How to Create a 3D Model?

Info about How to Create a 3D Model

Written by AryelLast update 3 months ago

3D Modeling is a creative process where you can build a model (character, creature, vehicle, etc.) in three dimensions (x, y, z) as opposed to simply drawing or painting a picture in two dimensions.

There are tons of different software options available to create 3D content and they vary in terms of complexity, price, and system requirements.

If you're new to 3D, try these free, easy-to-learn tools:

For more advanced 3D features, check out some software popular among our users:

  • 3ds Max: Modeling and rendering (Windows only)

  • Blender: Modeling, rendering, animation (Free, open-source)

  • Maya: Modeling and animation

  • Modo: Modeling, sculpting, 3D painting, animation and rendering

  • Rhino: Mathematically precise, freeform surface modeling

  • SketchUp: Modeling with a focus on ease of use (Free)

  • Unity: Cross-platform game engine (Free)

  • Pixologic ZBrush: Sculpting, texturing and painting

There are many, many other great choices out there. Even some video games have high levels of support for exporting 3D models, including Minecraft and Spore.

3D Scanning Software

3D Scanning is the process of using multiple 2D images or photographs to create a 3D model. For example, Sketchfab users scan their dinners, cars, or even statues in museums. You can do this with a professional-level camera or even your smartphone!

Popular and recommended apps:

Creating 3D models with 2D images

Currently, making a 3D model requires much more information to process in a computer than most 2D image files (JPG, PNG, etc.).

3D models are a collection of points in 3D space, so they have a length, width, and depth. 2D images only have length and width components.

There is no software yet that can take a single 2D image (for example, a family photo) and produce a robust 3D model. However, you can use a series of 2D images and make a 3D model through a process called photogrammetry. If you’re interested, we recommend checking out the 3D scanning resources in the 3D Scanning guide.

In addition, there are some 3D modeling programs out there that can help you sculpt or create 3D models out of single 2D images. They do require a bit of time and patience but the results can be what you’re seeking to do. A good example is Smoothie-3D.

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