Written by: Calen Saddler
There’s a lot that goes into modding that most people don’t know about. I want to take you on a journey into what happens, behind the mods. A lot of different skills are required for modding, most of which are not directly related to case modding itself. Expert modders are always learning new skills in order to take their mods to the next level.
Social media plays a big role in the lives of modders. They have to be able to connect with others in the community and share their projects. Fans get an opportunity to peer into the crazy, fun world of modding. This also serves as a platform modders can use to share their experiences with the products they use on a daily basis. For many of us, our own social media page or groups are very important. It allows me to join together and share skills with someone who may be nervous about taking on their first mod. I’m able to communicate with them on neutral ground which helps them to feel more comfortable. It also lets the inspiration flow, allowing people from all over the world the opportunity to be inspired by something you made or customized.
Being able to create an epic PC is only a part of the process. You also have to be able to share that build with other people. A great PC can look horrible if a quality picture isn’t taken. Professional Modders tend to realize early on how important a skill set in photography is. Recently I invested in new lighting and backdrop gear. Any modder or photographer will tell you that one of the most important parts of photography is the lighting. You can get a decent lighting setup for pretty cheap if you do your research and shop around. Another undeniably important part is the camera used. Surprisingly it doesn’t have to be a super expensive camera to get good results either. Learning how to use all the features on your digital camera will make a big difference in the quality of your photos and the way your build looks. Team that up with some lighting skills and you’re well on your way to taking a picture that shows the world just how awesome your mod really is.
CAD & Design
Another big part of a professional modders life is CAD or computer aided drafting. CAD helps us plan out mods, design parts, and a long list of other things. It’s an invaluable tool and it helps to convey those design ideas to others. When I have an idea for a build I want to do I will usually throw it into Sketchup to start out. Sketchup is a CAD program that a lot of modders use because it is very intuitive and there’s also a long list of video tutorials available online. I always recommend Sketchup to someone who is new to design because it isn’t nearly as overwhelming as the vast majority of CAD programs out there. It’s also free to try out which is a huge plus for a new modder or enthusiast. Once you find your way around Sketchup, you can quickly put together designs. There’s also a 3D warehouse online that can be used to find 3D models of PC cases, hardware, watercooling parts, and all kinds of other good stuff. It’ll handle everything from basic designs to extremely complex ones.
We couldn’t leave out time management. It’s one of those skills that you either naturally have or don’t. However, it is also a skill that can be learned. Time management is especially important when doing multiple projects at one time and it’s even more so when doing builds that have a timeline or schedule. I’m the type of person that wants to get in as much modding as possible with each build so time management is a high priority for me. Managing it effectively allows me to get in more work and make sure that work is done when it’s supposed to be.
As with many things in case modding, the more you do it, the better at it you become. Time does fly when you’re having fun so I sometimes use apps to help keep me organized and on track. There are all kinds of different apps out there that can help. The most useful ones allow you to either make a daily list of tasks to complete or allow you to input a time to complete each task. Usually a daily checklist is enough for me to manage my time, but when I’m doing really demanding projects on a timeline I’ll use the other one.
All the things learned along the way are a big part of what excites me in this industry. Things are always evolving and there’s almost always an opportunity to learn something new.
We’ve given you an inside look into some of the things that go on behind the scenes in professional modding. There’s a lot that goes on and many skills that have to be learned in order to be a professional PC modder. Those skills are always being worked on, tweaked, and fine-tuned. When it comes to stuff like this, a modders job is never done.