Concept design modeling on iPad: from Shapr3D to Concepts

Can one 3D model and render a design on an iPad? The answer is absolutely yes. Powerful and intuitive 3D modeling app Shapr3D along with an advanced drawing tool Concepts make it possible. Learn how Concept and Industrial designers work between the two apps to build and render a mini tank.

Chris Glenn is a Concept Designer based in Los Angeles. He started off as a 3D Artist in games development and later transitioned into Animation and Visual Effects. His primary tool is Photoshop; however, he finds CAD tools very effective to create more sophisticated, hard-surface designs. Chris will share his design workflow of a mini tank and will share some insights on how he utilizes Shapr3D along with other design tools.

Glenn usually starts with sketching his idea before he dives into 3D modeling, it helps him organize the different components of the design.

initial sketch

After that, he designs a very simple and low-detailed version of the design to make sure the proportions and overall silhouette are right and successful.

simple shaped model in Shapr3D

Then he builds up small elements that will be used to build larger ones. At the same time, he builds elements he calls Stamps - these will be used for Boolean operations.

an example of Stamps used for the model

The next step is to build the main components. He starts with the central chassis first, starting with simple shapes. He gradually refines the design with secondary forms and details.

main components

After all the parts are built, he brings them together to make sure they will work together. At this point, he also adds all the details that the design might need. Once he is done, he exports his design for rendering and painting.

finished model
“My main piece of advice is to start small. When I was first learning Shapr3D, I didn’t worry about making anything ambitious. I started off making easy, small parts where I could try things and experiment stress-free. I made ten or twelve small random objects, trying new techniques on each new part. Once I felt comfortable, I started making more complex designs.”

In order to showcase how the 3D design modeled in Shapr3D can later on be used in artistic rendering with Concepts App, Lasse Pekkala, an industrial designer at TopHatch will share his rendering workflow.

The first step for Lasse is to take screenshots of the model from different angles and then pick the one he likes the most. After that, he imports it into Concepts. He lowered the opacity of the image layer and simply starts tracing over it with the firm brush pen. At this point, he does not have a very clear idea on how the render will turn out. Being an artistic work, he develops the rendering throughout the process.

initial sketching in Concepts

Lassi shared that he uses images from Pinterest for inspiration - it helps him have a better idea of what exactly he is doing. Next, he changed the background color in the workspace settings to something closer to the color scheme he’s imagining and adds some color to the background with charcoal tool.

background workflow

He added a drop shadow and kept working on the background a bit to add a sense of space.

Next, he created a colored overlay which helps tie the mech together with the background. He kept rendering the mech using the charcoal and the color picker.


One of the nice things about working in Concepts is that no matter how far you zoom, your content is always clear.

He then added texture to some of the areas using the dry pastel, added some final touches and finally exported the image.

final render in Concepts
“You can see how Concepts offers you a lot of options for design rendering based on 3D models, and gives you flexibility for playing with ideas and adding details. Chris’ mini tank was an awesome model to work with, his concept really transports you to another world. Thanks for the great opportunity!”

You can checkout Concepts here: https://concepts.app/


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