Detroit Three vie with glamorous Hollywood for top digital designers image

The US automakers face an unlikely, but nevertheless very alluring foe when it comes to hiring new talent for their digital design needs – the Los Angeles moviemaking Mecca.

Ralph Gilles, speaking during the 2014 MICHAuto Summit in Detroit, said the Hollywood filmmakers and the US automakers clash when it comes to securing top digital design talent because of their use of the same powerful software for their respective products.

“There is a whole pool of people that does nothing but digital surfacing,” Gilles said. “That job did not exist six or seven years ago.” Hollywood is “exciting. It’s glamorous. I don’t know what the career path is in those companies long term, but initially, as a young designer, they get tempted away by that,” Gilles explained.

“Digital surfacers are the virtual builders,” Gilles continued, referring to people who use powerful computers and software programs to create, design, modify and even test new vehicles and components before making them physically. The virtual designers cut down on the development process and reduce costs by detecting potential problems before they exist in the real world.

Chrysler’s design boss added that Detroit’s three have the advantage of reality on their side – the end product can be seen, felt and touched. He added that while virtual designers are a new segment, the automakers and Hollywood also compete in the much older and traditional field of clay modeling.

Via Automotive News