Motor (Australia) - - FRONT END | PACE NOTES -

THE HUMBLE PEN and sketch­pad have never played smaller roles in car styling than in 2020, at least in VW’s design stu­dio. Bischoff uses dig­i­tal tools even for ini­tial sketches.

“I work with dig­i­tal sketch­pads to draw up ideas quickly and share them,” he says. “The ad­van­tage is you can erase, colour, zoom in and out and use mul­ti­ple tools. You can trans­fer a very rough drawing into a ren­dered design and then carry on de­tail­ing, chang­ing pro­por­tions with tools we use through­out the whole team. Ev­ery­one can see what their col­league is do­ing, and you can com­ment.”

The tech makes de­tail­ing a lot eas­ier as well. The hon­ey­comb grille would not have been fea­si­ble with­out raw com­put­ing power. De­sign­ers in­put cer­tain pa­ram­e­ters to cre­ate the hon­ey­comb, and can then ad­just the shape and size of the holes in­fin­itely. “In the past this needed months of changes and is done now in min­utes or sec­onds,” says Bischoff.

De­spite all the fancy soft­ware and hard­ware, a good old fash­ioned clay model is still cru­cial for when a design nears com­ple­tion and needs to be pre­sented to the board for sign-off. Com­puter wiz­ardry has saved time and im­proved design, but Bischoff main­tains the process can­not shift en­tirely to the dig­i­tal realm. “Data is not tan­gi­ble so, to a cer­tain de­gree, for the fi­nal touches you need phys­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tions. For this rea­son a model is still a very val­ued in­stru­ment,” he says.

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