3D has dramatically altered the way we function and think. Imagine life without Matrix movie, GTA and Counter Strike games, celebrity caricatures, and innovative products. It is just incomprehensible.
3D modelling is typically based on three elements; vertices, edges and the faces. While vertices which appear insignificant plays an important role in giving the model under construction the desired look and feel, the edge, which is the line between the two individual polygons offers cohesiveness. The last element, face, on the other hand offers volume or resolution to the polygon. Modellers manipulate these three elements to create objects which could be industrial components, animals, landscape or virtual characters.
There is yet another element which is the culmination of hundreds and thousands of polygons into one consolidated shape called the mesh. Now, mesh construction is achieved through various methods. While some are easy there are others that are relevantly trickier but offer super smooth result, especially where games and gaming elements are concerned. Mentioned below are 6 effective 3D modelling tactics to enhance gaming experience
1. Box Modelling
It is one of the most popular methods of modelling due the ease with which objects are created. However, modellers have to pay a price in terms of unsatisfactory detailing and the limit to which it can be exploited for animation. A box model project is typically initiated via a cube, which is then extruded, sliced, and elements added or subtracted to form the final object.
As mentioned above the advantage with this type of mesh formation is the ease factor. On the flip side objects created using box modelling technique tends to have a topology which cannot be easily manipulated for animation. Apart from the “Cube” shape modellers can also exploit sphere or cylinder to create great landscape. This method is best suitable for creating solid objects such buildings, sharp and angular automobiles for the gaming scenarios.
Using various raw shapes a modeller typically fine tunes the mesh by slicing or sub-dividing, making sure the pointed edges are smoothened before final rendering. With the right amount of polygons a modeller can really add fantastic detailing to make the final object stand out in terms of visual impact and reality quotient.
2. Poly Modelling
Because poly modelling focuses on manipulation of edges rather than the slicing of ready shapes it offers a great way to build objects with real life contours. As mentioned above, box modelling is good for solid objects. However, objects like humans and animals demand natural curves and several layers of resolution which poly modelling fulfills to a large extent.
To build an object modellers typically begin with a single quad or polygon, which is then stretched and the second quad added to complement the first one. Yet another advantage with poly modelling is the use of single raw polygon, triangle or quadrilateral or a complex polygon made up of several individual quads. Polygons can be open or closed type which increases the flexibility and the extent to which it can be manipulated.
Unlike the ease factor which is synonymous with box modelling, poly modelling requires lots of efforts in terms of fine tuning the quads. However, it offers great topology which is absolutely a joy to work with during the animation process.
Poly modelling is best suitable for organic objects or projects.
3. Spline Or Curve Modelling
While the above two methods of mesh formation exploit polygons, the spline modelling exploits curves to create objects. Curves are typically lines with at least two manipulating points. These are called Bezier curves or NURBS, short for Non Uniform Rational Bézier Spline. A string of splines create a kind of skin for the polygons, typically generated by the 3D software.
Mentioned below are some of the advantages vis-à-vis gaming experiences.
a) Great method for generating smooth curves.
b) Very easy to manipulate the anchor points and the resultant edges are extremely smooth.
c) Excellent technique for non-organic objects such as vehicles, curved inanimate objects and landscape elements.
However, spline modelling technique limits the use of objects for animation until and unless these are heavily fine tuned.
4. Digital Sculpting
Digital modelling may sound overwhelming and simply jaw dropping, but the fact is this method is also based on mesh tool. However, there is one major difference; the organic mesh here can be manipulated in an array of ways. Pull, stretch and pinch the digital imagery to achieve flawless mesh.
Most of the digital sculpting software is based on polygon geometry which as mentioned above can be manipulated to achieve impeccable results. So, how does this method enhance gaming experience? Well, the answer lies in its ability to allow modellers to develop varying resolutions within an object by increasing or reducing the polygon density. This is similar to real life sculptor who uses clay and rake to fill or chop extra material respectively.
5. 2D Image Modelling
3D modelling typically depends on imagination and toolset of the application to generate various objects. Most of these are based on the inherent visualization talent of modellers. While it has limits in terms of consistency and accuracy, it does a decent job in rendering and converting objects into a full-fledged gaming application. Image based rendering on the other hand does not depend on the traditional tools per se. The shape is generated via image co-ordinates or algorithmically.
Many games based on films use this approach. This form of modelling technique negates rendering hiccups typically associated with other methods. Several modern games use both the traditional objects and static image rendered clones to create amazing and complex landscapes and scenes.
6. 3D Scanning Technique
Now this technique is quite unique. It is basically a 3D object created via 3D scanning and then reused in a 3D project/software. So what is the point of converting a physical representation into digital? Some of the reasons are given below.
a) The said object could then be used for animation. A perfect example would be a favorite action hero being utilized for an adventure game.
b) For visualization purpose.
c) For archiving real life character or property, also called film set.
From non-gaming point of view it can be used for making quick changes or repairing existing products, and rapid prototyping. Whatever may be the reason 3D scanning and transformation technique typically analyses unprocessed raw information gathered from x, y and z axis.