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Old 11-25-2007, 06:05 PM
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BobbyG-39 BobbyG-39 is offline
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I see you are in Detroit. Do you go to CCS? I went to U-M Ann Arbor in product design and then to CCS....

As for your sketches, I will agree with some of the comments- the designs are sort of anonymous.

However, it depends on where you're at in your academic career to know if this is an issue. From your comments, I don't think it is yet....

When I have students that are starting out, I don't want to see any of their own designs. First you need to learn what good proportion of different types of vehicles are. So we concentrate on side views- front drive car, rear drive car, sport coupe, sports car, pickup, crossover, Body On Frame SUV, and so on. Once you understand the "architecture" of each of these kind of cars, you can see where the pitfalls of each are and how to make each one look good. At this point in time, the shape of the grille or headlight is unimportant. The reason a Chrysler 300 looks better than a Ford 500/Taurus is not the big grille or headlights. Take a look at how big the side windows are on 300 vs. 500. Then see where the windows are - placed closer to the back wheel. The A pillar ( windshield post ) is further behind the front wheel on a 300. On the 500, its almost right behind it. Then look at the front overhang ( how far the front bumper sticks out past the front wheel. ) You must understand where to place these elements in architecture first, and where they need to be depending on what type of car you're doing. The 500 is front-drive family, the 300 is rear drive sports/luxury. This doesn't mean you can't make a front driver look good, just look at any Audi or the new Malibu.

Like I said before- do side views first, then front, rear, and sometimes plan ( top ) views. This will help you understand the car in 3d and project it in perspective space. Once you're comfortable with your perspectives of these generic architectures, we can address the comments on design.

The design, or the "theme" can be inspired by anything- it could be the brand DNA, which could be retro, but doesn't have to be, it could be related to the function, or anything else you're inspired by ( the skeleton of an insect, a flower, a plane, whatever. ) It should relate to the brief, which is the basic one or two line project statement ( i.e. design the next Ford Edge for 2020, or create a new sports car that uses glass in an innovative way for empty nesters in 2015. ) Here is where you want to be the most creative.

You need to balance the idea of the design being reasonable considering modern laws, requirements, and buyers tastes...for example, an open-wheeled, topless hot rod with no luggage space doesn't make sense for a crossover- but that doesn't mean it needs to look like a sanding block for it to be reasonable. Take a cue from all the different kinds of hot rods there are from a single design- the 1932 Ford. In actuality, the 1932 Ford and 1932 Chevrolet are much closer looking that today's Fords and Chevys. But many people have creatively modified both to express their own ideas.


Car design is a very competitive field, and you have a better chance at playing for the NFL than being a car designer, simply because there are more football players than us! ( You will also make alot more money in the NFL, too. ) But if car design is your passion, as it was mine, stick with it, and draw your hands off...

Car designers are chosen similarly to scouting in professional sports. Most companies will pick who they want from different schools in senior year prior to graduation. You need to convince visiting designers from OEMs who sponsor projects, instructors, and those who hire for internships that you understand the brand, and can do the super hot-looking renderings of very creative designs. If they hire you, they're better their butts that you will create the next best gotta have it design, that can push through the corporate red tape and get everyone excited to put it on the road as you drew it....

One comment about your sketches- the perspectives seem foreshortened, which is making your cars look narrow. Also, don't leave out the wheels- the most important thing to a car is stance, and that's defined by the wheels. You wouldn't do a figure drawing without the feet, so don't leave out the car's feet either....

I took one of your sketches, drew over it, and then did a quick 5 minute re-do of it, then a quick 15 minute tone-on-tone ( b/w render in Photoshop. These are quick, not masterpieces, but hopefully can give you a good idea of where to go...see attachments to this message

Good luck, and feel free to post more or send me private messages with sketches. I will gladly give you my feedback.
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