Perhaps some of you have thought about creating such a 3D model yourself.
It is easy to think that it is difficult to make a 3D model, but it is surprisingly easy to make it by using software for 3D production.
This time, I would like to explain how to make a 3D model for 3D beginners.
This article is written by Game Anime 3DCG of Amusement Media Academy.
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What is a 3D model?
A 3D model is model data created as a three-dimensional solid. In other words, it is an image of a 3D person or animal.
Unlike 2D, which is an image on a plane, it is a three-dimensional image, so you can capture the figure from all angles.
Diversity of 3D models
Most of the games in recent years are made using 3D models, so it will be familiar to those who play games on a daily basis.
In addition, 3D models are incorporated not only in games but also in movies, commercials, music videos, VR / AR, virtual YouTuber, and all other content. Especially in 3D animated films such as Disney and Pixar, the characters and backgrounds may all be produced in 3D models.
Recently, there are individuals who make games and videos using 3D models, and there are also people who make original figures with 3D printers.
3 ways to get a 3D model
Make a 3D model using free software
> Creating a 3D model using free software The most recommended way to get it is to create your own 3D model. By using 3D creation software, you can create a 3D model by yourself.
Some 3D creation software is free, and some are easy for beginners to operate, so even beginners will be able to get started without stumbling.
Here are two recommended free software.
"Blender" is an integrated 3DCG creation software developed by volunteer donations.
Despite being free software, Blender has the advantage of having a wealth of features comparable to paid software.
Many tutorials are available online, and it is known as easy-to-use software even for beginners in CG creation.
This software is perfect for those who have no experience in 3D creation and want to create a 3D model for free as a starting point.
"Meshmixer" is a free sculpting software for creating 3DCG.
A big advantage is that it has abundant performance suitable for 3D printing, such as a mesh composition function and a function to attach a support material in the optimum shape.
In addition, it is very easy to use, such as modifying the data for 3D printing and easily creating high quality 3D model data by combining several base models provided.
Make a full-scale 3D model using paid software
It is possible to create 3D models with the free software introduced in the previous section, but for those who want to create more authentic 3D models, we recommend paid 3D creation software.
Here are three recommended paid software.
"3DS MAX" is a high-quality, highly functional 3D creation software developed by Autodesk.
It is a software with many functions among many dedicated software, and it is said that if you have this "3DS MAX" or "MAYA" described later, you can do most of the work of CG creation.
It has been introduced by many 3D production companies worldwide and is also used to create 3D data used in Hollywood movies.
The price is set a little higher for professional software, but you can use it as a trial version for the first 30 days for free.
In addition, students can use it free of charge.
The domestic 3D creation software "metasequoia" developed by Tetraface Co., Ltd. has the features of good visibility of each command and light operation. Lightness of operation is very important in 3D creation software, and you can work without stress.
It is a cheap price among paid software, and there is also a free version, so it is also recommended for those who want to switch from free software.
MAYA "MAYA" is a high-quality, highly functional 3D creation software developed by AutoDesk, like the aforementioned "3DS MAX".
This software has also been introduced by many production companies around the world, and the more schools and companies that incorporate it into their lessons, the easier it is to study.
As a merit that "3DS MAX" does not have, the presence of MEL makes it possible to develop plug-ins with abundant functions.
It can be said that it is a very useful software with many customization options.
Buy a 3D model from a vendor
Another way to get a 3D model other than making it yourself with 3D creation software is to purchase an off-the-shelf product from a professional producer.
As a typical example, "CGtra Ⅾ er" and "sketchfab" sell 3D model data.
Purchasing from a vendor is expensive and does not serve the purpose of creating it yourself, but the quality will be excellent as it is professionally created data.
This method may be most suitable for those who need 3D model data immediately.
How to make a 3D model
How to make a 3D model is as follows.
We will explain each process in detail, so please refer to it.
Choose a 3D tool
First of all, you need to select the 3D production tool introduced earlier.
I would like you to select a tool according to your purpose by referring to the features mentioned above, but if you are creating a 3D model for the first time, why not try using free software.
And if you start to want to make it in earnest while you are making it, try purchasing paid software.
Prepare a three-view drawing of the character to be made 3D
Let's start by preparing a three-view drawing (data) of the character to be made into 3D.
It is possible to create a model without a three-view drawing, but if you are aiming for a delicate 3D model, it is a necessary substitute.
If you want to make a person 3D, it is common to draw front, side, and back pictures, and if you don't have perspective, it will fully serve as a sketch.
After writing the three views, the next step is modeling (polygon modeling).
First, place the vertices while using the front, side, and back pictures as sketches on the x-axis and z-axis, and connect them with lines.
Specifically, vertices are created along the three views, and the vertices are connected by lines to create multiple polygons.
What is a polygon?
Image of polygon
A polygon is a face in a triangle or quadrangle. By the way, even if it is an object (human body) constructed with polygons, you can reproduce a pseudo curve by moving the vertices or arranging another vertex between the vertices.
If you are a beginner, don't make too many polygons and vertices. If you make too much, it will be difficult to handle, so it is recommended to make less at the beginning.
What is modeling?
In the first place, modeling is the work of creating 3D graphic shape data using 2D data.
And, in the above, I mentioned the work method of making polygons, which is called polygon modeling.
By the way, the person who does modeling exclusively is said to be a modeler.
There are other modeling methods, so I will explain them below.
What is sculpting?
Sculpting is the process of transforming the entire model as if you were kneading it with clay.
It has the feature that it can be made finely, but as a result, the number of polygons will increase, so it will not be incorporated into the game as it is.
Texture material settings
After creating the shape data by modeling, set the texture (material).
The texture and material settings are the work to give the inorganic 3D model a realistic feel by adding colors and textures and setting the transmittance.
The method for giving a texture to a 3D model is called "texture mapping", and there are various types of methods such as "color map" for adding color and "transparency mapping" for adjusting transmittance.
By modeling and setting the texture, the 3D character is completed.
However, if nothing is done, the character will just be standing, so we will do the work of rigging to create a mechanism (rig) for the character to move.
First, embed bones ("skeleton" or "vibe" depending on the software) in the character and generate a rig.
Finally, adjust the character so that it doesn't look unnatural when you move it.
By the way, the person who does this rigging work exclusively is called a rigger, and the work of connecting pictures and moving them to a character like animation is called "animation".
Finally, the 3D data file is exported (generated) as a 2D still image or video, and rendered.
By doing the above work, you can output images and videos, but it takes a lot of time to output videos in particular.
Therefore, it is common to make fine adjustments by simply rendering several times at the stage such as texture.
You can create your own 3D models, which are often seen in games and movies, by using free or paid software.
Each software has its own characteristics, so it's a good idea to choose one that suits the image you want to create.
3D technology that will advance further in the future. By knowing how to make it, you may be able to utilize it as your own strength.