Browse Definitions:
Definition

3D model

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A 3D model is a mathematical representation of something three-dimensional.

3D models are used to portray real-world and conceptual visuals for art, entertainment, simulation and drafting and are integral to many different industries, including virtual reality, video games, 3D printing, marketing, TV and motion pictures, scientific and medical imaging and computer-aided design and manufacturing CAD/CAM.

Some 3D models are constructed from NURBS (non-uniform rational b-spline), smooth shapes defined by bezel curves, which are relatively computationally complex. The typical base of a the model is a 3D mesh; the structural build consists of polygons.

When models are created for animation, they require careful construction because the polygon layout can create issues in unusual deformations. The models also require the construction of a skeleton and the painting of weights, which define the texture and polygon deformation of the model under movement.

Some 3D models define surfaces through shaders, programs that mathematically define color, lightplay and other surface characteristics. Other models define color, specularity, surface texture, and light emission through a series of 2D image files called maps, especially those used in games where raster graphics are needed to deliver real-time frame rates.

A more recent development in 3D modeling is reality capture, which uses remote sensing technology such as Lidar to capture complex forms quickly and accurately. Reality capture may be used in combination with 3D printing for an end-to-end process known as reality computing.

See a beginner's tutorial on creating a 3D model:

This was last updated in September 2016

Continue Reading About 3D model

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • nearline storage

    Nearline storage is the on-site storage of data on removable media.

  • application-aware storage

    Application-aware storage is a storage system with built-in intelligence about relevant applications and their utilization ...

  • Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)

    Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) is a technology that allows computers in a network to exchange data in main memory without ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • 3D XPoint

    3D XPoint is memory storage technology jointly developed by Intel and Micron Technology Inc.

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close