Good software to learn

Hello everyone,

As a senior I am getting close to graduation and I was wondering if any of you have recommendations of good software to try to learn before I graduate and I no longer qualify for student pricing. I am pretty good at SolidWorks, Keyshot, Rhino, Adobe Creative Suite, and Microsoft Office, and I’ve been fiddling around with Sketchbook Pro and Sketchbook Designer through Autodesk’s student website. Are there any blind spots that I should fill? One of my professors mentioned that we should try to learn Microsoft Project as a valuable piece of business software many graduating design students don’t know. Anything else important to know these days as a graduating designer?

Taking a peek at your portfolio I would invest the time really cranking on your sketching especially ideation, it seems like a gap in your portfolio.

Software is just another tool, you already have a rounded set of 3D skills, so picking up more 3D software won’t necessarily make you pop - especially if you go off and learn Pro E only to find you get hired by a place that uses Catia (as an example).

MS Project isn’t something I’d ever look for on a Jr. ID resume. It’s a useful tool for program management, but you aren’t expected to do that out of school and frankly it doesn’t take more than a day to learn most of what you need to know.

Create some killer eye candy to get your portfolio to the top of the stack first.

Thanks, that’s one of the reasons I downloaded Sketchbook Pro/Designer So I can work on my sketching. The part of the project we are currently on at school is creating package of concept development sketches, so I’ll be focusing on improving my sketching over the rest of the semester. Would you recommend holding off on tablet sketching until I am pretty proficient with analog sketching or does it not really matter as long as I keep drawing?

I would recommend holding off for a while.

Analog skills transition very quickly to digital, but the reverse is not necessarily true.

I wouldn’t necessarily devote months to marker rendering, but solid line control and understanding of perspective is MUCH easier to get on paper when you have a level of tactile response and accuracy that a tablet doesn’t have. The tablet has it’s own issues (even with a high end cintiq) that your line might not be exactly where you wanted it, controlling pressure is more of a black art, etc.

I would just commit yourself to drawing on paper for at least 2 hrs a day for a few months and you’d be amazed at the results by the time the semester ends. Then you can practice bringing in linework and re-drawing or coloring using a tablet.

Sketchbook designer is dangerous in the fact that it gives you nicely tweakable vector lines, adjustable gradients, etc. But that’s dangerous because unless you know better, it’s very easy to quickly polish a crap sketch. Whereas getting a sketch to the point where it looks great with just a ball point is much more difficult, but can be equally or more effective than a nicely rendered turd.

Thanks again. I guess it’s time to whip out the ream of copy paper and get to work! Were there any other blind spots in my portfolio/website that you noticed and I should work on?