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Alias Helps Renault Cut Development Time 30%

Uses Alias tools to create optimum design process (July 12, 2004)

Alias announced today that extensive use of its Alias design software has helped cut Renault Design's development time for the Mégane II automobile by over 30 percent. Renault combines software design tools, physical models and digital design visualization to produce cutting-edge designs faster than ever.

Speeding up the development cycle is one of the key reasons why Renault Design has chosen to rely heavily on Alias software tools. The Renault Group has adopted a global digital workflow for simultaneously developing its new vehicles and associated manufacturing processes and currently uses 150 Alias software licenses to help create its new vehicles.

Faster Development Cycle
Measured from design selection through to the first sale, the development cycle at Renault has been reduced from 46 months for the Mégane I with five car bodies in 1994, to 31 months for the Mégane II with eight car bodies in 2002. The Mégane II project is key for Renault, as it will represent 30 percent of brand sales with over 5.5 million units being produced throughout the program's life span. It is also the first vehicle to incorporate C-platform benefits common to Renault and Nissan.

Three Steps to Designing the Ultimate Car
Renault Design uses a combination of Alias tools to assist in its three step 2D ideation, 3D creation and development process including Alias StudioTools, Alias PortfolioWall and Maya. In the end, final exterior Class A surfaces are delivered by the design department to engineering ready for tool manufacturing.

According to Christophe Dupont, director, Design Development Process, "At Renault, the potential of computer graphics was recognized early on, but we felt that the time and effort allocated to CG (computer graphics) production was a major constraint. As a result, over the past five years, we've worked hard to automate the process for creating ultra-high quality still and animated images. Today, it takes only four digital artists to process the work of our 40 digital modelers. It is now possible, in less than 24 hours, to visualize a virtual 3D model evolving in a real environment. With the introduction of radiosity, it has become almost impossible to differentiate between virtual images and real ones."

Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Digital Approaches
"Throughout the design cycle we mix physical and digital processes depending on available resources, whether these are human or material, as well as economic compromises," indicates Dupont. "Alias tools enable us to ally manual expertise with digital efficacy. For instance, we estimate that producing a physical, scale-1 model in clay requires from two to three months for a team of five, whereas a digital model requires the same time but can be produced by a single person."

Meeting a Growing Demand
"Smart use of Alias digital software tools at Renault Design should help us meet the growing workload required by the increasing number of models that have become necessary to satisfy the need for diversity expressed by our customers," says Dupont. "In addition, it will enable us to come to terms efficiently with the unavoidable reduction in development cycles, while at the same time enhance our capacity to implement interaction between other departments in the company, such as vehicle engineering," he concludes.

About Renault
Founded in 1898, Renault is a general-concept automotive manufacturer which, within the framework of its alliance with Nissan, is ranked fifth in the world with over 4.9 million vehicles sold in 2003. The Renault group today features three brands: Renault, Dacia and Samsung.

About Renault Design
Renault Design employs a workforce of 370 (three times more than in 1988) from 23 different countries, including 80 designers. Renault Design also has four centers in a networked organization: a main center based in Technocentre (a true technological city of 12,000 people which brings together those involved in the conception of all projects or future vehicles) and three satellites located in Barcelona, inner Paris (Bastille) and Kihueng in South Korea (Renault Samsung Motors). The satellites bring together 15 to 20 people and propose design alternatives on projects.

About Alias
As the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias develops software for industrial design and visualization markets, film and video, games, web and interactive media. The company's design customers include AT&T, BMW, Boeing, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Italdesign, Kodak, Kwikset, Mattel, Price Pfister, Renault, Rollerblade, Sharp, Trek Bicycle, Teague and Timex.

Alias is a privately owned, independent software company with headquarters in Toronto and a custom development center in Santa Barbara.

For more information visit the Alias web site at or call 1-800-447-2542 in North America. International contact numbers include: Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa +44 (0) 1494 441273; Germany, East & Southeast Europe +0049 89 31 70 20; Italy +39 039 6340011; France, Spain and Portugal +33 1 44 92 81 60; Japan +35 797 3500; other parts of Asia Pacific +81 3 3470 8282 and Latin America +770 393 1881.


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Related Keywords:Alias, Renault Design, Mégane II, visualization, physical models, digital workflow, Nissan, StudioTools, PortfolioWall, Maya, Christophe Dupont, radiosity,


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