Six Stages of a 3D Workflow 15/05/2018

The idea of going from just a sketch to a beautifully rendered 3D image can be daunting. And if you don't break each step of the process down into small, manageable chunks, it sure is. 



It all starts with the modelling stage. Once you know what it is that you'd like to create, you start with a relatively simple model and refine it until it looks perfect. 


This is what the models of a coffee cup, a spoon and half a chocolate look like initially.

3D workflow step 1




Next step is to light the object so we get a sense of the highlights and the shadows on the model. This helps immensely when the goal is to create a realistic result. 


Once lit, the models look like this:

3D workflow step 2



We can't really talk about lighting without the texturing process. That's because the light will behave differently on different types of surfaces. One light source can create two completely results, depending on the material it is directed at. And the opposite is also true. A green object will look nothing but green under a red light source.


Here's what the textured versions of the same cup, spoon and chocolate look like

3D workflow step 3



If the final render is going to be a still image, then this stage will not be necessary. However, if your final render is going to be an animation, then this is where those all-powerful keyframes come to play. In our example, since we will only be creating a still image, animation is irrelevant.



This is when you take the file out from the 3D application, ready to be added and composited (see next step) on top of an exiting image or design. The rendering stage is crucial as this is where the file's intrinsic properties are determined (such as size, resolution, type, transparency, colour space, etc.)



Compositing is the part where it is all put together. We take an image such as the one below: 3D workflow step 6


Then we take our rendered model and combine the two together, in order to create the result below:


3D workflow step 7

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