ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CGI REFERENCES
BACK TO BASICS
What’s a 3D model anyway? We’re so glad you asked. It’s a digital representation of a three-dimensional object (AKA your product) that is created in dedicated 3D modeling software. This model is the initial building block for all things CGI.
Once your model is built, you have flexibility to use the model in AR/VR spaces, create product renders, build custom environments featuring the product – and the list goes on, and on… and on!
GETTING STARTED WITH CGI
Getting started on the path to CGI is an exciting time. Talk about a fantastic tool in your marketing arsenal! There are many things to consider when diving in, but having a basic understanding of the reference materials needed to develop your first 3D model is crucial to the success of your project. The more you know, the better equipped you are to dive in head first and get rolling.
There are a bunch of possible reference materials that will help our artists in creating a photo realistic rendering. Think about it this way: an artist can’t create a model without visual representation of the product.
A 3D model can actually be created from as little reference material as just a photograph or series of photographs. To model an object to 100% accuracy, the artist needs to see what the object looks like from all sides and at all angles. They’ll also need dimension details to make sure it’s accurate and that all components within the model are to scale.
We went ahead and created a complete list of possible reference materials (below). A quick chat with one of our Account Managers can help you determine which are available to you and best for your project:
This type of photography shows the overall shape, the critical details, and how the material behaves on the product. We need to see how the upholstery bends around the corner, what the stitching looks like, how different textures come together, etc.
You can never have too many photos. We really mean that. Never. They help us answer questions and ensure accuracy of the final model. Here are a few examples – it’s nothing fancy, just show us what the product looks like:
It doesn’t matter how you deliver the dimensions – spreadsheets, lists, or 2D line sketches will do. Here’s a great example:
To get the best results, we need high resolution photos that show true colors and materials of the products you want to be modeled. As your project kicks off, it will be imperative that you select a photograph that accurately represents the color and material of the object to be modeled. This gives the artist a master image to work from.
This is even more important as we move into your review process. If you have 30 photos all taken in different lighting, how will you review the rendered image submitted for approval? Which image will you compare it to? Sorting this out up front will save you time, effort, and money.
ADDITIONAL REFERENCE MATERIALS
- 2D CAD (.DWG, .DWF, .DXF)
- 3D CAD (.STP)
- 3D Files (.OBJ, .FBX, .3DS, .MAX)
- Scans (.FBX)
WE’LL LEAVE YOU WITH THIS
If you remember only two pieces of information from this post, remember that to model an object, the artist must know:
- What does it look like?
- How big is it?