Ford is the first automaker to work with Gravity Sketch – a 3D virtual reality tool that enables designers to create more human-centric vehicle design. Designers trade in their sketchpads for a headset and controllers to become immersed in virtual reality, imitating gestural interactions through motion tracking that replicates sketching with pen and paper.

Michael Smith, Ford design manager, says seeing all angles of a vehicle as it is being drawn truly unleashes creativity and fosters development of human-centric design from start to finish.

“Jumping right into 3D gives us a 360-degree view of a vehicle as it is being created,” he says.

Gravity Sketch allows designers to speed the automotive design process from weeks to hours, skipping the sketch stage and working with a 3D model from the beginning. Designers can anchor a driver at the centre, rotating their 3D design to view it from any angle to create a scalable vehicle around their driver.

They can even step inside the vehicle sketch to quickly adjust design attributes to best suit occupants.  

Across five global Ford design studios, dozens of interior and exterior designers are now experimenting with Gravity Sketch for workflow feasibility and its potential for real-time co-creation and collaboration. Shifting to a model that designs and evaluates in virtual reality could revolutionize the entire process by drastically reducing development time and allowing for more 3D representations in the evaluation stage.  

“Our collaboration with Ford designers has enabled us to get immersed in their creative process and discover ways to help fine-tune this application to better suit their needs so they can build the best possible vehicles for their customers,” said Oluwaseyi Sosanya, Gravity Sketch CEO & Co-founder.

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