3D visualization

3D visualization is “the process by which graphical content is created,” meaning that the end result is visual content (i.e. images and animations). 3D visualization creates digital three-dimensional representations of real things. The aim is to create a digital representation of what the product will look like. The term “3D visualization” is used interchangeably with the terms “3D graphics,” “3D rendering,” and “computer-generated images” (CGI). They all relate to the process of creating graphic material using 3D software. It is a technique that has been widely used in recent decades and has become one of the most practical solutions for creating high-quality digital material. Today, a large part of the articles advertised on websites and on television are created using 3D visualizations that are very close to the reality of an image. Did you know that every single item in an IKEA catalog is created digitally using visualization technology? Professional 3D artists can now create hyper-realistic representations that match the quality of traditional photos without the need to coordinate complex and expensive photo sessions. This technique makes it possible to create photographs that would be impossible or unaffordable with traditional photography. However, there are also widespread misconceptions about the term. The term is not synonymous with 3D design or development. These terms refer to the creation of content such as CAD files by engineers or industrial designers for manufacturing purposes. Even though 3D artists use CAD to create 3D visualizations, the end product is more than just CAD files; it is a dynamic graphic that combines technical skill and creativity.


3D refers to anything that is three-dimensional, meaning it has a width, height, and depth (length). Our physical world is three-dimensional, and we spend our day moving in three dimensions. Humans have 3D perception, also known as depth perception, which enables us to perceive the spatial connection between things simply by looking at them. As we look around, the retina of each eye creates a two-dimensional image of our environment, which our brain then transforms into a three-dimensional visual experience. However, it's important to remember that seeing in 3D requires seeing with both eyes (stereoscopic or binocular vision). People who can only see with one eye (monocular vision) can still perceive the environment three-dimensionally and may not be aware of their stereo blindness. They simply lack one of the tools required for three-dimensional perception and are therefore dependent on others without being aware of it.

The process of creating three-dimensional images can be divided into three stages: tessellation, geometry, and rendering. The first step is to build models of specific objects by connecting points together to form a series of discrete polygons (tiles). The polygons are then modified and lighting effects are added. In the third step of 3D modeling, the edited photos are converted into highly detailed objects.

3D Commerce

3D commerce is a growing area within the e-commerce and retail industry that uses the use of 3D technology, such as 3D modeling, rendering, and augmented reality (AR), to improve the online shopping experience and product presentation. 3D commerce enables retailers and brands to offer interactive and immersive product visualizations that help customers make informed buying decisions and increase customer loyalty.

:The main goals of 3D commerce are:

Product presentation: 3D commerce makes it possible to present products in a realistic, detailed and interactive way so that customers can view, zoom in and even customize them from different angles.

Customer experience: By using 3D technology and augmented reality, customers can virtually “try out” products or place them in their environment to get a better understanding of size, shape, material, and color.

Reducing returns: By giving customers a more accurate idea of the products, 3D Commerce can help reduce bad purchases and associated returns.

Branding: 3D commerce can be used to create a unique and memorable online shopping experience that strengthens brand identity and increases customer loyalty.

3D commerce comprises a variety of techniques and applications, such as:

3D modeling and rendering: The creation of high-quality 3D models and photorealistic renderings of products to present them in online shops or catalogs.

3D configurators: Interactive applications that allow customers to customize products by choosing colors, materials, patterns, or components and visualizing their choices in real time.

Augmented Reality (AR): The integration of 3D product models into customers' real environments using AR applications on smartphones or tablets to verify the size, fit, or appearance of products in their living space.

Virtual showrooms: The creation of 3D environments where customers can explore and discover products in a realistic and interactive way.

3D commerce is an innovative approach that has the potential to fundamentally change the way consumers shop online. By using 3D technology and AR, retailers and brands can provide unique, immersive, and interactive shopping experiences that increase customer satisfaction, strengthen brand loyalty, and increase sales.

White Render

White rendering in 3D, also known as clay rendering or white shading, is a technique in 3D visualization in which a 3D model or scene is presented entirely in a uniform white color, without textures, shadows, or reflections. This technique is commonly used in architecture, product design, and the movie and game industries to highlight the shape, volume, and overall structure of a 3D model or scene without being distracted by materials or colors.

The main goal of white rendering in 3D is to focus on the basic design and geometry of an object or scene. By presenting in a uniform white color, viewers can better grasp and analyze the shapes, volumes, and spatial relationships. White rendering is commonly used for the following purposes:

Design review: White rendering makes it easier for designers and clients to assess the design of an object or scene and make any changes before adding details such as textures and materials.

Presentation of designs: In architecture or product design, white rendering is used to present designs in a clear and easy-to-understand way without distracting attention from materials or colors.

Animation and Visual Effects (VFX): In the film and game industry, white rendering can serve as an intermediate step in creating animations and VFX to verify the basic shapes and movements of 3D models before further processing steps are carried out.


Computer-generated imagery, abbreviated CGI, is a process that uses computer software to generate static or animated visual images. CGI is also known as 3D imaging or 3D rendering. CGI is often used as a term for three-dimensional computer graphics used to create characters, scenes, and other special effects in motion pictures, television, and video games. This technology is also used in advertising, architecture, technology, virtual reality and even in art. Traditional photography involves taking an image with a film or digital camera, while computer-generated images are created using computer software. Three-dimensional (3D) results are often associated with computer-generated images (CGI). However, CGI is also able to create two-dimensional (2D) effects. The origins of computer-generated images can be traced back to the 1950s, when many inventors and companies experimented with the new and expanding field of computer animation. Although most of these were two-dimensional, they were used in a wide variety of fields ranging from science to engineering to medicine. Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock was the first film to contain computer-generated images (1958). CGI is also used in movies ranging from historical dramas to sci-fi blockbusters. In a historical drama, for example, it can be used to furnish places with contemporary details and to provide a constant backdrop, i.e. an environment that is populated with buildings, people and vehicles. In a science fiction movie, around 90% of the people, vehicles, locations, and action are depicted with CGI.


Computer-aided design (CAD) is a process for digitally creating two-dimensional drawings and three-dimensional models of real products — even before they are created. With 3D CAD, you can quickly share, review, simulate, and change designs, which enables you to quickly develop novel and distinctive products. Dr. Samuel Geisberg founded Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) in 1985 with the aim of defining a fundamentally new approach to CAD software. This breakthrough resulted in the first parametric and feature-based CAD software for solid modeling on the market, now known as Creo, which represents the industry standard for product design and development software. After more than three decades, the product development sector is now beginning to embrace the next wave of technology-driven innovation, as many other industries have already done. Using system blocks, the program can determine which components you need. In addition, the program can design the circuit diagram. People like CAD systems because they allow them to quickly and easily switch between different design concepts. After we design something, we can digitally construct and test it. In other words, we can verify that it works. Companies appreciate this because it allows them to minimize the costs of producing prototypes and procuring components. Computer-aided design systems are being used by more and more professional groups. Computer-aided geometric design (CAGD) is a technique for creating geometric shapes for objects that is very similar to CAD.

Rendering/image synthesis

Rendering/image synthesis is the process of creating a two or three-dimensional image from a model using application programs. Rendering is primarily used in architecture, video games and animated films, as well as in simulators, television special effects and design visualization. The techniques and features used differ depending on the scope of the project. Rendering helps to increase design efficiency and reduce costs. Rendering is a term that refers to the automated process of creating digital images of three-dimensional models using specialized software. These photos imitate the photorealistic environment, materials, lighting, and objects seen in a project or 3D model. Rendering is also a term that refers to a computer-generated image that is created using three-dimensional modelling of project data. The geometric model is then covered with graphics (textures) and colors that match those of the actual materials and can be illuminated with natural or artificial light sources. When rendering settings are precisely tailored to natural conditions, the texture quality and range of views can be described as photorealistic.

Architecture visualization

In architecture, visualization refers to the process of presenting a new structure in an easy-to-digest format. The visualization, which is sometimes referred to as “language” between the customer and the planner, takes place before the construction process begins.

3D visualization is the latest advance in architectural visualization and refers to the process of using computer software to create three-dimensional representations of a building. Customers can walk through and examine a three-dimensional model from any angle. In addition, other elements such as carpets, furniture, paintings, and lighting can be added and their effects assessed.

Today's 3D models are highly detailed and precise. They include real aspects such as sunshine and shadows, giving them the appearance of photographs. 3D renderings are perhaps the most effective way in the architectural industry to express ideas — they require no additional physical resources, are faster than traditional model making techniques, and show more.

3D printing

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process in which three-dimensional objects are created from digital models. This involves applying material, such as plastic or metal, in layers until the desired object is created. There are various 3D printing technologies, such as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), and PolyJet.
3D printing is used in various areas, such as architecture, the product design and medicine.

rendering software

Rendering software is specifically designed to transform 3D models into realistic or stylized 2D images and animations. There are various rendering programs, including Blender, V-Ray, Octane Render, and Corona Renderer.

Each software has its own strengths, weaknesses, and features, which is why it is important to choose the right software for the task at hand.


Texturing is the process of applying colors, patterns, and surfaces to a 3D model to improve its appearance and realism. Various techniques are used here, such as UV mapping, procedural textures and bump mapping.
The texturing creates a visually appealing and realistic 3D model, which is renderings and animations can be used.

Motion Graphics

Motion graphics, also known as moving image graphics, is a combination of animation and graphic design to create visual content that is characterized by movement and transformation. In contrast to traditional animation, which primarily focuses on character animation and narrative elements, motion graphics focus on presenting information, text, symbols, logos, and abstract forms in a dynamic and appealing way. Motion graphics are used in a wide range of media and industries, including television, film, advertising, web design, and social media.

Motion graphics serve multiple purposes, including:

Information transfer: By using animated texts, symbols, and diagrams, motion graphics can present complex information and data in an easy-to-understand and appealing way.

Brand communication: Motion graphics can be used to reinforce and visualize brand identities and messages through animated logos, colors, fonts, and design elements.

Entertainment and engagement: With the help of moving image graphics, visual content can be made more interesting, entertaining and appealing to increase audience attention and convey the message more effectively.

lighting techniques

Lighting techniques are critical for creating realistic 3D renderings and animations. These include global illumination, ambient occlusion, and high dynamic range imaging (HDRI).
The right lighting can help capture the mood and atmosphere of a scene and make the 3D model or rendering more appealing and compelling.

Animation principles

Animation principles are basic guidelines that should be considered when creating animations. These include timing and spacing, squash and stretch, anticipation and overlapping action.
Applying these principles gives animations life and character and helps create smooth and compelling movements.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are immersive technologies that make it possible to experience three-dimensional environments and objects in the real world or in virtual worlds. With head-mounted displays (HMD), room-scale VR and markerless tracking, users can interact in virtual or extended environments. These technologies are used in various areas, such as 3D visualization, architecture, and game development.

CAD software

CAD (computer-aided design) software makes it possible to create precise 3D models and technical drawings. These programs are frequently used in architecture, product design, and engineering. Popular CAD software solutions include AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Rhino, and Fusion 360.
Each software offers different features and tools to meet the needs of different industries and applications.


Post-production is the process of post-processing 3D renderings and animations to improve and optimize their visual quality. This can include color correction, compositing, and adding Depth of Field.
Through post-production, artists can further refine renderings and animations and give them a professional and polished look.

VFX (Visual Effects)

VFX, or visual effects, refers to the creation and integration of computer-generated (CGI) images, animations, and effects into live-action footage or other media to create an illusion of reality or support visual narratives. VFX are often used in film, television, commercials, music videos, and computer games to create scenes and elements that would not be feasible in the real world due to budget restrictions, security risks, or physical limits.

VFX serve a range of purposes, including:

Realism and Immersion: By using VFX, filmmakers and game developers can create realistic environments, characters, and events that immerse audiences in the world of narrative.

Creativity and artistic expression: VFX enable artists and designers to realize their creative visions without the limitations of reality and create impressive visual effects and styles.

Cost and time savings: In many cases, VFX can be a cheaper and faster alternative to creating sets, props, and special effects in the real world.

file formats

There are various file formats that are used when working with 3D models and renderings. This includes OBJ, FBX, STL, and PLY.
Each file format has its own specifications and is used for different purposes. For example, OBJ and FBX are suitable for sharing 3D models between different applications, while STL is used for 3D printing and PLY is used for exchanging 3D scan data.
It is important to select the right file format for each use case to ensure compatibility and optimal results.

polygon modeling

Polygon modeling is a technique for creating 3D models that uses polygons (usually triangles or quadrilaterals) to represent the surface of an object. This method is widely used in 3D visualization, game development, and animation. Popular tools for polygon modeling include Blender, 3ds Max, and Maya.

ray tracing

Ray tracing is an advanced rendering technique that creates realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections by simulating the path of light. In this method, light rays from the camera are traced through each pixel of the image and projected onto the objects in the scene. Ray tracing can help produce photorealistic renderings and animations, but is computationally intensive and may require longer render times.

NURBS modeling

NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines) is a mathematical representation used to model 3D objects with smooth surfaces. In contrast to polygon modeling, which is based on discrete surface elements, NURBS models produce smooth and continuous surfaces. NURBS modeling is particularly useful for creating organic shapes, vehicle designs, and jewelry. Rhino and Alias are examples of software that supports NURBS modeling.

PBR (Physically Based Rendering)

Ray tracing is an advanced rendering technique that creates realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections by simulating the path of light. In this method, light rays from the camera are traced through each pixel of the image and projected onto the objects in the scene. Ray tracing can help produce photorealistic renderings and animations, but is computationally intensive and may require longer render times.

Scripting and automation

Scripting and automation refer to the use of scripting languages and programs to facilitate repetitive or complex tasks in 3D visualization, modeling, and animation. Through scripting, artists and designers can speed up workflows, create custom features, and extend the functionality of their favorite 3D software. Popular scripting languages in the 3D industry include Python, MEL (Maya Embedded Language), and MAXScript. Using scripting and automation can increase efficiency, save time, and allow you to focus on more creative aspects of the project.

Bounding Box

A bounding box is a simple geometric object (usually a cube or rectangle) that encloses the outer limits of a 3D model or group of objects. It is often used in 3D visualization and animation to determine object size and position, detect collisions, or optimize the work area.


A vertex (plural: vertices) is a point in 3D space that represents the corner or intersection of polygons in a 3D model. Vertices are fundamental elements of 3D models and are used to define the shape, size, and structure of an object.


A shader is a small program that is used in the graphics pipeline to control the final visual effect of 3D models and scene elements. Shaders can be used to create or modify materials, lighting, textures, and special effects.


Z-buffering is a technique for deeply sorting 3D objects in a scene. It is used to determine which objects or parts of objects should be displayed in the foreground or background. The Z-Buffer stores the depth information of objects and helps to avoid overlaps and visibility issues.

Wireframe mode

Wireframe mode is a display type in 3D visualization, in which a 3D model is represented by its polygon edges or wireframe structure. This mode allows artists and designers to analyze the basic geometry of an object without textures, shading, or lighting.

Geometry cache

A geometry cache is a temporary storage solution that is used to store the geometry data from 3D models or animations. Caching can improve the performance of 3D software by reducing the amount of work required to constantly recalculate geometry and animations.

Normal Map

A normal map is a texture that is used to simulate the surface details of a 3D model without increasing the geometry. Normal maps store the directional data of surfaces in RGB color values and are used to influence lighting and shading to create the impression of detail and depth.


Rigging is the process of creating a skeleton or control structure for a 3D model, particularly characters, to animate them. Rigs consist of bones, controls, and deformers that make it possible to create complex and realistic movements.

Level of Detail (LOD)

Level of detail (LOD) is a technique used in 3D visualization and game development to reduce the complexity of 3D models depending on the distance from the camera or the viewer. By using LOD, developers can optimize performance and reduce rendering time without sacrificing visual quality.

Global Illumination

Global Illumination (GI) is a rendering process that calculates indirect lighting in a 3D scene. GI simulates the behavior of light reflected and scattered by objects, creating more realistic shadows, reflections, and lighting effects.

Occlusion Culling

Occlusion Culling is a technique used in 3D graphics and game development to optimize rendering performance. It removes objects or parts of objects that are obscured by the viewer to reduce unnecessary calculations and drawing operations.

Bump Mapping

Bump mapping is a texturing technique that is used to create the illusion of bumps and relief on the surface of a 3D model. Unlike normal maps, bump maps store elevation information in grayscale values and influence shading to create the impression of depth.

UV mapping

UV mapping is the process of assigning 2D textures to 3D models. It uses coordinates (U and V) to determine the position and orientation of the texture on the surface of the model. UV mapping is an important step in creating realistic and detailed 3D models.

Motion Capture

Motion Capture (MoCap) is a technique in which the movements of real objects or people are recorded and transferred to 3D characters or objects. MoCap is often used in the movie industry, game development, and animation to produce realistic and lifelike movements.

Displacement Mapping

Displacement mapping is a technique that changes the geometry of a 3D model by using elevation information from a texture. In contrast to bump and normal mapping, displacement mapping influences the actual geometry of the object and can produce more detailed and realistic surfaces.

Ambient Occlusion

Ambient occlusion (AO) is a shading technique that is used to simulate the softness of shadows in corners and recesses of a 3D model. AO creates a more realistic and natural lighting effect by reducing diffuse lighting in areas with limited light incidence.

Texture Baking

Texture baking is the process of transferring textures and shades from a high-resolution 3D model to a low-resolution model. This is often used in game development and 3D visualization to present detailed models while using less resources and improving performance.

Subsurface Scattering

Subsurface scattering (SSS) is a rendering technique that simulates light behavior in semi-transparent materials such as skin, wax, or marble. SSS makes it possible to create more realistic and softer lighting effects for such materials by taking into account the scattering of light within the objects.

particle systems

Particle systems are a method for creating and controlling large quantities of smaller objects, such as sparks, smoke, or raindrops, in a 3D scene. Particle systems use emitters that create and influence the particles and can be used in combination with physics-based simulations to achieve realistic and dynamic effects.

Inverse kinematics

Inverse kinematics (IK) is a technique in 3D animation that makes it possible to control the movements of hierarchically connected bones or joints of a character rig by manipulating the end effector element (such as a hand or foot). IK is often used to create realistic and natural movements for characters and mechanical objects.

Volumetric lighting

Volumetric lighting is a rendering technique that simulates the behavior of light in a 3D scene when it passes through atmospheric effects such as fog, smoke, or dust. Volumetric lighting creates more realistic lighting effects, such as light rays or light spots, and adds depth and atmosphere to a scene.

procedural modeling

Procedural modeling is a technique that uses algorithms or rules to automatically generate 3D models and textures. In contrast to traditional modeling, which involves creating objects manually, procedural modeling allows complex and detailed objects to be created with less manual effort and greater reusability.

Vertex Painting

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a technique used in 3D visualization and photography to expand the contrast range and color depth of images. HDR images can display a wider range of brightness and color values, allowing for more realistic and vivid scenes with improved lighting and shadow effects.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Vertex painting is a technique that applies colors or attributes directly to the vertices of a 3D model. This allows artists and designers to make targeted changes to an object's color, texture, or material without having to create separate textures or UV maps.


Instancing is a technique used in 3D graphics to efficiently render multiple copies of an object. Instancing reduces memory usage and improves rendering performance because the geometry and texture data is only saved and reused once instead of being recalculated for each instance.

Quads and triangles

Quads and triangles are basic polygon shapes that make up 3D models. Quads are quadrilateral polygons, while triangles are triangular polygons. Both shapes are used to define the surfaces of 3D objects and can be organized in various topologies and densities to produce different levels of detail and shapes.

Procedural texturing

Procedural texturing is a technique for creating textures that uses algorithms or mathematical functions to automatically generate the colors, patterns, and details of a texture. In contrast to hand-painted or photorealistic textures, procedural textures are often seamless and can be created in different resolutions without sacrificing quality.


Decals are 2D textures that are projected onto the surface of a 3D model to add additional detail or decoration. Decals can be used to represent dirt, wear, tags, or other features on an object without changing the basic texture or geometry of the model.

LOD blending

LOD blending is a technique that is used to smooth the transition between different level of detail versions of a 3D model. This is achieved by gradually mixing models as they become visible to avoid visible “pops” or sudden changes in the level of detail.

Spline modeling

Spline modeling is a 3D modeling technique that uses curves (splines) to define the shape of an object. Splines are mathematically defined curves that consist of control points and segments. This method allows artists to create smooth and organic shapes with precise control over geometry.

Depth of Field (DoF)

Depth of Field (DoF) is a photographic effect used in 3D visualization and rendering to create selective focus and blur in a scene. DoF simulates the natural restriction of a camera's depth of field and can be used to focus on specific objects or create a realistic atmosphere.


Deformation modifiers are tools that are used in 3D software to change or manipulate the geometry of objects. Examples of deformation modifiers include Bend, Twist, Taper, and Lattice. These modifiers allow artists and designers to create complex and organic shapes without directly editing the object's basic geometry.

Ambient Light

Ambient light is an unspecific and ubiquitous light source that is used in 3D scenes to create uniform background lighting. Ambient light helps to brighten areas of shadow and balance the scene to ensure that no areas are completely black.