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WHAT IS 3D MODELING?

Aggiornato il: 9 mag 2020

Digital graphics (or three-dimensional modeling) is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any three-dimensional surface of an object (inanimate or living) using specialized software. The product is called a 3D model. Templates can be created automatically or manually. Want to know what 3D modeling is? Easy: here is a detailed description for you with definition, origins, types and uses.

Definition of 3D modeling

3D modeling is the process of creating a three-dimensional model of an object. Through 3D, it is possible to capture the size, shape and texture of a real or imaginary object.

History of 3D modeling

The first 3D models were created in the 1960s. At that time, only professionals in the fields of computer engineering and automation, who worked with mathematical models and data analysis, were involved in 3D modeling.

A pioneer of 3D graphics is Ivan Sutherland, the creator of Sketchup. This revolutionary program helped create the first 3D objects: 3D is what it is today thanks to Sketchup. In addition, Sutherland and his colleague David Evans opened the first IT department at the University of Utah. They have attracted numerous talented professionals from all over the country who have contributed to the development of the sector. Edwin Catmull, current head of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios, was one of Sutherland's students.

Sutherland and Evans opened the first 3D graphics company in 1969, simply calling it "Evans & Sutherland". Initially, 3D modeling and animation were mainly used in television and in advertising, but over time its presence in other areas of life increased dramatically.

Ways to create 3D models

A model can be created automatically (with the help of a 3D scanner) or manually by a 3D modeler (using special computer programs). Often, 3D modeling consists of the process by which a designer creates a 3D model using software - in this case, the term is related to digital sculpture.

Ways to create 3D models

A model can be created automatically (with the help of a 3D scanner) or manually by a 3D modeler (using special computer programs). Often, 3D modeling consists of the process by which a designer creates a 3D model using software. Designers work not only with geometry, but also with textures, materials and lighting.

The steps of creating a photorealistic 3D image

Step 1: 3D model

Creation of the digital structure of the object according to predetermined measurements. There are numerous programs and tools to create 3D models, such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Revit, Modo, Google SketchUp, ZBrush etc. A famous free program is Blender.


Step 2: Recreate textures and materials to make the image more realistic

All materials have different colors and surfaces. They may reflect or absorb light. Thus, it is necessary to fine-tune their transparency, luster, smoothness or roughness, etc. to create a more realistic picture.


Step 3: Light sources

Lighting can be artificial or natural, which greatly influences the appearance of the modeled object. It is important to determine brightness, depth and also shadow.


Step 4: Virtual cameras

The right angles for the image must be chosen.

Step 5: Rendering

The most popular rendering software includes V-Ray, Corona Render, PhotoRealistic RenderMan (PRMan), Maxwell Render.


Step 6: Postproduction

Finalization of the images happens with the help of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects Pro, Adobe Premier Pro, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. In this phase it is possible to add additional environments, effects or nuances that would make the images more atmospheric (e.g., weather conditions).


A 3D model can be used multiple times after its completion. For this reason, there is now a market for ready-made models. Using ready-made templates, designers can choose whatever they need for their projects and reduce their expenses.


3D modeling in animation 3D animation allows you to show a process in action or to conduct 3D tours.

3D modeling in different industries

3D modeling is becoming an increasingly integral part of many human activities, starting with the entertainment and gaming industry, ending with medicine and science. Every year, there are more and more possibilities to use this type of modeling.

Where do they use 3D models?


Advertising and web design

Using 3D modeling for ads is often more effective than standard photos or videos.

Market analysis

It is possible to create prototypes of new products and analyze the market reaction towards them.

Interior design

3D interiors are an opportunity to look at design projects for any living and office space and to see how the furniture and other details will appear as parts of a scene.


Architecture and construction

Architectural visualization is extremely effective for building planning and project presentations.


Real estate services

3D tours can be very useful when customers cannot personally visit a real estate object.

Science and technology

3D modeling allows you to recreate any technology or detail. You can study the 3D model and determine how it can be improved and used.


Fun

Modern cinematography and computer games rely heavily on 3D.


And many, many more!

Creating high quality 3D is quite difficult and time-consuming: it is essentially an art in its own right. To achieve realism, it is necessary to be aware of all the peculiarities of 3D modeling and to be very careful while performing the calculations in each phase of the project. A considerable level of learning is required and can only be performed well by experienced professionals.

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