With this tutorial, we will take a software-independent look at some of the vital terminology required to build a solid foundation for building 3D models. The purpose of these standalone lessons is not to learn how to use any specific software, but rather to focus on learning fundamental terminology. It is recommended that you are familiar with all of the terminology that is discussed throughout these lessons before starting to follow along with any modeling tutorials. Software required: none.
Introduction and Project Overview In this lesson, we will learn about modeling. Now, there are many disciplines involved in creating finished finalized 3D projects. Whether for video games, broadcast commercials, or even feature films, one of the most important of these disciplines is modeling. Modeling is the creation of 3D assets that will be used within our projects. These assets can be anything from simple props to environments, or even complex animated characters. While we can certainly build our models from our imagination, creating and changing the shapes as we go, most projects will require that models be built to pre-approved references. This reference can come in the form of artwork, model sheets, blueprints, photographs, or even genuine props. And it's important that our finalized, finished models match the artwork as closely as possible. There are three types of geometry that we'll be using to build models. And each has its own advantages and disadvantages. One of those is Nurbs. This geometry produces very smooth shapes, but it's not intuitive to work with because some of the limitations inherent in Nurbs. Polygon geometry is the most common. And it's the easiest to work with, but as you can guess, creating smooth surfaces requires a lot of work and a large number of polygons. The third type, sub-division surfaces, actually attempts to combine the advantages of polygons and Nurbs by using a polygon cage and then calculating a smooth shape based on it. Once you complete the 3D assets, they'll continue their journey through the pipeline by getting color and texture, becoming rigged and animated. And finally, rendered out as part of our final product. While each of these parts of the pipeline are important, modeling provides a vital foundation for any 3D project.