3D modeling

an overview

3D modeling is very much a hands-on process, and there are many different tools or techniques available to create the same 3D object. Choices made at the beginning of a project, often related to upcoming deadlines, decide which modeling route is gets used. Before starting the modeling process, we need the following information:-

  • Understanding of your purpose for the models
  • Level of detail required
  • Reference material CAD, sketches, verbal description


Having a clear understanding of the project direction, we can start modeling, using source materials. We always work full-size, and to scale, to make our 3D models. 3D models comprise of polygons, which we create onscreen, using the various 3D modeling tools, in the different software packages we routinely use.


Workflow is essential to manage correctly. The clear naming of parts significantly helps in scene-management for large projects. For example, in a typical complex 3D scene, one crane-part could be one of the hundreds and hundreds of models in that scene. The logical naming of parts makes a big difference, especially when inevitable changes need to be actioned later in the project.

Realistic materials + rendering

To make the 3D model look realistic, we need to create textures or materials for each object. How we do this depends on the future use of the 3D model. For renders, we will use custom made materials in the modeling program. For Unity and VR projects, we usually go through a whole stage called unwrapping.  The model-parts get unwrapped and textured and eventually look fantastic, with dust and scratches, real-life wear-and-tear, depending on requirements. For 3D printing no materials are necessary.

AnimationUnity - HOLOLENS - VR

  • Renders from various camera angles and sizes
  • 3D animation can be 1080p or 1440p, 30 FPS
  • VR can be a Unity or Hololens scene containing 3D models