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May 15, 2012


John Burrill

Oh no, not another endeavor tied to converting napkin sketches in to 3D models.
My breif take on the subject. Napkin sketches, like thumbnail sketches, like legos are meant to use a single tool (you can't even use an eraser on a napkin) to turn a notion into an idea in a form that's easy to abstract and internalize. It uses assumptions, memory and rough estimation and isn't bogged down by geometric precision or proportion or even realism. The benefit is not what's on the napkin, but what you internalize. After that creative moment passes, the best a napkin sketch can do is jog your memory and maybe give a like spark to your creativity, but if you don't have the idea when you sit down at the CAD GUI, trying to replicate what's on that napkin isn't going to help at all. Similarly, the process of developing a CAD model involves several critical phases of evaluation and re-evaluation of your premises which are not conducive to sponenaity. The reason napkin sketching hasn't caught on in 3D CAD is that it's pretty close to perfect already. If you want to be breezy with 3D, buy a bucket of Legos or a seat of z-brush (damn, I just contradicted myself)

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