What is the Difference Between 3D Modeling and 3D Rendering

Updated on: June 08, 2023

3D Design

7 minute read

3D modeling vs 3D rendering : Difference
3D Modeling vs 3D Rendering

3D technology is getting popular everywhere, and the terms connected with the technology are also multiplying. Numerous companies are offering three-dimensional modeling and rendering services. Still, not many of us realize the difference between these two services and what will be acquired choosing these. Three-dimensional images are crucial visual materials for advertisers, marketers, and others.

3D models and renders are the two diverse stages of the three-dimensional visualization workflow. These two processes seem similar as both are related to the CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) creation.

However, there are major differences, and there are chances of getting wrong outputs if you confuse the two concepts. Let's dive deep into modeling, rendering and modeling vs rendering.

What is 3D Modeling?

  • 3D modeling is the process of Using mathematical equations and specialized software to create a three-dimensional image . It can also be explained as the collection of points connecting edges and faces to form an image.
  • Different amazing and real creatures in movies, video games etc., are created with three-dimensional modeling. The process augments and helps create the best designs and helps showcase the physical dimensions of the products or any objects as required.
  • This technology helps in easy interactions with the clients providing them with a clear image of their future project. Clients can give their feedback allowing designers to make the changes up front, reducing the expenses of numerous revisions.
  • Artists will modify these shapes using advanced tools, starting with different shapes, including planes, spheres and polygons.

Detailed article on 3D modeling : What is 3D Modeling : A Simple Guide

What is 3D Rendering?

  • Creating realistic snapshots of products, rooms, flats, and buildings that are not yet physically built is 3D rendering. It helps review the design and see how it would look in real life.
  • Creating models of the desired objects is the first step, and three-dimensional rendering is the final stage in the designing process. This process helps in getting a realistic output.
  • After creating three-dimensional models, adding special effects, textures, lights, shadows, and other essential elements using a special rendering software leads to the final output. Remember, this is created out of a 2D image.
  • Virtual walkthroughs of the unbuilt space are the most important highlight of 3D rendering, becoming popular these days.
  • The crucial aspect of this technology is that it keeps people engaged and enables the discovery of a space that is unbuilt yet they can truly feel and see the result.
  • The process goes on. First, the artist models the scene, then the materials and the lighting are set up, and finally, the image is rendered.

Detailed article on 3D Rendering : What is 3D Rendering : A Simple Guide

3D Modeling vs. 3D Rendering ā€“ A Comparison

Conveying the shapes and details of an object in the form of a geometric model is briefly termed three-dimensional modeling. On the other hand, the perfect composition of the model with effects, backgrounds and more is termed rendering.

The vital difference between these two concepts is that they are the two diverse steps within the creation of CGI. Objects that are 3D modeled are needed to create a render. The first step of every CGI process is to build three-dimensional models. Trained artists use advanced software to mathematically place the edges, faces and vertices for the elements of the three-dimensional model.

After the initial construction is complete, the next process is to add textures like stone, wood, glass, grass, or any other element that can make the model look more realistic. Here the three-dimensional modeling ends.

Now the designer has access to the models, and rendering begins. This stage is also called a three-dimensional visualization process as the designer builds the scene by arranging the 3D models. It helps in creating an aesthetically appealing and functional design.

Major differences can be stated in short as follows:

  • These two technologies differ in results
  • Modeling is followed by rendering
  • Both these need different tools to provide amazing outputs
  • A single three-dimensional model can be used in the further rendering process
  • The level of complexity differs

Creating structures without a three-dimensional model is impossible, and the final result will look unfinished without a proper rendering process. That's why we have to make sure that both the processes are working together for real output.

The final output from these two technologies impacts the success of your projects. Companies usually do not have much time and resources, so trusting experienced 3D rendering studios with outstanding portfolios is the best solution.


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Sushmita Roy

A seasoned 3D professional with a creative focused, and a knack for diverse 3D designs, software and the technology. She's associated with ThePro3DStudio for long enough to prove her mettle and make every 3D projects successful. When sheā€™s not busy working for a new project, she shares valuable insights from her own experience.