What is 3D modelling and how is it communicated to create meaning?
3D modelling is a way of digitally creating virtual objects and environments in a way than can convey more detail than 2D art styles and can achieve effects that are impossible to do in 2D. 3D modelling is a versatile art style that can be used for many purposes, from entertainment to academic. Even within each of these, different styles can be used to create entirely different effects.
How is 3D used?
The ways 3D is used vary from medium to medium, an example of how 3D is used is reconstruction, it can be used to easily recreate bone structures or to remake scenes such as ruins to see what these things would look like in their prime, without using methods like drawing which only grant one angle each time it is drawn. These methods may display the end result in wireframe, for example, to convey a sense of depth and angle, though they can also be observed within the 3D program itself, allowing for a person to observe a scene dynamically.
Similarly to this 3D can be used to create replicas of anatomy, for academic purposes, allowing students to see 3D replicas of organs can be very useful and grants much more insight than a 2D replica such as a drawing would. On the same note 3D can be used to replicate things like cells that are so small this is one of the only ways to view them. Replicas of the solar system can also be created to convey to the viewer the scale of the planets and stars.
Why is 3D used?
One medium with largely varying styles is film, some films use hyper realistic 3D to create scenes and replace actors to create scenes that that would either be so dangerous, expensive or just impossible that they would otherwise not be done. Another way film uses 3D is by using bright colours and cartoon-like characters to appeal to children. 3D may be used in these instances to create movies that have a connection to the real world, but still appeal primarily to children, for instance in Toy Story the toys are realistic, but the humans are cartoon-like, which suits the target audience much better than a realistic style. TV shows often employ 3D in a similar way to film, creating scenes and effects that are difficult to create in real-life, or using art styles that appeal to different audiences that cannot be made with real actors or scenes.
What is 3D used for?
3D modelling is a versatile medium, meaning it lends itself well to a variety of purposes. 3D art is prominent in the games industry, and for good reason, it can be used in many styles and can allow many effects that cannot be achieved otherwise. The Borderlands series is an example of a game series that uses 3D modelling, but uses a bright, cell shaded style rather than a realistic one, the reason it does this is because the Borderlands series is one that typically favours comedic moments over serious ones and doesn’t try to relate to the real world too much, making for a lighter, more colourful style more fitting. Virtual Reality (VR) technology is an example of something that would be impossible without 3D modelling, VR lends itself well to realistic scenes that immerse the user as much as possible, and this is only attainable through realistically styled 3D modelling.