What is 3D Modeling : A Simple Guide
Do you want to learn about 3D modeling, what it is, how it is done, its applications and benefits, etc.? Or do you want to incorporate 3D modeling into your workflow and experience the vast potential it brings along? Well, whatever the case, this blog can be your go-to reference to know the basics of 3D modeling and make the most out of it.
So let's begin.
Table of content
What is 3D Modeling?
3D modeling is the process of creating three-dimensional mathematical representations of objects or models, through specialized 3D software. An individual working with the process and developing the 3D models is deemed a 3D artist or a 3D modeler.
First, a wireframe is created, then it is converted into a 3D view with the addition of surfaces. The following are the critical building blocks of 3D models:
- Vertex: A single point placed in a three-dimensional space and the smallest component of a 3D model.
- Polygon: Any straight-sided shape formed by vertices and straight edges.
- Mesh: A 3D model made up of polygons connected along their edges. A 3D model can have one or multiple 3D meshes.
- Face: This is the interior region of a polygon mesh, basically the space between the edges.
- Edge: A straight line on the surface of a 3D model, having two vertices at its endpoints where two polygon faces meet.
These are some of the basic terms to remember as we move along. Up next is the 3D environment. What you see in 3D animated movies or video games, replicates real life. Objects, creatures, characters, human figures - everything resembles real life.
But how do you think this resemblance is created? By utilizing the “3D environment” of the 3D software. Every specialized 3D modeling software uses a 3D environment that is made navigable using vectors and planes.
- Vector: These are the critical mathematical objects used in 3D modeling. Vectors primarily indicate the properties of magnitude and direction, usually along the Z, X, and Y axes.
- Plane: A two-dimensional, infinitely large, flat surface oriented along one of the 3 axes.
Related article : How Is 3D Modeling Different From 3D Sculpting?
Different Types of 3D Models
3D models can be essentially divided into three major types, solid, wireframe, and surface. The terms are based on the methods required for these types, as well as the data points they use. (Data points are necessary to make a 3D model as realistic and interactive as possible)
Related Article: 3D Modeling: An Overview of Various Techniques
How to Make 3D Models
Although there are multiple known techniques to create a customized 3D model, the following are the five main techniques that have evolved over the course of significant improvements in 3D technology:
Related Article: Stages of 3D Model Creation From Basic to the Finished Product
What is 3D Modeling Used for?
3D modeling can literally be used in any industry for an accurate projection of a product before it is developed. This gives great flexibility to the product engineers to perform several design iterations, which would otherwise cost a fortune if done on the actual product design. Modern 3D modeling also helps them to inspect the physical properties and limitations of a design without hampering any of its elements. Such control over technical details isn't possible with 2D rough sketches.
Related article : 10 Excellent Tips to Improve Your 3D Modeling Workflow
Gaining a visual representation is an added advantage for engineers and architects while creating any prototype, such as an automobile prototype or a building design. Solid 3D modeling generates a geometrical resemblance of the actual, or more precisely, the final object, and how it will function in real life.
In the healthcare sector, creating 3D models for existing objects like the heart or brain helps doctors and surgeons accurately diagnose and come up with a surgical or non-surgical solution.
For education and scientific research, 3D modeling fosters a new-age experimental teaching style incorporating interactivity. With the help of 3D modeling, modern scientists and researchers can communicate their ideas, abstract concepts and hypotheses, and make their predictions in a more informed manner.
For educators in the biology field, a 3D model of a skull can show numerous cross-sections; students can probe the model multiple times without any physical damage to the model. 3D models of archaeological and pre-historic specimens have helped modern researchers to a great extent to come up with the latest theories about ancient civilizations, the pre-historic eras (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic), and much more.
Such are the incredible benefits of 3D modeling that the above-mentioned industries reap successfully.
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