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Documentation for AliasStudio is sent with the software, but if you’re ever in need of it and find that it hasn’t been installed on your system, Autodesk makes it available on their site. In addition to the standard help info, some digging will produce additional goodies, such as pdfs that include a detailed introductory tutorial on technical surfacing, and information on data transfer between Alias and other packages.


Gnomon has introduced a new site called Gnomonology. It contains several short, affordably priced, downloadable video tutorials covering many aspects of 3d and animation. Software covered includes Photoshop, Maya, and 3DSMax. A few of the current videos might be of particular interest to designers looking to improve their 3d skills. Try “Intro to Subsurface Scattering” from Alex Alvarez and “Speed vs Quality in VRay” from Christopher Nichols.

Switching gears to 2D for a moment, Car Design News has a number of tutorials that focus on transportation design sketching and rendering. Inspiring stuff. And free! One of the instructors, Harald Belker, also has a few DVDs at The Gnomon Workshop.

Fans of mental ray may appreciate Master Zap’s blog. The man behind the new mia_material in mental ray offers occasional tips on getting the most out of that software.


If you have never looked for Alias-related videos on YouTube, give it a shot. Get started with these. I haven’t watched many of them, but they look intriguing. Of course this isn’t specific to AliasStudio. Try Pro/E, Solidworks, or whatever.


Teague designer Joshua Maruska has a great tip on how to simulate anisotropic reflections on a brake rotor in AliasStudio’s real-time visualization (hardware rendering) mode.


I’m not a Solidworks user, but its user community impresses me a lot. Product Design Forums moderator “Ragde” posted a quick how-to a few months ago that explains how he modeled a Bluetooth Headset. Check out his process, even if you’re not a Solidworks user.


Product Design Forums Moderator Thomas Parel created a great tutorial a couple of years ago that still, I would imagine, be of great value to any new Solidworks users getting into surfacing. See it in totality here.  Now, someone do something similar for Pro/E!


Of course my first entry has to be about my own tutorial project. For those who have not seen it, I released a DVD through The Gnomon Workshop in early 2006 that taught rendering in Alias StudioTools (now known as Autodesk AliasStudio). It is titled “Product Design Rendering Essentials: Lighting and Shading in StudioTools with Dustin Brown.” Yes, all of that. It is still available from The Gnomon Workshop.

I’ll update with any new/other titles from Gnomon that may be of interest.  There are many…