SOLIDWORKS is famous for being an engineering software. We mostly use it to model or design machines, tools, and consumer products. However, as creative beings, we naturally like to push boundaries, which includes using tools of unintended purposes.
So, the question is, can we 3D model animated characters in SOLIDWORKS? Think about Pokemon, Disney characters, marvels, etc? This is the question we are addressing here. A simple answer is yes, it might not be your best option if you are planning to build a career in character animation or aiming to build an attractive portfolio as a hardcore engineer. However, if you are a SOLIDWORKS user, creating characters using conventionally engineering software can be cool and exotic but not an easy task as it has some unique modeling challenges. Here is a peek of some of the models I got to create:
Why should you use SOLIDWORKS for animated characters?
The simple answer is: it is a great way to motivate and challenge yourself and up your learning. Let me explain further, how many times did you start a hobby to fill your time or started to learn something to upskill yourself? How difficult was it for you to get started and how easy was it for you to quit? Many of us nowadays lack incentives. Even though we all know that to get good at something we need to invest some serious amount of time. Thus, continuous motivation is a necessity for active deep learning.
By now, you have already started upskilling yourself in SOLIDWORKS, as you are getting better at it, it becomes harder to learn new related skills. On one side, many projects on the internet are redundant and making you feel discouraged to tackle them. On another side, your internal feeling of reaching a peak makes learning seems tedious. This is where creating something unconventional starts adding notable learning value.
By modeling something fun like an animated character you are familiar with, you will surely become self-driving to reach that goal. You will find yourself searching for knowledge in different SOLIDWORKS communities, reading posts by experienced users, and continuously looking for clues to help you create your character. As it is an unconventional SOLIDWORKS task, you will be carving your own discovery path by testing and adapting different modeling approaches toward reaching a model that earns you some bragging rights.
What approach should you take to model characters?
There are two approaches that you can take make models like ones shown above:
If you are equally familiar with both approaches, you will probably keep mixing them all the time. Regardless, one thing to keep in mind is that character is more about shape than precise measurements making it a process of trial and error.
To sum up, being a SOLIDWORKS user you will see your skills hitting a plateau but do not let short term thinking affect your long term learning process. Find something unconventional to model and challenge yourself on a journey towards that.
To get a little taste of what it feels to model characters in SOLIDWORKS, you can check out this free Model Pokemon using SOLIDWORKS course which will take you through the journey of modeling some Pokemon.
P.S. the course is FREE.
By Theodoros Leftheris, 'Model Pokemon using SOLIDOWORKS' course instructor
Theodoros Leftheris is a passionate SOLIDWORKS user. As a member of TforDesign he designs models for educational purposes to stimulate the students into their SOLIDWORKS experience.