Hi everyone. I'm Glenn Wilcox, Associate Professor of Architecture at the Talmud College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. Welcome to my introductory course in 3D computer modeling. In this video, I'm going to tell you a little bit of what the course is about, what we're going to cover, and give you enough information so you can decide whether or not the course is the right fit for you. The software that I've chosen for this course is Rhinoceros made by McNeil. Not only is it an incredibly versatile modeler, but it has a vast community of users, developers, and educators worldwide that contribute to the highly developed culture around the program. In addition, McNeil offers a free full functional trial version of the program for 90 days. You can download and use all of the software that you need for this course at no cost to you. I'm a designer and a maker and have been a design educator teaching in the field with computers for 25 years. My take on using and teaching 3D software leans towards how we can apply them in a design education, towards design exercises and problems. I'm less concerned with knowing and memorizing every single tool and operation in the software before we do something with it and more concerned with working with what we know at the moment and subsequently building upon that knowledge. What does this mean for the actual structure of the course? Throughout the four weeks of the course, I'm going to introduce the software to you in bits and pieces that build upon each other progressively. I begin telling you about only the things I think you need to know to be able to work on the first assignment, then the second, and then the third and so on. These assignments will build in complexity as you become more familiar with the software tools and processes. Why do I teach software in this way? I found that one of the major pitfalls in teaching software is not a lack of information, but in having too much. 3D modeling software presents a bewildering array of possibilities and an equal amount of online resources that discuss them in detail. This can overwhelm the beginning student and it can be very unclear where and how to begin and what they should know, and more importantly, how they can use it. In my teaching methodology, I try not to overwhelm you with too much information, but understand that comprehension and complexity will occur over time through direct application and design exercises. To me, there are two poles to both learning and using software. At one end, there is a free-form approach, and at the other, a structured approach. Both poles will be addressed in the course as I think they both have value. What do these terms actually mean on the ground for what we will be doing in the course? By free form, I mean working on exercises that don't have highly specified outcome, which means we're not going to try to model X thing at a precise scale, but trying to model something that has more of a feeling, impression, or characteristic. It is some thing or some space that we're modeling, but it's not predetermined. However, let's be clear and not confuse free form with doing anything or absolute freedom. There will be a set of guidelines, rules to follow, and specific processes to use. These are perhaps a bit akin to having a list of ingredients and a recipe for a cake whose result in form and taste could vary greatly. We will work with free form approach in the first two weeks of the course. In Week 3, we will move into a more structured approach to modeling in which we are constructing specific things in a more progressively precise manner, beginning with singular object forms and moving into objects that are assemblies of parts. In order to do this, we will need to be more comfortable with the modeling interface and have familiarity with a range of tools, experience garnered from the first two weeks of the course. In the final week, we will start with a structured approach, working with modeling specifically shaped smooth forms, touching on a few advanced tools and methods before we return to a final free-form project in which I demonstrate a procedural methodology for creating a computationally rich design project. What I've done in designing this course is to cover every tool and aspect of the software that I believe a beginning modeler should know by the end of four weeks, and do that through a series of assignments that would be both enjoyable and challenging, that would get you thinking about the role that a computer plays in a design process. By the end of the course, I'll have introduced you to tools and some of the methods that I use in about 90 percent of the work that I personally do with the software. Who should take and can take this course? I've specifically designed this course for the absolute beginner, so no previous knowledge of 3D modeling is necessary. I start at the very beginning describing what 3D space and 3D models actually are and then go from there. Anyone with an interest and desire to learn 3D modeling with some basic computer skills can take this course. Do you need to be a designer in some field to take this course? It won't hurt, but it's not necessary. Most important is a commitment to wanting to learn the material and diving into it with enthusiasm. Like any subject, the more time you put in, the more you'll get back. Something that's important to remember is that making mistakes is always a critical part of learning. You can always undo or start a new model, so the stakes are low. Trying things in different ways, experimenting with the things that I show you, creating multiple variations of something is a big part of working in the digital environment, and why I ask for at least three versions of projects and some of the assignments because I want you to grow accustomed to an iterative way of working. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, my mother used to say, don't invest everything in one form or one project, challenge yourself in your assumptions. I hope you enjoy my course and I will see you in the first lesson.