Back in 2004 Rob Whiting relocated to Old Dalby, home to Hawthorn’s headquarters, and took up his first role here in project support. With a degree in Fine Art Robs creative flair shone through; developing his skills to create a valuable and unique role where he brings events to life through CAD.

Working within our Create team he supports large scale events by allowing our team and our clients to visualise everything in minute detail before a piece of equipment has even left the warehouse. We caught up with Rob to find out a bit more about what he does…

Tell us more about what the life of a CAD & 3D Event Designer involves.
My role is two-fold; first there is obviously the CAD & 3D element where I help to design sets and visualise events. This can be really helpful to show our clients exactly what their event will look like and I work closely with our Project Managers to ensure we meet their requirements and bring their vision to life.

I also work quite heavily on database development, taking an overview of Hawthorn’s CRM and hire database to coordinate ongoing developments and improvements to systems that are used business-wide.

You’re predominantly self-taught in a range of software – what are your systems of choice and why?
When I start off a project I tend to use AutoCAD for initial 2D plans and drawings – I find that it’s used across a range of industries and businesses, making it easier to work collaboratively with clients in the early stages of a project.

Maxon’s Cinema 4D enables me to then bring the drawings to life in a 3D visualisation. It’s a great tool for adding lots of details, such as lighting, to demonstrate precisely how a client’s final event will look.

You were recently invited to Las Vegas by Maxon and NVidia to conduct a demonstration at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show. What was the experience like and how did it come about?
I had been working with NVidia to carry out beta testing on a plugin – called Iray – that worked with Cinema4d. They liked the work I’d done so invited me over to do a presentation at the same show where it would be launched (you can watch Rob’s presentation here).

It was a great show and I was lucky enough to meet lots of great artists, many of whom produced the tutorials I’d used to learn more about the software I use, including people who’d worked on the Marvel films!

After over ten years in the business you must have worked on some pretty great events, are there any that stand out for you?
In 2013 I was lucky enough to work on the Coronation Festival Gala at Buckingham Palace. I created drawings of the West Terrace of the Palace onto which we were able to develop a stage from which performers would entertain an audience of 6,000 over three evenings.

We also support a lot of events at the National History Museum – it’s a great piece of architecture and I find it a really interesting building to work on.

Last but not least, what do you enjoy outside of your work at Hawthorn?
I am really involved in the Scouting community and am the local District Exploring Scout Commissioner. Through the Scouts my family and I get to participate in all kinds of activities, from camping and climbing to caving and gliding as well as helping with the running of an eight-day International Scout and Guide Camp.