Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Whether you're looking at 3D modeling as a new hobby, discovering its potential value and wanting to add the process to your workflow, or just trying to learn a new skill, there are a few things you need to do. But first, a brief explanation of what happened and some potential uses of 3D modeling.
* What is 3D modeling?
3D modeling is the creation of a three-dimensional object within simulated software. The object can be constructed from simple shapes to complex high polygon models. A polygon is a triangle, and it takes many triangles to make a circle or complex object.
Real-world objects are often scanned into software via a 3D scanning device, and depending on the modeling format you are trying to achieve;these objects are then used as digital illumination paper to create the final model using the same process mentioned above. Once created, these objects can be scaled and manipulated as the user sees fit.
* Uses for 3D modeling:
Film / TV – used to create CGI characters, objects, environments, animations and titles for movies and commercials
Video game development-many aspects of Animation are used to create the entire visual 3D component of the game in such a way that it is the same process as that used in Film/TV.
Architecture-used to create interactive images of buildings and structures; the vast majority of all architectural elements are created by 3D CAD modeling for real-life construction.
Engineering-the creation of scale designs that will then be produced in a CNC environment or a more manual, hands-on production method.
While these industries are some of the most common users of 3D, a use for 3D modeling can be found in almost every industry.
Now, let's move on to what you need to get started.
* 3D-enabled computer
One aspect of 3D modeling that's often overlooked is the computer you're using. An ordinary computer may not be able to handle the processing power required to run 3D software. Computational power is the basis behind the ability to effectively model high-polygon models and scenes within the platform.
Solid GPU, CPU and storage space and memory as well as system architecture, to fulfill the tasks of the system are the basic factors for the minimum system your computer must have the following features in order to efficiently perform the task of 3D modeling for:
Windows 8 / Windows 10 64-bit or higher
Multi-core, Intel or AMD, minimum 64-bit
Minimum 16 GB
Minimum recommended 500 GB – 1 TB
* NVIDIA GTX 1000 or higher for standard users
* NVIDIA Quadro CAD card for professional users
* 3D software selection
Now that you have a computer that can work with 3D software, it's time to choose the 3D design software that suits you best. Depending on your budget, there are decidedly different options to choose from. If you are a person or company that wants to take the first step into the 3D space (maybe if you plan to hire an experienced 3D designer or you already have a staff), we will recommend more advanced options. But if you're someone who's just starting to learn the ways of 3D, there are plenty of free and cost-effective options available as well.
Your choice of software depends on the last use of the files you create. Each software has different basic functions and purposes. Generally speaking, 3D software usually falls into one of two categories: engineering or artistic. We will highlight two common 3D software programs, each focusing on one of these two categories.
Autodesk 3Ds Max-artistic
This 3D modeling software is the industry standard in creating film, TV and video game production. 3Ds Max is a powerful software that offers features such as 3D modeling, texture creation and effects, 3D animations, dynamics and 3D rendering.
SOLIDWORKS is a comprehensive 3D software that helps facilitate product development and production. The software is versatile and gives users in numerous industries the ability to design entire projects, from buildings to machines, and simulate product functionality within the software.
Cloud-based software provided by Autodesk, which is completely free to use, provides Tinkercad users with a simple way to perform well in the 3D space. While the Tinkercad software allows you to create and combine basic objects in almost any final form you can imagine, it also gives users the ability to 3D print their creations. Overall, if you're completely new to 3D, Tinkercad is a great tool to help you shorten your learning deficit.
Blender is an open source 3D package that provides users with free downloadable software. The Platform has a wide range of 3D features such as modeling, sculpture, animation processing and more, all available for free. If you're a beginner to 3D, someone who's a beginner, or an experienced professional, blender has something to offer for everyone.