For those of you who have recently landed jobs or recently hired people, what are the “core” 3-D applications that a designer has to know to get a good job? I am extremely proficient in Rhino, but that’s about it. I know Alias is probably a sure thing, but what about Pro-E, Solidworks, Studio Max, Think3-d, Maya, etc. It seems like everybodys using something different these days, which makes it difficult to get the job you want. I have a great “overall sense” of 3-D design/CAD, but thats hard to prove in an hour interview. Any thoughts?
forget the 3D app. your portfolio is all that reallymatters. Rhino is gravy. if they want SW or Pro/E or whatever they can teach you. good companies want thinkers n problem solvers. not technicians.
Sparkplug, YKH is right…to an extent. Knowledge of a 3D application probably won’t get you the job you want, but it can get your foot in the door. If there is an industry that you want to work in, find out what is popular there and learn it.
For example, Alias is used alot in automotive design. If you want to break into it, learn it. Maybe an auto design studio doesn’t need another designer, but maybe they do need just another Alias jockey. Once you are there you will gain contacts and if you leverage them correctly you will be able to slide over into the design element you really wanted to be in.
Lastly, it will be easier to do this in school where you have projects to work on anyway then when you are out and have all kinds of responsibilities.
We can’t possiblly be effiecient with every single 3D applications out there. If a company or a firm is looking for a designer who knows how to drive a specific application, you should hope that it is something you already know. A bigger company will be able to train you once you are hired, but you have to be able to offer more to the company than the next guy who already knows the application.
I was hired about half a year ago where the designers use Alias, but I have no knowledge of Alias. But since I know how to drive Rhino, my manager got me a license of Rhino and I was able to be productive from day one. It’s easy to do that when the application only costs $1000, I don’t know if it can work the other way around.
At the end my IGES files imports/exports from Rhino just as well as Alias IGES, so the engineers don’t really care where it comes from.
I was under the impression that it was necessary for designer to know at least 1 3d modeling program. If this is not the case, how would you recommend a design student to “display” a final form rendering? I know it is mainly about process, but how else would you show a final model, illustrator? marker? photoshop? coreldraw?
not long ago design students made hi-quality models. got professional photographs for portofolio. there was no Rhino no Photoshop no Coreldraw. people who did this are managers hiring today. they appreciate hands-on work. esp models. this is a three-dimensional career. not a 3D on computer screen career.
cant believe obsession with computer tools. important yes. all-important no. make models. show some marker sketches. sure sounds like you’ll be in the minority.
I’m sure there are places that do appreciate model making. I know I had one of my best interviews a few days ago and the president of the company (not a designer) was impressed with that I worked with my hands alot. However…many design consultants I’ve contacted in the Montreal area ask about my software knowledge with regards to 3D software. Like Matt said, a smaller place would like you to know how to be productive day one.
As for how do you show your project: every way you can. Make sure you have an excellent model in your portfolio along with an excellent 3D computer model, Photoshop rendering, illustrater rendering, and why the hell not, a good marker rendering. Is this alot to ask? Sure, but if you take the time to learn now you will have more opportunities later.
never said ignore 3D computer modeling. but designers design. so worry first about design. then communicate it best way you can. if thats a PS rendering then ok. if 3D cad then okay. if its a foamcore you take to interview then okay. whichever is best.
everyone frets software but most corefolios i saw browsing last week need less computer and more design. and i saw alot. no one talks about sculpting rough models. thats as important as sketching imo. good Alias skills and no design skills wont get you a good design job. you become Alias person for staff designers. i can send sketches to India and get Alias or Pro/E in 24hrs cheaper than hiring bad designer with Alias skills.
future is not 3D CAD. its design. outsources can copy easy. but good design doesnt export. but obviously the more tools you learn to express design the more jobs offers you get. you know Rhino? all you need. forget the rest and create amazing designs.
Thanks all. Very good insights above.
you are absolutely correct…ID IS a profession that requires 3-D software skills…its the primary communication designers have to communicate with manufacturers regarding their design. Process is great inside the design department, but thats about as far as that goes. Sketches leave too much to interpretation and if your a younger designer there is no reason not to know CAD software…its just being flat-out lazy if you don’t.
It is very important to show a firm grasp of at least one CAD program, this communicates to the employer that you have the ability to learn other programs and understand the data that manufacturers work off of.
“ID IS a profession that requires 3-D software skills…its the primary communication designers have to communicate with manufacturers regarding their design”
more and more Asian OEMs only ask for 2D concepts. used to deliver toolable complex surfaces in Pro/E. rare anymore. they used to love it. but now they have supercheap Asian sources and only want 2D concepts in mulitple views. sometimes i see product shot on client website that was only a rough thumbnail sketch. didnt even know project went forward. doesn’t jive with what you claim.
From my limited experience, IMO there are some reasons for this:
Designers can’t sketch
Manufacturers want them in a matter of days
Manufacturers don’t want to spend time and money on 3D models
It’s always the way they’ve been doing and everyone’s happy
They don’t want designs so complicated that can’t be shown on 2D
However don’t think that they will never go into 3D presentation though, cus by looking at the rate they catch up, you never know. Furthermore the new generation of designers, the current students, usually have better 3D modeling skills than sketching. So perhaps in the next few years, they may just skip the sketching or 2D and jump into 3D.
[quote="Big Red Sketches leave too much to interpretation and if your a younger designer there is no reason not to know CAD software…its just being flat-out lazy if you don’t.[/quote]
Obviously your not that experienced with asian manufacturers. Have you ever seen the first few prototypes that they produce off a sketch? The skill-level between factories in China vary greatly. Some are amazing, but a lot take multiple tries to get the protoype correct. Asian manufacturers will only ask for sketches if they do not have CAD software, thats why sending sketches is acceptable.
Again, in today’s market, if your younger (less than 10 years experience) designer and don’t know a single CAD program…you’re lazy.
3-D data is quickly produced, it is no longer a timely or “expensive” investment. The accuracy of the prototypes have a far greater advantage than sketching something up and crossing your fingers that china interprets it correctly.
“Obviously your not that experienced with asian manufacturers. Have you ever seen the first few prototypes that they produce off a sketch? The skill-level between factories in China vary greatly. Some are amazing, but a lot take multiple tries to get the protoype correct. Asian manufacturers will only ask for sketches if they do not have CAD software, thats why sending sketches is acceptable.”
OEM’s i’m talking about are huge players not little shop sh*ts. but you should know from all your visits to Asia that everyone has CAD. everyone worth visiting at least. routinely see cracked warez during trips overseas sourcing tooling. both mainland China and Taiwan. what are you talking about? you must work with worthless companies.
“Asian manufacturers will only ask for sketches if they do not have CAD software, thats why sending sketches is acceptable.”
this is such a stupid assumption i cant believe you know anything. OEM i just delivered sketches to is huge. think this client list wouldn’t expect them to have CAD (esp since they have mulitple office in NYC)?
over 100 more names like this.
“So perhaps in the next few years, they may just skip the sketching or 2D and jump into 3D.”
valid comment. i’m trying to do that now. just need to shave a little time off. almost did my last project in 3D even tho deliverable was 2D. but got scared i’d miss the deadline.
I’m just going to sit back and watch the fallout from this one. Looks like a battle lurking.
YKH…where in the world is your Avatar from? It’s slightly disturbing, but kinda cool at the same time.
can you please clarify your point…given your statement I have no idea what your talking about? I realize that this is a forum, but please use basic sentence structure.
Regardless, the forum is about if designers need to know CAD software…I believe we’re arguing for the same side?
I’ll side with ykh on this, though I’m a little less extreme on the issue.
Pretty much any parametric 3D package is useful since the more they “progress” the more these programs look and work alike. SolidWorks, Inventor, ProE, Catia, they are all tools, and some would argue tools a designer should only use to validate resolved concepts formally and mechanically, i.e. late in the game. Design happens in the head.
Where I work we’d never refuse a good, creative, original mind because they lack CAD skills, no matter their seniority level. Good employers will teach you tools if you show signs of other talents much harder to find, like a knack for original concepts that serve untapped user needs others in the business haven’t discovered yet.
Designers skilled in the tools and techniques of the trade there are aplenty, inventive visionaries who can create a brand new product experience very few. Some CAD is useful but unless you plan on a career as a design technician, spend your time perfecting the more abstract, less tangible side of your thinking. Jobs making CAD an essential criteria are short-term dead-ends usually and could be filled by any contract worker with that knowledge, not necessarily a designer trained to create and resolve concepts.
Egg, I agree also…that’s why I’m a bit confused by ykh.
A student (or young designer) posted about whether a design applicant needs to have CAD skills to get a job.
The answer is yes, there is always the exception but to be competitive a designer must know CAD to support their understanding of process…after all the last step of the design process is “execute the design into manufacturing”
kind’ve tough to do that with sketches, last I knew CAM software can’t cut tools out’ve marker renderings.
clarify? said i was delivering 3D Pro/E before. now they only want 2D. they have cheap sources. cheap sources that are getting good. and they dont care if ID form is even only okay. close is good enough for most marketing people. your saying i dont have experience. that these clients obviously dont have CAD. really?
what is there to clarify? i work with a couple Asian multi-nationals. OEMs for major brands. lots of them. meet with them sometimes. but maybe i didn’t really use Pro/E on the one engineers laptop last time we met… you tell me.
i’m saying 3D app is just another tool. and it is only a tool. Graves doesnt know CAD. bet Stark doesnt. and know designers at big firms that dont know 3D. some out of school only couple years. they do Photoshop renderings. good ones. after that they look over a cad jockey’s shoulder and drive him nuts. i’ve seen that too. had that happen once when i volunteered to help on a complex design.
i use CAD. alot. love it. have spent a ton of $$$ on it. its a great tool and believe designers should learn it. but also believe in sketching and modelmaking. CAD comes last for now. dont believe its mandatory. not yet. and this guy already knows Rhino. but everyone says you gotta know CAD. worry about CAD. who’s telling them this BS? look at the corefolios. most suck. worry about design people. design comes first. knowing CAD wont make a bad design better. knowing CAD just gets you a job with some ID jerk sitting with you changing his/her mind over crap like a .020" radius on the inside.
tell me that isnt true.
i was interviewing not long ago. we took the non-CAD good designer over the CAD jockey sh*t designer. we chose good design. some places - the places i’d want to work - still do that.
@6ix - my first character model in Maya. low-pply for videogame. kinda old now.
sorry. slow hands. missed posts. agree with Egg. entirely. Big Red. i was designing on the board before CAD. didnt keep me from understanding manufacturing processes.