3D Design (or 3D modeling) is the process of using computer software to create a mathematical representation of a three-dimensional object or shape. The resulting object is called a 3D model. 3D models can also be displayed as two-dimensional images in games and media through a process called 3D rendering or physically created using a 3D printer that form 2D layers of the model with three-dimensional material.
Three-dimensional (3D) models represent a physical body using a collection of points in 3D space, connected by various geometric entities such as triangles, lines, curved surfaces, etc. Being a collection of data (points and other information), 3D models can be created manually, algorithmically (procedural modeling), or by scanning. Their surfaces may be further defined with texture mapping.
3D Design Processes
There are a number of different processes that can be used to create 3D models:
- Polygonal modeling – Points in 3D space, called vertices, are connected by line segments to form a polygon mesh. The vast majority of 3D models today are built as textured polygonal models, because they are flexible and because computers can render them so quickly.
- Curve modeling – Surfaces are defined by curves, which are influenced by weighted control points. The curve follows the points. Increasing the weight for a point will pull the curve closer to that point.
- Digital sculpting – Still a fairly new method of modeling, 3D sculpting has become very popular in the few years it has been around. Digital sculpting methods allow for very artistic exploration as the model will have a new topology created over it once the models form and possibly details have been sculpted.