I was asked this question so many times recently that it warranted a post. There are tons of great software out there you can use to get your creative ideas across. However, there is one big hurdle: production. Whatever software you use for form exploration, you might come to a point where you want to have your design built in real life, for either 3D printing, concept car or production. For speed, accuracy and the creation of production ready data, Alias is hard to beat. The question is: how do I learn? If you are a student, you could get yourself an industrial design degree. You could also get some specialized courses from some trusted partners like Symetri. If you want to do it yourself, you could go ahead and download the learning edition of Alias. Then, keep on reading!
Note: to download the course material below, I used Firefox because Chrome and Edge gave me some issues.
F1 Interface Fundamentals
F2 Geometry Fundamentals
F3 NURBS Fundamentals
F4 Projecting, Intersecting, and Trimming
F5 Building with Curves & Surface Tools
F6 Aligning & Matching Surfaces & Curves
All this material can be traced back to the OG: Alias Workbench.
Learn the golden rules about control vertices (i.e. CVs). Everything derives from the proper use of CVs. It is a cascading effect. If your curves are not well drawn, the surfaces derived from them will not look good. It is vital to understand proper CV placement with the golden rules.
Once you have a good grasp of CV placement on curves, it is time to move on to surfaces. What the hell is curvature anyway? Read on and find out.
Linkage Design has a great 8-part course on how to get started with SubDs.
The best tutorial I have seen out there is by Adrian Biggins. No wonder he was on my team back in the day.
In conclusion, as you gathered by the amount of material included, Alias takes time to master. When people start learning Alias, they want to build a car right away. I was no different. The first car I ever built in Alias under the tutelage of Brian Baker was a car built with the chicklet method. Imagine flattened bread dough that I tried to shape into a vehicle. No, it was not pretty. Take my word for it, take the proper steps. If you do not learn Alias methodically you will not be successful. Crawl, stand then walk first. And when you can finally run in Alias, you will never look back.