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

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close