How To: Get started with 3D Modeling with John Vilardi

How To: Get started with 3D Modeling with John Vilardi

At Edison Nation, we want to do everything we can to help you give your idea its best chance at commercialization.

We recently published a post that highlighted 15 Online Resources to Help YOU Become a Better Inventor. Building on that list of resources, this is the first in a “How To…” series where we provide you with the opportunity to learn from members of the Edison Nation community who can help YOU with your next idea.

First up? We’re interviewing long time EN member, John Vilardi, about 3D modeling and design work.3D Modeling with John Vilardi

Q: Let’s start off with the basics…what is 3D modeling?

3D modeling is the process of using software for creating graphics and images that appear to have three dimensions. It involves connecting a set of points with various geometric data such as lines and curved surfaces with the goal of creating a model that represents a three-dimensional object.

Q: As an inventor yourself, do you find that providing 3D models and drawings helps an invention get commercialized? How?

Yes, without a doubt. It’s all about communicating your idea to a potential company. What’s better than actually being able to see it? 3D models and photorealistic renders do just that.

Q: Beyond providing a visual representation of the concept, how else can 3D drawings be used?

Prototypes can be created using 3D models and then print them with a 3D printer. Most companies today that I deal with ask for a prototype. Being able to model different objects in 3D can come in real handy.

Q: What do you require from your clients to get started, is a simple description enough?

I ask for a detailed description and I always ask them to draw me something. Even a stick figure can help. I get a lot of stick figures. (Just ask Greg Myracle.)

Q: If an inventor wants to learn 3D Modeling, what software would you recommend starting with?

This is a tough one. There is so much software out there. I started working with Lightwave 3D and Maya (from Autodesk) in 2001. I think I would have to say 123D Designs for a beginner. It’s free and it’s simple to use. What really helps is there are a lot of tutorials on YouTube.

Q: You’ve been working with clients, many of whom are inventors, since 2001. What is your most memorable project?

It wasn’t with an inventor but it was my first job ever doing 3D Modeling and Animation. I did a job for Billy Tucci (Shi Comic Books/Director) on a short film called “Some Trouble of a SeRRious Nature.” We came in first place in the Long Island Film Festival. Not only did I do 24 special FX scenes for the film. I was also a stuntman in the film.

3D Modeling with John Vilardi

Ok, here I am on the set with the Director of Photography Sol Negron who worked on “Superman,” “Coming to America,” “RoboCop” and a whole lot more. Also there was Brian Finney (Actor) from the movie “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” “Reno 911,” etc. And here comes John Vilardi just out of School for 3D Animation and I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing. Sol walks up to me on the second day and asks me how I wanted to shoot this scene so I can add a plane flying over the head of one of the actors. Oh my god, I was freaking out. Needless to say we finished the film, it came out great and it was an amazing experience.


A huge thanks to John for sharing a bit of his expertise! To learn more about John, check out his InvENtor Spotlight. If you’re interested in working with John on your next idea, reach out to him via his website! You can also get some EN Community testimonials on the Forums!

Have you ever thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”?

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