How to Make 3D Models for Games

Created in the 1960s by graphic designer William Fetter, 3D modeling overcame more than 60 years of constant improvements to become what we know now. VR and AR, wide CGI capabilities, architectural renderings, computer graphics animations… These things are significant parts of our lives. However, almost its main application, 3D modeling has been found in the video games world, and we’ll discuss it in this article.

How to create 3D models for video games

But how does 3D modeling work in gaming production? Understandably, 3D modeling is creating three-dimensional representations of objects or scenes using specialized software. But how such things as texturing, lighting, rendering, etc. are combined so efficiently that we can enjoy hyper-realistic games without any thoughts? Let’s delve into the world of 3D modeling to understand all the hidden rocks…

Understanding the Basics: How to Get Started?

If you want to bring your game idea to the world, you need to work a lot on 3D models (when we say ‘a lot’ we mean weeks and months). Even a mid-scope indie game requires thousands of single assets to create a good 3D model. Imagine, how tough this process can be for AAA titles! 

Of course, working on game projects would be much easier if 3D modeling was only about character models. However, it’s about setting, props, vehicles, and more… Based on our experience, we can define 7 main types of 3D modeling for game production.

Character Models

Human-like 3D character models, how to create 3D character models

We’ve already mentioned them before. These are 3D representations of characters within the game. Character models range from human-like figures to fantastical creatures, robots, or animals. Usually, they are designed with detailed textures and rigged for animation to allow movement and expression.

Environment Models

How to create 3D environment models

This is objects around the playable character, for example, buildings, terrain, vegetation, and other elements that populate the game world. Without them, the setting wouldn’t be so realistic and wouldn’t accurately transmit the atmosphere of the game.

Weapon Models

Realistic 3D weapon models, how to create 3D weapon models

In many titles, especially games with good weapon customization such as shooters or action-adventure games, firearms, melee weapons, explosives, or magical items are important ways for players to interact with the game world. These models often require a lot of realistic details and animations for reloading, firing, and handling.

Vehicle Models

Functional 3D vehicle models, how to create 3D vehicle models

Many games often feature driving, flying, or other forms of transportation that require vehicle models. 3D objects like cars, planes, boats, futuristic spacecraft, or mythical mounts should be visually appealing and functional, with animations for movement and interaction, to engage players.

Prop Models

Interactive 3D model props, how to create 3D model props

Sometimes people even don’t know about prop models, but these small objects add detail and realism. These props can be in the form of furniture, tools, containers, decorations, or any other items that characters can interact with. Or they can simply serve as background elements ;)

Special Effects Models

Realistic 3D special effects models, how to create 3D special effects models

As we worked a lot with 3D magic models, we know everything about special effects models. They are used to create explosions, fire, smoke, sparks, magical spells, or environmental phenomena like weather effects. Also, they are often animated and play a crucial role in enhancing the game’s visuals.

UI Models

How to create 3D UI models

While not part of the game world itself, UI models are used to create graphical elements like menus, HUDs, icons, buttons, and other interface components that players interact with during gameplay. So, as you can see, even such models are very important for making realistic and pleasant-to-play games. 

Okay, now you know what 3D models you should consider while creating a game. But what knowledge you should have to create the best 3D models in the gaming world?

Start with understanding geometry and topology because it’s a foundation of 3D modeling. Without these 2 aspects, you can’t make a correct arrangement of vertices, edges, and faces in a 3D model.

The next stage is UV mapping (the process of unwrapping a 3D model’s surface to create a 2D representation for applying textures) and UV texturing/shading (adding surface detail, color, and texture to the 3D model). 

Time for the finishing touches! Use lighting techniques to add atmosphere and realism to a game environment. And that’s all! If you need to make character animations, don’t forget about rigging (adding a digital skeleton (rig) to 3D models, enabling them to be animated).

How to get started working on 3D modeling, what is 3D modeling

How to Create 3D Models With The Right Software

Being aware of the knowledge you should have to start working on 3D models is good. However, without excellent 3D game modeling software, you can’t do anything. Based on our wide experience in 3D gaming, we can highlight 3 popular (and awesome for beginners as for professionals) 3D modeling software:

  • 1

    Blender

    Everyone heard about Blender, and this tool has justified its popularity. It is a free and open-source 3D creation suite that offers robust modeling, sculpting, animation, rigging, rendering, and compositing tools. The gaming industry likes Blender a lot for its active community support.

  • 2

    Autodesk Maya

    Maya is another comprehensive 3D animation software used for modeling, rigging, animation, and rendering. It's favored by many game studios for its powerful toolset and integration with other Autodesk products like 3ds Max which is very helpful for a lot of specialists.

  • 3

    Autodesk 3ds Max

    3ds Max is another Autodesk product commonly used in the gaming industry for modeling, animation, rendering, and visual effects. It's known for its extensive modeling tools and support for high-level animation workflows.

There are even more 3D modeling software tools such as ZBrush, Substance Painter, Cinema 4D, or Modo, and you can search for them by yourself if you want to expand your 3D modeling opportunities.

The best 3D game modeling software, top popular 3D game modeling software

How to Find Game Ideas for 3D Design Models

If you really want to start working on your PC, mobile, or console 3D game, here’s a list of 3D modeling project ideas that are the best opportunities for you to have a smooth start in the gaming world.

  • 1

    Racing Game

    If you’re interested in cars, a high-speed racing game with customizable vehicles and tracks is a very good idea for you. In this case, you can use 3D modeling for cars, landscapes, and obstacles. The UI design could include speedometers, lap counters, and a minimap showing the track layout.

  • 2

    Educational Simulation

    If you don’t know how to make game art as a programmer, an interactive educational simulation where players learn about historical events, scientific concepts, cultural traditions, etc. is awesome for beginners in 3D modeling. You can use 3D elements for artifacts, simulations, and interactive exhibits.

  • 3

    Fantasy Action-Adventure

    It’s a slightly more difficult way to work with 3D modeling but such an interesting idea! What can be better than crafting a fantasy world filled with dungeons, monsters, and magic? Nothing! Use 3D modeling for characters, environments, and magical effects.

  • 4

    Space Exploration RPG

    Space games with vast, procedurally generated universes with a lot of 3D elements are one of the best types of 3D games. You can use 3D modeling for planets, spaceships, and alien creatures.

  • 5

    Virtual Reailty Escape Room

    VR and AR are very popular these days so if you use 3D modeling for VR game development, your project will be very successful. Design a series of escape rooms set in immersive virtual environments and use 3D modeling for room layouts, puzzles, and interactive objects.

  • 6

    Survival Sandbox

    We are big fans of open-world survival games especially set in a post-apocalyptic wilderness so we know that it’s a very creative idea for 3D game development. Use 3D modeling for terrain, structures, and resources. Also, survival games suggest amazing game UI design ideas. One of the ideas is to feature a crafting menu, hunger and thirst meters, and a map showing nearby landmarks.

3D modeling project ideas, how can I find game idea for my 3D model

How to Create 3D Models Efficiently and Productively

If you’re reading this article, you definitely want to create your 3D game but you have problems with 3D modeling. Yes, it’s pretty understandable that the 3D modeling process is very complex and there are a lot of hidden rocks. Based on our experience, we want to share with you 10 main tips every game developer or game development company would like to know before starting work on 3D modeling and getting a positive and successful general game development experience.

Tip #1: Use Specific Sculpting Tools for Organic Modeling

In 3D modeling, particularly when creating organic shapes like characters, creatures, or natural environments, specific sculpting tools significantly enhance the productivity process. Sculpting allows for intuitive manipulation of digital clay, enabling artists to create fluid forms and other details with ease.

  • Work at different resolutions: sculpting software often allows you to work at different levels of detail. Start with a low-resolution mesh for blocking out the basic shapes and then gradually increase the resolution as you refine the details. This approach helps balance performance with detail level.
  • Experiment with brushes: explore the various sculpting brushes available, each designed for specific purposes such as sculpting, smoothing, carving, or adding surface details like wrinkles or pores. Experiment with different brush sizes, shapes, and settings to achieve desired effects.

Don’t forget to:

  • master the basics in Blender, ZBrush, or Mudbox;
  • start with a solid base;
  • use reference images;
  • focus on silhouette and form;
  • use layers and undo.
The best sculpting tools for 3D modeling, Blender 3D sculpting

Tip #2: Implement Effective File Organization Practices

Without efficient file organization, there is no chance for you to boost your productivity and streamline your 3D modeling workflow. Properly organizing your files helps you to get easy access to assets, reduces clutter, and minimizes the risk of errors or loss of work.

  • Establish a clear folder structure: create a logical folder hierarchy that reflects the different stages of your project. For example, you might have separate folders for source files, work-in-progress assets, final renders, textures, and references. Within each folder, use subfolders to further categorize assets based on type or purpose.
  • Backup regularly: establish a backup routine to safeguard your work against data loss or corruption. Back up your files to external drives, cloud storage services, or network servers at regular intervals. Consider using automated backup tools to streamline the process and ensure consistency.

Don’t forget to:

  • use descriptive naming conventions;
  • implement a version control system;
  • organize project documentation;
  • clean up unused assets;
  • stay consistent.
File organization practices, project documentation organization

Tip #3: Harness the Power of Procedural Modeling

Unlike traditional manual modeling methods, which involve individually crafting each component of a model, procedural modeling allows you to generate complex geometry and textures algorithmically, based on a set of rules or parameters.

  • Create modular assets: build reusable procedural assets using modular components and procedural patterns. By creating parametric models that can be easily adjusted and combined, you can quickly generate variations of objects and scenes, saving time on repetitive modeling tasks.
  • Generate complex geometry: use procedural modeling to detail geometry that would be time-consuming or impractical to model manually. Techniques such as fractals, noise patterns, and mathematical functions can be employed to generate organic shapes and terrains.

Don’t forget to:

  • understand procedural techniques;
  • utilize parametric controls;
  • automate repetitive tasks;
  • try to combine procedural with manual 3D modeling;
  • experiment and iterate.
What is procedural 3D modeling, 3D modeling procedural techniques

Tip #4: Optimize Efficiency with Combined Meshes

One effective way to enhance productivity in 3D modeling is by using the technique of combining meshes. This approach involves merging multiple separate geometry elements into a single mesh, reducing the complexity of your scene and streamlining various aspects of the modeling process.

  • Combining meshes significantly reduces the number of draw calls and scene complexity, leading to improved rendering performance, especially in games and interactive simulations. Also, by consolidating multiple objects into a single mesh, you minimize the computational overhead associated with processing individual elements, resulting in smoother playback and faster rendering times.
  • In 3D character modeling and animation workflows, combining meshes facilitates rigging and animation processes by creating unified skinning envelopes and deformation regions. Instead of dealing with separate mesh components for different body parts, combining meshes enables to create a single, contiguous mesh for the entire character.

Benefits of this approach:

  • reduced rendering overhead;
  • simplified scene management;
  • export file and size optimization.
Combining meshes technique, what is meshes combining in 3D modeling

Tip #5: Streamline Texturing Workflow with UV Unwrapping

Efficiency in 3D modeling often hinges on the effective management of textures. UV unwrapping is one of the most important steps in the texturing process that, based on our experience, significantly streamline workflow.

  • Plan ahead and simplify geometry: before unwrapping UVs, think about the topology of your model and how it will be textured. Aim to keep geometry as simple and clean as possible to facilitate UV unwrapping. Avoid unnecessary edge loops, triangles, or complex geometry that may complicate the unwrapping process.
  • Use automatic unwrapping tools: many 3D modeling software packages offer automatic UV unwrapping tools that can quickly generate UV layouts based on the geometry of your model. We recommend you experiment with different unwrapping algorithms and settings to find the one that best suits your needs. Significant note: while automatic unwrapping can be a time-saver for simple shapes, manual adjustments are still necessary for more complex models.

Don’t forget to:

  • minimize distortion and stretching;
  • utilize seam placement strategically;
  • think about texture resolution optimization;
  • organize and label UV islands.
What is UV unwrapping, texturing workflow optimization

Tip #6: Enhance Productivity with Material Combination

A lot of developers don’t know about that but 3D modeling processes can be greatly enhanced by leveraging material combination techniques. Rather than creating individual materials for each object or surface in your scene, consider consolidating similar materials to optimize your workflow.

  • Use material instances: in a lot of 3D modeling software packages, you can find the tools to create material instances or clones. These instances reference a single master material but can be applied to multiple objects. By using material instances, you can maintain consistency across your scene while minimizing the number of unique materials you need to manage.
  • Create material templates: develop a library of material templates or presets that can be easily applied to different objects or surfaces. These templates can include predefined settings for common material types such as wood, metal, plastic, or fabric. By starting with a template and making minor adjustments as needed, you can easily speed up the material creation process.

Don’t forget to:

  • group similar surfaces;
  • utilize material blending;
  • optimize texture usage;
  • maintain flexibility.
Material combination techniques, how to combine materials 3D modeling

Tip #7: Optimize Rigging Process with Modular Rigging Systems

As you know, rigging is the process of creating a digital skeleton and controls for animating 3D models. So, using a special modular approach and implementing modular rigging systems can streamline the 3D modeling process and make it much easier.

  • Use hierarchical rigging structures: organize rigging components in a hierarchical structure, with parent-child relationships that mimic the natural hierarchy of the character or object being rigged. This approach allows for intuitive control and manipulation of rig elements, making it easier to pose and effectively animate the model.
  • Implement rigging modularity: break down the rigging process into modular components that can be assembled and customized to suit the specific needs of each character or object. For example, create modular limb rigs for arms and legs that can be easily attached to a central spine rig or torso rig. 

Don’t forget to:

  • develop a modular rigging template;
  • standardize naming conventions;
  • utilize rigging templates and scripts;
  • document rigging workflows;
  • iterate and refine rigging systems.
What is modular rigging system, modular rigging system

Tip #8: Make 3D Modeling Processes Faster with Level of Detail Modeling

Our team definitely likes LOD modeling a lot as it involves creating multiple versions of an object with varying levels of detail, allowing us to optimize performance without sacrificing visual quality. Sounds so cool, right?

  • Identify performance bottlenecks: before creating LOD versions of your models, analyze your scene to identify performance bottlenecks. Usually, it includes objects with high polygon counts, complex shaders, or large texture sizes that impact rendering performance. By pinpointing areas of concern, you also prioritize optimization efforts where they will have the greatest impact.
  • Determine LOD thresholds: decide on the criteria for transitioning between LOD levels based on factors such as distance from the camera, screen size, or level of detail required for a particular scene. For example, objects closer to the camera may require higher detail levels, while those in the background can use lower-detail LODs to conserve resources.

Don’t forget to:

  • create LOD versions;
  • use LOD grouping;
  • automate LOD generation;
  • integrate LODs into game engines.
What is level of detail modeling, how to create LOD versions

Tip #9: Integrate Image-Based Modeling into 3D Modeling

Image-based modeling is a powerful technique in 3D modeling that significantly improves efficiency and productivity, especially when creating complex objects or environments. By utilizing reference images or textures as a guide, you can easily achieve more accurate results.

  • Use reference images as templates: import reference images into your 3D modeling software and use them as templates or background images to guide your modeling process. Also, align the reference images with the corresponding viewport or camera view to ensure accurate proportions and alignment.
  • Employ photogrammetry: photogrammetry is a technique that captures real-world objects or environments using a series of photographs and then reconstructs them into 3D models (one of the coolest examples of image-based modeling benefits).

Don’t forget to:

  • gather comprehensive reference images;
  • utilize image-based texture mapping;
  • combine image-based techniques with traditional modeling;
  • experiment with procedural generation while working with image-based modeling;
  • establish a stream-lined image-based modeling workflow with regular optimization.
What is 3D image-based modeling, 3D image-based modeling workflow

Tip #10: Plan and Storyboard Your Animation

  • Storyboarding: start by creating a detailed storyboard or animatic that outlines the key moments, camera angles, and character actions in your animation. This serves as a roadmap for the entire animation process, helping you visualize the flow of the story and identify any potential issues or gaps in the narrative early on.
  • Define key poses: once you have a solid storyboard in place, focus on defining the key poses and movements for your characters or objects. These key poses act as the foundation of your animation, capturing the essence of each action or expression.
  • Blocking and timing: use blocking techniques to rough out the timing and pacing of your animation. We’re talking about creating simple placeholder animations or poses to establish the motion and timing of each scene. We like that blocking allows us to experiment with different timing options and refine the rhythm of the animation before adding more detail.

Don’t forget to:

  • refine and iterate on your animation;
  • use reference;
  • leverage animation tools.

As you can see, we’ve written just 10 main tips that can help you enhance the efficiency and productivity of your 3D modeling processes. However, we understand how difficult is to keep in mind all the details and intricate moments. So, if you want to have an amazing and successful first 3D project, we recommend you use 3D modeling services. This is the best idea to save your time, and money, and ensure that everything will be done professionally without any troubles and misunderstandings on the technical side of the project.

Selecting a 3D Modeling Service - Factors to Consider

If you want to make your game and save money, time, and effort, the best idea is to choose 3D modeling services for your game. However, when choosing some specific 3D modeling services for your project, several factors should be taken into account to ensure that the service totally aligns with your specific needs and requirements. And we haven’t even started talking about how it’s important to consider the expertise and capabilities of the team you should hire for 3D modeling! 

So, based on our experience, here are some main things you should pay attention to if you want to choose the best 3D modeling services for your project.

  • 1

    1. Sculpting and modeling expertise

    The difference between a 3D artist vs 3D modeler is huge so you should look for a 3D modeling service that specializes exactly in sculpting and modeling complex structures. Evaluate their portfolio to ensure they have experience in creating detailed models that meet your project's requirements.

  • 2

    2. Texture and material integration

    Verify that the 3D modelers have proficiency in incorporating textures and materials into their models. They should understand how different textures and materials impact the final look and feel of the models, and be able to execute your desired aesthetic effectively.

  • 3

    3. Understanding of polygon count

    The team you want to work with should be aware of the importance of polygon count in game development. So, make sure the team is knowledgeable about polygon optimization techniques. Also, they should be able to create models with an appropriate polygon count that balances visual quality with performance considerations.

  • 4

    4. Optimization strategies

    The 3D modeling specialists should be adept at reducing file sizes, optimizing geometry, and implementing LOD techniques to ensure optimal performance for cross-platform game development.

  • 5

    5. Photorealistic rendering skills

    If hyperrealistic 3D character model services are priorities for your project, seek a 3D modeling team with expertise in photorealistic rendering techniques. They should be proficient in lighting, shading, and rendering to achieve lifelike visuals that meet your quality standards.

  • 6

    6. Special effects and particles

    If these elements are essential for your project, evaluate whether the 3D modeling team has experience in creating special effects and particle systems. They should be able to implement dynamic effects seamlessly into their models to enhance the realism level of the game. Also, we recommend you work with game studios that use Blender because Blender comes with a fully-fledged built-in compositor, and the team who knows all Blender’s possibilities and power can save you time and money.

  • 7

    7. Project file organization

    Make sure that the team maintains a structured and well-documented file organization system, making it easy for you to access and integrate the models into your pipeline.

  • 8

    8. Communication and collaboration

    We can’t skip this significant aspect because effective communication and collaboration are the foundation of qualitative 3D modeling processes. Choose a provider that demonstrates clear communication channels, responsiveness to feedback, and a collaborative approach to project management.

How to select a 3D modeling service, the best 3D modeling services for 3D project

Rigging and Animation

One more very crucial thing you should consider while choosing a team to work with is to find professionals from a 3D animation outsourcing company who will make everything that you need on a turn-key basis. In this case, you should make sure that the team is aware of rigging for games and all the animation techniques for 3D models to meet all your needs.

  • Keyframe animation is setting key poses at specific frames along the timeline and allowing the software to interpolate the motion between these keyframes. Keyframe animation provides precise control over the motion and allows for complex movements and character expressions.
  • Inverse Kinematics is a technique used to animate joints in a hierarchical structure, such as the limbs of a character. IK is useful for animating characters interacting with the environment or performing complex actions like walking, running, or grabbing objects.
  • Forward Kinematics is animating joints by rotating them individually, starting from the base of the hierarchy (for example, the hip or shoulder joint) and moving outward. While FK requires more manual manipulation compared to IK, it can be useful for animating specific gestures, facial expressions, or detailed movements.
  • Motion capture technology involves recording the movements of real actors or performers using specialized cameras or sensors and then applying this data to 3D models. MoCap allows for highly realistic and naturalistic animations, as it captures the nuances of human movement with accuracy. 
  • Blend shapes, also known as morph targets or shape keys, create a series of predefined deformations or facial expressions for a 3D model. Blend shapes are commonly used for facial animation, allowing characters to convey emotions or lip-sync with dialogue.
3D rigging techniques, 3D animation techniques, rigging and animation technologies

3D Modeling in Unity

If you ask us: ‘What is the best engine for 3D modeling and game development?’, we would answer: ‘Unity’. Why? 

So, Unity supports deployment to multiple platforms, including PCs, consoles, mobile devices, and web browsers. This cross-platform compatibility allows to adapt 3D models to various audiences and maximize the potential success of the projects.

Unity’s graphics engine provides high-quality rendering capabilities, including support for real-time lighting, shadows, and post-processing effects. Also, Unity’s Asset Store offers a vast library of pre-made assets, including 3D models, textures, materials, animations, and plugins. This extensive marketplace allows 3D modelers to accelerate modeling processes by leveraging ready-made assets or purchasing tools and resources.

Compared to other engines, Unity has an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it accessible to 3D modelers and developers of all skill levels. Its visual editor allows for rapid prototyping and iteration, while its scripting capabilities provide flexibility and customization options for advanced users. 

So, as you can see Unity has a lot of benefits. But what about Unreal Engine, another popular tool for 3D modeling?

How to make 3D models in Unity

Is it possible to do 3D Modeling in Unreal Engine?

With Unity 3D game development services, everything is understandable: Unity has cross-platform compatibility, a powerful graphics engine, an asset store, ease of use, community support, performance optimization, multiplayer networking, and continuous updates and improvements. 

Talking about Unreal Engine and 3D modeling, the situation is a little bit different compared to Unity. There is a thought that Unreal game development is much more developed than Unreal 3D modeling so there are no powerful 3D modeling capabilities. Is it so in reality? To understand that, we’ve created a table to compare Unity and Unreal Engine’s capabilities in 3D modeling:

How to make 3D models in Unreal Engine
Feature
Unity
Unreal Engine
Graphics
Powerful graphics engine with real-time rendering capabilities
Highly advanced rendering features, including photorealistic graphics and cinematic effects
Ease of use
User-friendly interface with an intuitive visual editor for rapid prototyping
Robust editor with a steeper learning curve but offers comprehensive features for advanced users
Asset store
Asset Store provides a wide range of 3D modeling tools, pre-made assets, plugins, and tools
Marketplace offers extensive assets for game development and a little bit for 3D modeling, such as high-quality 3D models, textures, materials, and plugins
Scripting languages
Supports C# as the primary scripting language, which is beginner-friendly and widely used
Offers support for C++ and Blueprints, a visual scripting system, which is better for game development, not for 3D modeling/center>
Community support
A large and active community of developers, artists, and enthusiasts sharing knowledge and resources about 3D modeling
Boasts a dedicated community with extensive game development documentation, forums, and tutorials, offering support for users at all skill levels
Performance optimization
Provides tools for optimizing 3D modeling processes, including profiling tools, occlusion culling, and asset bundling
Offers built-in performance optimization features, such as automatic LOD generation, texture streaming, and efficient memory management
Updates and improvements
Regularly releases updates and improvements for 3D modeling, introducing new features and enhancements to the engine and editor
Receives frequent updates with new game development features and sometimes for 3D modeling, optimizations, and bug fixes

So, Unreal Engine 5 isn’t a dedicated 3D modeling software, but it provides basic geometric shapes and brushes for scene prototyping which is definitely not a good choice for creating a whole game. We recommend you use Unity, ZBrush, Maya, or Blender.

Importance of Testing 3D Models in Game Environments

If you want to ensure the quality, functionality, and 100% success of a game, you should also include testing 3D models in-game environments and provide effective game-testing solutions in case of any troubles. Here are several reasons why it’s so important to test 3D models, based on our experience:

  • 1

    Visual Consistency

    Developers can assess their visual consistency and integration with other elements such as textures, lighting, and shaders. 

  • 2

    Performance Optimization

    Testing 3D models helps identify performance bottlenecks such as high polygon counts, inefficient material usage, or excessive draw calls. By evaluating models in the game environment, developers can optimize them for better performance, ensuring optimal frame rates across different hardware configurations.

  • 3

    Collision Detection

    Developers can verify collision detection accuracy and collision meshes.

  • 4

    Animation Integration

    Testing 3D models with animations in the game environment allows 3D modeling specialists to assess animation integration, timing, and synchronization. Ensuring that animations play correctly within the game environment helps create lifelike character movements, believable interactions, and engaging gameplay experiences.

Testing 3D models in game environment, game testing solutions

3D Industry Insights and Trends

The global 3D mapping and modeling market size reached US$ 7.8 Billion in 2023. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 32.2 Billion by 2032, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9% during 2024-2032. Obviously, the reason for such a growth is advancements in 3D technologies and a lot of trends in PCs, consoles, and mobile game industry trends.

The latest trends in 3D modeling include the use of motion capture, photogrammetry, AR/VR, and AI.

Also, tools with cool features like Stable Diffusion from 2D images to 3D images are very popular in 3D modeling too.

One of the latest significant innovations is TripoSR, a fast object generator that converts 2D images to 3D objects, released by stability.ai and tripo.ai.

This tool is fantastic: the quality of the model is better than that of analogs by 10-15%. Also, TripoSR runs under low inference budgets (even without a GPU), which is both accessible and practical for a wide range of users and applications.

However, the most important feature is the perfect follow image! And a huge generation speed, of course, more than all competitors have.

Now, all that we can do is expect the craftsmen who finish the model to be AAA quality (as was with Stable Diffusion 1.5). But we are sure: it will happen very soon.

3D industry insights and trends, the future of 3D modeling

Our Case Studies and 3D Models Examples

  • 1

    Coreborn

    For this amazing MMO game, we’ve created together with other excellent game developers, our professional 3D modeling specialists created Ark Stylized Character models and designs with extensive character customization options. As a result, we’ve created 3D male and female models, including 6 facial features, body proportions, 7 hairstyles, and interesting costume designs. But it’s not all! We’ve also worked on 3D sword models such as the Wood sword, the Stone & Wood sword, the Metal Variations sword, the Metal Polished sword, and the Metal Clean sword.

  • 2

    Metro 3D Models

    Talking about hyper-realistic 3D models, we have experience in creating 3D detailed props, including doors, traffic lights, turnstiles, and even fire extinguishers. Just look at all these objects! Every bench, traffic light, door, turnstile, and, of course, the subway car, looks like real-life models. We’re very proud of this project because we feel that we created a real atmosphere of a big city subway. 

  • 3

    3D Vehicle Models

    We’ve mentioned that we’re big fans of post-apocalyptic ideas so our team decided to create 3D vehicle models that will give players incredible sensations of speed, drive, and adrenaline. As a result, we’ve created 2 different vehicles: a detailed model of a motorcycle with a lightweight body, but a powerful engine, and an Armageddon Buggy with huge massive tires, sturdy chains, and metal rods.

The best 3D models case studies, amazing 3D models examples

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about 3D modeling

To avoid common 3D modeling mistakes, outsource 3D modeling!! Ensure clear communication with the team and specifications to avoid misunderstandings. Plan your project thoroughly, including concept sketches and reference images. Avoid rushing through the modeling process; instead, take the time to refine each detail. Maintain proper topology to prevent issues during animation and deformation. Regularly save incremental versions of your work to avoid losing progress. And don’t forget to continuously seek feedback from peers or mentors to identify and address potential issues early on. We are sure this advice will help you avoid common mistakes in 3D modeling ;)

Several companies that specialize in delivering advanced techniques in 3D modeling are Autodesk, Pixologic, Foundry, Blender, SideFX, Allegorithmic, Trimble SketchUp, and Maxon.

To improve the realism of your 3D models, focus on detailed textures, accurate geometry, realistic lighting, and proper scale. Use high-resolution textures with surface imperfections, wrinkles, and bumps. Pay attention to the geometry, adding fine details and accurate proportions. Implement realistic lighting setups to mimic natural or artificial lighting conditions. Ensure proper scale and proportion relative to real-world objects. Utilize physically-based rendering techniques for accurate material rendering and lighting interactions. Incorporate small details like wear and tear, environmental effects, and realistic animations.