Chaos Group Interviews Erik Holmen
ROBRADY design is a multi-disciplinary product design and development studio that offers its multinational client base - including General Electric, Mercedes-Benz, Dell Computers, Segway, AT&T, Merial, Vectrix and Yamaha - progressive industrial design; mechanical design and product engineering; graphics, packaging, GUI, web, and eCommerce design; market research; brand and retail development; complete rapid prototyping; and production program management.
ROBRADY design stresses a comprehensive speed-to-market plan by collaborating to identify the greatest areas of opportunity and producing profitable product solutions.
ROBRADY delivers design, production, and capital solutions to its clients in support of their research-to-reality philosophy.Chaos Group provides state of the art rendering solutions for architectural, VFX, film, media and entertainment, automotive design, television and other industries.
What more can you tell us about the ROBRADY work environment? Do you work as a team or individually? Do you work in a big open space or in separate offices ? Is ROBRADY a fun place to work? ROBRADY is an incredible place to work, and a lot of that comes from the open environment. There are no walls between the departments, industrial designers work across the aisle from the mechanical designers, which promotes the collaborative process. All projects are worked on as a team, with industrial and mechanical designers contributing at all design stages.
Who worked on the DBO Electric Folding Bicycle project and what is their experience in both the industry and with ROBRADY? The concept work was a collaboration between the Design Director Rob Brady, Senior Industrial Designer Erik Holmen, Industrial Designers Andre Minoli and Antonio Molinari, and Senior Mechanical Designer David Poirier. Each designer has extensive experience in the transportation and power sports industries and has been with ROBRADY for several years. While ROBRADY has been active in this market space for decades, this was the first complete bicycle project for the team. Once the concept level 3D models were completed, they were handed off to partner DK City’s team of production engineers for the next phase.
How did the DBO Electric Folding Bicycle idea originate ? Why was it chosen as a project for ROBRADY? And how/why did DK City and ROBRADY team up for this project? The relationship between DK City and ROBRADY was put together by an expert in the electric bicycle field - he believed that the two companies would make a great team. The DBO bike project simply started out as an exercise to design a new folding electric bicycle DK’s expanding lineup of products.
From idea to physical product, how long did this project take to create? The industrial design phase for ROBRADY starting in May 2009, and completed in August of 2009. There were some production design modifications that took place through January 2010.
THE BACKSTAGE EXPERIENCE
How did ROBRADY use V-Ray for Rhino in this project? Why did you choose V-Ray to visualize this project? And how did V-Ray help in the production? ROBRADY uses V-Ray for Rhino in all rendering animation applications. The quality level of the renderings is a huge asset when communicating a design to the client. Once of the nicest features of V-Ray is the ability to launch DRSpawner on multiple networked machines in the studio, drastically cutting down on render time.
What was the biggest challenge in creating the DBO Electric Folding Bicycle? The biggest challenge centered around the folding aspect of the folding bicycle. We wanted to make a design that, at a distance, looked like a folding bike. But you have to work very carefully to make the design function and articulate correctly. It took close collaboration between ID and MD to make sure the concept was groundbreaking but feasible for production.
How long has the team at ROBRADY been using V-Ray for Rhino? The V-Ray software has been the sole render engine at ROBRADY for about 4 years.
Will you share some of the V-Ray settings you used in the DBO Electric Folding Bicycle studio images? Absolutely, the settings we use are actually very simple. We start with the standard high quality setting, and set the lighting and reflection maps to a studio HDRI environment. This is the regular setup for most renderings the studio does. We will sometimes change the lighting/reflection map depending on the subject matter, but when rendering products and vehicles, I rarely have to change the core settings.
What V-Ray features did you find most useful when rendering the DBO Electric Folding Bicycle? The ability to map reflections and lighting is extremely useful, but the distributed rendering has to be the best feature as it has saved us countless hours of render time. The ability to use the engine with the Bongo animation plug-in was huge in communicating the folding qualities of the bike.
What are some upcoming projects in which you will rely on V-Ray for rendering? Every project that enters the studio requiring a 3D model will be rendered with V-Ray. As seen on the Chaos Group website. Chaos Group provides state of the art rendering solutions for architectural, VFX, film, media and entertainment, automotive design, television and other industries.