Home » THE FINAL PROJECT, MAY 2014 » Primary and Secondary research

Primary and Secondary research

3D modelling

In three dimensional computer graphics, 3D modelling is the process of making a 3D model  by using a special software.These softwares are usually very expensive to have it at home. For example program called Maya is a very expensive program and need a full licence to start work which cost thousands of pounds.

3D model is a three dimensional object which can be alive or inanimate. Model is created using a set of points (vertex) in 3D space, which are connected by various of lines, and curved surfaces (edges).

Today, 3D models are used in many work industries.  The first and main industries which was and do use a 3D modeling are films and gaming industries, especially in 2014 where so many movies and games made of 3D. The movie industry use 3D models as the characters for the film or as an objects for a real life motion pictures. The game industries use 3D models as assets for computer and video games.

Apart from the main industries there are many more companies and work places who loves to use 3D modelling these days. The medical industry uses detailed models of organs, mechanics use it to create a model for the parts they need to module before they manufacture it, interior designers use it for many purposes. 3D modelling became very important for many people in this world and I believe without it, it would be much harder to work now.

reference: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-3d-modeling.htm (first paragraph).


This is the list of 3D modelling computer softwares can be used to create a 3D model.

Title License 3D rendering support
3DVIA Shape Commercial software No
AC3D Commercial software No
Anim8or Freeware Yes
Animation:Master Commercial software Yes
Art of Illusion Free and open-source Yes
AutoCAD Commercial software Yes
AutoQ3D Community Free and open-source Yes
AutoQ3D Commercial software Yes
Autodesk 123D Freeware No
Autodesk 3ds Max Commercial software Yes
Autodesk Maya Commercial software Yes
Autodesk Softimage Commercial software Yes
Blender Free and open-source Yes
BRL-CAD Free and open-source Yes
Bryce Freemium Yes
CATIA Commercial software Yes
Carrara Freemium Yes
Cheetah3D Commercial software Yes
Cinema 4D Commercial software Yes
CityEngine Commercial software No
Clara.io Freemium Yes
DAZ Studio Freemium Yes
Electric Image Animation System Commercial software Yes
Flux Freeware No
Form-Z Commercial software Yes
fragMOTION Commercial software No
Hexagon Commercial software No
Hexagon Freemium No
Houdini Commercial software Yes
LightWave 3D Commercial software No
MASSIVE Commercial software No
Metasequoia Commercial software Yes
MikuMikuDance Freeware Yes
MilkShape 3D Commercial software No
Modo Commercial software Yes
Poser Commercial software Yes
Pro/ENGINEER Commercial software Yes
Quake Army Knife Free and open-source Yes
RaySupreme Commercial software Yes
Realsoft 3D Commercial software Yes
Remo 3D Commercial software Yes
Rhinoceros 3D Commercial software Yes
SOCET SET Commercial software No
Sculptris Freeware No
Seamless3d Free and open-source No
Shade 3D Commercial software Yes
Silo Commercial software No
Silo Commercial software No
Sketchup Freemium Yes
Solid Edge Commercial software No
SolidWorks Commercial software No
Strata 3D Commercial software Yes
Swift 3D Commercial software No
TopMod Free and open-source No
TrueSpace Freeware Yes
Unigraphics Commercial software No
Wings 3D Free and open-source Yes
Vectorworks Commercial software Yes
ZBrush Commercial software Yes
Zmodeler Freeware Yes


Also there are programs I haven’t seen in the list: Google sketch up (a free 3D modelling application), Strate 3D CX (3D modeling program features polyspline modeling and HDRI textures and lightdome and can work with adobe photoshop and illustrator) and body paint (Create 3D character then color it and then you can add movement and effects with this 3D animation program).


 Examples of work in Maya autodesk, 3D’s Max, Google sketch up and Body paint

The body paint


3D’s Max

3d's max



 Google sketch up

goofle sketch up


( Image source: google images )

The first animation software for 3D animation, Autodesk was found in 1982, California by John Walker. Autodesk’s first animation package in 1986 called autofix and their first full 3D animation software was 3D studio for DOS in 1990. After that, there were many more different softwares made from 1980’s – 1990’s such as:

Alias research(industrial and entertainment software for SGI work stations) by Stephen Bingham in 1983

Wavefront (computer graphics for movie and television) by Bill Kovacs in 1984, California

TDI (Thompson Digital Image) was found in France, 1984

Sogitec Audiovisue in France found by Xavier Nicolas  in 1984

Side Effects Software was established by Kim Davidson and Greg Hermanovic in Toronto, Canada in 1987

The reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_animation#3D_animation_software_in_the_1980s (the name of the paragraph called ”3D animation software in the 1980’s”).




I have been looking at some books as part of my search. The first book I looked at was Alice in Wonderland and it was a very wonderful book to look at, it based on a computer game was made. The book has a lot of colorful pictures to demonstrate how the character were created. The character have been shown from different sides, clothes and lights. I took some pictures with my phone to show what I liked most when I looked at that book.

IMG_2079This is a cover picture

IMG_2087Some scenes from the game


The character in the game



also character sketch


This picture shows different way of dressing the character, animation people always try to draw a character in lot of different positions and different sort of wearing


Two main characters in the game


Now there is another book I looked at. This boom was about digital painting (tricks & techniques)

This book shows many different backgrounds which was draw by computer but look like hand of human


This is one of the examples from the book


Apart from pictures I have been looking at some technical stuff. David gave me two books about Maya. one of the books was about – rigging and animating the character –


With many illustrative example, tools and explanations.



This book gives all information need to create a skeleton for the character. Many illustrations shows every part of the bounds, tells  the name of each part, where to place it and how to parent each hierarchies. Through my work I have been looking at the following chapters I listed below. These were the first main chapters I had to look at to have an idea on how to made a skeleton. Another reason why I was looking at it was to see how to build different parts of the body for my character. It is very important to follow the right body built standard for later to insert or build up a skeleton inside and skeleton has to be laid properly, otherwise the character will not move properly.

The book itself contains 15 chapters with very detailed explanation.

  • Chapter 1 – skeleton setup

How to use layers and templating

How to create joints for the legs, feet, back and neck

How to connect and parent joints

  • Chapter 2 – Inverse Kinematics

How to set up Single Chain IK solvers on character’s legs

How to built an inverse skeleton chain to control the foot

How to parent the IK handles into the control skeleton

  • Chapter 3 – Arms and shoulders

How to use an IK Rotate plane solver for arms

How to work with the solver’s end efforts

  • Chapter 4 – IK Spline solver

How to set up a basic IK Spline solver

How to verify the joint rotations on the joints of the back

How to use clusters for added control over the spline curve

How to parent the clusters to control object

  • Chapter 5 – Animating a walk

How to set up low resolution geometry

How to set breakdown keys


  • Chapter 6 – The Hand Joints

How to verify and correct a joint’s local rotation axis

How to build up a hand skeleton

How to place joints for proper skinning and motion

How to test the motion using forward kinematics

Another book called – How to cheat in Maya, also very useful. Book tells about the tools people could use to make their job much easier, for example:

as we see below is a screen shots shelf making tool. I was talking about it in my work earlier, so that is an illustrative example of how to do it in the program.


Some other tools such as – rotation and etc.


I made this page to show that video in you tube was not the only course of the information I looked at. I was talking to teachers, students, internet, looking at the book and playing online games to understand a little more of what I am doing. It is very interesting subject to study.

Other Bibliography

  1. Adobe Photoshop 7.0San Jose, Calif.: Adobe, 2002. Print.
  2. Albee, Timothy. Lightwave 3D character animation. Plano, Tex.: Wordware Pub., 2002. Print.
  3. Boardman, Ted. Getting started in 3D with 3ds Max model, texture, rig, animate, and render in 3ds Max.New York: Focal Press, 2013. Print.
  4. Cámara, Sergi. All about techniques in drawing for animation production. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron’s, 2006. Print.
  5. Chopine, Ami. 3D art essentials the fundamentals of 3D modeling, texturing, and animation. Oxford: Focal Press, 2011. Print.
  6. Derakhshani, Dariush J.. Introducing Autodesk Maya 2013. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley, 2012. Print.
  7. Priebe, Ken A.. The advanced art of stop-motion animation. Boston, Mass.: Course Technology, 2011. Print.
  8. Steed, Paul. Modeling a character in 3ds max. 2nd ed. Plano, Tex.: Wordware Pub., 2005. Print.
  9. Wells, Paul. The fundamentals of animation. Lausanne: AVA, 2006. Print.
  10. Withrow, Steven. Secrets of digital animation: a master class in innovative tools and techniques. Mies: RotoVision, 2009. Print.


I made few questionnaires about video games and I also include two questions at the end on the separate page, about my video.

This is the original questionnaire screen shot

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 17.21.36 Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 17.21.45

person nr1

Berta 1 Berta 2

person nr2 Jason 1 Jason 2

person nr3Polina 1 Polina2

person nr4 Portugese 1 portugese 2

person nr5 Ryan 1 Ryan 2

person nr6William 1 William 2

I have made questionnaires to know what games people like to play most and how often they play also what they consider to be important in the games.

From my research I have found that people more likely to play games which are full of graphics and characters. They play at least 2 hours per day/every day and some people do understand the addiction they have by the games. Only one person has answered “No” to the following question – do you play video games? Which made me surprised but I can understand that not everyone plays, some people don’t even though they are teenagers and playing games is a fashion now days.

Another thing I considered was the questions about the graphics, all people love games with graphics so why then if we look many tears back, people use to play a very old games with a very low graphics at they were sold millions, were so much popular even till now I see some people play these games such as tetris.

I was doing research with a student from my class as for the final project he made a movie about people and graphics. Ryan told me about people and their opinions; most people say they love graphics and they would not play a game which has a very low graphics on it although people do love to play an old games with bad graphics and we see many people now days going to these play game shops with lots of game machines and they love it.

These questionnaire help me understand they key points I need to follow when I will start making a new characters and maybe game design.

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