3D Models In Designing – Bricknellssweets

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3D models in designing – gardens and interiors

3d models in architecture


There is no doubt that 3D designing and printing are revolutionary technologies. Thanks to them tasks that have always been difficult have become simple and easy to do. Architects all over the world are well aware of it and more and more eagerly reach for the the most modern solutions. 3D models are definitely one of those technological advances that are well appreciated by specialists of all walks of life.

Contrary to common opinion an architect’s work is not only about drawing another drafts of a building to be constructed. It is what this profession looked liked a dozen or a few dozen years ago. Nowadays an architect can be compared to a software developer who creates a virtual model of an object to be built – be it a building, a garden or an interior design project. 3D software enables an architect to quickly and efficiently create and adjust a model they work on to the particular client’s needs and then – by means of a few mouse clicks – to generate all the necessary documents, plans and visualisations.

However, it might still be not enough. A building, a garden or an interior might look beautiful on a piece of paper or in a virtual form, but often it is impossible to assess it fully until you see it in reality. That is when a 3D layout that can fully present the looks of the object in question comes in very handy. Unfortunately, creating a precise 3D layout by hand is extremely time-consuming. Furthermore, the form of the object is so complex that building a traditional 3D layout is simply impossible. Luckily, this problem can be solved once and forever by modern technologies, and particularly applications of 3D models and 3D printers. Thanks to them creating a detailed 3D layout has become unbelievably simple.

Some time ago 3D printers did not have such advanced features and 3D models were not so widely available and used. 3D printing was mainly a technology that allowed to create very simple elements. It has changed thanks to development of the lastest solutions in this field. New models of 3D printers assure high quality of printouts and very accurate details of the printed out 3D models.

What are 3D models

To better understand the role and the great potential 3D models have in modern architecture, urban and interior design, let us go back to the basics for a moment. First, let’s explain what 3D models actually are and how they are made.

Basically, 3D models are mathematical representations of three-dimensional objects. They are applied to represent and visualise real-world and conceptual objects by means of simulation or drafting in the fields of architecture, art, entertainment, medicine, military and many more. Actually, industries like virtual reality, 3D printing, marketing, video games, movie-making, TV, CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and manufacturing) or scientific or medical imaging could not really operate without widespread use of 3D models.

Interestingly, there are different types of 3D models. Some of them are constructed from NURBS (non-uniform rational b-spline), i.e. smooth shapes defined by bezel curves. They are characterized by high computational complexity. Their typical base is a 3D mesh and their structure is composed of polygons.

In case of 3D models utilized in animation, very careful construction is required. The reason for that is the fact that the polygon layout is prone to issues in unusual deformations. Further requirements include a skeleton construction and weights painting, which allows for defining of the texture and polygon deformation of a particular 3D model.

Some 3D models make use of shaders to define surfaces – programs that mathematically define characteristics such as e.g. lightplay or color. In case of other models aspects like surface texture, color or light emission  are defined by means of so called maps – a series of

2D images. This is most common in games where raster graphics are necessary for delivery of real-time frame rates.

One of the latest developments in the 3D modelling field is reality capture. This technology makes use of so called remote sensing to seize more complex forms an a quick and accurate manner. The result of combining reality capture with 3D printing is called reality computing.

The history of 3D models


It would be difficult to imagine modern life without digital images and possibilities of processing them quickly. Every day we go through hundreds of websites full of pictures and graphics (especially unwanted and pushy ads) and when we reach for a traditional newspaper or magazine we actually look at layout created by means of a computer. Computer graphics is widely used in different industries as well as by individual users for private matters. What seems normal and natural for us, even though hasn’t been around for such a long time, was unimaginable about twenty years ago. Let us have a look at the fascinating history of computer graphics that finally led to development of 3D models and their wide use in fields like entertainment, architecture or design.

Development of computer graphics indissociably connected with the first digital computers. Advances in technology offered wider range of possibilities for users – initially these were mainly employees of military and research institutes. Computers in that times took up space of a large room and cost more than a luxurious apartment. There isn’t a particular date that could be pointed to as a starting point for computer graphics development. The idea was born in 1950s in the minds of engineers, artist and scientists who worked independently worked on different projects that were supposed to make it possible to create pictures by means of a computer.

Advancing of technology connected with digital computers mainly took place in the USA. In 1945 a program called Whirlwind was started. It was run by Jay Forrester from MIT. As a military project it focused on developing software for aviation with special attention paid to flight simulators. In 1951 the first graphic solution was presented.

William Fetter, one of the computer graphics pioneer had been artistically educated. After graduating from the Illinois University in 1952 worked as a designer for different publishing houses. In 1959 he decided to change his career and took a position in the Boeing planes production plant. After a few years he got promoted to a managerial position and moved the Seattle branch of the company. It was him who coined the phrase “computer graphics” to describe the tasks his team worked on. One of the results of Fetter’s work was creating a computer silhouette of a human being used for designing plane cockpits.

In 1961 the world saw the first computer animation entitled “Two-Gyro Gravity-Gradient Attitude Control System”. It was created by Edward Zajac from Bell Labs. The movie was actually a simulation of movement of a chosen satellite in the space and Bell Labs was a research unit dealing with satellite research.

In 1962 Ivan Sutherland from MIT made a huge step in the history of computer graphics. He created a revolutionary software called Sketchpad that in the long perspective gave basis to the making technical drawings, graphical interfaces and finally – 3D models as we know them today. Sketchpad made it possible to create drawings by means of lines and geometrical figures, to save them and to reopen them later. This invention became inspiration for CAD-type software created in the following years. In recognition of his invention Ivan Sutherland received the Turing Award in 1988 and Kioto Award in 2012.

In 1965 the first ever exhibition of computer-created art was opened. Computer graphics started to also be promoted as an artistic medium. It didn’t take long before manufacturers of computer hardware became interested in computer graphics. In 1964 IBM released the first commercial computer that could be used for creating computer graphics. The IBM 2250 model was a monitor basing on a system that displayed vector pictures. It worked in connection with the System/360 computer. Data was introduced by means of a tool called light pen and two keyboards – one of them was alphanumeric and the other one programmatic. The computer could also be connected with a xerox copying machine so that printing out of what was on the screen was possible.

In 1965 an employee of the same company – Jack Bresenham devises a way to rasterize plane curves that was later on called by his name – Bresenham Algorithm. It was about that time that the possibility of creating pictures on screen started to be utilized in entertainment and the first computer game Spacewar! was created. It was far from the games as we are familiar with nowadays – there were no advanced 3D models used, still, it was another milestone in the history of computer technology.

Halfway through the decade Douglas Engelbart from Stanford University introduced to the world his invention that was to conquer the whole world – a computer mouse. He is also the father of hypertext and certain elements of graphic interface. In 1967 he applied to patent the computer mouse and he was granted it in 1970. At that time a mouse had a form of a wooden rectangular main body with two metal wheels.

In 1968 Arthur Appel presented an algorithm that allowed to follow rays, which made it possible to render three-dimensional objects. That was another important step that brought computer science closer to the 3D models and technology we use today.

David Evans and Ivan Sutherland – professors of the Utah University – decided to set up their on company named Evans&Sutherland in 1968. Initially the company was located in abandoned shanties on the grounds of the university. Their main goal was to construct computer hardware that could be used to operate software created by the university.

In the 1970 the company bought a flight simulation software from General Electrics and in cooperation with a British enterprise Reduffusion Simulation took up writing of digital simulators. They also started to construct colorful vector screens (Picture System 1, 2 and 300). Towards the end of 1960s they built a computer called LDS-1 (Line Drawing System-1), that was made of a vector monitor and a workstation. It was equipped with a first ever CAD software.

In the following decade – 1970s – the leading research institute dealing with computer graphics was actually The Utah University where still worked the above mentioned Sutherland and Evans. Their students – Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke created one of the first computer animations. It would be very difficult to imagine work of architects today without this very useful tool. Computer animations and simulations with high-quality 3D models used help the professionals present their clients with very real-looking designs of their interiors and gardens and thus make their job easier and more efficient. It would never be possible without the work results of Catmull and Parke.

While studying Ed Catmull devised methods of texture mapping and algorithms so-called subdivision surface and antyaliasing. In 1972 he created an animation of his left hand which was four years later put into the movie “Futureworld”. His fascination with computer animations resulted in his work in later years for Lucasfilm, Pixar and Disney. His achievements in this field brought him wide recognition and the Oscar Award for his contribution into development of computer animation.

In 1970 Fred Parke, on the other hand, created the first animated 3D model of human face on which he presented different types of expressions.

Another student of the Utah University was John Warnock who in 1969 created so-called Warnock Algorithm that was utilized for removing invisible surfaces. In 1978 he started a career in Xerox PARC and cooperated with Charles Geschke. They were to be heard of in the following decade.

Henri Gouraud, a French IT specialist, cooperated with the Utah University after graduating from his studies in Paris. Under supervision of Evans and Sutherland he wrote his PhD paper on mapping of curved surfaces. He created a method called Gouraud Shading that made it possible to recreate chiaroscuro on a three-dimensional object.

Bui Tuong Phong was a Vietnamese who graduated from his engineering studies in France and in 1971 moved to the Utah University. Two years later he devised a method of mapping  of light reflection points on an object. It is more widely known as Phong Reflection Model. He is also the author of Phong Shading method.

1972 was a year of an important new invention. Richard Shoup – an employee of Xerox PARC wrote the first graphical programme called SuperPaint. Users could process movies, draw and create animations. It included such functionalities as change of saturation and brightness, drawing lines and polygons, varied drawing tools (at the beginning all the brushes available were one pixel wide and had any height chosen) and a range of colors. It also had the function of autocompletion and antyaliasing. It was one of the first softwares that used the user’s graphical interface.

In 1977 3D Core Graphics System was devised. It was the first standard of three-dimensional computer graphics. The concept was created by a team of twenty-five experts on computer graphics.

In 1975 the world saw the first construction designed fully by means of a computer programme dedicated for 3D modelling. It was a giant Easter egg that can still be watched today in Vegreville in Canada. The authors are Paul Sembaliuk, Ronald Resch and Robert McDermott.

Also in 1975 Martin Newell created  a three-dimensional model of a kettle that was used for testing new algorithms and methods of more and more advanced graphical technologies. The kettle from Utah became an icon of 3D graphics and is now placed on different software e.g. 3DStudio Max, AutoCAD and funny references to it appear in animated films like Toy Story.

3D models in the 1980s and 1990s


The last two decades of the 20th century brought an unprecedented speed in development of new technologies. In the 1980s access to 16- and 32-bit processors opened new opportunities for graphics. Special workstations dedicated for creating digital pictures were built (e.g. Orca 100, 200 and 3000 by Orcatech of Ottawa). What is even more significant – first personal computers become available on the market and they are remarkably cheaper than professional computers. Brands like Commodore, Atari, Apple and Tandy Computers were the unquestionable leaders. Macinotsh by Apple was the first computer sold in mass numbers that contained graphical interface (icons, folders etc.) and software for creating graphics – MacDraw and MacPaint.

1990s were dominated by the blooming of 3D graphics. It was instantly loved by the world for its almost unlimited possibilities and applications: from building technical models through entertainment, e.g.  video games and animated movies to medical and scientific use. In 1995 the first full-length movie packed with 3D models was released – Toy Story and 1996 the first 3D game – Quake. The world of entertainment, architecture and many other fields and industries was irreversibly transformed.

3D models in designing gardens and interiors

In modern architecture – be it building, interior or garden designs – more and more untypical shapes are used. However, nothing in those shapes is accidental. Thanks to parametric designing it is possible to calculate and plan everything. 3D models and 3D printing allow to see our model in reality. This seems to be direction of the further development of architecture and designing.

Parametric designing is becoming more and more important in the world of architecture. It helps create not only untypical architecture, but also interior, garden and other designs. Additionally, supporting these kind of projects with 3D printing makes it possible to materialize solid figures. Printing out 3D models or cutting them out by means of laser is definitely less time-consuming than making a 3D layout by hand. What’s more, it is also far more precise and accurate.

Advancements of architecture towards parametric designing are also possible thanks to the fact that a wider range of materials is available. They are also becoming more affordable. All these things combined result in architects having greater and greater possibilities of designing and creating untypical geometrical forms. Apart from huge possibilities of creating organic forms, parametric designing allows to create a rational design, adjusted to the actual environmental conditions. This kind of designing makes it possible to decrease amount of energy used for heating and to ensure cooling down on hot summer days. It also enables architects to optimize buildings functionalities and thus create a given form.

It is also undeniable that more and more widely used 3D printing and 3D models plays a very important role in the modern architecture. Some people think that 3D printing and 3D models are only catchy marketing tricks aimed at promoting 3D printers and boosting sales. However, the truth is that 3D printing and application of 3D models constitute a new era in design. Even though 3D technology can still be quite costly, more and more companies decide to utilize it.

Interior and urban designers love 3D models for the unlimited possibilities they offer, their precision, simplicity of use and saving their time. With ready-to-use 3D models available e.g. in Evermotion online shop work of architects and designers have become considerably easier. Creating a precise design that is as close to real-life conditions and looks as possible has never been simpler. It is enough to visit the Evermotion online shop and choose the 3D models that best suit your needs.

Available on the offer are not only 3D models of characters, architectural elements or appliances. You will also find world-class 3D models of furniture, greenery and plants or animals. All you need to do is to put them to use in your projects.

Thanks to Evermotion quality 3D models, your designs will entrance your clients. You will be able to present them with a high-class, professional, life-like projects that will steal their hearts.

Save your time and make sure your designs stand out by choosing high-quality, ready-to-use 3D models available in the Evermotion online shop!