Competition is less stress than designers’ jobs, so easier access to a job.

Today’s technologies in this domain are progressing fast, lately the VR (Virtual Reality) is entering in this model business to give a stronger realism to the project experience. There is still a lot to discover and fun to have working in this professional field.

Take advantage of it, do not miss the opportunity.

Luciano Bove talks about the Digital Modeler Role


Virtual Reality in Car Design
Virtual Reality in Car Design


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© 2018 Luciano Bove


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