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3D modeling practices that impeccably work for games & films

Film and gaming industries have become increasingly dependent on computer generated imageries to make them look exceptionally authenticand stunning at the same time. No matter how much creative one can be, the tools and techniques used to bring such dramatic content for the audience play an imperative role to make it look all the more believable. These days, 3d modeling in movies has become too common owing to the same reason. Compared to the impact it can create, the costs incurred is quite reasonable.


If you are keen to know different popular modeling practices, the following details are for you. Having an idea regarding these would also guide you properly if you have plans to hire any of the best 3d modeling firms.

  • Subdivision/Box modeling technique

  • A polygonal modeling method, box modeling is where the artist begins from a primitive geometric shape such as cylinder, cube or sphere and refines the same until the desired appearance is achieved.

    It is the most commonly used type of polygonal modeling. Polygonal 3d modeling techniques are also often utilized along with various edge modeling methods.

  • Edge/Contour modeling

  • When it comes to edge modeling, instead of starting with anarchic refining and shape, the model is effectively created piece-by-piece by consigning polygonal face loops alongside the most prominent contours. Later, anygaps that are formed between them are filled up to make sure that photorealistic 3d models are achieved.

    Though it might sound a little unnecessarily complicated, it is very constructive when intricate objects such as human face that are difficult to model using box modeling technique.

  • NURBS/Spline modeling

  • Extensively used for industrial and automotive modeling, NURBS modeling technique does not contain any edges, faces or vertices unlike a polygonal geometry. NURBS models usually comprise surfaces that are efficiently interpretedand generatedas a result of "lofting" a mesh in between multiplesplines or Bezier curves.Generally, NURBS curves are crafted with the help of a tool that works particularlysimilar to the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator or MS Paint.

    In this type, it is in a 3D space that the curves are usually drawn and the curves are edited by moving a trove of handles referred to as control vertices or CVs.

    In order to surface in NURBS, the curves are placed along the most prominent contours and the space between them is automatically interpolated by 3D software. Alternately, spinning a profile curve all-around a central axis can also create NURBS surface.

  • Digital sculpting

  • Termed as a disruptive technology, digital sculpting, in a nutshell, provides for naturally creating the desired 3D models in a manner exactly similar to modeling on digital clay. This saves the artist from painstaking constrictions of edge flow and topology helping to create exceptional models digitally. In digital 3d sculpting, the artist creates meshes organically with the help of a tablet device to create and shape required model exactly as done by a sculptor on real clay raking his brush. It has markedly improved the efficiency and quality of creature and character design efforts providing myriads of opportunities for the artists to work on high-resolution meshes that contain millions of polygons.

  • Procedural modeling

  • Before delving into the modeling aspect of this, it important to understand what procedural means in the context of computer graphics. The process of algorithmically creating anything and not manually by a artist is referred to as procedural. It is based on the parameters and rules of the user that objects, imageries and scenes are created in procedural modeling. There are different creative designing packages in the likes of Terragen, Vue and Bryce that allow creating entire settings by effectively modifying various environmental criteria such as elevation range and foliage density. There are also default presets such as coastal, desert, alpine, etc. to create the desired landscapes.

    This is most effectively used to model organic constructs such foliage and trees, which has countless variations and intricacy that takes a lot of time even for an expert artist to create by hand. Companies offering 3d modeling services are well acquainted with this fact and implement procedural modeling in all such cases to get maximum realistic outputs.

  • Image based 3D modeling

  • In this method, a collection of several two-dimension static photographs are used to algorithmically derive transformable 3D structures or objects as required by the project. The major advantage of the method is that it requires comparatively less time, efforts and money than manually modeling comprehensively attained 3D structures or objects.

    The most notable example of this type of 3d modeling in films happened with the 3D animation movies like “The Matrix” when the team nor had the resources neither the time to model 3D sets completely. After filming the action sequences with 360 degree camera arrays, they allowed “virtual”movements of 3D camera through real-world sets using an interpretive algorithm.

  • 3D scanning

  • For projects that require unmatched photo-realism, 3D scanning is the go-to method to digitalize various real world structures, objects and even people. During the scan, the object, the structure or even a person is scanned and an analysis of the same is carried out. The raw data thus collected, which usually is an x, y and z point cloud, is utilized to craft an exact NURBS mesh or polygonal. It must be kept in mind that the 3d scanning techniques are executed only when it is essential to use the digital replica of a real-world actor.

Most of the comic book movies such as “Marvel’s Avengers”, “Ironman”, X-Menand“Man of Steel” use this technique. These advanced 3d modeling techniques are extensively used to bring all the vivid, exciting and stunning imageries that you see and admire in most films and games. However, expert modeling artists can only assure impeccability and hence when it comes to the hiring process for outsourcing 3d projects, be really careful.

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