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Anybody using CAD in their workflow?


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Hello!

 

Discovered Fusion 360 a few days ago and got curious about how many of you folks working in the motion graphics industry using any CAD modelling for your hard surface modelling jobs?

 

An example where I could see myself using Fusion 360 instead of C4D Subd-modelling would be if I wanted to model something a bit more complex, like a camera with lots of small details or anything else that requires a deep knowledge of subd-modelling to model it accurate and fast. 


It just seems like if you knew both CAD and subd-modelling, then you could get the job done much faster in a CAD program than in C4D. But I guess the problem then with CAD models would be the typology once you import it to C4D for texturing/animation. 

 

So my question is really: How many of you are using CAD (like Fusion 360) in your workflow for modelling hard surface products? 

 

Thanks,
IwantToLearn

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Not me. A lot of my job is repairing the awful topology generated by these programs when clients find they actually need them made properly for later animation etc. There are hard surface workflows in Cinema that are just as fast as in CAD programs, and i have a lot of helpers like Quad Remesher and HB modelling bundle, so for me it's easiest do everything there and not generate the rubbish topology in the first place !

 

CBR

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For concept design, CAD is much faster. A lot of concept artists use keyshot to render, as it can natively import CAD models and texture them. 

For animations, quad-based meshes are the norm unless the object does not get deformed. 

However, some artists don't care at all: check out Beeple's scene files of his short films: his hard surface models are full of ngons and tris but he still manages to texture his meshes thanks to simple projection types. 

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  • Silver Contributor

Frequently.

I sometimes use Fusion, Rhino, FormZ... Another good tool to check out is MOI 3D. It's a simple NURBS based spline modeller created by the guy that originally created Rhino. It sits somewhere between a full blown CAD tool and something like C4D. It also offers 'decent' mesh output - for a CAD type tool. It's a good 'halfway house' for some technical modeling tasks.

 

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CAD is a complex world. There are lots of different types of CAD application to handle everything from infrastructure to fidget spinners.

 

Normally it is better to start with what you want to do, rather than what software you might need. However everytime I have asked this question I never manage to get the answer. I think much harder to choose what to do than it is to choose what software.

 

Anyway C4D  works really well with CAD files. Note that Keyshot has a plugin connection with Cinema 4D too, as well as all the main CAD applications and ZBrush.

 

If you receive a lot of different CAD files from clients then Okino Polytrans is still good and https://www.cyborg3d.com/ have some good tools for generating quad meshes from CAD data. As mentioned earlier Quadremesher is good for CAD data too.

 

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I think the other important thing to not is that the relatively new CAd import options into C4D are excellent. Get STEP file and you can mesh that to the level of detail required on import.

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57 minutes ago, bbuxton said:

CAD is a complex world. There are lots of different types of CAD application to handle everything from infrastructure to fidget spinners.

 

Normally it is better to start with what you want to do, rather than what software you might need. However everytime I have asked this question I never manage to get the answer. I think much harder to choose what to do than it is to choose what software.

 

Anyway C4D  works really well with CAD files. Note that Keyshot has a plugin connection with Cinema 4D too, as well as all the main CAD applications and ZBrush.

 

If you receive a lot of different CAD files from clients then Okino Polytrans is still good and https://www.cyborg3d.com/ have some good tools for generating quad meshes from CAD data. As mentioned earlier Quadremesher is good for CAD data too.

 

 

Why I'm thinking about Fusion 360 is because right now I'm not that good at subd-modeling in C4D (I'm learning though 🙂 ), and I'm thinking about learning some Fusion 360 as well for the more complex hardsurface modeling. I understand that the learning curve for Fusion 360 can be quite deep as well, but it feels like it would take less time to learn to model complex stuff than it would in C4D.

With that said, I do think it's important to know subd-modeling to be able to animate any models you make so I don't discard learning subd-modeling. 

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Hi,

 

For example, when I get 3d models from client in some CAD file format, like .stp/.step, .3dm, .stl, .iges, and similar, I import them into MoI3D, setup/choose desirable polygon count with slider, and then export model to .obj or .fbx, which has nice quad mesh topology when imported to C4D.

 

Dane

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On 1/17/2020 at 11:38 PM, Iwanttolearn said:

 

Why I'm thinking about Fusion 360 is because right now I'm not that good at subd-modeling in C4D (I'm learning though 🙂 ), and I'm thinking about learning some Fusion 360 as well for the more complex hardsurface modeling. I understand that the learning curve for Fusion 360 can be quite deep as well, but it feels like it would take less time to learn to model complex stuff than it would in C4D.

With that said, I do think it's important to know subd-modeling to be able to animate any models you make so I don't discard learning subd-modeling. 

Fusion 360 is good if you use a sketch based approach to modelling. If you modify the sketch the model will update. I like this way of modelling (parametric/history based). It is not as robust as Inventor or Solidworks and similar CAD programs that require a company sized budget, but is as close as you will find with a freelance sized budget. FormZ, MOI, Rhino and similar CAD are Direct CAD (to me almost CAD as their approach is closer to 3D applications not having a parametric/history based workflow). These tend to fit freelance budgets too. 

You haven't mentioned producing your designs, so I'm guessing your use is for visualisation. CAD will almost certainly complicate your work. You will need to correct topology, generate UVs and manage complexity and instancing. Assembly constraints (dof) will be lost, only rigid constraints will be preserved.

Keyshot is more suitable for CAD visualisation than Cinema 4D. C4D can do a good job but it will be a lot more work even with it's supurb CAD import. If you are just looking at F360 to augment C4D's modelling tools, I recommend sticking with C4D, eventually you will master what is hard now and avoid the complications that will be sure to follow. If you are editing CAD data sent from clients then F360 is a great option and better than recreating designs from scratch.

 

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9 hours ago, bbuxton said:

Fusion 360 is good if you use a sketch based approach to modelling. If you modify the sketch the model will update. I like this way of modelling (parametric/history based). It is not as robust as Inventor or Solidworks and similar CAD programs that require a company sized budget, but is as close as you will find with a freelance sized budget. FormZ, MOI, Rhino and similar CAD are Direct CAD (to me almost CAD as their approach is closer to 3D applications not having a parametric/history based workflow). These tend to fit freelance budgets too. 

You haven't mentioned producing your designs, so I'm guessing your use is for visualisation. CAD will almost certainly complicate your work. You will need to correct topology, generate UVs and manage complexity and instancing. Assembly constraints (dof) will be lost, only rigid constraints will be preserved.

Keyshot is more suitable for CAD visualisation than Cinema 4D. C4D can do a good job but it will be a lot more work even with it's supurb CAD import. If you are just looking at F360 to augment C4D's modelling tools, I recommend sticking with C4D, eventually you will master what is hard now and avoid the complications that will be sure to follow. If you are editing CAD data sent from clients then F360 is a great option and better than recreating designs from scratch.

 

Thank you for the advice :). Yeah I was really trying to find something to complement more complex modeling in C4D. But you're right about sticking with C4D and learning it the hard way.

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