How are 3D assets used?
3D assets are used in various industries. We are going to share with you some of the uses here.
3D assets in Games
3D models play an important role in the 3D video game world. From old-school titles like Super Mario 64 to recent gaming masterpieces such as Cyberpunk 2077, the world of 3D gaming has been constantly evolving. 3D game assets bring the realism of scenes and actions that contributes to the high levels of engagement that every gamer is after.
3D assets in games are used in every aspect imaginable, from production down to the user interface. These assets include characters, streets (in cities, villages, highways, etc.), particle effects, foliage, and others. In a 3D video game, basically, everything that you can interact with is a 3D game asset.
In today’s video gaming creation process the focus is put on lower polygonal models. This is to ensure that the game runs smoothly and fast while at the same time that there is no loss of quality. The former is one of the most important aspects of a game that each gamer desires to achieve! However thanks to the rapid 3D technology improvements, games may be utilizing high polygonal models and real-time solutions. With the newest versions of Unreal Engine 5 for example we see that games of the future would run smoothly even when using billions of polygons.
3D assets in Movies
3D assets are used in a similar way in Movies. However, there are some key differences. First of all a movie, unlike a game, has a fixed plot structure. This means that the events will follow a chronological order without any changes. This is why movie productions can use highly polygonal models that they can render in advance. With recent technological advances, real-time productions are finding their way into movies as well. Up until recently, real-time content was used by games only. There we have limits of the level of detail and amount of polygons that can be used. Movies generally render out the CGI scenes in advance which allows them to use an insane amount of polygons and details. In that way, most of what we see in 3D CGI scenes is indistinguishable from reality.
The next thing to take into consideration is the movie budget.
Movies tend to require budgets of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Modern video games rarely exceed $100 M. Therefore it is expected that the 3D assets that are going to be used will be of higher quality than the ones needed in 3D video games.
Next is development time. Unlike a video game where this time is occupied mostly by the creation of 3D models and scenes, a movie with CGI in it will most likely need the, at last, a year before its release - i.e. only the post-production phase is dedicated to the implementation of 3D assets.
Unlike the lower-polygonal 3D assets in video games, movies tend to utilize high-end hyper detailed 3D models. This is absolutely acceptable based on the requirements and budget for a movie compared to the ones for a video game.
And let’s not forget that the main goal for each movie is to be viewed as much as possible in cinemas. So to meet the demand for superb photorealistic quality on the big cinema screen, a modern movie needs high polygonal and hyper-realistic 3D assets.
3D assets in Presentations/Animations
Nowadays a presentation can either grab the viewer’s attention and generate sales or lose the customer. So to achieve the desired goal you have to make it as attractive as possible. It also has to be short in terms of text but rich in visualizations.
That is where 3D assets come to the rescue. Any modern presentation software (like Microsoft Powerpoint) can work with 3D models. So the question is not if they can be used, but why don’t you use them? 3D assets in presentations/animations enhance the experience of the audience and bring it to a whole new level. Last but not least - some presentation programs can even allow you to create your very own 3D models directly inside it and are completely free.
3D assets in Marketing
3D in Marketing is a long-established tradition. It empowers advertising and increases sales. Not a single ad nowadays is created without at least a single usage of a 3D asset. And all of this is due to the immense impact that 3D can create. 3D modeling in advertising has been rising over the years.
With the help of 3D models, art directors can create powerful marketing visualizations. 3D assets allow marketers to customize the product themes and adapt the strategy for any scenario. This allows the easiest creation of seasonal offers, short-term sales offers, new recipes or a complete product modification.
3D models are feature-rich which means that you can integrate all features of the product into its digital representation.
This allows to effectively grab the attention of the ad target group as the audience can get a clear idea of the capabilities of the product.
Last but not least - 3D assets allow marketers to utilize the powerful “white background” presentation method. Various studies have confirmed that people tend to check out a product if it is presented in 3D and on a clear white background
This removes any unnecessary distractions and allows potential customers to focus on the product. Also if the product is not very photogenic, then presenting it with the help of a 3D asset can eliminate the need for a complicated photoshoot process. Another factor is that in 3D you can easily show products rotate, open up, lift up from the ground or assemble and disassemble. This is something that is very hard to achieve without the help of 3D technologies.
3D assets in 3D printing
3D printing is one of the industries that rely on high quality and optimized 3D assets. A 3D model that will be used for 3D printing will have to be prepared according to specific requirements. This is the minimum required thickness that a model should have at any given point and it depends on the printing technology and the choice of material. Also considering the size of the printing area and the final product, the 3D file may have to be split into several interlocking parts.
The best 3D assets for 3D printing are also watertight.
This means that the models are completely closed and this is achieved by creating a 3D mesh suitable for 3D printing. This must be done before exporting the asset to an STL, OBJ, or a different 3D print-compatible file.
To make sure that the 3D print will meet the requirements, the creation of 3D assets has to take into consideration the printing technology’s limitations as well. Again this is related to the choice of material. The best 3D assets are strong, robust, and durable and aim at the creation of a strong base when they are designed.
This ensures that the first layer of 3D printing will not fail due to a lack of adhesion. Such 3D assets are also ensuring that vulnerable areas will be thickened. This will reduce the possibility for outstretched appendages from the core of the model to snap off during printing.