Insights Tech The Future

The Future of 3D Development

Written by Eric Conover

Tech Advances Raise 3D Modeling to New Level

Ever since 3D modeling came into the limelight [1] over 40 years ago, the technology has evolved in a massive way. Currently, there are lots of interesting things going on in the 3D modeling arena. The future of 3D development looks even brighter, with 3D printing and virtual reality taking center stage. Although virtual reality is still a young technology, it is set to change the way we interact with 3D models forever.

Meanwhile, the arrival of 3D printing made a significant impact on 3D modeling. It allowed people to cut down on the resources and time required to come up with prototypes. In the future, people will utilize 3D printing and 3D modeling for a myriad of tasks than ever before.

OVERCOMING LOW RESOLUTION
One of the biggest drawbacks of 3D modeling today is low resolution. However, existing technological trends suggest 3D resolution is likely to improve significantly to a level where you can interact with your model without limitations. Developers will be able to visualize 3D elements as you would with your naked eyes. As a result, users will get a more realistic experience with 3D modeling.

Forward-thinking businesses always seek innovative ways to save money and improve productivity. To achieve these goals, businesses will take a better look at 3D development. With the advancements of CAD data exchange [2], file conversion and building information modeling (BIM), businesses have been able to adopt 3D modeling. For example, real estate agents have started to use virtual staging with 3D modeling (Figure 1). It’s a great way to save money while delivering the same level of customer experience. In a similar manner, the design and construction industry will use 3D modeling to enhance success.

FIGURE 1
Real estate agents have started to use virtual staging with 3D modeling. It’s a great way to save money while delivering the same level of customer experience.

3D Modeling to Influence Advertising: Advertisements will be highly dominated by 3D modeling. If an automobile company plans to release a new car, it can create curiosity in the minds of potential customers by using 3D modeling to build prototypes. The prototype would look more realistic and help customers to get an excellent understanding of what the car will deliver. Overall, we can expect to see 3D modeling influencing a myriad of advertising campaigns.

3D Modeling in Healthcare: 3D modeling will also make way into the healthcare industry. In fact, 3D modeling is projected to save the lives of thousands of people across the globe. Some companies have even created 3D models of a human heart, and many more models are likely to emerge in the near future. Most human organ transplants will be molded and printed in 3D to enhance the success of surgical procedures.

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3D Modeling in Entertainment: We can expect 3D modeling to revolutionize the entertainment industry as well. Activities like costume making can benefit tremendously from 3D modeling. You can get a realistic version of your favorite superstar costumes availed at various stores around the world. People will be able to take their virtual fantasies into real-life with little hassles.

3D PHOTOREALISM
True photorealism cannot be achieved without smart use of texturing, but you’ll need something to apply those textures to. In that aspect, a detailed 3D model can save texture artists a lot of extra hassles of faking details. But the more complex the model, the larger the file size, which raises another challenge.

If you want to create a photorealistic image by pre-rendering the imagery, you can use the highest resolution possible. However, you need to consider the medium you want to model and the amount of render time you have at your disposal. Again, you can choose to invest some money in super-fast rendering equipment or use a render farm, allowing you to perfect your scene beforehand.

If you’re using the 3D model for animation, you may need to employ vastly over-complicated geometry that can easily crash the software before you achieve your results. But if you render out still images, you’re less limited to what you can achieve. In the near future, we’re likely to witness massive success with photorealistic 3D models.

With modern videogames, you have to constantly mimic your surrounding environment while interacting with the world. The more powerful the game’s engine, the better the 3D models, lighting, and textures.

Again, the platform you play on, be it a computer, tablet, smartphone, or console, will determine the quality of your 3D model. However, the challenge comes when dealing with a more complex scene—t takes longer to render each frame. Moving into the future, we might see better software solutions for videogame assets other than pre-rendered CGI used in films and televisions.

AUGMENTED REALITY
While many people have experienced augmented reality before, these have mostly been restricted to makeup apps, wacky Snapchat filters, Pokémon Go, the Nintendo 3DS AR and Google Glass. All these have given the world a little taste of what augmented reality can achieve. But in the near future, the world will witness some much meatier AR offerings.

Released for 3D developers in March 2016, HoloLens [3] is a blooming expensive kit that could define the future of augmented reality if done right. If you’re a serious developer, you could try it out and interact with 3D models in a whole new level.

As you can see, 3D modeling has a brilliant future ahead. New technologies such as virtual reality, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence are being introduced to promote the growth of 3D modeling. We should brace ourselves for several more technologies around the 3D space. The results recorded so far are amazing, so we can expect several real-life applications in the new future

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RESOURCES
Spatial | www.spatial.com

PUBLISHED IN CIRCUIT CELLAR MAGAZINE • February 2020 #355 – Get a PDF of the issue


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Eric Conover has spent over half a decade working in the software industry. Besides learning new things about the software and 3d printing world, one of his passions is writing and teaching about it. He is working with Spatial and helps produce and edit content related to software and 3D printing, covering topics such as software news, the importance of SDKs, 3d printing tech & software, software interoperability and more.