Three-dimensional images have become firmly embedded in our lives, from architectural visualizations to computer games. With 3D images, you can see realistic three-dimensional shapes, and the process of 3D modeling has become a profession in its own right.
3D modeling gained huge popularity among producers and marketers as they obtained a tool for quality promotion of their products without the use of conventional photos. Projects and products, visualization of which is performed by this method, became much clearer and more realistic than usual drawings and 2D models.
For example, interactive applications of VR/AR, a variety of static and dynamic rendering for 3d furniture visualization, the configuration of 3D models, and animation – this is just a small list of services that have become available with 3D models.
There is only one catch because two types of 3D models exist: high-polygonal and low-polygonal. That’s the topic we’ve devoted our article to. Read on to learn the main differences between these two types of models. Moreover, we will also tell you a lot of interesting things about 3D models.
3D Models and Their Creation
A 3D model is a three-dimensional figure in space. A special program is needed for its creation. As a rule, drawings, photographs, and detailed descriptions are taken as a basis for the creation of a virtual model.
3D product modeling is the process of creating a 3D model. There are four main stages.
- The first stage of 3D modeling involves gathering information and understanding the final product. Often, these are drawings, sketches, photos, and videos. Specialists may also use a finished product sample. Gathering information will help to understand the appearance and structure of the object.
- Then, based on the information obtained, the 3D designer creates a three-dimensional model in a special computer program. The model can be viewed from any angle, zoom in, zoom out. It is still possible to make any necessary adjustments. The model itself is ready for further use.
- Once the model is done, the stage of visualization of the final product begins. Visualization is the creation of a virtual computer model in its final form. The process involves the selection and adjustment of materials, textures, lighting, shadows, ambient conditions.
- If it is necessary to obtain images for customers and consumers, for commercials, or presentations, final rendering is performed.
Now, you understand the concept of 3D modeling and the way it is done. Next, let’s look at the main distinguishing features of the two 3D modeling types.
Low or High? Key Differences Between These Types of Modeling
A better understanding of the differences is possible by focusing on the main tasks of 3D modeling. Further, we will explain in what cases you should use a certain type.
Geometry of the object: the question of complexity.
With the use of high-polygonal modeling, embedding geometry is a complex process because it involves modeling differently shaped polygons. It makes things more complicated with the shaping of curved objects.
To avoid making mistakes in the final result of the model, 3D specialists steadily build the geometry and carefully check it several times. The most common errors are visible holes and seams on the surface.
As you can understand from the name, low-polygonal objects are less difficult to create as their geometry contains fewer polygons. Developers take advantage of these features to work in the creation of web platforms and various mobile applications.
Model texture and its quality.
The very process of texturing high-poly models is difficult. To obtain realistic results and beautiful final rendering, specialists use many texture and material maps.
To order the creation of high-poly objects, you need to show examples of textures on HD photos so CG artists can recreate your texture. But regardless of the texture, the finished result will look perfect, and your product rendering will have the best quality.
What can be said about low-poly modeling? First and foremost, their textures cannot be so rich and complex. To render complex textures, you may need hours, and you will not get the desired result.
To reduce the number of texture maps and keep visual elements of the material, graphic artists “bake” textures. This makes it possible to make those objects more realistic with no use of complex texturing.
Where is a better detail level of the objects?
Let’s start by explaining the detailing process in modeling with low-polygonal objects. After the previous points, it becomes clear that this type excludes high detailing of objects.
If you need to render detailed pieces of furniture, the size of the image will be so large that the engine will not be able to handle the processing. In such cases, additional retopologizing of the model may be required.
- Due to the complex and extensive geometry, high-polygonal models have a better level of detail. Here, you can unleash your creativity and use difficult design elements, ornaments, and additional decoration. Accurate detailing is mostly needed to create and render objects with carvings, inlays, hammering, and many more.
Movements or static: which type is better to use?
The application of three-dimensional object modeling is divided into dynamic and static.
To create static objects, the most advantageous type of modeling is considered high-polygonal. It is mostly relevant for creating HR renderings, namely, silo images, cut-outs, lifestyle renders, close-ups, and featured zoomed animation. Since such renders need high-quality graphics, high-polygonal detail models come as handy.
If we talk about low-polygonal images, they are frequently used for the creation of computer images in motion. Typically, these are AR/VR images and computer games.
Using low-polygonal images for dynamic purposes is needed for quick and efficient rendering. A few used polygons allow the model to be processed faster than high-poly ones.
Measure the speed: rendering and processing.
The stage of rendering and processing is more complex with high-polygonal objects. It takes more time compared to low-poly ones. Such models have more complex geometry, more details, and a better texture. But the result is worth it as it turns out to be very photorealistic.
Models with low polygons are better adapted for fast rendering. Their use in dynamic mode requires the creation of simple and lightweight components. Thus, they must be instantly processed by engines, and their rendering must occur in a matter of seconds.
In conclusion, we want to say that there is no “or” while choosing between these 3D object modeling types because each of them is used for a specific task. All you need is to determine the task and order the desired type of modeling.