Video game 3D modeling has evolved tremendously over the past decade. Today’s graphics intensive games are driven by high detailed models with variables that mimic real-world physics. Three-dimensional 3D models by their very definition are comprised of three dimensions what that means is you can spin the object up and down or around with the ability to see every aspect of it. For instance, in most modern games you can walk around a castle, tree or another character and examine every aspect of it.
Modern day video games are a graphics intensive affair. The process is a lot like a city planner and a team of architects designing a conceptual city. 3D game design usually kicks of by defining various shapes of ordinary objects, followed by injecting colors and textures. However, the guts of the game (so to speak) is when the 3d models are placed in the scene. Though before that can happen a team of 3D modelers need to craft a highly realistic 3d model.
The most common video game 3d modeling software
To create a 3D model, you’ll need to use a modeling software. The good news is that there are many to choose from and the latest versions are a lot easier, with more features, and yet they still require that you understand their ins and outs. Most video game designers or model designers will use any one or a combo of the after-mentioned software:
Blender: A lot of today’s video game 3D modeling is done using Blender. One reason for this is that it is open source and free to use. However, it is more complex to learn and relies significantly on keyboard shortcuts as opposed to point and click style modeling.
3Ds Max: Now this one has been around since the early days, and was amongst the first 3D modeling software used by game designers: As a matter of fact, many here at Tsymbals Design started with mastering 3Ds Max.
Lightwave: Anyone who is serious about learning 3D modeling and does not want to incur the high costs associated with the software mentioned above can start with Lightwave.
Maya: It is by far the most expensive, professional modeling software used by professionals for movie special effects and game development. Though there are scaled down versions too which happen to be more affordable.
How we design a 3D model?
Now, this is not a comprehensive tutorial on 3D game design or modeling. However, it is a simplified overview of the process followed regardless of the software used.
- The first step to any model is laying out the skeleton. It is the joints and bones of that model. Though it is not visible when playing a game but they are working in the background just as it is with the human body.
- The next step is layering the skeleton with a texture-less and colorless skin giving the model a bit of shape.
- The skin is then colored to provide the model with a more realistic look. We will add things like the clothes, eyes, and a few other variables.
- Once the model looks the way we want, it is now time to make it behave the way it should. We have to tell the joints how to move. Modeling software saves us a great deal of time with this step by filling in the preliminary details.
Video game 3d modeling is a process. It takes time to design a detailed model. The more detail you want, the longer it takes. However, it is worth every bit of effort as today’s graphics-intensive games demand a high level of detail.