Joel Koster: Maya, Alias, Rhino, and Adobe Instructor

Joel Koster


What do you do at Design-Engine?

Instructor for Alias, Rhino, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Maya training… and skateboarding.

What is your educational background?

Southern Illinois University: BFA in Communication and Fine Arts specializing in Product Design.

What are your work experiences?


  • 3D Industrial design, packaging, rapid prototyping, visualization and animation lead.
  • Alias / Maya software instructor for industrial designers and engineers.
  • Software: Alias Studio, Maya, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Kaleidoscope Imaging Inc. / Brandscope

  • Senior Industrial Designer / 3D Artist
  • Alias Studio Level III certified and Maya 5 certification
  • 3D modeling and surfacing for rapid prototyping
  • Packaging design, Product design, and photo-realistic visualization.
  • Software: Alias Studio 11, SolidWorks 2004, Maya 5, Photoshop 7, Illustrator 10
  • Quark 4.1, CorelDraw 10, and After Effects 4.


  • Animator / 3D Illustrator
  • Multimedia animation and 3D rendered transparency illustrations.
  • Hardware: SGI Indigo 2 Extreme and PPC 9500/132.
  • Software: Alias Power Animator 7.3, Photoshop, Quark, Illustrator, and Bryce 2.

Pantech Inc.

  • 3D full-color holographic printing and proprietary 3D stereo video for animation.
  • Scanning, retouching, modeling, rendering, animation, and internet.
  • Hardware: SGI Onyx Reality 2, SGI Indigo 2 Extreme, and Mac 8100/80AV
  • Software: Alias Power Animator 6 and Studio 6, Photoshop, Quark, Illustrator
  • KPT Bryce, KPT 3, Painter 4, Poser, Netscape, Web Magic.


What is your favorite quote?

“Charlie don’t surf!”

“If you could only see what I’ve seen with your eyes.”

“Questions… Morphology? Longevity? Incept dates?”

What is your favorite Chicago spot / event / thing to do?

Bike riding Chicago and soaking up the summer sun at North Avenue beach.

Favorite industry resources?

Favorite project that you worked on?

Designing toys for Radio Flyer

How would you explain Surfacing in three sentences or less to an 8-year old?

I think of new ways to create things like ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ monsters. Then I draw them on the computer and make them come to life. When they are done I give them funny names.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what will the title of the book be?

“Not From Around Here”

Other Interests

  • I love traveling, skateboarding, biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, triathlons, camping, scuba diving, photography, electronic music, the outdoors, beaches, bon fires, and waterfalls.
  • I’m an avid cook who loves Thai food and BBQing smoked meats.
  • I love meeting new creative people who don’t have pretentious attitudes and love life as it comes at you.
  • I don’t really like religious or political fanatics, racists, negativity, or chopped liver.
  • Of course I love teaching others 3D Design and helping them solve problems in the digital realm.
  • My favorite thing is our Sun being a Leo and all.

> See our other team members