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3D models are used in many fields, including the film industry, video games, architecture and of course for augmented reality (AR for short). However, creating a 3D model requires a deep understanding of the techniques and methods available to achieve the desired result. This blog post provides an overview of different 3D modeling methods so you can choose the right method for your next project.

Create 3D models - with photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is one of the methods for creating 3D models and is based on the processing of photos. With this method, an object is photographed from different angles and special software combines these images into a 3D model. This method is ideal for creating realistic 3D models of real objects such as buildings, landscapes, or statues.

In order to create a photogrammetric model, you must first take a sufficient number of images of your object. The number of images needed depends on the size of the object and the desired level of detail of the 3D model, on average it is 20-30 photos. It is important to capture images from different angles and perspectives to capture the subject as fully as possible. Once the images have been captured, they are processed using special photogrammetry software. This software uses special algorithms and techniques to align, register and process images in 3D point clouds. This point cloud contains a large number of points that reflect the shape of the object.

The next step is to create surface data and texture information from the point cloud. This makes the model more realistic and visually appealing.

Finally, the 3D model can be exported for further processing in 3D software or for use in other applications.

Methods for 3D modeling photogrammetry


Create 3D models – with a scanner

3D scanners are very useful for converting real objects into digital 3D models. Digital 3D models can be further processed and used in various applications. This technology has applications in many fields, including architecture, industry, medicine, entertainment, and prototyping and product manufacturing.

3D scanning is a method of capturing the three-dimensional shape of an object. There are many different types of 3D scanners, but they all generally work in the same way. The first is object recognition. The objects to be scanned are placed on a platform or room specially set up for 3D capture. Depending on the scanner type, the object can be moving or stationary for a complete capture. The scanning process follows. Scanners emit infrared, laser, or optical signals to scan objects. The signal hits an object and is reflected or radiated by it. A scanner captures these signals and measures the distance between the scanner and the object. The measured distances are converted into a 3D point cloud by software. This point cloud is a collection of millions of points that represent the shape and appearance of the scanned object. In some cases, color information or textures can also be recorded in addition to the distance measurement. The final step is post-processing. The point cloud can now be imported into 3D modeling software to create a 3D model. The points are converted into a surface model that can be further processed depending on the desired level of detail.

3D Modeling Methods Scanner

Create 3D models - with AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI for short - also known as KI - artificial intelligence) is one of the latest methods for creating 3D models and can be used in a variety of ways to create 3D models. It is important to note that using AI when creating 3D models does not replace all the steps required to create 3D models. Rather, AI can be used as a tool to support and accelerate the modeling process. With AI-assisted methods, one can create complex shapes and textures faster and generate 3D models that would otherwise be very difficult or impossible to create.

Here are some of the most common ways AI can help create 3D models:

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs): GANs are a type of AI algorithm that can be used to generate 3D models. It uses two artificial neural networks that train each other to create a realistic 3D model. The network is constantly generating new models and learning what looks realistic and what doesn't. Google's is known here dreamfusion (or also the counterpart to Dall-E: Point. Both programs make it possible to create 3D models from text input by using AI.

Autoencoder: An autoencoder is a type of neural network used for image or signal processing. It can also be used to create 3D models by analyzing existing 3D models and extracting key features. The network can then use these features to generate new, similar 3D models.

Machine Learning: It is possible to create 3D models with machine learning models. Large amounts of data can be analyzed to create templates from which new models are derived. Systems are trained on large amounts of data to recognize and reproduce patterns and characteristics. You can use it to create realistic 3D models by learning how light and shadow hit different objects. Machine learning can also help with texturing and merging 3D models.

One technology that takes advantage of machine learning is NeRF. NeRF stands for Neural Radiance Fields, a deep neural network model used for 3D reconstruction and image synthesis. This is a method that makes it possible to reconstruct complex 3D scenes from 2D images and create realistic 3D images. NeRF models have many applications in various fields such as virtual reality, computer graphics and robotics. Here a short video how it all works.

Mazing combines different AI methods and can thus offer a cheap and scalable 3D modeling process. More on this in the chapter "Outsource or do it yourself".


Source: Google Dream Fusion

Create 3D models - with modelers

Manual modeling is the "traditional" method of creating 3D models. Here the model is formed manually and created in a 3D modeling program such as Blender, Vectary, BlocksCAD or SketchUp. This method requires a lot of patience and skill, since every detail of the model has to be made by hand. However, it is a very flexible method and allows the creation of complex and detailed models.

After the software has been chosen, the process begins with sketching the model. This can be done by hand or digitally using 3D modeling software. A rough sketch of the model can help get an idea of ​​the shape and size of the model. The model can now be created in the 3D modeling software. It does this by creating geometry, such as polygons, surfaces, and solids, to shape the model. The geometry can e.g. For example, it can be modified by moving, scaling, or rotating to create the shape and details of the model. After the model is created, it can be textured to add colors and materials. Textures can be created by applying images or patterns to the surface of the model. High-quality texturing can make the model more realistic and appealing. Now comes the lighting and rendering. Lighting the model is an important step to make the model more realistic. Different light sources can be used to create shadows and reflections. Rendering refers to the creation of images or animations from the model, which can then be exported to be used in other applications - such as augmented reality tools.

Manual 3D modeling requires a high level of creative ability and experience in using 3D modeling software. It can be a time-consuming and demanding task, but it offers great flexibility and control over the model to create it exactly the way you want it.

Do it yourself or rather outsource?

The question arises whether you can or want to create 3D models yourself or whether you would rather have them created. As we have seen so far, the methods for creating 3D models are complex and offer numerous possibilities. There are some programs available, some of which are free of charge. But you have to weigh up the extent to which you want to familiarize yourself with this and whether your skills are sufficient for more complex 3D models. There are many reasons to leave 3D modeling to the experts.

Many types of 3D model creation require professional equipment. 3D modeling requires special equipment such as powerful computers or 3D scanners. Professionals often have the latest technology needed to create high quality 3D models.

Experienced 3D modelers can ensure that the model is exactly what the customer requires and is free from errors and problems. A poorly created 3D model can cause problems in production or in the final product, which can lead to additional costs and delays. Especially for augmented reality applications, 3D models have to meet special requirements and be optimized. A cost-effective and high-quality option is offered here by the Maze 3D modeling. If you don't have any 3D models yet, Mazing can easily create them for you. Only a few product photos, CAD sketches or scans are required for this. Of course, these can be processed so that they can be used for applications such as Web AR eCommerce, Instagram filters, Virtual Try On, etc. are suitable. Mazing can also integrate it into websites or online shops for you - so you have all services from a single source.

Experienced 3D modelers have extensive knowledge and experience in 3D modeling and can create complex shapes and textures that are difficult for non-experts to create. Plus, experts can streamline processes and minimize potential sources of error, saving time and money. In general, creating a 3D model can be a time-consuming task that requires a lot of patience and perseverance. Hiring an expert saves time and makes it possible to create a model quickly and efficiently.

Finally, there is the creative input that an expert can provide. Experts can provide creative information and ideas that can significantly improve the 3D model. This makes the model more useful and high quality.


Innovations in 3D modelling: what the future will bring

The future of 3D modeling methods is bright and offers many opportunities for further development and innovation. One of the most important trends is the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence. This makes the creation of 3D models faster and more efficient. This improves the quality of the manufactured models and reduces production costs. As a result, the budget advantages of large studios over smaller creative studios could disappear.

Another important trend is the increasing use of augmented and virtual reality technologies (aka metaverse) in various industries such as retail, construction and healthcare. Using 3D models in AR and VR applications offers users an immersive experience that allows them to view products and environments from different angles.


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