3D animation will not be complete without modeling, hence to know about 3D animation it is necessary that 3d modeling is also considered. The process of giving a shape and molding it into a completed 3D mesh is known as modeling. For this a simple object called primitive is taken and it is extended or grown into a particular shape which is refined and detailed. A single point, a curve, a two dimensional line or a three dimensional object may be used as primitive.
For producing any object any specific feature are taken from the 3D software that is being used. For creating a 3D model there are basically three methods that help a 3D artist to create a 3D model.
Spline or patch modeling
A curve in 3D space with at least two control points is known as spline. Commonly Bezier curves and NURBS are used as splines in 3D arts. It is considered to be the oldest form of creating model where splines are used for creating different models.
To start the work, first a skeleton of the object is created, it is also known as cage of splines. Then with the help of software the patches of polygons are created that extends between the two splines, thus giving a skin to the cage of splines. It takes quite long time for creating a model by following this technique hence, the use of spline modeling is decreasing presently, especially while creating characters. For animation a lot of modifications are done on the models.
This type of technique is useful when any hard object is designed like cars, furniture and buildings. When creating objects that are angular or curved in shape spline modeling is the best technique.
Box modeling is considered to be the most popular technique that has a lot of semblance with sculpting. In this technique the artists starts with a primitive that is generally a cube and then add details to it by slicing the cube and extending different faces of the cube. For creating the basic shape of the model box modeling is quite useful.
When someone becomes expert in this, it is very easy to create models following this technique. It is best for creating characters that are also termed as organic models. Apart from this even hard objects can also be created by using this technique.
Poly 3D Modeling modeling / edge extrusion
Among the three techniques for creating a model poly modeling is considered to be the most precise and effective one. In this the artist creates a 3d mesh point by point and then works on its face by face. They start with a single quad that is a 3D object having 4 points, and then extend the work to the edge of the quad. Then a second quad is attached to the first one and gradually the shape is created.
This technique may take some time to develop as it is not as fast as box modeling but the topography can be designed in advance.
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