How to draw precisely in Alias

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Nepal: Please Join my action to raise money for people
sleeping rough in Nepal following the devastation of the Earthquake. Please donate just 10-30 GBP/
15$ to 45 $ Why not take 2 min to do it now?

Learning Alias sponsors the Education of children in Nepal. But right
now we need to raise money quickly to send to her village Khiji Chandeshwori, which is in the foot
hills of Mount Everest. 7 homes in this small village 2 days walk from the nearest road, have need
completely destroyed and the families are sleeping under plastic in the rain and cold. However much
is collected up to 1000 GBP ,LearningAlias will double. Thank You for your kindness, graham

We are flat out at learningAlias both with meeting our personal modelling deadlines and with reviewing our students work. Any spare time is devoted to developing new learning materials and helping “Elite” students who have completed their learningAlias course to prepare their CV’s and digital portfolios, so that they can set off on the task of finding themselves a good Entry level Automotive contract. For these reasons we simply cannot respond to questions sent in by non-subscribing students, however Kevin de Smet has kindly agreed to make an exeption and answer the following questions. If you are not a subscriber, the correct place to ask your questions is on the Autodesk Alias Modelling forum.
I would like to thank Kevin for making time to answer this particular set of questions.

kind regards

graham bullock

Dear Learning Alias,

As I am new to alias design, I want to ask you 3 questions, and I would be thankful if you answer me:

1- How can we draw precisely in Alias design, like parametric software (Solidworks etc.)?
2- How can we give thickness to surfaces and make them solid?
3- How can we use the output of Alias design for technical drawing?

Thanks in advance


Hi Farshid,

Graham has asked me to make time to answer your questions.

As for your first question, how to draw precisely in Alias, is a really good question. I had the same question when I started out. The thing is, there actually aren’t that many “dimensions” on a car body. Nor are there that many prismatic shapes (i.e. planar, cylindrical, etc…) because every shape blends into the other, they all have subtle influence where one shape stops and another begins. Even if it looks almost like an analytical form at times! To describe that shape, is freeform. And we use nurbs surfaces to do that, defined by control vertices. That’s it, no more.

Now, there is something that may help you out, if you go to Window > Palette and open up the Curves tab then use the “kptbx” tool. It opens the Keypoint Curves box which allows you to draw analytic shapes, if you draw for example a line you can select it like any curve and go to Windows > Information > Information Window, open up the Attributes and you can key in a numeric value. Now there is no constraint solver in Alias, like in SolidWorks you can make lines parallel to each other or tangent etc… but you can use the Align tool for this, it’s under the Object Edit tab in the Palette.

Your second question is one of thickness, this is more complicated than one would think. Usually thickness is given when the data is passed over from Alias to the solid modeling tool (CATIA or NX) you can give a thickness in Alias by using in the palette Object Edit > Offset but why this is not preferred is that this does not create a true offset surface. It’s just another surface with control vertices, no more. And it merely simulates being offset. In the solid modeling tool it is a procedural surface explicitly defined mathematically as offset. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s a pretty big deal! I do think Alias handles an offset differently if you stitch your model first using Surface Edit > Stitch. But it’ll never be quite like a solid modeler can crank out offset geometry.

Thirdly, Alias does not have a drafting environment as you would know it from SolidWorks. Typically the Alias data would be transferred over to the solid modeling engineering tool and the drawings are made on that system. During the past decade it’s become pretty popular to annotate the 3D model directly in the solid modeling system with 3D PMI (Product Manufacturing Information) with dimensions, text, surface finishes, geometric datums and modifiers all as per ASME Y14.41-2003, you should definitely look that standard up on Google! it’s, pretty cool.

In the end it will require practice but things will start to make sense as you go through.

Kind regards,

Here are just 2 examples of the courses I run,
which will take you up to Industry enrty level. I only have time to mentor a handful of students, so please if you are interseted in applying send me your CV and your latest .wire if you have previous Alias experience. If you have no Alias experience, but are experienced on other 3D platforms, I will still consider your application seriously. The main thing I am looking for is real passion and committment to make it in the Alias Automotive Industry

“Course #1”. 6 Months website access to all video tutorials
167 GBP for 6 months website access. This is the most economical way to access my unique Alias Automotive videos, where you will learn how to build the Audi A5 Sportback. You will also gain access to the many videos on Alias Pro. technique.

“Course #2A” Private Tuition Package

(Your work will be reviewed every 15 days and you will receive : feedback, instruction, tips and advice from me personally, modeling demonstrations from me on your .wire and I will supply Meshes to help you with difficult areas of your model. )
167 GBP per month. You will learn how to build 2 complete vehicle exteriors: Audi A5 Sportback and the Virrage Concept Car (Overbuild modeling method) . You will also get access to my “Expert Private Student” videos, which are released to your personal email from YouTube,

Kind regards and enjoy your Alias

Graham bullock B.Ed. CNAA. Des. Tech.

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