Understanding 3D Visualization: an Art or a Skill

3D visualization is kind of a trend nowadays, for 3D graphics are everywhere. They are widely used in such spheres as product marketing, advertising, architecture, construction, medecine, engineering. 3D visualization is a solution to many problems some of industries and their workflows have had before. For instance, it is hard to imagine a better way to present potential investors or buyers a building which has not been constructed yet. Another example may be  interior and exterior design, where architectural renderings are used to make sure the customer is perfectly happy with the project concept.

It’s only logical that 3D artists are in a great demand. Sometimes we wonder though – what exactly do these mysterious people do? And will mastering the required software make me a 3D artist? Or I’d better not bother and outsource the task? And if 3D visualization comes down to merely creating a picture, why are there such disparities in quality among different 3D artists?!

This questions, along with many others of a similar kind, lead us to a more global problem.

3D visualization- what exactly is it? A complex craft or sophisticated art?

3D Visualization Process

To answer, we need to understand what 3D visualization actually involves.

First of all, 3D artist receives a technical assignment (specification of the project’s tasks). Along with it, depending on the task, he might get photos, sketches, drafts, 3D models. By the way, though he doesn’t need to create 3D models, he has to know how to work with them. Therefore, he has to master some basic 3D modeling software. Based on the data given, he creates photorealistic images of the objects and spaces. Depending on the type of project and the software used, the process varies. Let’s have a look at the main stages of 3D visualization.

3D Visualization for a Sublime Cafe Interior

3D Visualization Workflow

  1. Creation of the scene out of 3D geometric primitives.
  2. Setting surface characteristics and lighting.
  3. Camera setting: choosing the perspective.
  4. Rendering: putting the 3D picture on a flat surface (a screen).
  5. Post-production: adding surroundings, people figures, effects etc to give the image emotional appeal.

To do that, 3D artist needs to master specialized software for 3D visualization, such as AutoCad, V-Ray, Rhino, ZBrush etc. Well, obviously, it is not an easy task, for learning each of those programs is like learning a separate language. That is, levels of proficiency can greatly vary. Like with any skill, great results in 3D visualization only come with a lot of learning and practice. Which is exactly what good craftsmen do.

So, does it mean that 3D visualization is a set of skills? All you need to is to learn how to use appropriate software?

To be honest, that is a point of view many people hold. However, there is a major problem with this theory: it doesn’t take into account many aspects of the work of a 3D artist. 3D visualization process goes far beyond those stages.

What Defines an Art?

3D Visualization for an Amazing Living Room Design

First of all, let’s decide on what exactly defines whether the activity is an art.

Artist or Craftsmen?

Let’s take a look at painting. Obviously, this is an art. What separates a good skilled student from the renowned artist? Mostly, the skill. And skill is not a question of, let’s say, shape of the fingers or sharp eyesight. It’s about constant practice, persistence and passion. That’s exactly what talent is. Living and breathing the activity, thinking every moment about how to do it even better and learning from the best. For instance, Leonardo Da Vinci draw the same details over and over again before creating the amazing paintings we all admire. That’s where the art begins. Yet, there were many other artists who didn’t get to the same level. This way, it all comes down to how and not what you paint.

3D Visualization Tools

Same goes for 3D visualization. Just look at the world today. Nowadays, 3D artists use cutting-edge software instead of paints and brushes, and high-resolution screens – instead of canvas. Not every person who mastered AutoCad can be called an artist. First, he needs to improve the skills constantly. Next, he has to gain some experience and find his own ways to solve problems he encounters. For every specialist in 3D visualization has his own toolset of preferences and shortcuts. Moreover, a true 3D artist cannot just stop at this stage. To stay competitive, he must learn about new technologies, software and use it in his work. Furthermore, he has to strive to learn from the best in the industry of 3D visualization. Ultimately, due to the 3D graphics development, there cannot be any stagnation nowadays. 3D artist has two options: to develop his skill to reach the level of art or to leave the market.

Does 3D visualization sound like a mere craft to you now?

3D Visualization is Close to Painting

3D Visualization for a Spectacular Living Room Interior

Statistics prove that the best 3D artists in industry are those who can draw. This skill develops imagination and helps to read the sketches. Most notably, this is crucial for 3D visualization, for the process basically involves turning of a raw picture into a three-dimensional story with volume.  As a consequence, the specialist needs to have an artistic taste, know how to use light and shade, as well as choose the best textures and colors to make the idea work.

Besides, 3D visualization requires an excellent composition knowledge. It goes without saying, no scene can be created without it! Not unlike for traditional artists, don’t you find?

Some More Things 3D Artists and Painters Have in Common:

  1. A perfect sense of space and volume
  2. Objective perception of taste
  3. Ability to understand the idea from a distance
  4. Basics of color science and the ability to use color palettes
  5. Exceptional visual memory
  6. Capability to grasp and construct complex concepts in mind
  7. Capability to create the effect of presence in the picture

3D Visualization has a lot in common with Design

3D Visualization for a Stunning Exterior Design

Of course, 3D artist and interior designer are two different professions. Nevertheless, 3D visualization process has a lot to do with design. See for yourself. Designer’s mission is to work with the client and help him create the perfect layout and choose the most suitable style for him. Once this is done, designer refers to the 3D artist. He sets the task and gives all details he has – preferences, recommendations and a few reference pictures. Therefore, the challenge 3D artist faces is to develop the ideas given. Basically, all designer needs to do is to give 3D artist a few pictures he chose with client and get the entire project done.

As for the complexity of the task, it’s not just a beautiful design he has to create. He needs to make it perfect for the specific person’s tastes and needs. There’s a bit of psychology as well, of course. But first of all, he has to know such things as the principles of chromatics and decoration. Without it, he will be incapable of even grasping the concept and understanding what the designer wants to achieve. Which basically means that to be a 3D artist, you need to be a designer as well!

So, what is 3D Visualization?

To conclude, 3D visualization is far more than a set of skills. It’s a new complex art that has its standards of quality and requires full devotion of the artist. It therefore takes a lot of time and effort to reach a good level and produce spectacular results. So, if you don’t have that luxury and your priorities lay elsewhere, contact ArchiCGI for 3D rendering services. Our experienced and accomplished 3D artists will create for you an image that will present your ideas in the best light!

We wish you most exciting and successful projects!