What steps do car designers follow to transform a 2D sketch into a 3D model?

  • Initial sketching For early design ideas, interior designers use the utensils they are most familiar with penandpaper.
  • Sketching on the tablet Moving to tablet enables layering, unlimited editing and the ability to experiment more.
  • Finer detail Changing ink color and thickness, the designer is able to use the initial design as a stencil while adding further features
  • Adding color and shadows Block color can be added within the lines drawn. Adding shadows creates a sense of realism in order to visualize the interior.
  • The stretched design The first step towards 3Dimagery is to recreate the designing warped version of it around the sphere. Like the globe of a map, the image will fit proportionally in the headset.
  • Headset transferral Stepping intotheVRheadset, you’re immersed in a 3Dversionofthedesign. This provides a view from the driver’s seat to experience how it would feel inside the car.
  • 360-degree views Inside the virtual car, you can turnaround to see the rear of the car and the design placement around the driver. Here the designer looks behind him and up tothe roof to analyze his work.
  • 8Sensing distance Wands connected to the device can be held in your hands to demonstrate the proximity of the steering wheel, gear stick, and other driver controls.
  • Experiencing the design Designers can experiment with reaching for the wheel and gear stick to check the design’s functionality
  • Sharing the design Selling the design to lead designers and communicating the concept with manufacturers are important steps. It can be demonstrated either by putting the VR headset on or displayed on a large screen. This also enables zooming and rotating to focus on specific elements in detail, which couldn’t be done previously with paper sketches.

What research is involved before designing a car?

We have two types of research that we do. One focuses on what a customer does on an everyday basis. We send designers out to live with the customer for a week to see how they live. Secondly, we explore the fears and the dreams of the customer. What do they love? Or what is it that they would ever want to do, or become? Our cognitive psychologist conducts a lot of this research for us. And then from this, we create a design we think is appropriate

How is modern technology transforming cars?

It all comes down to how technology interacts with you, to enhance the human experience. It’s a series of emotions that I always like to refer to like a movie or a game. It brings this idea of a car as a friend, a butler or a working partner; that’s what is making it so interesting. If you walk up to a car, some technology allows it to recognize you. It starts to communicate with you and then you feel like it’s a relationship somehow.

In what ways is future car design evolving?

I think the biggest change is the humanisation of technology – and that’s not just ‘Alexa’ being nice. That’s how objects are connected in a way that you trust them. Driverless cars will take a while because people don’t trust robots yet. The moment that technology humanizes the relationship between cars and humans, I think we win. Today people are looking to the future more than ever. That means the gap between customer expectation and what we’re actually doing has never been bigger than right now. While technology is evolving quickly, the cars still take a couple of years to make. This discrepancy between customer expectation and what we can deliver puts us on a continuous edge.


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