Designing toys is a creative field that offers limitless possibilities. Before producing a new toy, the toy designer is responsible for captivating the toy maker, demonstrating that their toy idea is enjoyable, appealing, and can be manufactured at an affordable cost. This is where rendering and visualization tools come into the picture.

Jade Wilson: Product and Toy Designer

Renowned toy designer Jade Wilson, known also for contributing to SOLIDWORKS, recently unveiled the art of creating intricate patterns for gingerbread. "Rendering isn't just about aesthetics; it's about storytelling," shares Wilson. There are several purposes for rendering the design:

• Generate a representative image of the product pre-manufacturing.
• Test out materials, colors, and shapes.
• Animate the toy design by including motion and lights and show the assembly of the product.

SolidWorks Visualize called the ‘camera’ for CAD data, is used to create high-quality images, animations, and interactive 3D content and is a big part of Wilson's design presentations. Their cloud libraries offer a variety of textures and appearances that toy designers can manipulate to create the most realistic product.

Mainstream CAD programs come equipped with rendering tools that offer a vast array of standard materials such as plastic, steel, and wood. These materials can be applied to 3D designs, and their appearance can be fine-tuned by adjusting parameters like grain density, pattern direction, and glossiness to create custom materials that cater to specific requirements.

Important aspects of rendering

Decals: Decals are 2D patterns and images that can be projected onto the surface of a 3D design. Most rendering software includes the ability to use decals as a standard feature. Decals allow you to import a raster image, such as a company logo or product label, and adjust its orientation to control how it appears on the flat or curved surface of the design. When using decals, it's essential to consider the image size of the 3D design. Wilson utilizes decals to add intricate details to the toy design for the visual observer.
Environment: Rendering software usually includes HDRIs (high-dynamic range images) or 3D environments where a model can be placed. These environments range from showrooms, factory floors, garages, and residential areas. The background helps create an ambiance and can evoke specific emotions and lifestyles, influencing how the viewer perceives the design. Wilson places the toy in a child's room to provide context to the environment.
Packaging: George Olarte, an art director at Spin Master, spoke at the KeyShot World 2020 conference. He shared his experience with KeyShot while designing MeccaSpider's package. He abandoned Photoshop for a CAD model that used KeyShot. Using the Orthographic Lens in KeyShot, Olarte created and rendered an image for the package and turned the box into a jigsaw puzzle, which popped out the spider's head when opened. Olarte uses a combination of KeyShot and Esko Studio for 3D packaging design.


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