3D Sketches

Hi everyone. I understand the importance of 2d sketching to generate ideas quickly, however, I find that I’m much better making 3d sketches with foam, clay or whatever. Comming from and engineering background and switching into ID, I didn’t get the art background that most ID majors have. I work very well with my hands, and I can usually create the model of my idea in a 3d form rather than drawing it. While I’m working to develop my drawing skills, I am also trying to get in internship for the summer and most firms seem to concentrate only on the 2d sketching skills. Is there any love out there for people who sketch in 3D?? Any ideas of how to adapt or :confused: compensate my development style to the ones that ID firms seem to want?

It’s true, most established firms want people that can sketch very well, it all comes down to billable hours.

I think your understanding of 3d will help you in the long run. My suggestion would be to start off sketching, and then quickly move to your 3d sketches. Do a couple of those, and then start 2d sketching again. Going back and forth helped me in the opposite direction. I think you will find your 2d work and your 3d work will improve.

If you are really stuggling, take a quick picture of your 2d models, use the print outs as underlays to further explore form and detail in 2d.

i don’t think you should worry about it. industrial design is moving fast toward 3d and 2d will be a thing of the past. those firms or schools who promote traditional idea of “2d sketching required” will eventually realize that they have to break the mold and try new concepts in visualization and presentation. here are several reasons why 3d will be prefered over 2d in future.

1- the concept for the field we know as industrial design originally comes from a manufacturing need. the way it has worked out though has actually taken a curve from design to presentation for the lack of a better format to diplay the final product in a visual sense. so if we draw a chart/graph showing time from 0 to present on the x and product visualization from 2d to 3d on y you can see that the curve takes a huge shift just during the past 10 to 8 years. the advancement in computer technology will even reach a point were you’ll be able to draw like michaelangelo because if you have studied the work of master architects and designers up until now you notice there’re many common points. these common attributes will become the foundation for aesthetic development softwares which will enable the designer or engineer to have a better understanding of aesthetic parameters like proportion, structural consistency, material /geometry relation, part integration, aerodynamics/ style, etc. right now, these parameters are not supported by current design softwares but some are vaguely supported by engineering softwares which are integrated into 3d programs.

2- if you look at architecture which is probably the most artistic based field of design because of it’s still low tech stance compared to things like automobiles and fighter jet planes you’ll see that in the past 15 years 3d software has virtually replaced hand sketching in big and small firms. i don’t know any modern architect today that does not use CAD as the initial tool. the first thing they do is put the plan in CAD instead of drawing it with hand because this way they cut time and cost.

3- rendering is the most time consuming part for a designer. let’s face it would you rather design something else with your free time or go through the painfull hand rendering of an object which you already know what it looks like in real life. even photoshop is retarded if you have engineering skills to use 3d parametric programs. i just use photoshop for touch-ups and photographs or visual effects i can’t produce on a rendering.

4- digital 3d data is much better than 2d data. this needs no explanation if you’re an engineer.

5- future 3d softwares will be intuitive. so you can find your style in the software of your choice. you could observe this starting to a certain extent with some of the current programs. for instance the way you can create two objects, using one as the base and the other as the forming tool. or surface to surface fills which are getting better on each version. these functions rely on the program’s intuitive set up and the designer’s strategic planning.

finally i don’t think you should worry about drawing. being able to create a well designed product beats all other prospects.

i have both engineering and ID degrees. recommend you learn how to draw. 3D is great. both material and virtual. but 2D drawing is another tool. learn it. if you dont you’ll probly wind up with forms that look inorganic. stuck together.

and you wont even know how bad they are.

are you saying that sketching can solve design problems a student has because it’s hard for the student to work in 2d instead of the 3d?

you should trade your eng. and ID degrees for a “bad journalism” degree.

no. not saying that.

you should post some sketches.

well i would think if you can not make it look good on paper(2d) people may have a harder time believing you could make it look good in physical form(3d).

i have always been told that the ability to sketch allows you to get many ideas out then it is just a matter of refinement, i would think that would be much harder with sketch models as they take more time than good ole’ pencil & paper.

it seems everytime new tech comes around there is this “replace” attitude when it should be and usually is supplemental. i love 3d modeling but to say it will replace 2d making 2d skills obselete?

First, thanks for your thoughts guys. I am practicing my drawing skills, but I just thought it was strange that 3D sketching isn’t more popular. I usually start of with a rough (I mean really rough) thumbnail sketch and then go and make it out of blue foam. Once I get the idea into 3D I find that the design solution comes much faster and is a lot better than if I just sit and sketch. 3D is easier to understand too, you can put it in anyone’s hand and they know what it is, and they can even start to have an idea of how it works. I find that some people don’t always understand peoples 2D sketches as well. Anyone have an experience from industry that might agree or disagree with this?

just bc its not discussed doesnt mean mockups arent common. i’ve made plenty.

not understanding 2D is very common. but real benefit of 2D is in the design process afaic. when corporate, sketches primarily were for ID group crits. IDers understand sketches. sometimes see things in them that spark important design direction. “search lines” have always been important. there are no “search lines” in foams or CAD.

people who casually dismiss 2D usually cant draw from my experience. easier to dismiss than develop skills. i havent seen any skilled sketch artist say drawing isnt important. or regret taking time to learn. and lots of CG jobs now come w requirement of basic artistic skills. wasnt true few years ago. only thing mattered then was 3D CAD. but competition is increasing. more money at risk as industry matures. so now they hire the best. and 3D only is not the best. maybe someday it’ll be enough. right now it isn’t.

keep searchin’.

2D skills ARE very important, and should always be a part of the design proccess. 3D skills are equally important and similar to what Yo was saying, the two skills can complement eachother during in the beginning.

One reason I can think of why 2D is the standard is, space. Industrial design is business, 2D work can be filed, faxed scanned and e-mailed, therefore I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. I love shaving blue foam, but for presentation, it doesn’t belong in the beginning of the proccess, unless the client doesn’t understand 2D and needs to see the forms in 3D, or if the project is primarily an ergonomics correction. What do you with the models after you’re through, how do you document the work, pictures of models alone wouldn’t work, they would lose their readable qualities (touch and demension). And of course billable time, the fastest 3D modeler is still going to take 3 to 4 times longer than a fairly competent 2D dude. Plus you’d have to hire a maid to clean you office everyday $$ :smiley:

UFO…take a pill :open_mouth:

ok. i’ll hire you. :smiling_imp:

got a job,but Thanx :smiley:

yeah, i also think 2d is the way to go! when a product is to be produced industrialy, it has to be on paper so anyone in the world can reproduce it! if you design something that is unique, it becomes a piece of art… an example of it, is in the American chopper Tv program… those dudes from OCC, will never be able to make an exacly theme bike like the ones they made, because they don put anything on paper, they just get the ideias and make them… that is not INDUSTRIAL Design… It is design, but not industrial.

3d foam or test models have been around as long as sketching…both are valid and as copyboy mentioned…compliment each other very well.

YHK, newsflash…sketching will not go away. It may evolve, but it will not go away. A good ID program will stress a broad range of skills.

Research
User research
Market research
Manufacturing
Trends
Concept Generation 2D and then 3D as you explore the shape
Business Skills
Communication
3D Modeling ( computer )

Hard models (done by hand ) is what education should be moving away from.

UFO I sincerely believe your missing the point.
Sketching is great for generating ideas. Trying-out different styles. Simple, organic, cut-off, trims,…whatever…It’s fast. And you don’t get lost in all the details. I work as a conceptual designer. And I always have 100 droodels regarding a project. Before I even pick the concepts I want to present to the client. Many designers these days go straight to the Pc. Turn it on and start designing the product. From the main shape to the details. It’s a straight line. Designing stuff is NOT a straight line. It’s a proces where errors and different opinions, ideas, directions should be common. After my client picked one of the 5 -7 concepts I presented. Then I can make a model in 3D. I even prefer to make a model in foam, or HDPU so my client can tough it. See it in real-life. And before I go and start on my 3D)model. I will think about how it will be assembled -altough this happens constant, even in Droodel-sketching, after a while you do this unconscious- How the hinge will work, buttons, etc…
Another ±point in this sketching is that I can give my client more choices in a shorter Time frame. everyone who works in a professional bureau will know that this is very very important. They get lots of ideas in a short time. You make 5 3D-models (or just 1…wich is an outrage) wich takes you more time…meaning you cost more than I do…I WIN nah

BTW…Been lurking around these boards for a while now. Finally an official member… so Hello 2 everyone :wink:

No it definitely should not. Through the process of hacking and sanding foam, the person learns the sculpturing of form, which will help on his/her sense in scale and proportion. Fine tuning of the surfaces by hand will also train his/her eyes on details and subtle changes. Therefore form development wise, hands on model making is extremely important for students. Furthermore, a lot of design changes are done during the stage of model building. The student will see his/her design taking shape and make changes accordingly. If you work in CAD all the time, you won’t be able to FEEL your form, especially when you spend most of the time on little parts as opposed to looking the form and holding it in your hands.

Model making also helps the student understand material and processes. Granted that they won’t learn manufacturing grade technology, but how often do you get into basic processes like vac forming and silicone mold making without the chance or need to make a model by hand? How about form sculpting which may involve metal casting in the later stages?

Nobody wants to become a CAD jockey or sketch monkey or get stuck in a shop breathing dust. The fun part of ID is the process of creation which involves all these stages.

[quote=“molested_cow”][quote=“blaster701”]

Hard models (done by hand ) is what education should be moving away from.[/quote]


No it definitely should not. Through the process of hacking and sanding foam, the person learns the sculpturing of form, which will help on his/her sense in scale and proportion. Fine tuning of the surfaces by hand will also train his/her eyes on details and subtle changes. Therefore form development wise, hands on model making is extremely important for students. Furthermore, a lot of design changes are done during the stage of model building. The student will see his/her design taking shape and make changes accordingly. If you work in CAD all the time, you won’t be able to FEEL your form, especially when you spend most of the time on little parts as opposed to looking the form and holding it in your hands.

Model making also helps the student understand material and processes. Granted that they won’t learn manufacturing grade technology, but how often do you get into basic processes like vac forming and silicone mold making without the chance or need to make a model by hand? How about form sculpting which may involve metal casting in the later stages?

Nobody wants to become a CAD jockey or sketch monkey or get stuck in a shop breathing dust. The fun part of ID is the process of creation which involves all these stages.[/quote]

MC,

You miss-read my quote. HARD models should be moved away from. My list what schools should teach includes SOFT models, like foam. Hard, finished models are not needed.

The product design classes I teach include, research, sketching, rendering, soft models, detailed CAD and rapid prototypes.

So, we actually agree on soft models. BUT, sketching will not leave the process.

I agree with the last post. Finished models should be phased out. Along with this, however, finished renderings should be phased out. Students should be taught to lay ideas out quickly, accurately and to learn how to tell a story. You can always see a page in a portfolio that has a designer’s “favorite,” over-worked drawing. You can always learn how to make better, cleaner models and more polished renderings on your own time.

cylde I think your comments are ridiculous. finished models should be phased out as well as finished renderings? Those practices can show a persons eye for detail and can greatly improve abilities. All of these practices are part of a whole that makes up design. Each area gives light to process, manufacturing, detail, etc… I wouldnt want to work with someone who doesnt know how to or has not ever gone through the process of making finished models or renderings. Without that, how can you have an appreciation for design?