There are many words and terms unique to 3D technology. Study up this guide and learn the essential terminology used in the 3D industry.
The use of 3D technology is becoming more common in various industries and the software is so advanced it's rather difficult to even notice when something is 3D-rendered.
Some industries that incorporate 3D modeling into their products are the entertainment, architecture, gaming, science, marketing, and publishing industries. Related to architecture, the real estate industry can create 3D models of listings.
These representations accurately depict the full layouts of the spaces, giving clients a different and helpful perspective. Real estate agents can also use 3D software to make virtual tours, eliminating the need for clients to travel if they live far away.
The 3D industry has a lot of words that may need explaining. Continue reading to learn about 11 essential 3D terms you should know.
1. 3D Visualization
3D visualization is the goal of using 3D technology. There are two steps to 3D visualization.
First, a model is created using geometry. Second, that model is made into a 2D image or animation.
2. 3D Modeling
3D modeling is the very beginning of 3D visualization. It's the process of using specialized software to digitally make a model. Think of it like building a sculpture but on a computer.
Although people often use the phrase 3D graphics interchangeably with 3D models, they aren't the same thing. A 3D model is technically the mathematical expression of a 3D object. It only becomes a graphic when the data file is opened and displayed.
A 3D model is made up of points on the X, Y, and Z axes. These axes respectively correspond to width, height, and depth. The Z-axis or depth is what makes an image or animation 3-dimensional.
There are different kinds of 3D modeling. A polygon is a basic shape, such as a triangle or square. Polygons are rather crude-looking and they require geometry to create.
To smooth out a polygon, a 3D modeler would use NURMS (non-uniform rational mesh smooth) or subdivision surfaces. NURBS (non-uniform rational b-spline) is a type of modeling that doesn't use as much geometry and makes smoother surfaces.
3. 3D Rendering
3D rendering is the second step in 3D visualization. In this process, 3D models are converted into 2D images.
Rendering can take anywhere from seconds to days. It all depends on how large the data file is.
Algorithms are different ways to make a rendered image. Some algorithms include wireframe, radiosity, Phong shading, and ray tracing.
4. 3D Render
A 3D render is the final product of the 3D visualization process. It's a 2D image or a still of its 3D model.
5. 3D Home Design
3D home design is used in the architecture industry. Rather than drawing out blueprints by hand or implementing 2D software, architects can design an entire house with specialized 3D software.
This type of home design makes visualizing easier for both the architect and the client. It can be a photo-realistic render. The architect can make it possible to actually go inside the home and explore the layout.
6. 3D Interior Design
3D interior design is the 3D visualization of a room or space design. Interior designers use this process.
It shows the designer what the realistic outcome of their ideas would look like and helps them spot aspects that could be changed to make the design better.
3D interior design is also great for clients. They can check out the design and accept, decline or offer their opinions.
7. 3D Walkthrough
Also known as a 3D flythrough, a 3D walkthrough is a video rendered in 3 dimensions. Its purpose is to show off a product. In real estate, 3D walkthroughs bring clients through the highlights and best features of a house.
These walkthroughs may be interactive, where the client can click to move to another part of the house. They may also be able to click something to see it in more detail.
A flythrough is an opportunity to show off features that a client wouldn't notice unless they were physically in the house.
8. Rendered Virtual Tour
3D virtual tours are similar to walkthroughs, but users have more control over what they can interact with. Both 3D renders are made with real-time rendering.
A virtual tour performs with 15 to 60 images per second. Because it renders all of these frames in just a second, virtual tours end up being lower quality than a single 2D image.
Virtual tours have the same benefits as flythroughs, plus more freedom to explore.
9. Floor Plan Rendering
Floor plan rendering is the process of creating a floor plan in 3D. A floor plan is a diagram of room arrangements on one floor of a building. Everything is scaled or proportionate to the actual floor.
Architects, real estate agents, and interior designers can all find floor plan renders helpful. These top-down renders have a horizontal perspective, but it's becoming more common to put the floor plan at an angle.
10. Virtual Architecture
Virtual architecture is a broad term for architecture created digitally. This refers to 3D models, 3D renders, virtual tours, walkthroughs, videos, and so on. There are various subcategories of architectural rendering.
House rendering simply turns the exterior of a house into a 3D visualization. Interior rendering focuses on the inside of houses. They may only show the layout of the house without other details or they may render the layout along with full interior design.
Contemporary and modern architectural rendering are two more subcategories. A 3D artist who creates contemporary architectural renders has the job of staying updated with present trends in architecture.
Modern architectural renders are simplified homes and buildings. Modern architects can use 3D modeling and rendering to cut out anything extra in their design. 3D visualization is can be more challenging for modern architecture because asymmetry and curvatures are popular.
Learn This 3D Technology Terminology
The 3D industry is full of terms that are either recognizable or completely confusing. Some of the words even sound like they mean the same thing when that's not the case. To successfully work with 3D technology you have to understand common terminology.
Study this guide to learn 10 essential terms used in the 3D industry.
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