Some popular 3D modeling and character creation software available in the market are 3DS Max, Maya, Unity, Unreal Engine, Blender, ZBrush, Daz Studios, Houdini, Cinema 4D, etc.
With the advent of 3D modeling and avatar creation, gaming, animation, and product promotion have transformed into immersive and interactive experiences.
3D representations bring AI characters to life, making them more than just lines of code. As a result, virtual environments are rendered more authentic and convincing, particularly in augmented reality and virtual reality configurations.
Let us look at the fundamentals of 3D modeling and how we design distinct models and avatars.
Polygonal models are built utilizing basic geometric shapes such as cylinders, spheres, cones, and cubes. Despite its simplicity, designing an appropriate mesh that fits an abstract theme requires a great deal of imagination and artistic ability. Polygonal models are further divided into low-poly and high-poly mesh, signifying the minimal and high number of polygonal meshes used respectively.
High-poly models are more detailed and realistic, unlike low-poly models.
However, low poly models are also in demand and cater to retro-themed games. Minecraft, one of the most influential games in history is based on low poly models.
NURBS Surface Models
Non-Uniform Rational B-splines or NURBS include complex geometrical shapes and unique orientation that easily defines any structure. It requires intricate mathematical formulas to represent 2D lines and planes that constitute a distinct body. NURBS surface models can produce hyper-realistic figures, which are commonly used for automobile design, architecture, and other projects requiring mathematical precision.
Step 1: Sketching
Our designers create a detailed sketch of the object or character they intend to design. It is crucial to depict the object or character from six different viewpoints, including the top, bottom, right, left, front, and back angles. After successfully outlining the model from all viewpoints, they proceed to use any 3D modeling tool, such as Unity, Blender, 3DS Max, ZBrush, or other applicable software.
Step 2: Orientation
Thereafter, they import the sketches to a 3D modeling software and place them in a cubical orientation representing the viewing angles of the 3D body. Once they are done, one must lock the images and reduce the opacity to place precise markers or vertex.
Alternatively, developers can capture a 360-degree view of an object using cameras and sensors, capturing both its image and depth simultaneously. This data is then fed back into modeling tools to create a realistic mesh of the object.
Step 3: Digital Outlining
In this step, we utilize the image blueprints to position vertices along the perimeter, sketching the outline of the model’s shape. Next, one must connect the vertices to form edges that encompass the 3D object. When the edges are complete, the developers fill in the shape by applying a surface mesh. Thereafter, position the edges and vertices as per the required depth.
Alternatively, 3D developers also use basic geometries or shapes to create a basic shape of the body and sculpt them to generate detailed models.
Step 4: Sculpting
Sculpting a model requires vigorous attention to anatomy, especially for character creations. One has to have a sound knowledge of body muscles and skin folds to sculpt believable body parts with skin pores, muscles, precise bone placements, etc.
Step 5: Repotology
While editing a 3D model, the number of polygons increase exponentially. This results in a high-poly model with numerous meshes and polygons that may not be noticeable at first. However, it can overburden systems and lead to complications while rigging or animating. To address this, developers use Repotology to merge meshes and create a basic topology of the 3D model.
Note: High-poly games demand high-end systems for rendering, but well-optimized games work on low-spec systems as they have lesser polygons to render.
Step 6: UV and Texture Mapping
UV mapping involves unwrapping the model and putting them in a planar view to add texture, shades, and color. Once we map out the texture, it will be mirrored onto the corresponding body. UV-wrapped bodies create a realistic model that stretches, tears and folds. We use Blender, Unity, ZBrush, Sketchfab, Maya, 3DS Max, and other software for UV unwrapping and wrapping. Although the process is complicated, we offer precise UV-wrapped 3D models all rigged and game ready.
Step 7: Rigging
Once the 3D model is fully textured and optimized, we start adding bones for movement. To do so, we head over to the Bones section and choose where we want to add joints, similar to a real skeleton. After creating the skeletal structure, one can move and rotate the body. Developers also assign the degree of rotation and fold for realistic movements.
Step 8: Animation
Lastly, we place all the 3D objects and avatars into a virtual environment and add movements per unit frame to create animation from static images. Designers may also incorporate physics mechanics to make the characters and objects respond to gravity, force, viscosity, etc.
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Yes, our skilled in-house team can craft 3D models that are ready for printing. Once exported, you can easily print the model with a 3D printer and assemble it with ease.
You can use 3D models for various purposes which include gaming, animation, product design, advertisement, architecture, and many more.