Hi, it’s Daniel. Thank you for all your questions, showing me that there is an ever-growing interest in design and turning dreams into three-dimensional reality. I try to answer each single message I receive, being flattered by your interest and passion. Many questions gravitate around similar topics, so I try to write up the most popular things here for you to browse. I will will keep this updated, and again, thank you for connecting with my work.
California, January 2014
How do I become a designer?
The safe way is to draw and create every day, and to sharpen three dimensional understanding by studying objects and nature. I started drawing at the age of three with parents who supported my never ending need for paper and pens. To go professional, there is no single way. I got lucky and passed the test at an internationally renowned German college of design, which was very affordable at the same time. All I did was being prepared for that chance by drawing every day. But even if you live far away from a good college, opportunities are everywhere in our online world. Study tutorials, create your own blog or submit your work to forums and contests. Feedback will help you to improve and it may lead to the education and contacts you seek. Then, a good internship is the next crucial step, your first hands-on industry experience. Even if you want to live the dream of being a free spirit, I recommend a few years in corporate design first, like my own five years at Volkswagen Design Germany. You learn priceless industry insight that will help you later when you work on your own.
How long do you work on a project?
It depends. Vehicles I design for Hollywood film pitches may have to be done within one day. Others, like the Bubbleship appearing in Tom Cruise’s 2013 film Oblivion took over 300 days to design, including ergonomic studies of the actor, mechanical solutions for construction and transport, material and paint research and animation. As for Cosmic Motors, I work on many vehicles at the same time over years, to make sure they reach the standard and long lasting look I pursue. Episode 1 of The Timeless Racer took me about 4500 hours from the first idea to receiving a book from the factory.
Can I work at your studio?
I currently work by myself due to restricted L.A. space. This may change in the future.
How can I hire your design service?
Please click here to contact me via email. Include budget, schedule, short project description and your full professional contact information. Only serious inquiries will be replied. Looking forward to it!
Do you have posters and prints available?
In 2014. I want to offer the best quality possible and need time to set up an appropriate system. I am looking forward to it.
Does it hurt you if I buy your books below list price on amazon?
I appreciate that thoughtful question. It’s totally cool if you buy through amazon. It is a fast and economical place. Sometimes they have poor shipment packaging which I have no control over, therefor I decided to produce “The Timeless Racer” with protective shrink wrap, so all should be totally fine. If you got it from amazon and enjoyed the work, please review the book itself, I would be thrilled! If amazon caused you any trouble, please do not complain via a book review, it hurts the authors a lot and the shipping company not at all.
If you are a nervous soul, order directly from the publisher Design Studio Press for full list price. They are fine folks and offer individual customer service in case something goes wrong with your shipment.
When and where can I get The Timeless Racer virtual scale model app?
The app is still in early development. I decided to give a hint on the last page of the book. However, I am a one-man band and things take a little longer to make them good and functional. I will announce it on all my social media and in the shop. The idea is to make all machines of “The Timeless Racer’ line-up available for augmented reality.
Where can I get your PITLANE edition of The Timeless Racer book?
The Pitlane edition is only available 313 times, and it takes me about 1 hour to assemble each individual book to your wish, which includes your names hand stamped into an aluminum plate, a little sketch, and a dedication. So you only can order it from the publisher, nowhere else. Click on this link and choose ‘Pitlane’ from the drop down menu. You can also browse through the image gallery and see some images of it. Order the PITLANE edition here.
How can I support your work and ideas?
If you bought one of my books on amazon and liked it, it is of great support if you leave a rating and fairly specific review there about what you liked, helping new fans to understand what they are getting into. Amazon is pretty much the main gate into my fantasy world, and your review might be the first thing somebody reads about my work.
Are you planning to offer scale models?
It’s a big dream of mine! I am looking into it for quite some time now and I am determined to make this dream come true. Keep in mind that it makes a difference weather you make a Porsche 911 as a scale model or a fantasy machine. Fast advances in rapid prototyping however are opening fantastic doors for smaller runs, so the odds are improving dramatically. Stay tuned.
Are you planning to offer educational material?
Yes. I am very flattered by request and interest in how I work, thank you. I don’t know yet when I can tackle such a challenge. I am a designer with many dreams that consume many months to realize. I am not planning on any in-depth software related tutorials such as ‘How to make a radius in Alias…’ or other programs. You can find already many great places to learn a software these days. It would focus on vehicle design, drawing, story telling, world building etc. The exciting stuff that keeps me going every day. ”
What advise do you give a young designer?
Be obsessed with what you do. Meet people who do what you want to do. Travel and understand other cultures. Work every day on something. Read – I learned more about design through reading then through looking at pictures. Don’t feel bad copying at first, you will find your own style over time. If you don’t, design may not be your thing. Share your ideas constantly, which is good training for later pitches. You will pitch the rest of your life to get your designs made. Look around – you want to know what has been done. Don’t look around – you may loose track of what you really want to do. And don’t give up – it takes a very long time to get paid for what you like to do.
What hardware do you use?
BOXX Xtreme Workstation, Windows 7 64-bit, Intel Xeon X5690 12 core 4.29 GHz, 24 core hyper-threaded, 24 GB RAM, nVidia GPU Maximus setup with currently 2 x Tesla 2075 GPU’s and 1 x Quadro 6000 output. Apple Cinema 30″ screen. Old-school Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. A 20″ Cintiq just joined the family. Desk with five to six 1:18 cars on it. Chair. Chai Tea Latte.
What software do you use?
3D nurbs modeling: Autodesk Alias Automotive 2013 ++++ 3D complex render scenes & pipeline: Autodesk Maya 2013, Mental Ray ++++ 3D rendering and turntables: Bunkspeed Pro / Drive ++++ 2D image manipulation & mapping: Adobe Photoshop CS4 ( CS4 is still my favorite version ) ++++ 2D photography: Adobe Lightroom ++++ 2D film editing: Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects
What drawing materials do you use?
Paper: Letraset Marker Pad 70g or any piece of paper that comes handy ++++ Lines: Verithin 747 Black, Pentel BK77-A ++++ Ellipse Guides: Alvin ++++Marker: Prismacolor Premier Cool Grey 10% – 70%; Chartpak AD Marker Basic Grey. I use Prismacolor markers for my very detailed renderings because of their subtle tonality. For small thumbnails I prefer ADs because they are brutally punchy. And stinky.
With best regards, Daniel Simon. California, January 2014.Share