Books for ALIAS Studio Tool?

Did anyone ever saw the ALIAS instruction DVD sets that they sell
in their website? I was wondering how it is in terms of its value.
Do they teach ALIAS well and easily?
I’m also looking for ALIAS instruction books, but so far no luck.
Are there any better sources to learn this program?
My school offers the class but just too many students and fast for
me to follow. I’m a slow learner but once I get it, I always perform
bit better than the others. So I need step by step instructions.
Thank you.

The tutorial from Alias is good in delivering the basics, but it takes hours of experimenting and many grey hairs to learn the fine details. Alias typically installs with some html documentation that include that tutorial, so search for it on your computer. You can get to it through Alias by going to help - online docs (I think).

Good luck.

i have one DVD. its okay. wasnt a basics CD. it was higher end modeling so dont know if other DVDs are easy. esp if you dont know the software.

they were on sale not long ago. dont know if they are anymore.

Don’t spend your money on the dvd’s. Learned studiotools this year at the company I work at and the dvd’s didn’t add much to the tutorials that come with the package…try to get your hands on the complete user guide and start digging through the settings and play with them…

Forgot…Alias doesn’t give out documentation in print anymore, see if you can get your hands on the two cases with books that came with 9.5; not much difference with version 11 and beats digging through pdf’s


Dear friend

CADCIM technologies will shortly come with a book on AliasStudio 2008. Hope it would be good for the beginners as well as the intermediate industrial designers. You need to check the below mentioned website for updating urself about the status of the book.

Dear Alias Users,

CADCIM Technologies, USA has finally come up with the first ever textbook on Alias named Autodesk AliasStudio 2009 for Designers. You can enquire about its price, contents, evaluation chapters and order it by visiting the following links:


Why is the Alias interface so horrendous? Why do we as designers tolerate such a horrible interface? Why is this worth tens of thousands of dollars?

Alias needs to get the courage to redo their interface. I don’t care if it will alienate CAD monkeys who are so set in their ways that they want it to stay the same forever.

Enough is enough! DO IT!

I’m sorry but I disagree. Having used Pro E I can tell you about bad UI. Like initiating a command, then having to move to the bottom of the screen to select one command, then all the way to the top, then all the way to the right, then click a dialog that defaults to picking “NO” all the time.

What particularly bothers you about the Alias UI?

Marking menus are literally one of the best inventions in UI when it comes to workflow. I can’t even tell you how much time it saves compared to when I used to work in Rhino. The interface icons are intuitive and everything is completely customizable. I think out of the box the UI suffers from “Heres everything all at once, figure it out” syndrome and it’s overwhelming. I ditch the shelves, move all my palletes to the bottom so they don’t take up as much space, and put my less frequently used commands in the control panel. From a UI perspective, theres basically nothing in the app that I can’t do with a hotkey or two clicks.

If anything, it’s been their changes for reasons that don’t make sense that have been ruining the app. I’m not a “Baked” user, but explain to me why moving Antialiasing from the control panel that controls all other shading settings makes sense.

I personally really like the ui in studiotools, though im still using studiotools 13 so im unsure if its changed much since. I personally find the ui in programs like solidworks really infuriating and a bit too intrusive. I find the ui in studiotools really quite passive and quiet, which i like, whilst having all the options i could ever want a few clicks away. I have to agree with cyberdemon about the program being overwhelming to begin with, but after a while i found it “clicked” in the same manner photoshop did and its not something i have to think about now, which i feel is a sign of a good ui.

but all that’s stuff my opinion and how i personally interact with it.

I don’t understand this though;

“Alias needs to get the courage to redo their interface. I don’t care if it will alienate CAD monkeys who are so set in their ways that they want it to stay the same forever.”

why would any company want to change a product that the large majority of its users, cad monkeys, wouldn’t want changing. It would be a bad business decision and an instance of bad design work.

btw cameron, i liked your portfolio, nice work and you’ve presented it in a nice friendly, light manner that i think works well. good luck with it all

In terms of learning studiotools, the tuts that have recently (ie within the last year or so) uploaded to the autodesk site have been a godsend but also the tutorials in the help files where good enough to get me going. It is a case of thinking about a problem, trying a few things, failing a few times and just finding your way.


Just thought i would Chime in here.

here are some links to books and DVDs.

The Gnomon Workshop

We have been actively listening to users and quite frankly the non-users to figure out what it is about the interface that is the most challanging. lets face it, not everyone is a Career Alias Monkey. We have Made some simple but significant changes to help remove the clutter and make it easier to use and learn.

For me, Im a Power user. Big fan of the Marking Menus and the Palatte. Text only! very different needs then someone just starting out.

For 2010 you will notice that the default set-up is using the Shelf with very thoughtful groupings of tools. Common tools and task are within pull outs making it very easy to remember and find similar tools. For example, all Surface creation tools are under one icon, while all Surface Editing tools are under another.
We are shipping with the Control Panel open, but this is completely optional. Having the shading and Display features available for users not comfortable with marking menus and hotkeys, or hidden in menus are too valuable to hide.

The addition of the view cube makes it possible to use only the perspective window for modeling and gives you better control WITHOUT holding down Shift+Alt.

Hope You Enjoy the new “tear open and use” experience.

BTW: check out the 240+ new materials in the library. wow.

For what it’s worth - the Alias power users would always be happy as long as they can import their settings from the previous versions and have things stay as close to identical as possible. Adding features is OK, but moving stuff around creates massive headaches, especially if theres no way to restore the defaults.

Half my studio is still using version 11 for just that reason. We just made the switch to 09 and now '10 is already dropping. Makes me feel like I’m getting old too fast! :laughing:

To “guest” I disagree with the “find the book from 9.5, it’s just the same”. The last versions since 13.5 have seen some real new features like ambiant occlusion. 9.5 is year 2000 release, that’s 9 years and releases away.

if you prefer paper you can try to print the huge help. You will need a network professional printer, 500 paper sheets and one night so your colleagues won’t try to kill you for choking the network printer !
But you will get the lacking manual.
Actually I think I’m gonna try this myself. (Spare me the save the rainforest : trees for paper are managed forests, like growing corn and cutting it. Unless you don’t eat cereals at breakfast or bread or anything cereals based : then go ahead and flame me)

By the way if you’re fine with a 9 years old software it makes me wonder why we paid so much during those 9 years ?
A freelancer we work with uses 9.7. A model maker told me his files were the cleanest he received. What matters is not the software but the guy using it !

I totally agree with cameron : we designers tend to hate ugly things. No wonder when possible we use Apple equipment.
Or a nice lamp, chair, pen, whatever.

It’s not just about transparency effects and bubble buttons : the graphic work would automatically bring a rethinking of details or even major changes. Because, as in product design, graphic design is about looks AND functionality.

I just saw the restyling above and I’m disapointed. Hasn’t changed enough for me.

I’m not realy sure what you mean by this. Graphic design != UI design. An awful looking interface can be fantastically funcitonal (once again, marking menus are the single best UI element I’ve ever used) and a gloriously beautiful UI can stink!

Case in point: Bryce software from back in the 90’s. The UI even by todays standards is very attractive - but it was horrible to work in!

While the Alias option boxes may not be the most attractive things, the iconography is outstanding - just by looking at 90% of the icons even a novice could infer what a lot of the functions are. I think the paint interface is still clunky, but most people have moved to sketchbook Pro who couldn’t handle it.

Making major changes to the software UI - particularly in whats been an industry leading surfacing package for decades isn’t necessarily a good thing. I’d love to have some nicer graphics, but at the end of the day that won’t improve my productivity one bit.

On the other hand the marking menus, customizable shelves, hotkeys, and icons means that I can tailor my entire UI to my specific workflow - and gain huge speed increases in the process. Things that would’ve taken me an hour when I first started the software (because I didn’t know how to use them) I can now consolidate down into a few steps.

To me just because something is “prettier” does not make it better. Not to mention that in the real world, bloating lots of UI elements, transitions and graphics means more memory usage, more overhead, and more junk getting in the way of doing what you want to do. See Also: Windows Vista.

What I mean is : seeing no evolution for years of Alias’s GUI means that they don’t even think about it.

What I’m trying to say is : if they started working on the UI, but really working, it wouldn’t be just graphics, but also how are the tools located, etc.

The marking menus are fine, but the rest ?
Just one example : the layers .
The layers bar hasn’t changed since Alias beginning. As a word length is bigger than it’s heigh is doesn’t make sense to have the layers in horizontal arrangement. It’s dumb. You can’t see more than like 8 layers at once when you actually happen to use a lot more.
They added the Object Edit window, a rather normal Illustrator or Photoshop layer window. Fine. But you can’t create, delete or change the layers order in this Object Edit ! So you’re stuck with the old and dumb Layer Bar. And I have loads of other examples but I would take ages to detail.

I see your point “nice looking doesn’t necessarily mean good ergonomics”. Ok, what I assumed is IF they did a rework of the GUI they would have the opportunity not only to restyle the thing but also to rethink it.
At least that’s the way I would try to do it if I were in charge.

But you are right. They can just fiddle with the graphics and let the unlogical features arrangement unchanged. Sure they can. But do you really think Alias interface can’t be upgraded ? Do you find it intelligent that you have the data display possibilities (what I see and how i see it) that is : wires/spans/CVs/antialiasing/diag shading/HW shading/Visible-Invisible/Layers/SBD/Categories/Stage/Reference Manager etc, etc… scattered across the interface without any logic instead of concentrated on one location ?

Do you use a lot the SBD ?

I’m not saying add features and fancy useless Vista-style transition effects I’m saying : remove the junk from 15 years ago !