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Glossary | Computer Graphics | 3d Visualization

About terms and concepts on computer graphics, 3d visualization, computer animation, 3d modeling, 3d rendering, 3d softwares, virtual tour

Glossary and Concepts 

Types of 3D Visualization

Wireframe and 3D Exterior Rendering of an Apartment Building

Wireframe or Architectural mesh and the 3D Rendeding rendered from the 3D model - Rio 2006

3D Architectural Renderings are used to visualize the project before it is complete.


It is an abbreviation for Computer Graphics

It is an abbreviation for Computer Generated Images

What is 3D Rendering?
In terms of 3D computer graphics, a rendering is a picture or painting to visualize something like a house or a building. In fact, a 3D rendering is an image that was created using computer by a 3D Artist. 
Note: Rendering can be a noun and a verb as well. To Render means to put the computer to work to generate "renderings" (static images or animations) from a scene of a 3D Model. In fact a 3D renderings needs to be renderd.

What is an Architectural Rendering?
Perspectives, images and floor plan renderings were typically done by hand before 3D graphic computer come out.

What is 3D Architectural Rendering?
It is the Architectural Renderings computerized or generated by 3D Artists using computers and softwares.
Everything in real life has 3 dimensions. Regarding computer graphics, 3D means a computerized drawing that has 3 dimensions like lenght width and height. These dimensions are represented in mathematical space which has 3 axis, X, Y and Z.

Computer Aided Design

3D Model
3D model is the product of 3D Modeling. The 3D model can displayed views of the object and this process is called 3D rendering.

What is 3D Mesh and Wireframes?
It is the structure made of lines and faces the form the objects. Curved objects and organic shapes are made of a great amount of faces.

3D Visualization Specialist - 3D Visualist
It is a person who works with 3D Computer Graphics and make presentations, 3D renderings and 3D animations to visualize projects and design before it is competed. This job includes modeling, composition, texturing, lighting, animation, storyboarding, camera definition, and post production visual effects.

3D Artists
It is the person who works with 3D Graphic Computer and has not only technichal knowledge, but has also talent to give a personal touch to the work, making it a criative and an attractive 3D Rendering or 3D Animation. Usually 3D artists has more flexibility to work and to create in the fields of publicity, 3d character animation, cinema and games. 

What are the mains fields or tasks of a 3D Visualist and 3D Artist?
A 3D Visualist and 3D Artist can be specialized in Lighting, Animating, Compositing, Modeling and Texturing .

3D Modeling
Regarding 3D computer graphics, 3D modeling is the process of creating a wireframe that represents some three-dimensional object using computer and some software. 

What is Texturing
The wireframe or 3D meshs has to appear as if it was composed of real materials. The textures can be pictures of material that are attached to the surfaces of the meshes or can be some color or a combination of many textures to simulate features like transparency, roughness, diffusion, reflection, especular, illumination, etc.

What is Lighting
It is the process of putting 3D light sources within a 3D Scene. 

What is Animating
It is the process of given movement to cameras, lights or objects that takes part in a scene.

What is Compositing 
It is the process of blending of real life video or photography with the 3D  scene/objects. 
Photomontage is an exemple of this, and camera tracking is also an exemplo regarding 3D animation.

2D Animation
2D Flash Animation 2D bitmap graphics figures or 2D vector graphics are created and edited using computer to produce a sequence of animated images. Differently from the traditional animation, 2D computerized animation includes automated computerized animation techniques such as morphing, tweening, and interpolated rotoscoping. Flash and Corel Rave are softwares to produce 2D animation. Animator was another softwere that was used to produce 2D animations in old times.Nowaday, many websites have Flash 2D animations and the animation on the right is an exemplo.

3D Architectural Animation
It is usually a brief architectural film created on a computer using a 3D model and the objects that take part in a 3D scene.
3D Architectural animationDifferently from an architectural rendering, that is a single picture taken from a single camera point of view, the 3D animation has several still images shot by the virtual camera. The sequence of this image produce a movie effect like a real camera.
In a 3D animation, not only the camera but also the objects take take part in a scene can move as well, such as people, cars, etc.

Usually it is done long before the project is built to give shareholders, property developers, designers a realistic view of the project.
Sometimes architectural renderings are used along with 3D animation.
Click on the link If you want to see an old
technical 3D animation of a surgery room. To another oldies architectural and technical 3D animations click here.

Fly-By: It a 3D animation, simulating a fly around the building.

Walk-Through: It is a 3D Interior Architectural animation simulanting a walking inside the building.

Real Time 3D
It refers to the instant interaction with the viewer. A real 3D presentation has the ability to generate views from a 3D model instantly, given the views the option to choose the angles of view, path and and explore the parts of the 3D Model he is more interested.
Anyway this concept is still in development and are relatively new. Usually it requires powerful hardware and video card, as long as with highly optimized 3D scene
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House Rendering Process: Wire-frame and 3D Rendering
House: Wire-frame and 3D Renderings

Non-photo realistic technical 3D rendering
3D Model under construction
 Non-photorealistic rendering


3D wire-frame of an apartment building

3D mesh or wire-frame of an apartment building. 
3D drawings can been seen from different points of views.

Wireframe and 3D Architectural Rendering of a Condominium
3D Architectural Rendering
Wire-frames and 3D Rendering

3D Visualization - Types of 3D Architectural Presentations - Computerized Presentations

The main types of visualizations are: 

3D Architectural Renderings

3D Exterior and Interior

Floor Plan Renderings

3D Floor Plans

3D Sections / Cutaway

3D Architectural Animation - Virtual Tours
        Walkthrough and Fly-by
3D Slide Show 
   Animated sequence of static images

Photomontage for Street Scenes and Landscap

Virtual City - Architectural Rendering and Illustration
Virtual City - 1992

Photorealistic and Non-photorealistic Rendering

3D Renderings can photorealist or non-photorealistic rendering. Non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) are computer generated presentations that focuses on on different expressive styles for digital art. Differently to traditional computer graphics, that has focused on photorealism, NPR is inspired by drawings, paintings, cartoonsa and technical illustration. 

3D Architectural Rendering - Aerial view
3D Model & 3D Renderings

3D Model and 3D Non-Photorealistic Rendering
Computerized Illustration - 1996
Non-photorealistic Rendering or Schematic Illustration

Architectural renderings - 3D exteriors, interiors, 3D floor plan renderings
All the renderings above were produced between 1990 and 1995

Architectural Perspectives - Exterior and Interior - Static Computer Generated Images - 
It is well known that technicall architects' drawings are not attractive and highly complex for eyes of the customers. By using the technical drawings regarding the project, a 3D model of the new building can be construct with accuracy, with attractive landscaping and realistic surface materials. 3D illustrations allow the buyer see the exterior or interior of a building long before it is complete. In Brazil, properties developers use them to display in sales office, brochures and websites.

Photorealistic Architectural Perspectiva Rendering
A well done 3D model of the exterior or interior of a new building, can include realistic surface materials and landscaping. With an accurated 3D model, it is possible to generate photorealistic images and animations of  the building before it is complete. Several images can be geneted from as many viewpoints we want.

Floor Plan Renderings
This kind of presentation gives a best visualization to the customer that are not used to interpretate techincal drawaing and blueprints.Computerized floor plan renderings can be made using 2D softwares such us Corel Draw or 3D softwares such as Autocad an 3D Studio.
Usually, softwares like Corel are used to produce non-photorealistic floor plan renderings and softwares that has 3D capability can produce a photorealistic floor plan renderings. In Brazil, floor plan renderings as long with architectural perspectives are displayed in sale property sale offices.  

3D Floor Plan Renderings
Using 2D drwings floor plan as reference, it is possible to make a fully-furnished doll house seen from above
It is ideal to give a sense on how the interior lay-out and space will be, not only for residential properties but also for commercial properties. 

3D Sections & Technical Renderings3D Sections (cutaway drawings) & Technical Ilustrations: 

3D Sections and 3D Technical illustrations are ideal for pre-visualization, product development, educational training purposes and  investor-relations. If animated, it gives an idea of an equipment or machine working as if it would work in real life.

3D Architectural Animations: Through architetural animations it is possible to give viewers a journey around a new apartment building, home or commercial building. 
After completing the 3D model, a camera path can be outlined  around the model or inside the model to make the route of a virtual tour. The interior can also be explored into each room as it is required. Walkthroughs of furnished Interiors are one of the most typical architectural 3D animations. 
If you want to see an old
3D animation of surgery room, feturing camera moving and lighting target moving in the scene click here.
If you want to see old architectural and technical 3D animations click here.  

3D Slide Show: Instead of a 3D animation indeed, its faster and less expensive to make a sequencial slide show, presenting images in sequence, given the idea of a tour around the building or inside de building, as if a photographer have visit the local and taken the pictures.

Photomontage for Street Scenes and Landscap
Merging 3D models with photographs are a method to create seamless photomontage views. Usually the idea is to present the new building or development in Its proposed surroundings. The 3 most usual types of photomontage are street-scene perspectives, the building amongst the others surrounding buildings and aerial views.
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3D Architectural Photorealistic Rendering

Photorealistic Rendering

3D Interior Rendering - commercial and residential buildings
3D Interior
3D Exterior photo realistic rendering - House Rendering and  exterior images of buildings
3D Exterior
3D Condominium rendering - Architectural Illustration
3D Architectural Model and 3D rendering of apartment building
3D Model& Rendering
3D Model and 3D architectural rendering - Condominium building
Architectural Rendering
3D Models, 3D Renderins e 3D Animations created between 1992 and 1998
3D Renderings
3D Section - 3D House Model and Rendering - Exterior and Interior perspective renderings
3D House Rendering
House 3D Section, 3D Interior and 3D Exterior perspective renderings
3D Sections & Interiors
3D Floor Plan Rendering
3D Floor Plan Render
3D Technical Model and 3D Technical Rendering and Illustration - 3D Animation
3D Technical Render
3D Animation
Floor Plan Rendering
3D Floor Plan Renderings
3D Architectural Modeling & Rendering - Civic Center - 1999
3D Modeling
3D Architectural Model and 3D Rendering - Building Renovation Presentation
Renovation Building 3D Rendering
Archtectural and Technical  3D Animations - Created between 1992 and 1996
Old 3D Animations