How to start 3D Modeling for Games


A video game is largely a work of fiction. As a result, these are often created by experienced game developers using 3D modeling to design their assets such as characters, objects, and scenery. Most developers benefit from game art courses to design such games. In video games, 3D modeling involves creating all the assets that make up the scene. It helps to create their textures, illuminations, landscapes, and scenarios. These include characters and mobs or any other mobile objects.

3D Modeling for Games

The process is smooth if the model is static but animation requires a lot of effort. That is why a 3D modeling course is in huge demand.

Animation and rigging are also required for models that move, such as characters and vehicles. In some cases, you may need to animate the character beforehand, depending on your modeling or programming technique.

But the question is how to start 3D modeling for games. Which tools should be used? This article explains how 3D modeling works and discusses different types and techniques, as well as several fields which you can select for your future.

Understand how it works

Creating three-dimensional shapes and visualizing them in different ways is the basic idea behind 3D modeling. A static scene can be rendered from one angle, or a detailed model can be examined from all directions.

3D works by starting with a simple geometric shape such as a cube, sphere, cylinder, etc., and then modifying it until it resembles what you want. Most complex models consist of multiple smaller shapes that are tweaked one by one, but that's an overly simplified version.

Several levels of modification are involved in the main workflow. A whole object can be moved around or transformed in various ways by resizing or rotating or it can be broken down into its components to add fine details.

1. Box or subdivision modeling

Polygonal modeling techniques include Box or subdivision modeling. There are three parts to a polygon: vertexes, edges, and faces. Shapes such as triangles, squares, or rectangles are basic shapes that can be used in this technique. They can be manipulated to create anything, from monsters to aliens using box modeling.

Using 3D modeling software, a low-resolution mesh of a simple shape is refined by sculpting areas that are not needed. After subdividing this mesh, developers are able to tweak polygons and create greater detail within certain areas, resulting in a model that resembles the planned character or object. Making simple models with appropriate software is likely to be the first technique you may encounter as a beginner.

2. Contour modeling

Box modeling manipulates a simple shape into a finished model, while contour or edge modeling takes a different approach. The two techniques are polygonal, but contour modeling builds the model piece by piece.

A clear and detailed piece of art is created by carefully placing polygons next to each other. Human faces can be difficult to design using box modeling alone, so this approach is often used when designing them. A basic mesh can be built and then more meshes can be added around it to create the finished product. It pays to watch online tutorials or take a course to best understand how to place contours together to make lifelike models.

3. Procedural modeling

The process of crafting background details in a game, such as woodlands and buildings, can be time-consuming. Hence, the purpose of procedural modeling is to solve this problem.

Rather than being constructed by hand, procedural models are made using algorithms. A variety of platforms are available to artists for creating them, all of which allow them to manipulate key details in order to achieve the desired results. If you want to make the foliage appear dense, tower blocks appear dilapidated, or animals appear fierce or friendly, you can change the settings. The ability to create entire in-game landscapes quickly will enable you to focus more on key characters and frontline models when you master such software.

4. Level of Detail

Game performance can be improved by optimizing the level of detail. Basically, it involves reducing the number of polygons as you move away from a model. Players who move closer to objects that are far away will see their detail level change, replacing it with one that has more polygons. Since background assets are less detailed than assets that the character sees up close, this saves real-time rendering performance.

. Which 3D modeling software should you use?

Until about a decade ago, 3D modeling required expensive commercial software to get started. Today, the most popular software suites are 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Houdini, and others. At present, the only free software available is Blender, which is quite popular among game developers.

In terms of features, user interface and user experience, ease of use, and support from the community, Blender can easily compete with the big players on the market today. Even some studios now specifically look for Blender experts, which wasn't the case a few years ago.

. 3D Modeling Fields to Choose

Having covered the basics, you'll realize that 3D modeling is a huge field. You can spend months exploring at least a dozen subdisciplines. Some of them include Rigging and animating, Shaders, Particles, Materials, Game optimization, UV mapping, Scripting, and Lighting.

These are just a few examples. It's important to keep in mind that you don't have to learn them all.

3d character

A typical approach is to choose a specific direction and work on it. Animators or environment artists who render massive scenes, for example, might be your dream career. If you've figured out exactly what you want to do, the amount of knowledge you need isn't as great as it seems.

Final words

Make sure to join some 3D modeling communities and enroll in a 3D modeling course once you decide to pursue a career or hobby in this field. The great thing about 3D modeling is that there are lots of people willing to answer any question you might have, and the community support is very strong.